Site News – August

Hi folks! Two major changes have been happening on

The first is Sam’s Sketchbook. You can find the link in top left corner of the site. This is the place to dip a toe in the endless stream of design work that happens behind the scenes. It’s easy to look at a Devlin Boat and see a lovely boat. It’s another thing to look at the same boat and see all the human handiwork and craftsmanship that go into the build of that specific boat. Even harder is to get a sense of the design process that lies at heart of a boat that eventually drives so many adventures and experiences. Sam’s Sketchbook will help us all look behind his artistic curtain get a sense of what it takes to start with an idea and turn that into a vessel for you particular nautical dreams.

And second, I am very close to launching the new Devlin web store. I had to travel to Tennessee for some family issues, which has put a kink in the rollout. (Turns out my dad hasn’t even heard of the internet, much less connected himself to it, no matter what his wife has to say on the matter..) On the other hand, we’ve built a store that works on modern standards, which means you will recognize the payment system, you can shop it on your phone or other devices, and we can manage it quickly and efficiently behind the scenes. For you, that means that we will be able to add sales, coupons, and other promotions, so be sure to keep an eye out for the deals!



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Sketchbook 7-30-16 #2

Albacore 38 and 44 Powerboats

Albacore 38
Length 38’-2”
Beam 11’-8”
Draft 2’-8”
Disp. Est. 18,800 lbs.

Albacore 44
Length 44’-3”
Beam 13’-7”
Draft 3’-2”
Disp. Est. 28,800 lbs.

I worked up this pair of designs for the landlord of our former boatbuilding shop. He sort of liked my boats but being a bit of a gold chain guy missed the sex part of my design eye (the sad from my point view truth, is that he really liked some of the mass produced ‘blister boats’ that seem to be so popular these days). But he was slightly intrigued with the prospect of considering having us build him a custom boat and so gave me a shot at the interpretation of what he was dreaming.

The design game is really more psychology than design as the job that must be performed by the designer is to interpret the dream of the customer, usually with not much of a clear explanation or description of what the customer really wants. So in other words the trick that must be performed is to look into the inner psyche of the customer, quickly grab that snapshot of what they are thinking out of the right hemisphere of their brain and somehow put it on paper or screen in a manner that viscerally grabs at the customer and compels them to spend money that is clutched very tightly. Somehow in the middle of all this work we need to somehow manage to allow us survive another period of time in this dreamland of boat designs and shapes that we live in. In other words we design and live at the pleasure and whim of our customers and bless them that so many of them actually let us do just that!

Albacore 38


So back to the designs at hand…. First out of the gate was the 38ft. version of the Albacore. Very close to a few of the lobsta-type designs that I have done in the last decade but with smoother lines and hopefully they would have a shot at speaking more to the hearts of the gold chain types. I actually like this design and I don’t mind that I was pushed a bit in the execution of it. The more I worked on it the more I liked her flowing lines and it really wasn’t too long before I could imagine myself at the helm blasting down the waterway at a nice clip, not making much fuss in the water, but being able to clip along at a good rate. Twin engines were planned on in this design using the Zeus drive being marketed by Cummins Diesel. That drive is a tougher version of the same kind of thought process that Volvo and their IPS took the industry down. Basically these are drives that bolt onto the bottom of the boat, they rotate which means that they can be steered (much like a stern drive) but being on the bottom of the boat don’t draw all the marine growth and fussiness of the sterndrives. Installation is supposed to be easy, joystick controls are possible and it allows the builder to put the engines and drives way back aft in the vessel where the weight and noise can be contained easier. Twin engines would add to the maneuverability of the boat and make for some small redundancy of application.

So what do you think, she is certainly no ‘Blister boat’ but I do like the softened lines myself, but beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder!

This design came second in the series as soon as I submitted the first 38ft. drawing to my ex-landlord he had the idea that maybe he needed a second stateroom to play with and allow him to take his family out for a cruise. I certainly could see the utility of all so came up with this version which placed a second stateroom out in the cockpit of the boat. With the cabin roof overhang going out to a true private cabin should not be viewed as much of a hassle and with the privacy this would afford (hard to actually manage on a boat) I think of it as a very nice option.
The same twin engine Zeus drives but most likely more powerful engines would be used to push the extra 10,000 lbs. that she weighs around.

Albacore 44

I like her as much as the original 38, soft lines that flow well to my eye and I certainly wouldn’t think this design would ever do anything but add to the beauty of any body of water. Enjoy…. Sam

P.S. I am not sure as we moved shops and lost daily contact but I think he ended up buying a Tiara.. Much more in line with what he was thinking and truth is I really couldn’t make myself do a ‘blister boat’ design.


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Sketchbook 7-30-16 #1

Blue Fin 50 Passagemaker

Length 50’-2”
Beam 12’-8”
Draft 50”
Disp. Est. 43,000 lbs.
Sail Area 672 sq. ft. in 3 sails total

You would have to agree with me that these are strange times in the U.S. and with an election coming soon, hate is literally promoted as a patriotic reaction to a rapidly changing world and good ole religious ferment is having expressions of violence on an almost daily occurrence. This makes me a nervous guy, and I am not alone in this feeling and reaction. But any keen observer of politics, and world news would know that this is really nothing new, it simply gets more play on the outlets for information media, social, print and screen. No one knows what to believe any more in a world where lying is an everyday occurrence and any fool can promote whatever agenda they wish and in a keystroke it is disseminated around the earth almost instantly.

But enough of this nonsense, let’s think of a proper design to sail to the ends of the earth while we still can freely and safely and this design would be one of my proposals for the proper platform to do that with. I note that the Bluefin 50 Passagemaker first started with a sheet of paper on my drafting table in early 2012 (if I am to believe my notes), visited about every six months till current times and I just today blew the dust off her to show to you.


Hallmarks are a box keel with almost full headroom in the engine room, a heavy and tall John Deere diesel engine in the box, with shaft in a straight alleyway to the stern. Ballast in the bottom of the box keel in two forms the first layer on the proper bottom of the keel box being made of a full 1 ½” keel shoe of type 316 stainless steel. This affords grounding possibilities and upright stance on any shelving beach. Just above that in the bilge is another 8000 lbs. of lead shot in an epoxy matrix in the bottom of the box. The epoxy means we have a smooth and easy to clean bilge but with the keel shoe and the epoxy/lead shot you have a lot of stability in the base of the boat.

You can see easily the layout, a three cabin version, galley up, proper sleeping cabin forward sporting full head and shower and aft a sitting room with its own head, quarter berth and dinette table either functioning as a shaded and private living room in the evening or if your inclined to take crew they would have a private space away from the skipper and first mate.


A simple sailing rig, two jibs on roller furling, and a boom furled mainsail all this set on a tabernacle mast (just in case I take a notion to want to do some canal cruising), the sail panels small enough to be easily handled but adding to make literally twice the effective cruising range to the vessel.

Twin booms on the sheer that hinge out to 45 degree angles each side fly paravanes on a chain/nylon line pendants, this is the most effective and simple way to add extra stability to a vessel when the weather and sea conditions dictate the necessity.

She is purposeful, uses all the tricks in the book for an easy to use Passagemaker boat that is stable and has good capacity for cruising all waters, mid to high latitudes and for getting onto cruising while we still have the capability of doing so! Enjoy.. Sam


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Sketchbook 7-28-16 #1

Shearwater 38 M.S.

Length 37’-8”
Beam 12’-2”
Draft 48”
Disp. Est. 28,000 lbs.
Sail Area 248 total

I wandered across the Shearwater 38 design in my files today and spent a few hours working on a true motorsailer version of it. This drawing and its weight of customer input (in this case my own dreams) is tempered by a spring cruise that we did this year on our venerable old Fishing Troller the ‘Josephine’ and a really tough and rough crossing of the Straits of Georgia trying to get over to Nanaimo B.C. before the marine stores closed for the weekend (i.e. chasing some electrical parts that were threatening to spoil our trip). I should have stopped for the afternoon and finished travelling across the Strait Saturday morning, but I bet that the opposing wind and tide conditions in the straits would soften a bit once the tide changed to an ebb sometime around 2pm. I certainly missed that bet and conditions worsened considerably with the tide change leaving me in what some would categorize as true survival conditions. Suffice it to say that the highest speed we could manage in the seas and winds was a very slow 4 knots over the bottom and could only approach the short and steep chop at a 45 degree angle that tended to geometrically lengthen the crests between each wave set. If I allowed Josephine to work the seas on her own at the 45 degree angle it was breath-taking in its scary complex of conditions, but if I viewed out the port side looking out into the wave’s squarely I truly had to control my breathing. This was not my idea of fun at the tail end of what had been up to that time a very good early spring cruise north.

So back to my design, the sail panels are very small, for two reasons the first of which is to make the panels so manageable that I would actually raise the sails rather than leave them flaked on the booms. The second reason is that when running in conditions like the ones we found in the Straits of Georgia this spring I could keep the sail panels up, helping soften the buffeting of the waves on my hull, minimizing the extreme motion the waves imparted to the vessel and helping my diesel engine drive the boat in conditions that would gray the hair of a normal mortal. So with this reduced rig I can fantasize even about cruising in high-latitude waters and still keep myself and the boat intact and seaworthy. Take a look and maybe you might agree with me that a snug and tough inboard rig, a proper diesel engine in the bilge, my best mate in a comfortable seat nearby and some of the those out of body moments experienced on days when all others dare to venture! Enjoy.


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