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Devlin Design Graces the Yard

Devlin Design

A beautiful Devlin-designed boat is here in the yard for a new coat of bottom paint, and she certainly has turned heads with her cool and classic nautical lines.

Anne Elise, a Devlin 33, is sitting pretty at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard while our paint crew works their usual bottom package magic. Mark Lindeman, boatyard senior advisor and long-time yard general manager, pointed her out as a good photo subject — and he was right.

“She was built by Sam Devlin, a builder out of Olympia, and they’re all beautiful boats,” he said.

Anne Elise was custom-built for a local boat owner by Devlin Designing Boat Builders, which specializes in “stitch and glue” epoxy-sheathed plywood construction. Check out the Devlin website and learn more about these artfully designed and crafted boats.

Artfully Designed and Crafted Boats since 1978

Design, says Sam Devlin, “whether for boats, toasters, or hotel rooms,” is the process of balancing many factors and constraints into a beautiful, unified whole.

Devlin Design

Anne Elise, a Devlin 33 built in Olympia, is at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard for bottom paint.

“Overall lines, balance of elements, visual dynamics and sight lines all come into play,” he explains on his website. “In the case of something functional, like a boat, the aesthetics are just the beginning. Power, displacement, intelligent allocation of interior space, how to get the myriad of working parts to fit, and so many others all tug at the designer’s attention.”

Sam Devlin has been a pioneer in traditional-style wooden boat building techniques for more than 40 years. It started with a love for boats that he shared with his dad while growing up, then continued during his college summers on Alaskan fishing boats and tugs, and on through his complete restoration of a 1934 Tacoma-built Northwest salmon troller.

He is a pioneer of modern “stitch and glue” building methods after independently coming up with this building idea as a very young man, according to his website. Plywood, epoxy, fiberglass and sandpaper became the media for honoring this historical design legacy and bringing wooden boat building into a new and contemporary form.

Devlin design


The stitch and glue method uses wire sutures to hold panels together until they can be joined permanently with epoxy and fiberglass tape. The outside of the hull is completely coated with fiberglass or Dynel cloth sheathing. All exposed wood is coated with epoxy to encapsulate the boat from sun and sea. Finally, the boat can be finished with high quality marine paint to finish the whole project in a mirror sheen. — Devlin Designing Boat Builders


Devlin Design

Boat builder Sam Devlin, left.

Sam Devlin

Sam is the creative core of Devlin Designing Boat Builders and the winner of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement in Design award by Wooden Boat Magazine.

He and his boats are the subjects of many magazine feature articles, and he is the teacher of many up-and-coming boat builders.

Devlin Designing Boat Builders has plans available to guide the adventurous woodsmith through his or her own build; or, Sam and his team of top-notch craftsmen can design and build the boat of your dreams.

Thank you, Anne Elise, for bringing your beautiful, classic nautical lines to Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard this week. We have enjoyed having our heads turned.

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