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Anke and I live aboard WAYWARD, and wrote about it's design and construction at

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Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
triloboats swirly gmail daughter com

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Halifax Art Boat

Launch Day!


In October of 2013, I was contacted by a fella who wrote:
I'm representing a consortium of artists and educators in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where we would like to build a couple TriloBoats for artist residencies and to serve as a platform for community and social artwork around the greater Halifax area.
We corresponded a bit, back and forth. I answered a few questions. And next I hear, she's launched!

This, from the Halifax Community Arts Page:

The box scow hull vessel was hand-built by a team of volunteers and community members of all ages and abilities over the winter and spring of 2013-2014 at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic's historic boat shed on the Halifax Waterfront. Freshly launched into the Halifax Harbour this past July [12th], the project is now entering its next phase of community involvement.

You can follow her further adventures at

PS... As part of her 'Occupancy' certification, the HALIFAX ART BOAT underwent a stability test; so far as I know, a first official benchmark for a TriloBoat (T24x8). This resulted the following exchange (me in italics):
Congratulations! Sounds as if you passed, from which I surmise that 15 people showed up, stood on the rail and nobody went swimming. All correct?

Thanks! Yes, we actually did it with 12 as that is all we could assemble on a weekday, but they were 12, full-grown adults.

How was the number 15 arrived at? Is that an official number for a given sized boat, or maximum occupancy applied for?

The risk assessment folks (oy) put a max of 10 ppl on board, we wanted to demonstrate appreciably more than that for provable stability.
Any estimate as to total kg involved? 15 x an average of 50kg (kids and adults) would come out to 750kg. Close?

I think we had calculated roughly 900kg [1980lbs] of people standing along the rail (like I said, all adults).
How much freeboard was left, would you say, at maximum lean?

Depends on how you define “freeboard”. We measured from resting waterline - it was about 20cm (~8in) UP on the resting waterline on the low side and the chine on the high side was out of the water by about 10 cm (~4in), give or take.
Were there any comments from officials on the results? Surprise? Normal?

I think they were just “oh, I guess you were right, it is safe.” but they kept it close to the vest and just granted us approval.
Sounds as if you had a lot of fun building her. Anke and I are building, now, and envy your 200 participants!

Haha, well they weren’t all there all the time - we put in a LOT of sub-freezing days just one or two of us.
Anyways, we could have done a few things better, and I’m not sure what the project will become moving forward (my main job was to steward the building and approval of the craft, so I’m bowing out a bit due to other interests in the meantime).
Fortunately, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has taken over stewardship of the craft for the next two years and will be coordinating activities. We’ll see what that turns into!
Wishing YOU success as well, and thanks for staying in touch! Your boat design made a dream possible for a LOT of people out here - and it was truly fantastic seeing all of the excitement and pride on people’s faces when we launched. Really a fantastic boat - quirky in all the right ways, and a real cross-section of all the tricks and crafts used for other forms of construction in an easy-to-understand nutshell.
Keep at it, and stay square!

Now THAT's the way to move a boat!


Photos courtesy of Tyler John Photography


  1. This is really nice. Congratulations. I have been following Trilo boats, and I am also an artist. Your design concept is pure art. Keep posting and sailing!

    1. Thanks Ricardo...

      Makes me think of stretching out a rectangular canvas... these guys were the artists!

      Dave Z