As a younger man I had the good fortune to spend the better part
of ten years on various commercial fishing vessels in different
parts of the world. Many times as monotony and a lack of sleep
would induce a trance-like state, I would day dream of a time
when I would come back out on the ocean, but on my own little
yacht. I then quit the fishing business when a marriage and
family issues took over. For the next twenty years I dreamed at
first of buying an old West Coast salmon troller and trucking it
to the east coast to convert to a pleasure cruiser. But as time
went by I decided it would be better to build something smaller
and newer. My requirements were a size that would allow
unrestricted trailering, a safe and seaworthy proven design,
diesel power, enclosed helm, head and sleeping quarters, and a
full galley. A lot to put in a 25' boat!
The sudden death of a friend at the age of 48 made me rethink the idea that this would be a retirement project, (I was 46 at the time), and upon hearing of his unexpected death I decided to start my boat building project the next day!
On Monday morning I asked my landlords, Rich & Shirley Righter (owners of the Keene Signworx commercial sign shop location), if I could erect a temporary shed on the property to build a boat in. They were all for it! The next day the bulldozer was there leveling a spot for my bowed roof boat shed. It only took a weekend to put up - at a cost of $900, and has now been up through 3 New England winters.
As it turned out, the more I worked on this fascinating project, the more it seemed to be just a big sign project but with an element of adventure to it. This boat is built using high quality plywood, fiberglass cloth and lots of epoxy. The boat is a large 3 dimensional object with complex shapes, built and finished not unlike most of our signs. In all I put 2200 hours into her over 3 years, 600 hours of sanding alone! She carries 83 gal. fuel and 30 gal of fresh water. She'll run flat out at 26kts., and cruises nicely at 16 knots while burning 3.5 gals per hour. I would have to say it is the most rewarding project I have ever built, and I have built a lot of things in my day.
If you would like to know more about it go to devlinboat.com and look in the home built section.