Historical Summary:

Barnacle (#231812) is a custom-built 38' bridge-deck motor sailor built by the Blanchard Boat Company of Seattle in 1932. Barnacle is from a design originally conceived by William Atkin and modified by Blanchard Boat Company.

  • Year Launched: 1932
  • Designer: William Atkin
  • Builder: Blanchard Boat Company
  • Length: 38 feet
  • Beam: 11 feet 1 Inch
  • Draft: 5 feet 6 Inches
  • Accomodation: 4 Adults
  • Tonnage: 16 Gross, 14 Net
  • Deck: Fiberglass over wood
  • Hull Structure: Cedar planking on oak frames; teak transom
  • Bulkheads: Tongue and groove cedar; teak trim; oak beams
  • Engine: Buda diesel, model #6DT-317; installed in 1964; 90 HP; 6 cylinders; fresh water cooling; wet exhaust.
  • Propeller: 24 x 14 – 4 blade, right hand
  • Gearing: Gray marine #MG-101; ratio 2.04:1
  • Fuel: 180 gallons (2 X 90 gallon tanks)
  • Fuel Consumption: 2 gallons/hour at 8 knots
  • Cruising Speed: 6 - 8 Knots
  • Water: 80 Gallons


For the early history of Barnacle, we are fortunate to have the account of Norm Blanchard, son of N.J. Blanchard owner of the Blanchard Boat Company. This is detailed in the book “Knee-Deep in Shavings” by Norman C. Blanchard with Stephen Wilen (Horsdal & Schubart Publishers, Victoria, B.C., Canada, 1999, page 137-9).As well, the son of Joe Patten, Harry Patton, is still alive and recalls vividly the events leading up to the building of the boat in the Blanchard yard and its early cruising history.

Joe Patton, for whom the boat was built, was the owner and operator of the Seattle Marine Equipment Company located at the foot of Marion Street in Seattle. He handled Sterling and Kermath gas engines for cruisers and tugs as well as Superior (Buda?) diesel engines.

In 1929-30 the Great Depression had commenced and boat owners were not buying marine engines. As Harry Patton recalls, “…it was tuff”. The Blanchard Boat Company, which was buying engines from Joe Patton, was also experiencing a significant decline in business as the result of the depression. As told in Knee Deep in Shavings by Norm Blanchard, Joe Patton had approached “NJ” Blanchard with a design published in 1929 in the magazine Motor Boating by noted naval architect William Atkin. The design appears to have been called “Mister Simms” and can be found at It was described as “a 36’ trunk-cabin cruiser”.

At the Blanchard yard, modifications were made in the design of the boat by Ed Monk, the noted Seattle naval architect and friend of both Joe Patton and N.J. Blanchard. This included lengthening the boat by 2 feet and changes in the cabin design among other things.

In 1930, Norm Sr., usually called “NJ”, told Joe Patton that he could commence building Barnacle as there was plenty of room on the empty ways at the Blanchard Boat Company. According to his son Harry, Joe Patton would go down to the Blanchard yard on Saturdays and Sundays to work on the boat taking his young son along to play in the very dark boatyard. Joe Patton had several engines that he could not sell because of the depression, so he traded them for planking and other materials needed for the construction of the boat

When the boat was finished Norm Jr. asked Joe Patton if he could put the name on Barnacle. Patton’s response was “Yes, if you want to try, but I can’t pay you”. As a result Norm Jr. put the name "Barnacle" on the varnished teak transom where it remains now 74 years later.

The boat was launched in 1932. The launching as pictured in Knee Deep in Shavings shows a young man standing on the prow. This was Norm Jr., age 21, sitting behind him on the forward cabin was the Harry Patton, then about 10 years old.