Chip Hanauer on the Flipside of Boating

It’s safe to say that Chip Hanauer is one of THE names in unlimited hydroplane racing, which my father called the most dangerous sport on Earth. Bear in mind my dad once owned a Bumblebee Bass boat capable of 110 mph, so what would he know? Chip is an inductee of the International Motorsports Racing Hall of Fame, he has won the APBA Gold Cup 11 times, and he drove the Miss Budweiser in the 1990’s, for goodness sake! In fact, his accolades as a boat pilot are too many to mention. Why would a man who spent his career at the ragged edge of boat performance choose a Devlin Candlefish 16 as a recreational boat?

One could imagine that a man who spent his life on the water, testing the boundaries, would eventually decide that the water itself was enough of an answer, and when it comes to a purist vision of getting out on the waters of the Puget Sound, the Candlefish 16 ‘Stanley’ is a good answer.

I’ve got about 15 hours on Stanley and I absolutely love it!

The Candlefish 16 can carry a heavy load in comfort and stability. In the case of Chip’s boat, she is a simple tiller driven skiff design that carries Chip, his friends, and everyone’s gear in relative performance and safety, all of which is built into a design which takes in to account the safety off all, including the gear. Sam Devlin doesn’t design a boat without considering all the use cases of the design. In the Candlefish 16, as well as most of the rest of Sam’s design catalog, it safe to think of the boat as a platform that can be built in a number of ways, with a vast number of final details. Here’s an example from Chip:

We ran into another Candlefish 16 on Lake Washington. It was a kids sailing school on the east side and it was used as the, committee, safety boat. The young guy waved us over and excitedly asked, “Is that a Devlin Candlefish?” He said he loved theirs as well, but that was envious of our 60 HP engine. Theirs had a center steering station. I’m glad I have just the tiller, as I’m really enjoying the spaciousness and openness of the boat. It makes it very flexible as far as where to put things and where people like to hang out.

One of those details on Stanley is the vertical bar, perfectly positioned for Chip to operate the motor while standing. Here’s what he has to say about it:

The, “stripper bars” are so useful! They are positioned perfectly for stepping up into the boat from the fender step on the trailer. Great for stepping down, into the boat from the dock. Both of us just found ourselves with a hand on it all the time at the tiller. It’s super sweet when you are standing up while operating the boat. I only got about three hours on it today, but I’m telling you, I’m already very much in love with it.

Apparently Chip didn’t completely abandon performance when he stepped down from turbine powered racing boats.

As far as speed goes, faster is right! I’d guess over 40! A friend has a gps app. that should let us know for sure. I can’t leave the throttle open until I get the motor more broken in. But bottom line it’s fast! You were certainly right about going with the 60HP, engine as opposed to something smaller. I had two people in the boat, totaling about 325lbs total and having the horsepower was really nice.

Chip’s own video of his break-in hours on ‘Stanley’ gives a sense of what he is saying.

A lot of thought, discussion, and consideration go into every Devlin-built boat. The result is an elegant balance in a rugged, lifelong boat. You can fish from it, you can hunt from it, and you can simply escape to your yacht or a weekend getaway in a package that melds classic, proven design with the need to ‘just get out there’. A Candlefish 16 will just handle the work you need to do, without fuss, in a smooth-riding platform that allows you to go where you want to go, do what you want to do, and come up smiling at the end of the trip. For a boat company, a smiling Chip Hanauer is a great reward.

But then, Chip says it best.

Sam, in a word, ‘Stanley’ is perfect!” I know there is no boat which is actually perfect, but for my intended use, ‘Stanley’ couldn’t be better! It rides solid and smooth. Both of us could stand at the rail on one side and the boat barely heeled over at all. That’s great for crabbing out of a small boat. It quiet and has a solid sound and feel to it. I couldn’t open the engine up beyond half way, as it’s still in break in mode. But half throttle was plenty and perfect for fast cruising.

Chip’s site is currently down for maintenance, but his Facebook feed is chock full of goodies.

You can find more Chip Hanauer videos on the Youtube Channel.

You can read more about the Candlefish 16 on this page, which links to plans, kits, and Sam’s notes on the design.


Share This:

Bella – Bella 10 Rowing Skiff

The Bella 10 could be considered the complete distillation of Sam Devlin’s design aesthetic. It’s small, rugged, efficient, and can serve multiple roles. As a recreation rower, it leans toward efficient transfer of human power, as a tender it makes life easier for your larger boat. As a way to get outside of daily concerns, it rewards you as an inexpensive way to get on the water. As a building project, it doesn’t get much easier.

The Bella 10, formerly known as the 5×10 skiff, is probably the easiest way to get started in boatbuilding in the entire Devlin catalog, if not the entire world.  Originally designed to teach the Stitch and Glue boatbuilding technique, the Bella is an easy building, elegant design that comes together in a fast rowing, lightweight skiff. She’s a great family project. At 52 pounds, she is easy to handle and launch. She will fit easily into a small pickup truck bed; no special requirements to transport or store the Bella 10. Finally, she is our least expensive kit. Building your own boat doesn’t get any easier.

Here’s a way to skip ahead, straight to the reward part of the process in a ready to go version of the Bella 10. This one is ready to carry on your car to the nearest water and to start exploring the world of  destination awaiting you. The asking price is $3490, which is a bargain against the time of building it for yourself.. Contact Sam for more information or to arrange a showing.

Contact information is at the bottom of every page.



Share This:

New Penny – Marsh Wren Gaff Sloop – 2017

It would be safe to call the Marsh Wren an evolutionary design in the Devlin catalog. She’s a refined synthesis of a long history of sailboat design in a form that is small enough for convenience and large enough for an entire family as a daysailer. In cabin form, she’s capable of longer cruises. In either form, the Marsh Wren is  a well balanced and efficient sailboat, light on the helm and easy to handle alone.

The Marsh Wren is the response to a body of customer feedback. Read about it in Sam’s design notes.

The New Penny is a fantastic build of an evolved design from Devlin Boats. It  can take you almost anywhere one efficient sail power. The asking price is $49,900. Contact Sam for more information or to arrange a showing.

Contact information is at the bottom of every page.

Share This:

Diana – Beals Island Lobster Boat – 1952-2002

Information from Doug Hyland:

DIANA was built by Alvin Beal in the early 1950s on Beals Island, Maine. She
incorporates the handsome low sheer and skeg construction that were a hallmark
of that era.

In 2002, a new owner asked D. N. Hylan & Assoc. to rebuilt DIANA for use as a
picnic boat for his Downeast summer home. The boats lines were lifted and her
original construction documented. A new house and shelter were designed and
the original propulsion system was re-configured.

If you want piece of nautical history that also works as an excellent day cruiser, this is your boat. She is beautiful and runs like a fine clock.

The Diana has had many hands in her modern refinement. The Diana is diesel inboard engine powered, traditional carvel plank construction and condition is very good. The asking price is  $49,900. Contact Sam for more information and to arrange a showing.

Contact information is at the bottom of every page.



Share This:

Owl – Historic 19 ft. Launch Redesigned – 1957-2016

With the Owl, you get a boat that properly combines history with modern design and technology.

‘Owl’ was built (or more properly modified) by the noted Yacht Designer ‘Bill Garden’ and he sold her to my youngest Son, Mackenzie, in the year of 2000.  Bill had been working on her for many years (I remember seeing her for at least 8 years prior to purchase at Bill’s island, “Toads Landing”) and was building her as a sort of  ‘kids’ daysailer.  Knowing Bill in the later years of his life it seemed he was chasing his own mortality by thinking and dreaming about boats very much like a kid himself, in other words she was being built for Bill and Janie (his keeper) as a neat little daysailer, being repurposed from an old 19ft. lifeboat of nice lines and shape that was originally built in 1952.

After years as a daysailer, Mackenzie had outgrown her and she was modified again by the team at Devlin boats to incorporate modern diesel inboard power and enough cabin to shelter the skipper from the Northwest elements. The end result is a lovely, seaworthy boat with a long history of nautical uses. If you like to take to the waters with a boat laden with the tradition of quality boatbuilding, the Owl is your girl.

She is redesigned by Sam Devlin, rebuilt by the artists at Devlin Boats and ready to take you on your own adventures. Her asking price is $49,900. Contact Sam for more information or to arrange a showing of this remarkable resurrection.

Contact information is at the bottom of every page.


Share This:

Candlefish 13 – 2014

The Candlefish 13 is a versatile small fishing boat. Originally designed to be a cartoppable fishing skiff for high latitude rivers and lakes, she has also proven to be an excellent yacht tender.

With one person aboard, she only draws about 4.5 inches. On an ultimate hunting trip, loaded with gear, she could carry 1323 pounds, draw 10.5 inches  and still have over 13 inches of freeboard at the lowest point of the sheer.

Under normal loading, she planes at 20+mph with an 8hp outboard. Sam recently built one of these as a tender for his beloved Josephine, and reports that he loves it.

Overall, the Candlefish is the ultimate in small, simple boats with serious ruggedness in any environment.

For the full story, read Sam’s design notes on the Candlefish 13.

This Candlefish was built by the crack team at Devlin Boats in 2014. This is a boat that with minimum upkeep will last for generations. The asking price is $14,500, complete with 20hp Yamaha outboard and galvanized trailer. Contact Sam for more information or to arrange a showing.

Contact information is at the bottom of every page.

Share This:

GooseLodge II – Surf Runner 25 – 2004


Inspired by customers Larry and Wendy Brown, the Surf Runner 25 combines the classic looks from another time with modern performance and reliability. She looks like an open runabout from the outside, but manages to sneak some very usable cabin space into the bow area. A bespoke bimini top also provides shelter to the skipper and crew when the weather is less than perfect, as is often the case here in the Puget Sound. A Volvo-Penta sterndrive diesel provides plenty of thrust to run at 25 knots with a good economical cruise at 20 knots. The speed envelope is part of the design. Slow enough to avoid typical Puget Sound flotsam and fast enough to devour the miles. The responsive hull is designed to cut through the waves, keeping the pounding to a minimum and the comfort levels to the max. A plethora of smart storage and configurable seating rounds out a boat that is easy to bring into your life.

The GooseLodge II was buillt in 2004 by the crack team at Devlin Boats. She has recently been refurbished to look and run like new. The asking price is $119,500. Contact Sam for more information or to arrange a showing.

Contact information is at the bottom of every page.

Share This: