A very interesting proposition came about this winter just after a dismal, late January “Boats Afloat” boat show in Seattle, one that had very few spectators and terrible weather. A phone call started off the project with a simple question. “Do you know the lobster boat “Diana” that is in Friday Harbor?” I did know her very well as she belongs to one of my customers living in the San Juan Islands of Washington. The year before, we had built the Sockeye 45 “Widgeon” for Henry Wendt and his wife, Holly, and I remember very well their little 28ft. lobster boat that they kept at their dock for daily jaunts out to check the crab pots and weekly trips to the west side of the island to view the sunsets. Truth is, I had first looked and admired “Diana” out on the East Coast in Maine at the shop of my fellow designer and builder friend, Doug Hyland. I always keep my boat eyes open and occasionally, I see an example of a really beautiful and interesting boat. “Diana” was one of those boats and my memory of her was very keen.
The fellow on the phone, as it turned out, was looking for a boat design that might be appropriate for his ex-wife to use to commute out to her summer home in the San Juan Islands. As she lived on a small island that had no ferry service, she needed a boat to take her back and forth.
So the next week, Rick picked up Cyndie and me from a small local airport and we flew in his Cessna 180 up to Friday Harbor for a closer look at the “Diana”. Henry and Holly showed us the boat and after a short sea-trial and a lovely lunch, we flew home on one of those February days that shouldn’t happen in the Northwest. It was sunny and almost warm, and Rick made the best of a bright, clear day with a ground and water skimming flight that would excite any of us.
The parameters for the design are very simple and uncomplicated with performance expected in the 24 – 28 knot range for top speed and 18 knots for cruising speed with good fuel economy of about a 5 gallon per hour burn. A diesel stern drive will keep the engine space and noise aft and maneuvering has to be excellent as she will be single-handed most of the time. Accommodations are simple and neat — an enclosed head forward and double berth with the galley out in the pilot area. Seating is back up against the engine box for passengers or just lounging about swinging on an anchor. Cyndie and Rick’s son is 6-5″ tall so the headroom is generous in the helm area, but the proportions seem to be fine even with a rather tall house. Keep watch as this fine, little boat develops… — Sam Devlin
The Storm Petrel 34 is available as a custom build from Devlin.
Storm Petrel 34 Specifications
|Length||33 ft. – 6 in.|
|Beam||10 ft. – 2 in.|
|Draft||2 ft. 2 in.|