All right, “What is this nonsense about a Black Brant III and why the new design?” In order to properly understand the way life goes out here in Devlin Boat Land, you must first of all take a long distance view of the operation with enough time factor thrown in to really view the scene in geological perspective. Over the twenty some years that I have been designing and building hunting boats, there has been a lot of time and years with which to evolve more than a couple of designs. My Dad says that I am an almost constant “tinkerer”, which is probably a nice way to say that, while I think my designs are the best available and I believe in them without reservations, that I am also aware that nothing in life is perfect and that the way to Nirvana is to continually strive to do better. All this might just be the internal conflict with a Protestant work ethic or some other type of spiritual psycho-babble but the bottom line is that many of our designs get changed, little by little, until they reach a better plateau of use.

But in some cases the new design, while it has its strengths, doesn’t in a definitive way do the job that much better than the preceding design. In the case of our Black Brant designs, I already had a boat that did its job very well. That job was to allow two to three hunters to safely and efficiently hunt. But along came the desire of some of us to travel faster under power in less draft of water, thus was born the new design – the Black Brant III. This boat is simply a shallower draft and faster speed version of the Black Brant design, and if that is what you need, then this is the boat for you. But the difficulty of replacing the Black Brant was not simple because it also did its job extremely efficiently. So if you find that most of your hunting is in open water and you really aren’t traveling more than a couple of miles from ramp to your hunting area, then the Black Brant design is the best for your purposes. She is quite a bit deeper and a reasonable amount slower than the Black Brant III.

But if you are finding that you need to operate in shallower water and are traveling quite a distance from launch-ramp to the hunting area and a couple of inches more of sitting blind height doesn’t hurt, then by all means choose the Black Brant III. In both cases, these boats are about as thoroughbred of hunting boats as you are going to find and both have undergone trial by fire for more than a few hunting seasons. I hope you can make up your mind as to which is the best for you. — Sam Devlin

The Black Brant III 15 is available in study and construction plans.


Black Brant III Specifications

Length 14 ft. – 0 in.
Beam 5 ft. – 10 in.
Draft 7.75 in. Loaded
Power Outboard, 25hp
Displacement 225 lbs.
Max Load 780 lbs.
Speed 20mph medium load

Artfully Designed and Crafted Boats since 1978

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