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Profiles of People and Boat Manufacturers

Sam Devlin - Designer, builder, tinkerer

The master of stitch-and-glue will build you a boat or show you how to do it yourself

Devlin (here in his Olympia, Wash., office) says he builds boats with 'personality.'Taking US 101 west from Olympia on a crystal-clear day, it's obvious why the license plates refer to Washington as the Evergreen State. Pastures, meadows and forests frame the islands and the sparkling blue waters of Puget Sound against the backdrop of the jagged Olympic Mountains in the distance.

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The ins and outs of stitch-and-glue

"When I started out, wood-epoxy boat construction had the worst possible reputation," Sam Devlin explains.

Builders stitch the hull of a 33-foot Devlin lobster yacht."But it's improved." More than that, stitch-and-glue is "pure sanity" to Devlin.



A first-time boatbuilder dives right in

Peter Poanessa, an East Coast native living 100 miles from the ocean in Keene, N.H., chose a traditional West Coast fishing design for his first boatbuilding project.

Poanessa, 52, who spent a decade as a commercial fisherman, for years dreamed of building his own boat.

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The Real Bob Bitchin

Boats, motorcycles and Evel Knievel? That's right, and he's the larger-than-life sailor behind Latitudes & Attitudes magazine

Marine publisher Bob Bitchin is among the more colorful characters you'll find on the water.It's not hard to pick out Bob Bitchin from a crowd. At 6-foot-4 and dressed in a loud Hawaiian shirt, with sunburned skin and a gold earring in the shape of a cutlass, he is the life of the party and the center of attention.

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Bitchin on his boat

The Bitchin/Global 52 was designed by Walter Schulz at Shannon Yachts to be as green a boat as possible - without sacrificing comfort.

Bitchin's Global 52 is under construction at Shannon Yachts in Bristol, R.I.Powered by twin 75-hp Yanmar turbo diesels, the boat will be able to cross the Atlantic under power on 400 gallons of fuel. With both engines running, it will motor at up to 12 knots. Under a single engine, it will motor economically at 7.5 knots, burning just 1.1 gph.



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