The Devlin Team

Sam and SoitzaSam 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. He is a pioneer of modern “Stitch and Glue” building methods and has refined it to a technical art. It’s safe to say that his impact on the world of wooden boat building is second-to-none.


Lee is the Office Manager for Devlin Boats. He came up through the boat building ranks at the shop, and now keeps the machine turning. More than likely, he will be the first voice your hear when you call. That puts you in expert hands from the very beginning. He seems to know everything and everyone, and only forgets annoying technical bits involving computers.


Cooper Devlin is the shop foreman at Devlin Boats. As such, he spends a great deal of his time stalking around like a jungle cat, frowning at things. Also like a jungle cat, he is very elusive to capture on film, especially while singing songs about ducks. He never stops moving. Make no mistake, though. He knows boats and boat systems like the back of his hand and consistently delivers topnotch levels of engineering and function on every boat.


Like any younger brother, MacKenzie Devlin is easier to spot, especially while wearing his painting gear, in which he looks somewhat like the mythical lost white Teletubby. (Those of you without kids, Google it. It’s weird.) Even so, there is nothing weird about his painting skills. He makes new boats look mirror smooth, and older ones… The same as new. And like everyone else at the shop, he wears many other skillful hats as well.

Sam and Sons


Joel, aka “Ninja”, is a master craftsman of the highest order. His eyeballs are calibrated, his hands are steady, and his grumbles are frequent. He eyes tolerances that the rest of us need a micrometer to measure and can drive an accurate screw from across the room. He whips up epoxy blends like French chefs make the best fries, and bends power tools to his will. But he likes to work alone. If you look away for a blink, he’ll disappear like a ninja. In all seriousness, Joel is a boat building master.


Steve can be spotted with a sander in his hand. Yep, he’s that guy. He lays the foundation for all those fine Devlin boat finishes, whether he likes it or not. “Hey, it’s 5 o’clock. Somebody uncuff Steve from the sander.” Seriously, I’m sure he does other stuff too. I just haven’t seen it yet.


Hi. I’m Jim. I have a website problem.

“Hi, Jim!”

I met Sam through my laser cutter, cutting kits and plaques. I had a conversation with Lee, in which word got out that I have a few other tricks up my sleeve, and here I am. Rebuilding this site, the assets behind it, and few other things as well. It’s amazing how much can stack up in just a handful of decades, right? In any case, I have done lots of things, could do lots of things, and I am here for one reason. The work this team produces is worth it.