This is a design commissioned by William Turner of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound) region modeled after one of my favorite William Garden designs, the “Dynamo”. Bill was interested in having me do the design work necessary to convert the original Garden design over to the Stitch and Glue building method so that he might have us potentially build her in the style and fashion of our larger builds. Bill was not interested in changing the interior arrangements or configurations but thought the original Garden design was genius in its intent. The only thing that he wanted different was the construction medium, not the traditional plank on frame construction that William Garden designed her for. What Bill was interested in was having a boat built that would allow him the luxury of using the boat more than working on keeping the boat in shape. By this I mean that Bill had already had a long affair with an older conventional plank on frame vessel, one that needed almost constant attention to stay only slightly ahead of the maintenance gremlins. This is a scenario that I know very well as my own Josephine built in 1934 and her traditional construction demands constant attention and energy with only small dollops of actual cruising use to help keep me energized. I fantasize constantly about what life might be like without the continual chasing of one maintenance gremlin or another, many of which could hold me hostage to the tune of hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to attend to. So when Bill approached me about doing a conversion to Stitch and Glue, I knew right away just what he was thinking, he wanted to go cruising and not just work on the boat.
I, too, knew Bill Garden and had visited him many times before he died in 2011 at the age of 93. In my opinion, Bill was an absolute genius with the drafting pencil and I have spent many hours carefully looking at his drawings, trying to take in the artistic expression that his drafting hand lent to each of his drawings. About 15 years ago, my son and I had the pleasure of buying a little 20 ft. sailboat that Bill had built himself complete with a tiny cabin and a 4 cylinder Gray Marine inboard engine. That project and the simple experience of helping Bill finish it up, launching her and then towing her down from Sydney British Columbia, to our shop in Olympia is one of my fondest memories.
So let’s get back to the design of the ‘Dynamo Too”. This is the type that Bill Garden called a “Halibut Cruiser” which is loosely modeled after the Halibut Schooners that have been fished for more than 100 years in the North Pacific. The pilothouse was always set more in the stern of the boat than up in the eyes or the forward parts of the boat, helping I would guess to keep the salt spray off the house. But this was also the best way for the skipper to be able to see the crew pulling in large Halibut over the starboard side forward without having to continually look back behind himself to the stern as he would if the pilothouse were more forward. These were long line boats setting out sometimes literal miles of gangline (mainline) with smaller ganglions of line and a hook and bait set on the end, each set sometimes amounting to thousands of hooks and with an anchor at either end to fasten to the bottom, patiently soaking away under the water waiting for an Halibut to swim by and close his mouth over the bait, literally hooking himself. After letting the longline soak for a period of time, the Schooner would return and start picking up one end of the line and if the fishing was good, gaffing the captured Halibut up and into the deck checkers (boxes or bins on the deck that allowed sorting of the fish before being cleaned) and then a gutting and stowing in layers of ice in the hold, waiting until the schooner returned to port to offload its catch. These Schooners were multiple masted and typically 65-95 ft. in length and they evolved near the end of the use of sail in the fisheries at a time when engines weren’t the most reliable in the running department. With their stout short masts, they could be sailed if the engine took a dislike to its primary job. The sails were also used to help to steady the boat in the confused seas that are so common in the North Pacific by resisting some of the rocking back and forth in the swells.
Our own Dynamo Too is a much smaller version of the type and doesn’t have room enough for the original Schooner rig so we retained the original foremast from the rig but the mainmast (the aftermost and tallest spar) was deleted. The pilothouse has enough glass to allow good visibility in all directions and with the crew up near the helm helping to keep an eye on the water, a really fine experience for all the ship’s crew can be had. One of the nicest features of this design is the covered house and after deck giving shade in the middle of the cruising season and a respite from the rain and drizzle that can be so common in the Northwest at the ends of the season, both the early spring and the late fall. With the large “U” shaped seat in the stern of the boat, the “after the hook is set” hours can be spent either dry (out of the rain) or cooler (out of the sun) and with a lovely vista of the anchorage as the backdrop to an evening’s libations. There are twin doors going forward into the pilothouse with an “L” shaped dinette to starboard and a long strip galley to port. This is what we call a “Galley Up” arrangement and while the sacrifice in space is considerable in the pilothouse, the advantage to the cook to see out while working on a meal preparation and the advantage to the skipper to grab quick snacks and have easy access to the coffee pot for those long watches at the wheel. I have put a diesel range in the galley for both the heating and the cooking chores and to provide a “haven of warmth” in the pilothouse thus keeping it always warm and inviting which is always appreciated while cruising when the cold crew comes in from chores. If you are reading this from Florida then you may not get the thrust of my intent in keeping the boat warm and comforting but if you’ve experienced cruising along the Northwest Coast, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska where you might go the whole summer and never roll up the sleeves of your wool shirt, the warmth and comfort of a diesel range is not to be discounted.
After drinks on the rear deck and some stories woven and re-counted between friends and perhaps even the fragrance of a fine cigar to spice the early evening hours, it’s finally time to retreat below. We go forward to the dash of the wheelhouse and then down a series of steps into the focsle of the vessel with another heater down here to help keep this deeper and typically cooler area of the boat warm and comfortable. The head is off to the port side in a space large enough for all the functions of a head. There is no separate shower stall but a circular curtain can be pulled out away from the wall keeping the water centralized into the center drain and a gray-water sump. Forward of the head area is a hanging locker and a large “U” shaped lounging area with a skylight hatch overhead and a wooden table to receive the inevitable drinks that will be consumed while visiting with your cruising pals. When all the crew is tuckered out and it’s finally time to go to sleep there is a double berth forward and the “U” shaped seating area can easily be pressed into use allowing another couple of sleepers. On the rare occasion when a pack is aboard, then the dinette up in the pilothouse can be converted into another double berth.
Back up on deck before all these events of the evening commenced, there was the anchoring up of the Dynamo Too in some quiet cove and with the reel type anchor windlass in the well deck up forward, this is an easy operation. A simple “B” style hydraulic pump is switched on and the crew can go forward and release the hold back on the rode with a simple nudge and the anchor is over the side and very quickly is on the bottom. The skipper then backs the Dynamo Too up to set the hook and a simple press down on the all chain rode with the foot confirms the anchor is tight and set. Shutdown of the engine can now be done noting the engine hours in the ships logbook and then the drinking lamp is lit. This is living at its most enjoyable level — simple, basic, warm, and intellectually entertaining! — Sam Devlin
The Dynamo Too is available as a custom build from Devlin Designing Boatbuilders. Contact Sam if this is the boat for you.
Dynamo Too 38 Specifications
|Length||38 ft. – 9 in.|
|Beam||12 ft. – 8 in.|
|Power||Inboard diesel 125hp|