Woody Boating In Alaska!

Oh hell ya!

My buddy and fellow Woody Boater here in Reedville, Dave Godwin went on an adventure to a very cool place. Alaska! He kept looking for Russia from where he was, but all he saw was Woody goodness. Insane nature, killer whales doing what they do. Kill. And the immersion of living the woodyness of it all. I will tell you right away, I don’t have all the details about the yacht. It’s all over the interneter, and will give you links below.

Ice ahead!

No need to repeat all that. But the coolest part, other than the temperature is how much love and passion has been preserved in this amazing craft. And this is the best part, its doing what it was designed to do. Move people to amazing places, in an amazing place. The true definition of Woody Boating. Life is not just about going places, but being in a place. A spiritual place of completeness. And that can only be done this way.

Sixty-year old plane and ninety-six year old (wood) boat.

1921 Atlas Imperial Diesel engine on Windward. One of only two known to still be running. Nine-inch diameter pistons with twelve-inch stroke. Roughly 100 points that require hand oiling every three hours. The boat was literally built around the engine as opposed to the engine being dropped in. Max boat speed 8 knots at 280 rpm…


Should I get one of these for the Railway?

Party on the neato deck!

History repeating itself

Back to the engine.

Cool enough for you today?

This is liv’n

Not sure what those handles are on the ceiling, Like a pulley?


HERE is a link to WESTWARD if you want to take a trip back in time. 

23 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    What a yacht. What a story. Dave definitely makes my list of heroes for owning that beautiful piece of nautical history and using her as she should be used. That engine is a mechanical monster to be admired on its own. I will be studying that photo for a while to take it all in. I think the levers above the helm may me to actuate air horns. Thanks for sharing and starting off my day in such a thrilling way!

  2. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Really a cool boat!! Looks like a neat trip. Words cannot describe it all. Loive the Header shot.

  3. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Is that a fireplace in the salon, library, sitting room or whatever its called? Beautiful wood work. Wonder what the additional wheel is in the pilot house? Something that opens a steam valve for more rpm’s? I would think there’s an engineer in the engine room though. I didn’t see an engine telegraph though.

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      That video is terrific. Does anyone know what the four levers do that he moves after it starts. They seem to be part of the rocker shaft.
      I have to start trying to talk my first mate into a charter trip on West Ward!

      • Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
        Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

        My guess would be compression releases. After it started he threw those levers over. If I could hear it run better, I could say for sure.

  4. Chuc
    Chuc says:

    That’s a pretty assume woody boat…If, you like this lovely historic marine transport, some of you might enjoy this historically significant steel vessel. The USS Potomac, a US Navy craft that President Franklin Roosevelt used as his weekend getaway, Floating White House, has been restored and is moored in Oakland, CA at Jack London Square Marina.

    Due to COVID, it is not open for tours at present, however, under normal times, the USS Potomac can be toured dockside, taken on public 3 hour SF bay tours, or best of all private charters. Attached is a hotlink

  5. jimg
    jimg says:

    There was a big article in Wooden Boat magazine about that boat and several others in Alaska. I believe this boat was on the cover.

  6. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    9 inch bore and 12 inch stroke all in a wooden boat. That is all too cool to a gearhead. I admire and respect the owner of this fine vessel for keeping the early engine. Thanks for sharing

  7. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Went to Alaska by boat 18 years ago. It was quite an adventure. Made me realize that I was missing the real beauty of the state. Always wanted to return by road.

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