Duffy 35

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Illustration by Jim Ewing

Illustration by Jim Ewing

Online boating forums extol the virtues of the Duffy 35. “Maybe the best all-around 35-footer.” “Handles nicely.” “Goes well into weather.” “Three-day canyon trips out of Montauk—never felt unsafe, uncomfortable.” This Maine-built Downeaster tops the list of the Atlantic Boat Company’s most popular models, with more than 370 produced in 36 years, and it’s been called one of the most popular lobster boat hulls of all time.

The Duffy 35 goes back to basics. It rides a built-down hull with a fine, clean entry and flattened after sections for speed and stability. There’s a full keel for stability at low speed and tracking at high speed, and a protected prop, which is a must in lobster-pot waters.

Spencer Lincoln is credited with the final design of the Duffy 35 hull. In 1978, he began working with boatbuilder Richard Duffy, who’d    designed a 34-foot lobster boat in the kitchen of his Maine home. Lincoln wanted to take advantage of fiberglass construction and big engines. Speed was important, so Lincoln flattened the sides of the traditional hull, moved the center of buoyancy forward and brought the angle of the prop shaft closer to the horizontal.

The Duffy 35 emerged in 1982 with a smooth-riding, easily driven running bottom that would be used on hundreds of recreational and commercial boats. The Duffy 35 was updated in 2002 with a new hull mold, and in 2003, two new deck molds were introduced to create more specialized models for cruising or fishing. There are galley-up and galley-down interiors, and a head/shower combination or separate head/shower. Owners can choose salon and stateroom layouts, along with engines from 200 to 700 horsepower, for speeds averaging 18 to 30 knots.

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue.