20' Supply Boat Båten & Lake Union Cruiser

Design Number 132

20' Supply Boat Båten

In the fall of 1975, Marilyn Anderson and Rachel Adams came to see me in my office in Seattle. They had retired to Crane Island and were in need of a better boat to serve as their supply boat and year 'round commuter. They had but a short run from the Crane Island Association (CIA) floating docks on Crane Island over to the CIA Orcas Island floats.

The primary restriction on the design was that it had to fit within the 20' length overall limit in force at the CIA floats. This limit was an effort by the CIA to be sure that every property owner would have enough space to keep a boat at the community floats. The effect for us as designers was to immediately suggest a very short-ended boat, to maximize the waterline length, since this is one of the prime determinants in setting the speed of a displacement hull. The primary use of the new boat is these short runs, and we wanted to be sure the boat was one that would be easily driven at modest speeds. The beam was chosen as being one that would permit trailering if there were a need to move her overland.

We did two construction plans and the boat was bid in both Airex® cored fiberglass and in carvel planked wood. Jensen Shipyards in Friday Harbor was awarded the contract to build her in wood, and Bill Ryerson did a very nice job of putting her together there.

Over the years, I've had quite a number of trips with Båten, both short trips aboard and longer cruises in company with her. She's proven to be a very capable supply boat and general utility pickup vessel. She's ideally suited to the Pacific Northwest climate, with shelter and heat for the crew in the stand-up pilothouse and a generous open cockpit. For making close quarters landings or operating in fair weather, there is another helm and set of engine controls in the cockpit.

The cockpit has a full width seat aft, covering the batteries, fuel tankage, and steering gear. Her bulwarks are deep enough to make you feel that you are in the boat instead of on it.

Another part of the design brief was for us to provide for the boat being useful and usable for their geriatric years. Towards this end, we've added steps at the forward corners of the cockpit and handgrabs off the aft corners of the house right above the steps. Also, some boarding and offloading can be done by an adult sitting on the cockpit coaming cap and swinging their legs over onto the float or cockpit sole, depending on whether departing or loading.

With sliding windows on either side at the forward end of the pilothouse, there is an additional way to look over the side without getting too wet or cold.

The v-berths forward make a pleasant place to relax underway as well as one for sleeping aboard. Having had a chance to try them out, I can say that she's both comfortable and cozy. There is room to sit up and read on the bunks too.

The pilothouse has 6'-2" headroom and room for several adults to stay snug near the stove and enjoy the view underway. Båten has a little cast iron wood-burning stove installed and this has much to recommend it. On her longer passages, such as the run of almost an hour when they would come over to Friday Harbor to visit us, there was plenty of time to get some good heat going and make hot drinks too.

As sometimes happens, a very pleasant friendship arose with the owners of this delightful boat, so I've had plenty of chances to see her in action and keep track of her evolution. She has survived well and gracefully, giving good service year 'round in all sorts of weather.

Alternate Version

This design went through several iterations before we got to the final version. The first one without the raised deck section forward, would serve well too, but not be so good for overnighting. Construction for either one could be done in a similar manner, and the details shown on the plans can be used for whichever one best suits your use.

Lake Union Cruiser Version

The Lake Union Cruiser version was done in the style of Lake Union Drydock's classic Dreamboats. On this one, we've slid the pilothouse of Båten further aft and made it longer, fully enclosing the cockpit. This can be enclosed with curtains or the windows shown, depending on your climate. The addition of a built-in head in lieu of the portable one used on Båten's cruising and more lockers and galley facilities will make longer cruises go easier.

The original Båten was fitted with an eighteen horsepower Sabb diesel with a feathering propeller. The Lake Union Cruiser version has a four cylinder Yanmar diesel indicated, which is rated at fifty horsepower. Her hull form has a flat enough run to make use of more power like this, getting her up into the semi-displacement speed range.

Length overall19'-11½"6.08 m
Length designed waterline19'-0"5.79 m
Beam7'-11½"2.43 m
Draft (2'-3" light)2'-6"0.76 m
Freeboard:Forward4'-6"1.37 m
Least2'-9½"0.85 m
Aft3'-0"0.91 m
Displacement, light version3,100 lbs.1,406 kg.
Displacement, cruising trim4,600 lbs.2,086 kg.
Displacement-length ratio202/299 
Prismatic coefficient.68 
Pounds per inch immersion550249 kg/cm
Fuel tankage30 Gals. 
Headroom6'-2"1.88 m

*CAUTION: The displacement quoted here is for the boat in cruising trim. That is, with the fuel and water tanks filled, the crew on board, as well as the crews' gear and stores in the lockers. This should not be confused with the "shipping weight" often quoted as "displacement" by some manufacturers. This should be taken into account when comparing figures and ratios between this and other designs.

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