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

Access to the net comes and goes, so I'll be writing in fits and spurts.Please feel free to browse the archives, leave comments where you will and write... I'll respond as I can.

Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
triloboats swirly gmail daughter com

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Hunkered Down, Sorta

Peering over the berm near high tide

 Social distancing. I've been preparing for this moment all my life.
-- Emblazoned on a T-shirt

Hunkered Down, Sorta

For the last several weeks we've been hunkered down in one of our favorite spots.

It's a small tidal estuary, protected by a berm which has been thrown back by winter storms. We float for an hour or two as the tide floods and ebbs. The residents - including the bears - keep their distance as well.

We pulled in with the idea of seeing how the (COVID) 're-opening' will go. One of the peculiarities of this place is that, for all its remoteness, we have a decent cell signal. Thus, when we peer over our berm, our view is wider than usual.

It seems clear that we are nowhere near out of the woods.

No vaccine. The virus is now well-seeded, relative to those early months. Contact tracing and quarantine authority are inadequate. Global (and U.S.) case rates are rising at a 'flattened' but still exponential rate. Many, many Citizens of the World, I salute thee! But re-opening?? Early results don't look promising.

Meanwhile, we are knocking down a number of projects on and around WAYWARD.

Chief among them is paint, but as yet, we've had no day without at least some rain. We're working on a prototype Power Fin (Atsushi Doi concept dumbed down in our usual way... more to come on this). The new sails need to be grommeted and mounted. The rudder system needed some work (lacing just isn't standing up to WAYWARD's heavier forces... we're adding at least one gudgeon/pintle). Spring cleaning calls as summer begins.

You know... the usual.

So here's wishing all of you health and happiness and a happy Solstice!


Dave and Anke

Edge of NoWhere, Alaska

Sitting dry at low tide

Safe behind 'harbor' walls


  1. Looking forward to your take on the power fin. I'm considering adding a leg powered version for the T16 I am building. Either that, or a pedal powered yuloh ( There is also this version of what looks very similar to the power fin (with kick-up!) from 1994: (video: and his description in pdf:

    Thinking of a bar that would go across the boat and set in some 1" notches on either side. 2 bars hanging from rope from that bar would act as the pedals. Either side of the pedal would tie back to the power line going to the pedals. Have a couple pulleys to allow you to route the lines through the center of the rear window, routed through conduit or small pvc pipe.

    Leg powered and no awkward oars.

    1. Hi UB,

      I really like the look of that Bryant set-up... beautiful and looks like it can really deliver some push!

      One of the things I like about power fin type propulsion is their potential use as a rudder... lock the blade amidships and you've got one, albeit with a lot of force delivered to the inboard end. For smaller craft, though, and especially pedal operated, it might work as is.

      Please send pics!

      Dave Z

    2. I imagine you can size the fin to the boat, just like a larger boat needs a larger rudder. You may be able to "balance" it similarly, with equal area fore/aft of the pivot point. Though a worry might be that a bigger fin also would need more power to operate. But (just a theory) your strokes would just be a longer time between switching legs (same amount of work, just spread across time, similar to a block & tackle spreads the work over time). I'm sure you could figure out a way to lock the "wrist" joint for when you wanted to use it in "rudder" mode, then unlock when you wanted "propulsion" mode.

    3. Yep.

      Our prototype is quite large (blade from a blue ply 55g drum, doubled over) and balanced. I figure we can cut it down if need be.

      Balance, I think, isn't necessary but won't hurt... I doubt we'll be moving fast enough for the trailing blade to overpower its tiller/preventer lanyard.

      Twist is going to be controlled by slipping over a fixed pin... it can sweep side to side but not roll. Eventually, I'd like it to pivot forward to let the blade clear the water when not in use.

      Glue is drying as I type!

      Dave Z