Kingfisher 30

Kingfisher30FAcropA fellow dropped into my office a couple of months ago with a novel idea. He is the owner of a Power Scow which is a type of boat I would expect only a few readers of my design write-ups to be familiar with. A power scow is pretty much what the name says; it is a powered barge on the water long used in the Southeast Alaska fisheries as buy boats which are boats that goes out to the fishing grounds, buys fish from the fishing boats and sells ice and other limited supplies to the fishermen. After filling their own holds with fresh caught fish, the buy boat heads off to the nearest town or cannery to offload. This chap has a particularly nice power scow built in the 1940s and he has done a yeoman’s job of keeping her in good shape and running condition. She has the latest fillet machines, flash freezing capabilities and vacuum packing on board and for these premium line caught salmon and halibut, she does an extraordinary job of keeping the fish fresh, clean, and ready for the freezer or the skillet.

But back to our visit — you see he is a visionary type of guy always thinking out into the future with a keen eye on the prize of keeping his power scow working hard and efficiently and also keeping several fish markets and a growing internet market supplied with his amazing product. These Alaskan fish are of such quality that anyone could provide them a place in their diet without fear or regret. But he had a new vision one that was just at the wee starting place of forming shape and that is where his visit with me came into the picture. He was thinking that there might be a small number of individuals who are in their late middle years, perhaps even retired from their first careers, but not yet ready to hang it all up. These individuals might also want a bit of adventure in their lives, ready to see waters and areas that they hadn’t the time to do earlier in their lives and careers. And so he was thinking that these hardy souls might be interested in setting up small fishing businesses built around the design that I am outlining here and built around his power scow.

With the power scow, he would have the facilities for the fishermen to drop off their catch on a daily basis, take a shower and have a hot meal each day, and maybe even a hand or two of cards before crawling into the sack. Up at dawn, or just a bit before dawn, to drop in on the morning bite and they are back to work. If a longer trip is desired to explore a little, the accommodations on the Kingfisher are compatible to the skipper and crew and anything from a couple of days to a longer trip might be possible, springing them only slightly loose from the friends and convenience of the power scow each night.

So let’s take a closer look at the Kingfisher design that I came up with. She is not a huge boat at just over 30 feet in length but with that utility of staying close to the mothership, she really doesn’t need to be much longer and therefore have good fuel economy and seaworthy comfort for the crew. She can be rigged for either hand trolling (non-powered gurdies which control the lines for bringing the fish into the boat) or she can be powered with a small hydraulic pump that would run off the engine and can be rigged as a power troller. There are twin 18 foot long trolling poles on either side of the single mast and these are lowered to about a 45 degree angle off the port and starboard sides of the boats helping to keep the fishing lines out of each other’s way. They can also be used to set small paravanes for running when the weather is really snotty and these simple gear additions can really make the difference between just a crappy day and one that could provide you with real story fodder. If you are anything like me, even though I like a good story, the older I get, the less I desire to experience those “really good” story days if you follow my drift. Anyway, the paravanes work very well at allowing the boat to continue into waters that might really blunt the progress of an unstabilized hull.

There is good deck space and instead of a fixed cargo hold (which could be done but a simpler solution is available), we are using large poly plastic totes that are chucked on the deck and when offloading fish, a bag that is held in the tub can be hoisted to the buy boat and a simple cleaning of the deck and totes is all that is necessary to keep the boat clean and organized. Moving forward into the pilothouse, the cabin follows a couple of ideas that I might have tried to hit you over the head with in the past but without hearing much of a thud, I want to try them again and they involve two subjects that need addressing. The first is the head and how to keep the crew and the skipper happy and comfortable. While the Kingfisher concept is one that might involve a single fisherman on board, (and my first inclination was to reduce the need or desire to have anything like a private head compartment on board), upon presenting the preliminary sketches to my co-workers, I was told rather bluntly that the boat would need a head to have any chance at seeing the light of day as a concept. So let’s address the idea of how to deal with a head in a boat and have it be really be functional enough to allow some privacy when being used. One of the features I noticed on lots of working boats, fishing and tug, is that the head compartment is very often not common or connected to the interior of the boat. That is to say they are accessed from the stern or side decks of the boat with an entirely separate door to the deck. And with no common door to the interior of the boat, you have a chance to actually use the head with some semblance of privacy. Once a common door to the inside of the boat gets put in the design, those privacy features go literally out the door. If you use the head for a shower, then you have the additional problem of what to do after adding considerable moisture into the interior of a boat that might be operating in a high humidity environment and the problem of how to truly and easily dry out the boat, which leads nicely into the second thought of mine.

Kingfisher30FAHeat is a problem in most boats that run in the Northwest coastal waters of North America (my favorite and most often frequented waters), and it’s not called the rainy northwest for nothing! It’s not unusual for a typical cruiser or boater to do a long trip up to Alaska and back and never once put on a short sleeved shirt in the whole summer. In fact, we occasionally have summers where wool shirts and jackets are worn every day as a hedge against the cool and moist climate. On virtually all Northwest Coast working boats they fix this problem with a simple and ingenious solution, one that anything from a 20 feet cruiser up to a boat well over a hundred feet in length can use. The solution is an oil cooking range. Some of the best of these and the ones most common in the Northwest are made by the Dickinson company of British Columbia just to the north of my own Washington State. They come in a variety of sizes and configurations and the idea is that they are lit early in the trip, even sometimes before the engine is started, the thermostat and heat control has simple settings and burning diesel or even a cleaner burn with kerosene fuel, they just sit there and heat away, letting the whole interior of the boat stay warm and dry. The cast iron top of the stove radiates the heat very well and a pot can be kept on one of the corners instantly providing you with warm beverage capability whenever desired. If you come into the interior of the boat with wet rain gear, the boat doesn’t instantly fog up with the added moisture and you keep your windows clear and warm your bones up very quickly. I call this the ‘haven of warmth’ theory, and if you ever try it, you too will realize that when you wrap your head around the idea that the boat is always warm and dry no matter what the conditions are outside, you will quickly think of your boat as being protective and a haven of warmth and comfort. So even if we are foolish enough to have the door to the head opening into the interior of the boat, we can still dry her out quickly after taking a hot shower and everything will stay smelling nice and sweet.

I say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to my eye, this design looks just about right with good utility and function and she is trailerable to boot. With her inboard diesel engine, the fuel economy is good and depending on how much horsepower you give her, the speed can be adjusted from anything in the full displacement range up to semi-displacements speeds. – Sam Devlin

The Kingfisher 30 is available as study plans and as a custom build from Devlin Boats.

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Kingfisher 30 Specifications

Length on Deck 30 ft. – 2 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 1 in.
Draft 38 in.
Power Inboard diesel 110-160hp
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
Displacement 10700 lbs.

 

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Josephine 47

A recent visit by friends, Vicky and Craig Johnsen, was highlighted by some elegant drawings that Craig had been working on for a proper power cruiser proposed to be built around a Gardner 6L3 engine he owned. This reminded me of a preliminary design I had worked on some years ago but I must have gotten distracted and had never finished it. Several months later, I dusted off the drawings, wrapped them up and I now present the new version to you here — its resemblance to Craig’s drawing is striking.

I don’t own a Gardner 6L3 (though I certainly wish I did), a 6,700 lb. chunk of sweet sounding metal with a top RPM of 1,000 and generating 150 real horses (not those little ponies so common these days with higher speed and much lighter diesel engines). These horses could swing a 50 inch propeller with ease and make for the maneuvering of the boat armed with such gear a real exhibit of skill and mastery.

But back to the Josephine 47….without owning the Gardner, the next best option is to choose a John Deere 6068 engine with horsepower of 236 medium sized ponies.  This is a reasonable option with a top RPM of 2,400 turns and it should run very smooth at something like a speed of 1,800 revs. That should give us a cruising speed of 8.5 knots over the bottom. The engine is below the pilothouse and very well insulated with Aquadrive isolation of the shaft, soft engine mounts, and lots of sound insulation.

I think the two features that I most like about this design are the extension of the same arrangement that we use on our 81 year old Salmon Troller “Josephine” — the covered afterdeck and the completely separate cabin configuration of the accommodations. With the covered deck aft, the dingy can stow above on the solid roof and canvas drop curtains can be set on the sides of the aft roof enclosing off the entire stern for use when the weather is inclement. You would be surprised at how much you use the ‘covered porch’. Even simple little tasks can be done using the aft cabin housetop as a working and cooking area. When cruising in our own boat, I often wake up early and take a single burner butane stove to the aft deck to brew up my morning coffee without bothering Soitza sleeping below. A pleasant, quiet and peaceful start to the morning is a really great way to cruise. We often don’t do breakfast until we have run for the first hour or two, taking advantage of the typical flat water of the calm summer mornings, and a nice plate of scrambled eggs, salsa, and toast and another cup of coffee seems really civilized while underway. The smell of bacon from the galley in the pilothouse is visceral in its connection with the idea of a pleasant cruise on the water.

If you choose the centerline wheel pilothouse arrangement, there are doors both to port and starboard. The off center helm option shows a different arrangement for the seating in the pilothouse and eliminates the portside door — choose the layout that suits you best.

The fo’c’sle is a separate cabin from the large aft cabin with its own head and shower units. You can condemn the guests you drag along to this cabin where they can stack like cordwood in the staggered over/under port and starboard berths.

So let’s talk briefly about how you might proceed with this design as this drawing is really just a line and lure lowered into the water in an attempt to catch one of you readers. If you find this design tickling your fancy and you would like to talk more about fleshing it out into your own dreams, please give me a call. I look forward to that conversation — it will gives me a feel for what your own ideas are for the perfect boat, enable me to share my own motives and dreams for such a boat, and we’ll both learn a lot in the process. Together, the two of us can come up with a really amazing boat and project! – Sam Devlin

The Josephine 47 is available as study plans and as a custom build from Devlin Boats.

 

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Josephine 47 Specifications

Length 46 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 13 ft. – 11 in.
Draft 60 in.
Power Inboard diesel, 150hp
Displacement 38900 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Josephine 40

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In extensively cruising my 1934 salmon troller Josephine, I’ve come to appreciate many of her qualities. She’s a strong boat, comfortable in a rolling sea, and graceful in a classic workboat sense. Owning a stitch and glue boat business, it was only natural for me to take what I felt are the best parts of Josephine and adapt them to my method of boatbuilding. The result is a boat with all the aesthetic appeal of the original with the added benefits of increased interior room and decreased boat weight. The result is the Josephine 40.

It would do little good to belabor the various layouts in writing as the study plans will do a far better job. Submitted to you, dear reader and future Captain, are a number of idea drawings ranging from a working salmon fishing troller/fishboat to a motorsailor to a flybridge expedition yacht. Of course, the Josephine 40 can be built to whatever reasonable configuration the owner chooses. Give the shop a call so we can set up a time to talk about the particulars. The waters are waiting for you. – Sam Devlin

The Josephine 40 is an extensive design. The study plans are available to help you get a handle on the many options.

Josephine 40 Specifications

Length 40 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 3 in.
Draft 53 in.
Power Inboard diesel
Displacement 28000 lbs. – 42000 lbs. (Full fishhold)
Hull Type Displacement
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Dynamo Too 38

DynamoToo38FAThis is a design commissioned by William Turner of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound) region modeled after one of my favorite William Garden designs, the “Dynamo”. Bill was interested in having me do the design work necessary to convert the original Garden design over to the Stitch and Glue building method so that he might have us potentially build her in the style and fashion of our larger builds. Bill was not interested in changing the interior arrangements or configurations but thought the original Garden design was genius in its intent. The only thing that he wanted different was the construction medium, not the traditional plank on frame construction that William Garden designed her for. What Bill was interested in was having a boat built that would allow him the luxury of using the boat more than working on keeping the boat in shape. By this I mean that Bill had already had a long affair with an older conventional plank on frame vessel, one that needed almost constant attention to stay only slightly ahead of the maintenance gremlins. This is a scenario that I know very well as my own Josephine built in 1934 and her traditional construction demands constant attention and energy with only small dollops of actual cruising use to help keep me energized. I fantasize constantly about what life might be like without the continual chasing of one maintenance gremlin or another, many of which could hold me hostage to the tune of hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to attend to. So when Bill approached me about doing a conversion to Stitch and Glue, I knew right away just what he was thinking, he wanted to go cruising and not just work on the boat.

I, too, knew Bill Garden and had visited him many times before he died in 2011 at the age of 93. In my opinion, Bill was an absolute genius with the drafting pencil and I have spent many hours carefully looking at his drawings, trying to take in the artistic expression that his drafting hand lent to each of his drawings. About 15 years ago, my son and I had the pleasure of buying a little 20 ft. sailboat that Bill had built himself complete with a tiny cabin and a 4 cylinder Gray Marine inboard engine. That project and the simple experience of helping Bill finish it up, launching her and then towing her down from Sydney British Columbia, to our shop in Olympia is one of my fondest memories.

So let’s get back to the design of the ‘Dynamo Too”. This is the type that Bill Garden called a “Halibut Cruiser” which is loosely modeled after the Halibut Schooners that have been fished for more than 100 years in the North Pacific. The pilothouse was always set more in the stern of the boat than up in the eyes or the forward parts of the boat, helping I would guess to keep the salt spray off the house. But this was also the best way for the skipper to be able to see the crew pulling in large Halibut over the starboard side forward without having to continually look back behind himself to the stern as he would if the pilothouse were more forward. These were long line boats setting out sometimes literal miles of gangline (mainline) with smaller ganglions of line and a hook and bait set on the end, each set sometimes amounting to thousands of hooks and with an anchor at either end to fasten to the bottom, patiently soaking away under the water waiting for an Halibut to swim by and close his mouth over the bait, literally hooking himself. After letting the longline soak for a period of time, the Schooner would return and start picking up one end of the line and if the fishing was good, gaffing the captured Halibut up and into the deck checkers (boxes or bins on the deck that allowed sorting of the fish before being cleaned) and then a gutting and stowing in layers of ice in the hold, waiting until the schooner returned to port to offload its catch. These Schooners were multiple masted and typically 65-95 ft. in length and they evolved near the end of the use of sail in the fisheries at a time when engines weren’t the most reliable in the running department. With their stout short masts, they could be sailed if the engine took a dislike to its primary job. The sails were also used to help to steady the boat in the confused seas that are so common in the North Pacific by resisting some of the rocking back and forth in the swells.

Our own Dynamo Too is a much smaller version of the type and doesn’t have room enough for the original Schooner rig so we retained the original foremast from the rig but the mainmast (the aftermost and tallest spar) was deleted. The pilothouse has enough glass to allow good visibility in all directions and with the crew up near the helm helping to keep an eye on the water, a really fine experience for all the ship’s crew can be had. One of the nicest features of this design is the covered house and after deck giving shade in the middle of the cruising season and a respite from the rain and drizzle that can be so common in the Northwest at the ends of the season, both the early spring and the late fall. With the large “U” shaped seat in the stern of the boat, the “after the hook is set” hours can be spent either dry (out of the rain) or cooler (out of the sun) and with a lovely vista of the anchorage as the backdrop to an evening’s libations. There are twin doors going forward into the pilothouse with an “L” shaped dinette to starboard and a long strip galley to port. This is what we call a “Galley Up” arrangement and while the sacrifice in space is considerable in the pilothouse, the advantage to the cook to see out while working on a meal preparation and the advantage to the skipper to grab quick snacks and have easy access to the coffee pot for those long watches at the wheel. I have put a diesel range in the galley for both the heating and the cooking chores and to provide a “haven of warmth” in the pilothouse thus keeping it always warm and inviting which is always appreciated while cruising when the cold crew comes in from chores. If you are reading this from Florida then you may not get the thrust of my intent in keeping the boat warm and comforting but if you’ve experienced cruising along the Northwest Coast, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska where you might go the whole summer and never roll up the sleeves of your wool shirt, the warmth and comfort of a diesel range is not to be discounted.

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After drinks on the rear deck and some stories woven and re-counted between friends and perhaps even the fragrance of a fine cigar to spice the early evening hours, it’s finally time to retreat below. We go forward to the dash of the wheelhouse and then down a series of steps into the focsle of the vessel with another heater down here to help keep this deeper and typically cooler area of the boat warm and comfortable. The head is off to the port side in a space large enough for all the functions of a head. There is no separate shower stall but a circular curtain can be pulled out away from the wall keeping the water centralized into the center drain and a gray-water sump. Forward of the head area is a hanging locker and a large “U” shaped lounging area with a skylight hatch overhead and a wooden table to receive the inevitable drinks that will be consumed while visiting with your cruising pals. When all the crew is tuckered out and it’s finally time to go to sleep there is a double berth forward and the “U” shaped seating area can easily be pressed into use allowing another couple of sleepers. On the rare occasion when a pack is aboard, then the dinette up in the pilothouse can be converted into another double berth.

Back up on deck before all these events of the evening commenced, there was the anchoring up of the Dynamo Too in some quiet cove and with the reel type anchor windlass in the well deck up forward, this is an easy operation. A simple “B” style hydraulic pump is switched on and the crew can go forward and release the hold back on the rode with a simple nudge and the anchor is over the side and very quickly is on the bottom. The skipper then backs the Dynamo Too up to set the hook and a simple press down on the all chain rode with the foot confirms the anchor is tight and set. Shutdown of the engine can now be done noting the engine hours in the ships logbook and then the drinking lamp is lit. This is living at its most enjoyable level — simple, basic, warm, and intellectually entertaining! — Sam Devlin

The Dynamo Too is available as a custom build from Devlin Designing Boatbuilders. Contact Sam if this is the boat for you.

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Dynamo Too 38 Specifications

Length 38 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 52 in.
Power Inboard diesel 125hp
Displacement 28000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Kingfisher 32 Troller

Kingfisher32TrollerFAcropThis design uses the same semi-displacement hull that the Kingfisher 32 Cruiser has but it also has a longer working deck and an innovative outside head. Let’s start at the stern — the typical trolling cockpit aft with engine controls and steering enables the fisherman to work from side to side with safety. There are checker boxes in front of the trolling cockpit and lots of good space on the deck. Up against the pilothouse, there is an outside accessed head compartment with a shower included in the space, and doors, fore and aft, for access to either the engine room or the salmon hold. This outside head really allows it to be used for its primary purpose and provides some privacy without taking too much space from the rest of the boat.

Going forward into the pilothouse, you encounter a galley to starboard and a nice dinette/settee to port.  Helm and co/helm seats are also included and windows on all sides give good visibility and a feeling of spaciousness.  Forward are the typical vee berths with port and starboard berths and plenty of length and width to give a good night’s sleep.

Note the drum windlass on the bow, avoiding the taking of dirty, smelly chain below decks and with a simple hydraulic pump off the engine, this is the simplest and most functional approach.

The rest of the boat you can follow from the drawings and I look forward in working with you on your own version of her. – Sam Devlin (July 2015)

The Kingfisher 32 Troller is available in study plans. Contact Sam if you would like to develop her into your perfect custom boat.

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Kingfisher 32 Troller Specifications

Length 32 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 1 in.
Draft 38 in.
Power Inboard diesel 110-300hp
Ballast 12700 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
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