Shallow-draught Yukon River tender

“If it works well, then why change it?” might have been the idea of the owner of a new Yukon River salmon tender building at WCT Marine’s shipyard at Tongue Point on the Columbia River near Astoria, USA. 

Owner R. Bodey had Tullio Celano draw up a set of plans from a vessel that he had owned some year before. He took these to Willie Toristoja and his crew at WCT Marine Construction where the steel hull and aluminium superstructure were well along by the end of November, 2016.

The boat is designed to serve as a tender for salmon on the Yukon River. All fish will be transported in totes on the 8.3-metre main deck and loaded with the aide of a hydraulic knuckle boom mounted just aft of the raised forepeak. 

The design of the deck space is such that it can also transport two 20-foot containers or other general cargo to the villages along the river. An aluminium deckhouse, with galley and single bunk is mounted aft. A middle deck provides one more bunk space. 

Draught is the all-important factor in working the rivers of western Alaska where dredging is virtually non-existent and winter ice with spring freshets can carve entirely new channels annually. To assure maximum cargo capacity with minimal draught the three 86cm props are set up with one third of their diameter in tunnels.

Delivery of the finished vessel is expected for 2Q 2017, after which it will travel north on its own bottom.

Alex Baird

Alex Baird is the Managing Director of Baird Maritime