Friday, April 6, 2012

The Devlin Egret

As the boating season gears up, so does the activity in Doryman's boatyard. This year several new projects have been added to the list.

This is also a time for reflection and contemplation because updates come in about old friends and new. Take the Sam Devlin designed Egret, for instance. An early example of this modified dory, built by Sam himself, was given to me three years ago and sadly it drifted to the end of a long list of priorities.

But last fall my friend Lou Brochetti, who is an old friend of Sam's and an excellent boatwright, suggested he have a go at finishing her out. Lou lives in the high dessert in central Oregon, so we packed up the boat with enough odds and ends from the shed to rig it for sail and set off for Paulina Lake to met Lou and other Coots for a messabout.

We were able to sail the Egret, just barely enough for Lou to get a good sense of what needed to be done. He took her home in high sprits, with big plans.

Although the Egret was designed for a centerboard or leeboards, this particular boat had a full, fixed keel. As these photos show, Lou decided she needed a centerboard.

Good job, Lou!

We have a mission for this summer, to explore Roosevelt Lake and this Egret may end up being Doryman's gunkholer. Roosevelt Lake is just behind Grand Coulee Dam, on the Columbia River, in Washington State. I've never sailed there but pictures from the link above make it seem very much like the Sea of Cortez, which is one of Lou's favorite cruising grounds, so I can see why he is so excited about this trip.

One thing I'm concerned about. This boat is a joy to row, but isn't that centerboard case going to be a bit uncomfortable?

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