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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

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Extending WAYWARD: Presurgical Notes

       T40x8                                                                        T32x8

Longer is better on this planet, Buddy!
-- Apologies to Tony Rice, who said 'Louder is better...'

Extending WAYWARD: Presurgical Notes

"Why don't we just lengthen WAYWARD?", my two sailing partners ask, "and add an aft cabin?"

That is to say, just add an extra 6 to 8ft cabin at the end of the hull.

I harrumph and blow. Hem and haw.

Well, the aft bottom curve would have to move aft, where it would really be too short on the new length. The labor-intensive, flush-deck cockpit would have to be removed for an aft cabin, and a new one built for the new mid-cockpit. Balances would be all wrong. The sail plan would have to be redesigned from the ground up.

I sputter and bluster.

In short, it seems durn hard to radically alter a fully integrated design. All the things that once worked together are thrown out of synergistic balance. The structural challenges are daunting.

Hmm. But...

Could we save the aft deck by cutting away below the upper line of the doubling plates, which then act as horizontal buttstraps for filler construction? If the aft cabin followed the old transom line, we could even keep the seats and corner posts, which would now butt up against the aft cabin face.


New construction - presumably a weaker attachment - would only be cantilevered 8ft vs 16ft... mechanical fasteners to back up glue. Rubrails and doubling plates span the join, and can augment structural tie-in and support.

I suppose that, if the aft curve had to be rebuilt anyway, a longer, easier (faster) curve can be built along the extra length. Of course, a fuller belly would help float the cabin and any extra gear we're likely to be accumulating with a third partner... more doodles to come.

And hey... if we duplicate the main at the mizzen location, a balanced cat-schooner or -ketch emerges, possibly abetted by a yawl driver dead aft. It looks not only balanced, but rather powerful.

Rudder and scull... well... the rudder gains leverage with greater distance from the CLR (Center of Lateral Resistance), so we could keep the lower blade. A taller upper would have to be made, but that's a simple piece. Probably steer a cabin-top tiller by wheel or whipstaff? The scull actually benefits from a lower fulcrum and correspondingly steeper angle.

The OCBs (Off-Center Boards) are already 'traveling'... we can merely set them a bit further aft to balance.

The final sails have yet to be built, anyway. All the investment in WAYWARD, inside and out, from the companionway bulkhead forward, would remain, with the cockpit deck, seat and hatches thrown in for 'free'.

And the clincher? We could pull this off with a fraction of the time, effort and $$ necessary for building a whole new boat.

It... Could... WORK!!!
(Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein)

Extra Credit for Boat Geeks

This diagram shows the cut-lines... breaks indicate lines which will be hidden filler pieces. Here's the likely de/con-struction order:
  • The aft bottom curve would be cut away and aft doublers removed (doublers add hull thickness below the long, low horizontal line) to vertical line under Pilot House. 
  • A horizontal cut is made below the top of the doubler line until it runs off the curve.
  • A fill piece is added, below that cut-line and carried aft to 8ft fwd of the new transom.
  • A triangular fill piece makes up above the lower filler (Payson butt above doubler?).
  • The aft cabin walls and transom are framed and built (Payson butts and mechanical to old transom?).
  • The new bottom curve is built.
  • Doublers are added, buttstrapping the pieces they cover.
  • Decks and details are added.
  • Rudder and other gear mounted.
  • Finish and go.

Not shown are rubrails and any other longitudinal stiffeners we may toss in for good measure. Will see how the glue and mechanical bonding 'feels' as we go. May augment with some tape n glue. Copper would be removed first and reinstalled last.


  1. Why not cut her in half and add more midbody? That's usually what's done with big ships, as it's faster and easier than messing with the ends.

    I'm just being curious, thanks for the inspiration and keep on being awesome!

    1. Hi Bryce,

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Hmm... a complex of reasons. If we add to the mid-body, then...

      * The balance of the interior (which includes the cook and bunk in the social space) would be interrupted by an extra, walk-thru room. We could separate off the bunk behind, say, a head and closet, but then seating is limited in the salon and the walls 'close in'. Or it could go between galley and salon, but then the cook is isolated when crew or company is seated.

      * The deadflat would be extended while the already abrupt aft end curve stays short and steepish (a compromise with the current layout on a shorter length). By extending the end, we get to ease the curve over the longer run, for better 'release' and therefore a more easily driven hull.

      * The longer mid-body would either widely separate the two masts, or we'd have to move the current mizzen fwd to the fwd face of the pilot house. This can (or must?) be done in metal as a 'keel' stepped mast impedes the gangway, below.

      * Our crew dynamics require two, well-separated bunk areas. In a narrow boat, neither can easily be walk-through, therefore each must be at extreme ends. The aft cabin arrangement is ideal separation, and neither bunk is walk-through.

      It's true that mid-body extension, if entirely over the deadflat, makes for a simple shape for the addition. However, it's gotta be spliced at both ends with adequate structural tie-ins, rather than the single splice at the aft end. In our particular case, there are no convenient points to slice the mid-body... the companionway bulkhd (aft face of pilot house) IS convenient (as is the aft end of the fwd cockpit, but no prospects there).

      So... a fistful of 'reasons'.

      Overall, this is one of the times I wish the hull were metal!

      Dave Z

  2. I too want to cut the boat in half, but then, I'm a surgeon and not afraid to rearrange the interior as well. Still an aft cabin (I really like the new cuddy aft, nice touch) As drawn, I see substantial weight added aft, with limited waterline to support it, but then, possibly the wide underwater sections could handle that. I know you'll do the right thing. Carry On!

    1. Hi Doryman,

      That aft curve is certainly drawn optimistically (wistfully?). We may bulge it a bit for more displacement. Usually do that right on the ply, just before cutting.

      Still that cabin will be built light with little storage inside. We have a lot of heavy goods in the present hold that can be shifted forward. It's possible we'll pick up ease-of-driving while staying lightish.

      Lots of doodling left to do before the operation, likely sometime early in 2019!

      Dave Z

    2. On closer inspection, I also note that my drawn lines are run too high.

      The once free CAD software I've been using has been privatized. They still offer a stripped-down, free, on-line version, which I used for this sketch. It has snap-to features which override common sense, at times, and I didn't take the time to fine down the lines.

      That made my optimistic lines even more so... software artifact.

      Dave Z

  3. Playing decentralized devils advocate how about the marine equivalent of the guest house: a tied alongside 19 to 24 foot sharpie. Doubles as adventure explorer boat when the mothership is snugged down in a safe cove too. Seems a 8X8 addition, especially in cabin form, would be about the same in materials as a simplistic 24 box sharpie. Or even a 20 footer. And give even more division of sleeping areas. With well designed in cross beam attachment points the tender sharpie adventurer becomes a ama with potential for a HUGE flat space inbetween the two craft for any number of uses. Food crumbs for thought anyway............

    1. Hi Robert,

      Yeah, that was a first thought, and in some scenarios could be a strong contender.

      The decisive drawback is the problem of moving it around. We can't easily tow such a beast, and not splitting our crew/resources is the reason we're not going with our two boats as is.

      Also, if we cruise away from it, it's vulnerable to vandalism.

      But attractive in SO many other ways!

      Dave Z

  4. I didn't post right away because I wanted to have a good think first :-)

    I would be agreeing with Robert were it not for the reasons you have pointed out in your reply. But the drastic surgery sure does make me squeamish...

    Though such a thought would not be considered, I WAS thinking of another boat that would attach - not with cross beams as Robert suggested - but more like how floating bridges are joined. And said boat would have a sail rig too, to help with the power. How it would all work together would have to be figured out though.

    Anyway, Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thought about this one, too (along with a variation of Bolger's GROUT).

      The engineering is daunting, given existing structure. What to do with the boomkin, yuloh and rudder, when shifting between modes is complex. Adding a sail to a balanced rig (especially ketch) is a real challenge.

      A clincher is that we'd be towing a hurking extra hull (and still have the issue of our towed dory!).

      We'd be sloggin!

      All told, lengthening looks to me to be easiest/cheapest and the strongest solution that's yet occurred to me.

      But still brainstorming!

      Dave Z

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Posted on behalf of Dennis D:

    If you put railing around the top of the aft cabin, it would look more like a Chinese junk, and give better view forward. If you could duplicate the steering then you could move between the top, the cockpit and the pilot house positions (I think a whipstaff could have multiple positions?)

    1. Hi Dennis,

      A rail of some sort is likely.

      Lots of folks I respect like that high position for the helm, though it's always made me a bit nervous, being relatively far from the axis of longitudinal rotation. Any roll will be multiplied the further from it one goes.

      Of bigger concern to me, though, is keeping clear of the boom and sheets. I usually draw the sail over crew positions up over head height (somewhat high for efficiency) so as not to worry about it. No chance of doing that over the aft cabin.

      RE Whipstaff positions... I think there could be multiple positions, but I think it would take a better engineer than myself!

      Likely, a single whipstaff will control a tiller. The PH station will likely be one of our cobbled systems controlling one or the other... kind of a steering station, but more like set-and-hold.

      But ya never know!

      Dave Z

  7. Posted on behalf of John:

    Dave Z said:
    "Overall, this is one of the times I wish the hull were metal!"


    Here is a used 50'x10' steel barge for a mere $20K CAD. What an opportunity!

    Good Luck,

    1. Hi John,

      Wow, that does look like a good start! Put a tiny house on one or two of them, at the very least!

      These are true box barges (only one section has rake... all others are simple box shapes), but it wouldn't be hard - if one can weld - to cut the end shapes out of the sides and bend the bottom up to meet. Then go from there!

      Is there a metal-head in the house???

      Dave Z

  8. If you stay with the wood, then adding a side door like I put in would future proof it that much more, and where you are doing surgery anyways is right where my door is, I think it might work.

    1. Hi Dennis,

      Very interesting approach, seen here:

      I'd thought about a door in one of the STANDARD hulls, but not about putting it in the cockpit. That would help with doggie loading, too (did I mention our OTHER new sailing partner, Gracie, a 60lb-ish girl of a certain age?).

      We'll take it under advisement!

      Dave Z

  9. Hi Dave
    It's John & Peggy, we built the Junk rigged, bent ores, TRILOBYTE #3. Glade to be hearing from you.
    For the longer WAYWARD, have you considered a seat or raised deck along the side of the cockpit that would provide headroom for a enclosed passage from froward to aft? You might have to move or alter you head/wet locker.

    1. Hi John and Peggy,

      That's an intriguing suggestion, especially as I hate getting my feet and/or bald spot wet! Hmm...

      The side height is 5ft from the inside bottom (measured from deadflat level). It would have to be built up about 14in, or made crouching headroom for an 8ft duckwalk. Probably the latter, as building up would add to our already considerable windage.

      The head/wet locker would be the practical place to gain access from the cabin, and would only take cutting a gangway in the companionway bulkhead.

      Unfortunately, that's on our port side, which we use for docking and going forward. That would only work with a crouch through, and be a little awkward at that. Our other side holds the pike and push poles plus various miscellany... if we could do it there, there'd be far less impact.

      The main downside I can see is that it has a fair sized 'footprint' for the return... we'd lose free space in the head, hold, aft cabin and cockpit. Um... about 36sqft of floor and... uh... 64sqft of wall. Some of that could be reclaimed with clever storage, but...

      But we'll talk it over!

      Dave Z

  10. Dave,

    It's already been said in so many words, but as I was reading your blog article, I had one word in mind -- caboose. In the railroad sense.

    Well, if nothing else, you'll contribute to science with this experiment! ;-)

    Actually, I have full faith that you'll pull it off as you say and make it work well. If not you, who else?


    1. Hi Yoda,

      A 'caboose', hmm? Anke's partial to pot-belly stoves, too. 8)

      As to pulling it off, we'll see if we can hang onto our ass end. After all, scientific progress advances slowly, with many's the failure along the way.

      Thanks for your vote of confidence!

      Dave Z

  11. Can't wait for the blessings, Scott