View Full Version : Devlin's Surf Scoter or Noddy

Frank Hagan
11-14-2000, 03:20 PM
Anyone here built a Surf Scoter or the smaller (but similar in looks) Noddy? I'm already looking ahead to my power boat project, and like the looks of these pilot house cruisers. I'd like to know if anyone has a web site out there sharing their experiences building either boat, or if anyone would like to discuss them here.

11-14-2000, 03:25 PM
I too am looking at building either the surf scoter or the dipper. In fact I own both set of plans. I emailed the people under the homebuilt section of devlins www site. They responded quickly.

Also you could check out his book which talks about the surf scoter as well.
www.devlinboat.com (http://www.devlinboat.com)

Frank Hagan
11-14-2000, 11:39 PM
Thanks for the response, Chill. How are the plans? Do they look pretty clear?

At 22', the Surf Scoter is just slightly larger than what I want, but the Noddy looks like it comes in a 19' version. I didn't see any Noddy builders listed on the web site though.

I'm torn between doing something like the Surf Scoter, or adapting a great design I found in the book, "How to Build Wooden Boats - With 16 Small-Boat Designs" by Edwin Monk. Its a 19' cruiser named Mariner, albeit with a low profile. His plans are for plank construction, but the hull looks like it could be adapted for plywood easily enough.

I'm toying with using the hull design from Monk and increasing the headroom, maybe extending the cabin back (in the drawing below, the helmsman would stand under the canopy, outside the cabin.) Perhaps even putting a pilot house design on top (I'll play with drawings for the next couple of months, probably.)


11-15-2000, 09:58 AM
The plans look very good to me.
I just finished building his cackler design last winter and had no problems. When I did have questions I just sent a email and got back a response.

On his web site I see both a Noddy and a Dipper (dipper I think looks like the surf scote). There appear to be email addresses for both. (Make sure hou hit refresh on your browser)

In truth I am now priceing wood and hardware etc to see what I can afford to build.
(Dipper,Surf Scoter, Simmons Sea Skiff 22)
I am leaning toward the Surf Scoter even thought it will be more expensive. I just love the look of it and I think it will be big enought for me , wife and 3 sons. Plus I think is is very strongly designed.

I hope to start buying some supplies this winter and start the lofting and scarfing process as well. Then hard core building this spring. (I have to build out of doors)

Best of luck.

Frank Hagan
11-15-2000, 06:49 PM
Rick,thanks for the lead on Gartside's plans. Jennifer is too much boat for me, but his smaller plan Sea Angler looks just about the right size. I suspect it might be harder to build than Devlin's stitch and glue creations. Have you looked at any of the plans? I didn't see much on the methods of construction.

Tom Lathrop
11-15-2000, 11:08 PM
The boats being considered are all successful designs that will satisfy many desires for a small power cruiser. However, they are also very different in concept and purpose with different performance potential from displacement hull to semi displacenent to planing hull. The cost and complexity of those mentioned are even more disparate.

Perhaps the course most likely to distill the available choices to those that really suit what you want is to make a list of the attributes that you find desirable. Make the list as long as you wish and then think on it while you sort out those characteristics that are incompatible, too expensive, to large, too small, too heavy, too complex or what ever.

The remaining attributes will then allow you to best choose without being misled by a momentary glance at a handsome (insert any other characteristic here) boat that meets few of your other desires.

This, if I have explained it correctly, has proven to be the best way to begin a new design or select from avaiable offerings in any field, including boats.

Devlin's web site has links to builders of his boats that are considered.

Karl Stambaugh's Redwings are also nice displacement boats that are simple plywood structures. Kilburn Adams has a 20' power dory that is even simpler.

Love the edit feature that lets me avoid seing my misspellings and other screwups forever.

Good hunting


[This message has been edited by Tom Lathrop (edited 11-16-2000).]

Tom Lathrop
11-16-2000, 09:08 AM

On reading my post, I find that it is all too logical and limiting to the dreaming mind that is the main reason we are involved in such things as wooden boats anyway. It's my engineering bent leaking out. Have been trying to "mellow out" ever since retirement.

Actually, I enjoy the engineering approach to things so I should just accept the inevitable.

Looking over the field for the ideal boat is a great part of the enjoyment of boats. I found myself drooling over Tad Robert's Memory 38 in the latest issue of Soundings, knowing full well that it is completely out of my range. Same thing goes for just about any of Sam Devlin's larger power cruisers, especially the larger Topknot series.

Meantime we are really enjoying my own LIZ pilothouse cruiser and realize that it is the result of the process that I outlined above and should satisfy our practical (there's that "practical" bent again) desires, at least till someone leaves us enough money to own a stable of boats and crews to keep them up.

11-16-2000, 04:56 PM
To Tom Lathrop:

This 20' dory by Kilburn Adams that you mention above, is there a site where we can get a peek at it? Hmmmm? Pretty please?


Keith Wilson
11-16-2000, 05:22 PM
Here is an article about Kilburn Adams' power dory in Jin Michalak's newsletter. Nice looking boat!

Edit: Oops, movin' a little too fast here. That was a fiberglass power dory from the Stur-dee boat company. This is Kilburn Adams' real boat design page:

[This message has been edited by Keith Wilson (edited 11-16-2000).]

11-16-2000, 05:34 PM
A quick word of caution on converting designs to stitch and glue: Although just about any plywood design should be easily converted with carefull considerations made in regards to the scantings, A plank on frame boat such as Monk's may not be so easy. I would highly recomend building a scale model of the hull per Devlin's instructions in his book. (Which by the way, is a great read at any rate.) This is the only way to make sure that the shape is condusive to plywood panels.

Good Luck.


Frank Hagan
11-16-2000, 06:33 PM
Thanks, Jeff. I was intrigued by Monk's design, and was even thinking of going traditional with real planking. Or even substituting plywood planking over the same frames Monk specifies.

I wasn't aware that Devlin's book covers the concept of making a traditional boat plan into its stitch and glue counterpart. I'll grab a copy of it to add to my library.

I will build a model of Mariner. I'm playing around with lofting it out right now in a 1" - 1' scale, and trying out similar scantlings in the flat panel hull software that is out there free on the net.

Tom Lathrop
11-16-2000, 09:57 PM

Sam is discussing converting a plywood design to S&G, which can be done with only minor consideration for changes in performance or handling characteristics. If you are considering any modifications that may change the hull shape, waterplane, LCG or LCB, then you should make sure that the changes don't result in a hull that will disappoint you.

Making changes to a displacement hull is less critical than a hull that is required to plane.

Frank Hagan
11-17-2000, 12:04 AM
Tom, in your Boatbuilder article about designing LIZ, you mentioned that you looked at Devlin's Surf Scoter, but it didn't fulfill all on your "desired" list. How did it fall short?

Frank Hagan
11-17-2000, 12:13 AM
Tom, thanks for the info on Devlin's book (re: conversions from plywood to S&G.) It makes sense to me that S&G techniques could be applied to frame and plywood construction.

I will probably go ahead and make a model of Monk's boat, but looking at the plan views, I doubt it would lend itself to plywood construction. I've converted the offsets to the appropriate measurements for both a 1" - 1' scale, and also a model about 4' long if I decide to do some hull testing. Not being an engineer type, I doubt that I'll pursue the 4' version. If I decide to build it, I'll probably stick with traditional construction for it.

Tom Lathrop
11-17-2000, 08:20 AM

The Surf Scoter did not fall short, it is just a different boat. The average hull weight of a Surf Scoter is 3200 to 3400lbs and I wanted a trailering weight of 2200lbs, including motor some water, fuel and stores which required a hull weight of about 1850lbs. My total trailering weight(including trailer)is about 3000lbs.

The Scoter is a semi-displacement hull which requires 100hp to get the speeds Liz gets with 50hp. Liz is two feet longer and a lot roomier with a stand-up head, large galley, more storage and a large super-insulated icebox. All these features are the result of sticking to a lightweight design and building concept. It's a concept that grew out of my original list of desires after they were weeded, pruned and hammered. The fact these boats look somewhat alike is very misleading and is due entirely to being drawn from the same early 20th century classic style. Sam Devlin is a good friend and I have the most respect for him and his boats but,in this case, we had different objectives. There are some downsides to my approach but not as many as might be expected.

Will be off for a week since I gotta go to visit families for the holiday. Have a great thanksgiving everyone. Hope we have a president when I get back.

Frank Hagan
11-17-2000, 12:13 PM
Thanks, Tom. The Surf Scoter is probably too large for what I want, as I'm also looking for easy trailerability (if that's a word.) Devlin's Dipper, at 16', is closer to what I want, but a bit small. Another couple of feet would make a big difference. I may contact Devlin to see what would be involved in extending Dipper to an 18' or 19' model. Might not be a big deal.