The Godzilli 16 is a unique critter in the Devlin catalog. Designed as a rugged and capable little work boat, she also manages to turn heads with her almost toy-like proportions. Don’t be fooled though. Like all Devlin designs, she has all the thought-out details to make her into a machine with purpose. Essentially a mini tug, she can be used to push and tow, fish and cruise, ride out the low tide with ease, or just look charming at the waterfront. She has a small pilothouse for shelter from the weather, yet maintains easy access to the work at hand. She uses an outboard for power, protected against the potential for workboat damage inside a motor well. The outboard configuration allows her to sit flat and stable when the tide goes out. All in all, there are a lot of good reasons to spend some time in the Godzilli 16.

The Devlin Godzilli is available in study and full construction plans.


Godzilli 16 Specifications

Length 16 ft. – 7 in.
Beam 6 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 14 in. w/ outboard retracted
Power Outboard 20hp
Displacement 1200 lbs.


Godzilli 16 Design Notes

With the good fortune of having built the Godzilla 22 tug and seeing how she moved through the water and experiencing just how damn much fun a small cruiser/workboat like her can be, I was inspired one afternoon to start working on drawings for a small workboat/launch that could be serviceable for our boatshop.

What was needed was a boat small enough to not be a hassle to maintain and keep up properly and yet be stable enough to do all the myriad of jobs such a vessel is required to do with stability and style. We needed a launch to do jobs that could be as simple as ferrying us out to the moorings in deep water of our bigger boats, setting crab pots, or when needed, to tug larger vessels into the Marine Railway for bottom painting or servicing. That is a lot to expect of a small boat and a couple of extra requirements were necessary that really could put a crimp into the design of a boat. Our shop inlet is very tidal with a daily average of a 12 – 14 foot range from high to low water. At low tide, there virtually isn’t any water in the immediate small cove that the shop sits beside and the docks sit on soft deep mud with clams and barnacle covered oysters strewn about on its surface. Thus any small workboat that is going to be really serviceable should have the capability of sitting out the tide on its mud berth day after day without damage or excess wear.

An inboard diesel engine would be nice for the “tug” purpose of this small design but I discarded the option of the inboard due to the deeper keel necessary to protect the propeller and rudder. When the “Godzilli” sits out the tide, I wanted her as level and well supported as possible and so chose a 20 hp. high thrust Yamaha four/cycle outboard in an outboard motor well. That would allow the motor to be retracted up into the outboard well and the boat could sit on a shallower keel without heeling over in her mud berth. A couple of old worn out tires on each side of the keel with holes drilled in them to allow them to stay anchored into position, aid the upright sitting of “Godzilli” on the hard and when the tide comes back in, she floats free of her mud/tire cradle without damage. I also specified a self draining and bailing work deck for the “Godzilli” knowing that she would not have the luxury of being pumped out daily but instead needed to sit quietly at her berth, ready and patiently waiting her next duty without much care at all. With all the mud around during work performed at low tide, the decks would need to be sloshed down without fuss and in order to be kept looking somewhat neat and clean.

I put a small pilothouse on her knowing that most of the time when towing something large, I would need to stand at the wheel with one hand steering and the other free to gather in lines and make up to the tow bitt. That necessitated a pilothouse that could be used easily when needed for a weather break and to keep me dry but had to have instant and excellent entrance/exit capability for working her. I finally settled on this design with a hinged hatch on top that allows me to walk straight upright into the pilothouse but if needed could stand upright behind the clear lexan screen of the hatch and see forward. If time and towing duty allowed, I could then sit down at the wheel with full protection from the forward and sides of the boat from spray or weather.

A right proper tow bitt would be needed for the tug duties of “Godzilli” and I had in the woodloft a grown Hackmatack Knee that would fit right in. This was a mighty balk of wood a full 6 inches thick with legs 36 inches long and when properly fastened into the “Godzilli”, would not pale at the job of towing our 45 foot, 38,000 lb. Sockeye design into the dock from her deepwater mooring. “Godzilli” will have a purple-heart stem and keel on her, rounding out the substantial and very strong hull. With some hand knotted Bow Puddin and fenders, she’ll fit right into the shop’s gear, as serviceable as a huge large wheeled bandsaw and a bit more fun to use. If you are as taken with her as I am, the plans for home construction are now available and include a good boatbuilding manual that helps you though the process. I think that the bang-for-the-buck with “Godzilli” is very high and I can’t imagine a waterfront that wouldn’t look just a bit better with one of her hanging about, patiently waiting for her skipper to take her out for a jaunt. — Sam Devlin

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