The David B Today

The Motor Vessel David B was built in 1929 and in 2006 was fully restored for new service as a passenger vessel. The boat has two decks: the main deck and a below-deck level. As you wander the main deck, you’ll find the pilothouse, saloon and galley. The pilothouse includes the bridgedeck with the helm, some passenger seating (and some great views as we travel up the Inside Passage or among the San Juan Islands). Step down from the bridge into our roomy saloon, with comfy seating and spacious windows for watching the journey. Head further aft into the cozy galley, with our charming Heartland Sweetheart wood-burning stove. Relax in our comfortable dining area with its wrap-around windows, seating for eight, and a spectacular view of the scenery, birds, whales, and other wildlife we might pass along the way. The below-deck level is comprised of the accommodations, engine room, and storage areas.  As you descend the spiral stairs, you’ll discover stateroom accommodations up to eight passengers.  Each stateroom includes its own private head (toilet) and sink. There are three double staterooms with queen-size beds, and one double stateroom with bunk-style beds. Also, below deck there is the forward head with a luxurious cast-iron bathtub (with a shower), a sink and a toilet.   The engine room, storage spaces and crew cabins are also located below deck. A big part of the experience of cruising on the David B is that she is still powered by her original Washington Iron Works three-cylinder diesel engine.

The David B’s History

The David B was built in 1929 at the Lake Washington Shipyard in Houghton, Washington for the Libby, McNeil and Libby Co. She worked in Bristol Bay, Alaska at the company’s cannery in Ekuk on the Nushugak River for about 25 seasons.  Many vessels like the David B were built to tow small sail-powered boats to the salmon fishing grounds. This method was used to get around a federal rule that prohibited engines in fishing boats. The David B would tow a string of as many as twelve to fifteen boats to the grounds, then pick them up for their return.In the 1950’s the Nushugak River in front of the cannery changed course, forcing the company to move its operations elsewhere, and leaving the David B stuck on the beach. Decades later, the boat was pulled a quarter of a mile across the beach and relaunched. New owners brought her by barge to Seattle. In 1998, Northwest Navigation acquired the David B and began restoring her for passenger service. All of the deck beams and decking have been replaced, and a new trunk cabin has been built. All the systems (such as navigation and electrical) except the engine, have been replaced or rebuilt. Hours of loving care have been spent to get the vessel working again after her fifty-year retirement and to give her a new life in the small ship cruise industry.

Particulars of the David B

Built For: Libby, McNeill & Libby
Built By: Lake Washington Shipyards, Houghton, Washington. (Now Kirkland, Washington)
Length: 65 Feet
Beam: 16 Feet
Draft: 7 Feet
Displacement: 67 Tons (134,000 lbs/60,780 kg)
Official Register Tonnages: 102 GRT (Gross)/ 82 NRT (Net)
Frames: Steam Bent Oak and Laminated Fir/Epoxy
Planking: Douglas Fir
Engine:100hp Washington Iron Works 3-Cylinder Diesel
Staterooms: Four – for at total of up to Eight Passengers
Heads: One shared with bathtub/shower, sink and toilet – Four private heads in staterooms, each with sink and toilet.
Electricity: 110V AC Always available provided by generator or pure-sine inverter

The David B is the perfect alternative to mainstream cruise ships or for anyone searching for a specialized cruise on an uncommon boat. Contact us to experience the David B for yourself!