Devlin 22′ Surf Scoter
- Length: 22 feet
- Hull style: Semi-displacement
- Beam: 7’8″
- Draft: 1’11”
- Powerplant: 4 cyl Volvo Penta diesel stern drive (TAMD 22 SX)
- Horsepower: 102
- Cruising speed: 16 knots @ 4,000 RPM (2 gals/hr.)
- Top speed: 20 knots @4,500 RPM
- Displacement: 4,100 lbs
- Fuel tank: 50 gals.
- Year built: 1998 in Olympia, WA
Inga and I accompany Gene, our business partner, to the Seattle Boat Show at the Kingdome. We’ve been swept up by his enthusiasm for boating but once we’ve walked around for awhile, we soon lose interest with all the ostentatious, fiberglass mega-yachts or the purely fishing boats. That is, until we round the corner and spot a boat that instantly enchants us. It looks like a little trawler or tug boat. It’s only 22 feet long and it is utterly dwarfed by the giant boats around it. Its hull is dark green, the pilot house is white and it’s trimmed in teak. It is absolutely unique and delightful. We walk up to it with our mouths open and a sense of wonder. It’s like we’ve encountered a magical creature deep in the woods and we’re not quite sure it’s real. Standing next to the boat is the man who built it, Sam Devlin, of Devlin Designing Boat Builders in Olympia, Washington. He explains that it is his Surf Scoter model, named after a very seaworthy duck, and he invites us to take a look inside. We’re awed by the craftsmanship and style of the boat. We also take a real liking to Sam. He’s down to Earth and genuine in a Prairie Home Companion way. We feel that this is more than just buying a boat. It’s about building a lifelong relationship with a true craftsman who loves what he does. So, that’s it, we’re hooked. In short order, we put down a deposit to have one built. Typically, we start reading every available book and magazine about the amazing Puget Sound marine environment along with boating in general and we chatter constantly about the adventure of cruising its many waterways. But it all comes to a screeching halt as the banker we’ve applied for a loan with explains to us ‘kids’ that it is customary to first buy a house, then a boat. A house??? We tell him that we don’t want a house with all those chores and lawn mowing and screwy neighbors with devilish children. Yuk! We purposely rent and we want a boat! Then he very politely points out that every dime we have is wrapped up in risky real estate development, we have no savings and no credit to speak of, one way or the other. So no boat for us. Inga and I briefly discuss having Sam at least build us a rowboat but we’re too discouraged. We let go of the dream and move on with life. In 1993, we buy our first house in a neighborhood South of downtown Seattle.
June 2005: I don’t realize it at the time but my restful, three day sail up the beautiful Inside Passage from Washington State to Alaska has set the stage for boating to reenter my life. The only flaw in this marvelous journey is that Inga and Freya are not with me and I’m acutely aware of their absence the entire time. By the time I ride my motorcycle to Denali National Park, I vow that it’s time for a change.
August 2005: Having purchased a sport bike earlier in the year with the intent of spending less time on the street and more time on the race track, I need to invest in the required safety gear and rig our Honda Element for towing the bike to the track and back. But I repeatedly resist taking the next step and clearly something has changed. I finally figure it out. I don’t want to continue in a hobby or sport that keeps me away from Inga and Freya. After the motorcycle trip to Alaska and back, I feel like I’ve completed a stage of my life and it’s time to embark on a new journey. I’ve been motorcycling for 7 years and I’ve ridden 10,000 miles or more each year. It’s been a remarkable adventure. I mention an interest in boating to Inga and it’s like throwing a lit match on gas soaked rags. She’s instantly excited at the prospect and explains that her boating desire has never wavered. She’s just been biding her time and waiting for me to show up on the dock. The homework begins and even though we purposely look at several other boat manufacturers here in Washington State besides Sam Devlin, we synchronistically end up right back where we started; looking at Sam’s Surf Scoter. He has a used, 1998 Surf Scoter named “Bunky” listed for sale on his website. We arrange a visit and as we step into the boathouse where it is moored, we immediately feel that magical energy again emanating from the boat. We examine it, ask lots of questions, go for a ride and sign the papers, contingent on the results of the marine surveyor’s report. Bunky passes with flying colors due to his first two owners painstakingly caring for him.
27-Aug-2005: The boat is ours. The previous owner and I drive the boat from the Olympia Yacht Club over to the One Tree Island Marina, across the narrow channel, and dock it where Sam Devlin, the builder, has his boats moored. We opt to moor the boat in Olympia until a covered slip becomes available in Des Moines, 5 miles from our house. We incorrectly assume that being way down here at the southern end of Puget Sound means the marine environment is more of a backwater and less demanding. Wrong! It’s exactly the opposite. The tidal swings are the most extreme down here.
Sam walks us through the pre-float checklist and then takes us out into the Olympia harbor for some training. The maiden voyage is both exciting and a little nerve wracking. First off, Olympia is a true working harbor with loads of pleasure boats, container ships, Police boats plus current, tides, shoals and wind. Sam has me practice docking right in the middle of all this and when I question his motives, he says, very good naturedly, that he’s purposely putting me under some pressure. Ok. So be it. After years of riding motorcycles up to speeds of 130 MPH at the race track, I’m mildly amused, yet cautious. Traveling at 3 knots is very manageable even if the boat has no brakes and is about as responsive to the steering wheel as an early 70s Cadillac. After a couple of practice dockings, he says I’ve got good instincts and that I don’t panic. Ok but I sure don’t feel confident. Knowing how I really like to look competent, I’ll be practicing extensively. And then Inga wants me to train her. Gulp!
Sam does impart some of his philosophy about boating and as he does, we smile and nod knowingly since it is exactly what we were hoping to find in this little boat of ours. He views a boat as a special space, a sanctuary from every day life. Sam talks about the methodical approach required for the proper maintenance and operation of a boat, how its routines take time and how they are part of the experience. He advises us to avoid a casual, or rushed, approach to the boat and recommends developing a Zen around it.
We let Sam off at the dock and then we practice some more. At one point, I’ve eased up perfectly to a dock but then, for some inexplicable reason, I can’t get the boat away from the dock for love nor money. Being the land lubbers that we are, we finally realize, after putting a few good scratches in the nice green hull paint, that the wind is holding us against the dock. Doh!
Inga and I debrief after this stressful event and we come to realize just how intimidated we are with our newly purchased boat. If it were an aluminum fishing boat or a used runabout, we wouldn’t be jumpy at all. But with this pristine, lovingly cared for, pilot house cruiser, it’s a whole different story. Once we realize why we are so bloody nervous, we calm down and start enjoying ourselves. Somewhat.
28-Aug-2005: Today, we never leave the dock. We just hang out in the marina on the boat and by the end of the day, we are both amazed at how relaxed we are. Sam shows up at the marina, jumps into one of his boats and as he’s motoring past us, he asks if we’ve been out yet today. ‘Nope’, we reply. ‘We’re working on that Zen thing.’ He smiles. We really are enjoying getting to know the boat and figuring out how things work and where to store stuff. Every inch of the cabin has been designed for maximum use and is very well thought out. Unlike Sam’s larger designs that are more cabin-like in their amenities, the 22′ Surf Scoter is more akin to a small truck camper or a sailboat. Inga remarks that it’s like spending time in a really cool treehouse. The two year old daughter of a neighbor in a sailboat on our dock refers to Bunky as the “caboose boat”.
We’re scheduled for a day long Power Squadron boating safety course this coming Saturday. The Power Squadron is a national, “non profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects”. We figure that with some more knowledge under our belt, we’ll feel comfortable enough to make a diesel fuel run. The nearest fueling station is where the inlet we are in reaches the Sound, 5.5 nautical miles downstream, through all the complexity of the Olympia harbor. Meanwhile, we walk down to the end of our dock where we have an unobstructed view of the Olympia harbor because we’ve heard there are going to be tugboat races. Sure enough, there are a bunch of them docked at Percival Landing and here they come, one by one, as they head North up Budd Inlet out past the no wake zone. Inga, Freya and I sit down and watch this delightful parade float past our vantage point. As we marvel at the beauty and style of each of these hard working boats, I remark that even though we’ve lived here since 1987, the full extent of the Puget Sound maritime culture never really occurred to me until now. Inga shoots me one of those “No shit, Sherlock!” looks. Anyway, click here to see my tugboat slide show with a beautiful storm looming in the background.
3/4-Sep-2005: Our Power Squadron class is canceled so we spend the weekend tied to the dock. We stay overnight and discover the serenity of sleeping in a gently rocking boat. Inga fixes us a bowl of soup for dinner and an eggs and sausage breakfast in the morning. We read instructional books and owner’s manuals, listen to the Coast Guard and weather channels, and watch sailboats come and go. Very nice.
10/11-Sep-2005: Once again, we’re finding the marine environment of Puget Sound to be rather daunting. At the dock where our boat is moored, the tide goes up and down 12 feet twice a day and a five knot current kicks in at our dock when the conditions are right. There are shoals and obstructions to avoid, wind to deal with, navigation buoys to mind, dredged channels to follow, big commercial vessels to dodge and then all the recreational boats to contend with. It’s more akin to flying a plane. (This sure isn’t Fishtrap Lake where I spent my carefree summers in Wisconsin tooling around in a rowboat with a small outboard motor!) Anyway, once we can safely pilot our way out of the long inlet we are docked in, 5.5 nautical miles in length, we’ll emerge into the Sound itself and there are a zillion quiet places to explore and hang out in. To sum it up, we’re still safely moored in the marina. We are showing little interest in banging around our wonderful boat and in learning the hard way but we are thoroughly enjoying the camping out aspects of boating. Inga’s got the boat ship shape and superbly organized.
Meanwhile, while we’ve been driving two hours round trip to Olympia each weekend, we’ve been listening to a book on tape about the Wilkes’ expedition in the 1830s. Now that we are hanging out in the South Sound and learning about its numerous inlets, islands and channels, we delight in matching up the names of these places to members of the expedition.
13-Sep-2005: Our Power Squadron class starts! We are taking a multi-week course at the Seattle Sail and Power Squadron at a yacht club on Lake Union in downtown Seattle. We’ve been studying so much during the past 30 days or so that it’s all familiar ground. Nevertheless, we take good notes, do all the homework and take the practice quizzes. The instructor lets us out early the first night saying that he wants to start us out slowly seeing how we’ve all come straight here from our day jobs. I come close to blurting out that I want to stay put and learn more right now! I’ve got an awesome boat moored to the dock until I know what I’m doing! But then the word “patience” floats into my brain. Oh yeah. Right.
17/18-Sep-2005: I realize that we’ve clearly fallen off the horse. We’re never going to leave the dock at this rate. If I had one of the fishing boats from my Grandpa’s resort with a little outboard motor on it, I would have piled Inga and Freya into it and taken off for hours of exploring Puget Sound regardless of tides and currents and other boats. So that’s it. We’re going out. Inga’s only real concern is about the docking aspects so we discuss roles and responsibilities, rehearse what needs to happen, and affirm that I’ll jockey the boat around however long it takes until we can line up properly and smoothly with the dock. Ok then. Let’s rock!
We run through the pre-launch checklist, fire up the diesel and gently pull out. We emerge into the no-wake zone of the Olympia harbor and head North at 3 – 4 knots past the marinas and then the big cranes of the container ship dock. The GPS shows our precise location on the complex chart with all the buoys and the dredged navigation channel. Inga scouts out the channel markers with the binoculars and helps me match them up to what we are seeing on the GPS screen. When we pass out of the no wake zone, we open up the throttle, adjust the trim tabs and move out. At speed, the boat is very competent and comfortable. We cruise to the end of Budd Inlet and there is the deep water of Puget Sound. Maybe it’s just psychological but it looks much different from the river-like environment of Budd Inlet; the water is blue, the light is dancing off the waves, the sailboats are heeled over in the wind. We spot the lighthouse next to the Boston Harbor marina, the only source around for fuel, but as we’ll still packing half a tank of diesel, we decide we’ve been brave enough for one day. We spin around and skedaddle for home feeling like we’ve really made some progress.
We approach our dock and after jockeying back and forth a bit, we slip into place without incident. Inga steps out onto the dock and has the boat expertly moored in a matter of seconds as I shut the engine down. We did it! We’re back in the saddle. We sleep like babies that night in our boat. Before we head for home late Sunday afternoon, I realize that we can drive to Boston Harbor on land to do a little reconnaissance. From the shore, we spot the Chevron sign among the forest of sailboat masts and I’m not sure how we would have ever seen it from the water side. Knowing where we have to go for fuel now takes a lot of the unknown factor out of it.
24/25-Sep-2005: We arrive at noon on Saturday and go right into the pre-launch checklist: weather report, tide table, engine oil & radiator levels, fuel and water filters, top off the water ballast tank, stow the gear, rev up the GPS and sonar units, get out the binoculars and consult the charts. We’re doing a fuel run to Boston Harbor and then maybe we’ll head up the next inlet over to see if we can spot Sam’s workshop on the north shore of Young Cove in Eld Inlet.
We approach the Boston Harbor marina and slowly weave our way past the moored boats to the fuel dock. There is a gentle breeze coming from the North that can be used to our advantage as it will push us toward the dock. Our first attempt is not quite right so I swing around and make another pass. The second pass does the trick. We fuel up and take off. We head for Eld Inlet which is just West of Budd Inlet and go exploring. Unlike Budd Inlet, Eld is very quiet with homes here and there and lots of forested shoreline. We run South to Sam’s cove and then spin around to head for home. We dock without incident, wash down the boat, have a nice bowl of soup and then a walk with Freya before going to bed.
1/2-Oct-2005: The name Bunky has been removed off the boat’s transom with a heat gun. All that is left is Olympia, the boat’s port of call. The new name has been ordered. It’s been raining on and off all weekend as a storm is blowing through so we stay put at dock and go for walks with Freya. A bunch of sailboats head out to go play in the storm manned with 4 people per boat, dressed from head to toe in rainsuits. Otherwise, all other boats remain in the marinas.
9-Oct-2005: We have successfully moved the boat from Olympia to our covered berth in Des Moines, just 5 miles from our house. The journey covers 51 nautical miles and takes over 3 hours. We were going to head North on Saturday but it was raining all afternoon so we delay our trip until today, hoping for better conditions for what is going to be an amazing trip. We awake to a 10 mph wind from the SW, 1 foot wind waves, overcast skies and good visibility. No problem. Between Boston Harbor and the Tacoma Narrows, the South Sound is virtually devoid of boaters. Looks like all the recreational boaters have gone home for the season. We pass through the Narrows one hour after slack tide and it is utterly uneventful. This notorious section of water is quite calm and only sporting one small whirlpool. (Click here to see the real time current conditions.) Point Defiance is another matter. Lots of big waves, loads of fishing boats and a whole pack of harbor seals swimming among the boats. We slow way down to a crawl and weave our way through them. We arrive at the Des Moines Marina and head down the “E” lane to our slip. Wow! It looks way too narrow but with Inga’s superb assistance, we back in and rope up just fine. The long journey has left the boat covered in salt spray so a good, thorough bath is in order. We settle right in to our new home and even meet some of our neighbors along with a naughty sea otter who’s been making a stinky mess of many a boat. We’ve had a wonderful time visiting Olympia but if feels great having the boat so close to home now.
25-Nov-2005: We’ve been exploring our new neighborhood, a section of Puget Sound called the East Passage. It links Seattle to Tacoma and is used by huge commercial and much smaller recreational vessels alike. It’s even divided up into northbound and southbound lanes for the tugs and container ships. The pleasure craft can use whatever is left which is more than enough. Compared to the narrow inlets and islands around Olympia where we first moored the boat, it’s huge. Our marina in Des Moines is located at the narrowest section of the East Passage. It’s a mile and a half across to the Point Robinson lighthouse. A mere loop trip around the East Passage, either North or South, results in a 20 mile ride. We’ve gone South to check out Commencement Bay, the industrial harbor at Tacoma. On another day, we went West over to Vashon Island and explored Quartermaster Harbor. Today, we’ve gone North to Elliott Bay, Seattle’s big harbor. Careful to stay out of the giant ferry boat lanes, we motor along Alki Beach that we’ve walked countless times since we moved to Seattle in 1987. We spot a harbor seal and give a couple of fishermen wide berth. A Seattle Police boat joins us along the shore and we follow it around Duwamish Head. Now we are directly opposite the Seattle skyline and next to Harbor Island where all the container ships unload. As this is a busy working port, we keep a
sharp lookout to make sure we’re not in anyone’s way. We snap a few photos and then spin around to head for home. We make sure the ferries are docked for the moment before revving up our diesel engine and taking off. The sun will be down in an hour so no more dawdling allowed.
05-Feb-2006: After at least 40 days and 40 nights of incessant rain, the storms stop and the sun finally emerges. Hallelujah! Let’s go boating! We decide to circumnavigate Vashon Island, a huge land mass in the middle of the South Sound across from Des Moines, where our marina is located. It’s a 36 mile trip to ride around it. The days are growing longer and sunset is 5:15 PM so we’ve got 4 hours to make the journey. Off we go, heading Southwest along the shore of Maury Island. When we reach the Southern tip of Vashon Island and enter Dalco Pass, we decide to pay a visit to Gig Harbor. We slow down to negotiate our way around all the floating driftwood resulting from the storms and enter through the narrow channel into the harbor. We spot the town dock and moor there. There is something really cool about visiting a town via water. Of course, there was a point in time in Puget Sound history when that was pretty much the only way to travel due to the density of the forests
and the scarce roads.
Click here to learn more about the “Mosquito Fleet” on HistoryLink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington State history.
Off we go for a walk in Gig Harbor but we don’t get far as we spot an espresso shop right across the street. We still have many miles to go so we drink our coffees and depart. Once we clear the harbor, we head North up the Colvos Passage which runs between Vashon Island and the Kitsap Peninsula. The tide is ebbing and this part of the Sound is always turbulent. The surface of the water is a mixture of currents, eddies, and whirlpools with entire trees floating amongst it all. We slip safely through it and continue North. What looks so narrow on the nautical charts is a mile wide and 300 feet deep. This Northern Wisconsin boy is still struggling to grasp the scope, scale and power of Puget Sound. We’re only halfway up the Passage when we spot something at the North end of it, huge, white and moving. It takes a sec but then we realize we’re seeing the Southworth ferry. It’s amazing how deceptive distances are on the water. We round the Northern end of Vashon and keep an eye on the two ferries docked at Vashon and another over at Fauntleroy as we slip through the ferry route and head South for home.
24-Feb-06: A high pressure weather system arrives on the heels of a Winter gale resulting in a clear and calm, albeit chilly, sunny day. We decide to go check out Blake Island, a Washington State park eight miles across Puget Sound from Seattle. We’ve heard that this boating destination is extremely popular due to its proximity to Seattle but we arrive to find its harbor virtually empty on a Friday in February. The East end of the island, where the harbor is located, is dedicated to picnic areas and Tillicum Village, a tourist attraction offering salmon dinners and Native American dances. The rest of the 475 acre island is forested and home to a lot of wildlife. While walking Freya on the beach, we spot raccoons prowling around, Canadian geese, bald eagles and many other birds. We walk into the trees and find deer and elk droppings everywhere but none are spotted, most likely due to the black, wolf-like, creature on the end of the leash we’re holding. We wander a bit but we soon turn back as sunset is approaching and we have a 14 mile ride to get back to our marina.
We hop in the boat, fire up the diesel and cast off. As we slowly head out of the harbor in the narrow navigation channel, we spot three otters swimming into the harbor. Once clear, we circumnavigate the island. On the North end of the island, massive Washington State ferries are running through Rich Passage on their way between Seattle and Bremerton. We’re tempted to follow them into Bremerton to catch a glimpse of the Navy yard but again, as the sun is heading for the horizon, we resolve to save such exploring for another adventure. On the South end of Blake Island, we slow down to let a tug towing a barge pass by that is coming North out of the Colvos Passage and heading for Elliott Bay. Then we dodge the two ferries that are running between Fauntleroy on the mainland, Vashon Island, and Southworth on the Kitsap Peninsula before heading for home, feeling very satisfied with our Winter excursion.
31-Mar-2007: We’ve decided to move our boat back to Olympia, an hour drive from our home, after a year and a half at Des Moines, which is only 15 minutes from home. The weather on the Sound at Des Moines, more often than not, is too windy for our little boat. We’ve often battled the wind and waves just to leave the marina and worse yet, left when it was calm and then have to fight to get back in! So we’ve spent many weekends tied to the dock but with the house being so close, I often bail out for the comfort of home vs. hanging out in the boat’s tight quarters. It would help if the boat were larger and roomier but ultimately, boating for me is getting out on the water and exploring. In comparison, our time spent on the boat in Olympia when we first bought it, felt like a real getaway. It is far enough away and once there, we camp out, relax and enjoy ourselves. Secondly, the weather is rarely rough enough to keep us confined to the dock. (Back then, it was merely our lack of experience that kept us grounded!) Lastly, Olympia is a fun town to walk around. So we give notice at Des Moines and rent a space at Swantown, the lovely marina run by the Port of Olympia. We have the month of March to move the boat but the weather this Winter has been intense. We end up departing Des Moines on March 31 and after filling up the tank with diesel, we venture out into the Sound where, as usual, wind and waves await us. Once we cover the mile of open water and reach the lee of Maury Island, the wind and waves die down and we have an easy ride down to the Tacoma Narrows and beyond. Our berth at Swantown is the very last dock and so from the back of our boat, we have a view of a pond sized bit of open water with the town of Olympia behind it. Lovely!
Beats the hell out of us! This is what the first owner of this boat named it. There is something very cute and pet-like about this boat that calls out for such a playful name. We do realize there is a lot of superstition about renaming a boat but to us, the boat feels like it has outgrown its childhood name and is yearning for a new identity. So a more appropriate name is in the works.
Sam Devlin’s “Surf Scoter” is named after a duck of the same name known for its propensity to dive for mollusks and crustaceans in ocean surf and breaking waves. They are commonly seen on the Pacific Coast in winter, where they sometimes feed quite close to rocky headlands and in shallow inlets. All in all, great attributes for boat designed to explore the inlets of Puget Sound. We’ve been through a variety of rough water during the 2005 / 2006 Winter and nothing seems to really trouble it. Bunky just bobs along like a bathtub toy on big swells and cuts through chop with aplomb.
What kind of boat do you have?
Good question. We’ve come to learn that there are many classifications, variants and hybrids to sort through and choose from. And just like motorcycling, there seems to be endless debate about it all. Here are the factors that one must take into account:
- How is the boat powered? Sail, motor or both?
- What type of hull does it have? If it displaces an equal amount of water to its full weight when underway, it is a displacement hull. If it rides on top of the water when underway, it is a planing hull. If it partially planes when underway, it is a semi-displacement hull.
- The primary use of the boat can also dictate how it is classified:
- Zooming around on nice days while waterskiing or sightseeing? It’s called a runabout and is akin to a convertible automobile. Picnic boats may also be in this category. Click here
for a superb example of a picnic boat on the Devlin website and click here for a Devlin runabout.
- Fishing? Depending on configuration, the boat might be labeled as a center console, cuddy cabin, express cruiser or flying bridge cruiser. Click here to see a Devlin fishing boat.
- Multiple day trips? This is called cruising and a variety of boats can used for such a purpose depending on the level of comfort desired and your sense of adventure. We’ve seen
tugs, trawlers, sailboats, motorsailers and power boats of all kinds used for this. (Click the links for Devlin examples of each.)
- And then to complicate things farther, if the boat has sleeping and cooking facilities, it can be called a yacht. From a pure technical point of view, we have a semi-displacement power boat. (Most boaters would concur except for a few contrarians that would say it is a semi-planing boat.)
- Zooming around on nice days while waterskiing or sightseeing? It’s called a runabout and is akin to a convertible automobile. Picnic boats may also be in this category. Click here
Nevertheless, now we can take a stab at classifying our boat:
- The Devlin website calls our boat a pilot house cruiser.
- We’ve also seen it called a pocket cruiser elsewhere but we’ve been unable to figure out just what that means.
- It can be called a motor yacht because it has sleeping and cooking facilities and an engine.
- The two and a half year old daughter of a sailboater at the dock we stayed at in Olympia referred to it as the “caboose boat”.
- Inga and I call it a “soup-and-coffee-guy-boat” as that is the extent of its galley facilities and its Spartan accommodations; no hot water, no refrigerator, a tiny sink, a one burner stove, a porta-potti that is not enclosed and a charcoal fired heater suitable only for warming one’s hands on a chilly day.
- It has been called a “stinkpot” by a sailboater in order to demonstrate his playful contempt for its noisy, smelly diesel engine vs. his quiet, clean and righteous sails. (Our Volvo diesel doesn’t stink but it’s no use trying to convince him. And never mind that he can’t really go anywhere without running his little diesel motor due to the usual lack of wind in Puget Sound except during a storm.)
So what kind of boat do we have? A stinkpot motor yacht? A semi-displacement, pilot house cruiser? A soup-and-coffee-guy caboose boat? Maybe it’s all those things and yet there is something magical and very alive about it that defies being labeled and we find that to be quite comforting and delightful.