Bright Star

In Festival Boats 2018, Festival Boats 2019, Festival Boats 2021

Bright Star is a Tolman Jumbo 24, from a design by Renn Tolman of Homer, Alaska. As are all the Tolman boats, she is a plywood stitch-and-glue wooden boat.

The Tolman Alaskan Skiffs began as 18′ open boats, built for fishing in Alaskan waters. The basic design has evolved. Most now are cabin boats 22′-24′ long, with a few built at 26′, and built by the people who plan to use them.

Ray built her on our backporch. It took 2.5 years, from delivery of plywood to launching. We customized ours as a cabin cruiser, for cruising and fishing.

The boat is powered by a Cummins diesel MerCruiser 1.7L, 120hp, inboard/outboard. Cruising speed is 18 mph and cruising weight is 3800 pounds. The boat is light for its size and is easy to tow.

We get great fuel economy. With two 36-gallon tanks, we have a range of 300 miles, at speed. So far, we have 7500 statute miles under our keel. Note: This is at WBF application time. More cruising happens before Festival 2021.

Local home area day trips and cruising have been in the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. But most of our cruising has been up north, in saltwater. Having a trailerable boat allows us freedom easily to go farther, and get into saltwater in Washington and BC. As former long distance offshore sailboat cruisers, we find it great fun to get to places faster and have more time in ports for exploring.

We’ve explored the South Sound, spent a lot of time inside, along Vancouver Island, in the San Juans, more time in the Gulf Islands, went up the Fraser River, and north on the BC mainland side. We cruised in the Broughton Archipelago, taking the ferry Coho over to Victoria and driving up to Port McNeill to launch. An outside trip was from Port Townsend to Walters Cove, almost to Brooks Peninsula. It was off of Tofino, with a front coming in, that we learned Bright Star can fly. We went back to port, for four days, and headed out again.

2020 was a bust, as far as cruising. With more time at home, Ray built another boat. Based on a Tolman hull design, it is a 21′ open speedboat, modified to be all-electric, with Tesla batteries and solar panels.

More information on the building of cabin boat Bright Star —

— Ray Brown & Anne Thompson