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Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill?

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Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill?
So in February i found a 15 hp 4 stroke yamaha outboard listed for i think at the time 300 dollars i called right away asking what was wrong with the motor and the guy stated nothing it has just been sitting for 3 years unused. So i arrange to meet him at a wawa half way between our houses. I looked the motor over and it looked like brand new and i purchased it for $250.I rebuilt the carb in the outboard and she fired right up. The only issue is it had no pull start it is electric start only. I knew i wanted a small duck boat and a member from duck boats was selling a boat locally. I spoke by text to Dan and ge stated the boat needed work but most of it was solid he had purchased it for the engine on it and had no use for it. Dan basically gave me the boat at the price of 400 dollars along with a trailer. Dan did not build this boat he bought the boat just like it sat when i bought it. I mounted the outboard and took the boat for a ride to see if i even liked it prior to putting work into it. The boat was the most stable 12 foot boat i was ever in and turned on a dime. However with the second highest trim setting it porpoised terribly. I dropped the trim one hole and it helped the porpising but created so much steering torque that it was unpleasant to drive. Even with the steering torque it ran 18 knots. so i brought the boat into the garage to start fix the issues. I don't know what the top cap is supposed to be made of but in the front there were lights that created a rotten spot. it appears the front 2 feet it luan plywood and the hole you see in the pictures i created with a utility knife. The boat seemed solid although built without scarfing the plywood and with a rear bulkhead missing. So a few Questions one is this a bluebill? What is the top cap supposed to be 1/4 inch ply? 3/8 ? Some seem to be a half inch in the sides. Not trying to insult the builder here. The front section is to be cut out as the foam is soaked and i can't drive a boat made of underlayment. Also the bottom has these aluminum pieces with screws sticking out.
Located in South Jersey
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
Josh, where did you buy the boat at? I have seen one like that hunting down Fortescue before. I think the guy was from Elmer. I'd cut out the wet foam and replace with closed cell. How's the glass? If the glass is tight and dry, the wood acts mainly as a form.

Most of the Devlins I've seen or had benefited from the addition of a hydrofoil on the motor. Eliminated the porpoising and jumped right on plane.

With a little work and not much money I think you will be killing ducks this fall.

As for you screws in the keelsons, probably all that's left of " ice runners"

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I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
http://www.hillmandecoys.com
Mullica Hill NJ

Last edited by:

jode hillman: Jun 12, 2018, 9:32 AM
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
"Also the bottom has these aluminum pieces with screws sticking out."

I would say the aluminum strips are there to protect the keelsons from excessive wear. The picture is a bit out of focus so it is hard to tell what screw type was used. They appear to be either "round head" or "dome style" flat heads rather than true "flat headed" screws. Are the screw heads tight to the surface? If so, I'd just leave them as is. If they are loose or you really don't like the heads, take a few out at a time and replace them with true flat headed screws. A bit of epoxy when installing the new screws will seal the wood and lock the screw in place. You may need to cut the chamfer a bit deeper if the new screw head does not sit flush.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
Im not a boat building expert but it think the glass is 6 oz i cut right through it with a utility knife into the rotten wood. I am taking out the foam from the boat in the front i plan replace it. I will be buying some 1/4 inch marine plywood if any of you guys are in south jersey a guy at nacote creek marina sells marine ply 4x8 sheets of Hydro tek. 3/8 is 70 dollars a sheet. I bought it from a member Dan Vorhees (forgive me i may have spelled it wrong) I'm not sure where he got it from he basically gave me the boat and trailer at 400. The boat is over all solid i just need to patch it up then my plan will be to make a cover and enclose the motor well so i can keep it outside and lock it. I work over night and i get done at 4 am so in season i hunt after work when i don't get stuck. I tow the boat to work with me and although the parking lot is closed to vehicle traffic pedestrians still wander through and hope to be able to lock the cover. I just take my gun into the office with me. my concern is the front part of the boat were the bow eye went through. The wood is wet because they never sealed the bow eye I'm debating to replace the entire front or let it dry and epoxy it. I will know more when i finish cutting it all open. And yes they are round head screws. I'm thinking they are not sealed.
Located in South Jersey
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
Yea, I would let it dry, then see if the bow has any strength left. If it does great. If not cutvit out and double up 3/4 marine ply.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
http://www.hillmandecoys.com
Mullica Hill NJ

Last edited by:

jode hillman: Jun 12, 2018, 2:03 PM
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
I think I saw that boat on CL a couple months ago. The screw issue appears to be due to electrolysis SS pan head screws and aluminum rails. Cut the deck back as needed and after fitting the replacement deck make sure to coat all the edges with epoxy to seal them including and holes for lights, cleats, etc.

It’s a nice project and good luck with it.


Great South Bay
West Sayville, N Y
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
What I would suggest is that you get devlin’s book and read it cover to cover to understand how these boats are built and are supposed to be built. Stitch and glue boats get ALL their strength from the wood, not the glass. The glass is for surface abrasion protection and waterproofing. The wood needs to be 110 percent waterproof and 100 percent solid.

The deck wood looks like Luan, I agree, but there are excellent marine plywood’s made of the same or similar stuff. Is it the three ply and under a quarter inch thickness of cheap luan? A lot of the good marine plywood’s are in metric, but they would be more than three ply. Hull should be 1/4-3/8 and deck should be same.

My concern is the hull integrity and materials. Do some sanding on the inside and look for issues sand through the paint with fairly fine sandpaper and you should be able to see the wood you have and if it is wet. The hull looks a different finish quality than deck. It is common for a guy to start a boat and sell before finished. There could be a lot of work if there are problems. A boat like that needs an owner that understands more about construction than the average boat.
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
Sanding the inside is defiantly in order I don't like the carpet inside and it appears to be glued down with the strongest glue known to man. Two spots have worn through the carpet and through the epoxy coating on the inside of the boat there is no fiberglass mat on the interior floor of the boat only in the corners. I'm familiar with Devlin and stich and glue boats I have a set of broadbill plans just haven't done anything with them. My plan is to use a oscillating tool with a blade to remove the carpet then clean up the inside with a sander. After that (depending on how it goes) I will lay glass on the floor and paint it or possibly even bedliner I don't know if anyone has a recommendation on that or maybe adding grip into the paint. The front of the boat is possibly a repair? I'm not sure but I'm replacing it with 3/8 ply I already drove this boat in pretty rough conditions and it performed admirably and showed no signs of weakness or flex. I was honestly impressed and I think I'm going to be ordering Scaup or black brant plans as most of my hunting is two guys and a 90 pound Chesapeake bay retriever (not Mine and it has bitten me 2 times). I should have a update after Saturday with pictures.
Located in South Jersey
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
Josh Schwenger wrote:
Sanding the inside is defiantly in order I don't like the carpet inside and it appears to be glued down with the strongest glue known to man. Two spots have worn through the carpet and through the epoxy coating on the inside of the boat there is no fiberglass mat on the interior floor of the boat only in the corners. I'm familiar with Devlin and stich and glue boats I have a set of broadbill plans just haven't done anything with them. My plan is to use a oscillating tool with a blade to remove the carpet then clean up the inside with a sander. After that (depending on how it goes) I will lay glass on the floor and paint it or possibly even bedliner I don't know if anyone has a recommendation on that or maybe adding grip into the paint. The front of the boat is possibly a repair? I'm not sure but I'm replacing it with 3/8 ply I already drove this boat in pretty rough conditions and it performed admirably and showed no signs of weakness or flex. I was honestly impressed and I think I'm going to be ordering Scaup or black brant plans as most of my hunting is two guys and a 90 pound Chesapeake bay retriever (not Mine and it has bitten me 2 times). I should have a update after Saturday with pictures.


You would be well served to read Devlin's book.
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
I'm guessing that "thing on the bottom with the screws sticking out of it" is an attempt at an ice runner? Or some other sacrificial material to avoid running the chine up on sand or rocks?? Hard to tell.
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
Josh,

I actually got my plans out after viewing your post last night and forgot to comment on the Bluebill question. It certainly looks like the plans based on the gunwales, overall form of the boat. There are two variation in the plans of this boat; floatation and how the motor well is designed. The bluebill has a motor board which protrudes above the top of the boat a few inches. The other variation is on the design is that there are two angular plates to the stern of the boat. These are used as foam ballast for safe flotation. Overall the ribs and profile looks exactly like a bluebill. In honest the missing stern foam positions and motor well could have been a modification by the builder which is pretty sharp in my book but possibly unsafe in the case of missing floatation portions. Also I am not certain on the wood. It might be a lesser grade due to the cost of Okume or Merasanti marine plywood the builder might have taken the route of low cost to have a functioning duck boat. There is no reason "not too" on the wood side that someone could go with a thinner or lower cost wood as long as it is fully wetted with epoxy. Todd is dead on when he stated the fit, form and function of wood to fiberglass of the boat. Even Okume marine grade plywood if not thoroughly wetted can rot prematurely and look similar to the picture. Built several stitch and glue boats from both cheap plywood and high grade marine. My first stitch and glue boat was pirogue out cheap plywood that I thoroughly wetted with epoxy and fiber glassed with 4 oz (19 years ago). My second stich and glue was from a Pygmy boats kit called the Coho (17.5 ft, touring kayak, 15 years ago, Okume). My last was a small duck boat I helped a friend build with AB wood from Lowes in 2005, its still in use. All those boats are still functioning today even though I don't own the Pirogue anymore. A guy still duck hunts and fishes with it in Louisiana every year. In all cases I know that was long winded but I believe it could be a marine grade plywood that was not thoroughly wetted.
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Re: Devlin boat I think it's a bluebill? In reply to
When I got home last night I was looking at the boat and located two more spots that need attention. The stern has flotation on both sides it just doesn't have the transom cut in the way devlin intended. But in the rear of the boat on the port and starboard side there are two soft spots right where the flotation foam is. Until the boat gets a proper autopsy I wont know the extent of the damage but saving it looks bleak to me. I have a feeling the more I cut the more will be found. My buddy the glass guy told me just power plane and sand the keelsons off and he will use it as a mold to make me a new boat. Has anyone ever done this?
Located in South Jersey