When I think of powerboats I don’t usually equate them with a relaxing ride and quiet conversation, yet the Starry Nights design (20′ LOA, 57″ beam), a new torpedo-sterned electric launch from designer and builder Ken Bassett, handily fulfills those purposes. Her six 12-volt AGM batteries power her 3-hp electric motor, enabling her to cruise at 5 mph for up to six hours.

Starry NightsKaren Wales

The 20′ Starry Nights launch from Onion River Boatworks is a picnic launch in the finest tradition. Powered by a 3-hp electric motor, she is a gentle, quiet presence on the water.

Ken Bassett works out of his own shop, known as Onion River Boatworks, in North Hero, Vermont. He has been designing and building boats for decades. I have long admired his work, such as the lapstrake Whitehall-like pulling boat Liz and the jovial little batten-seam-constructed runabout he calls Rascal. His plans are remarkably detailed and easy to follow, making them accessible to a wide array of builders. Even some first-time builders have had success building Rascal—a tribute to Ken’s abilities as a designer and a communicator. A great plan maker is a great teacher, and Ken’s plans put him among the very best.

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