Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

Mast Stepping

No, “mast stepping” is not a dance you do on the deck of a sailboat. It’s the job of hoisting and placing the mast, which on Wayfinder is “deck stepped.” That means the mast rests on a plate right on the fiberglass decking. This is a tricky job at St. Francis Marine, as it requires pulling the boat within a few millimeters of the factory. We had very high winds, and so the process was tense, but everything was handled perfectly, and now she’s ready to go sailing.

The Music of Wayfinder

Music and sailing are inextricably linked for me. When I think of sailing my first sailboat, Xerxes, around the Bahamas, I think of Miles Davis, Jimmy Buffett, Lauryn Hill, the Beatles, Jump Little Children, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Nirvana, and Pink Floyd. Those were the albums that got the most play in my little marine CD player. Heck, the only thing my 12V battery was really for on that boat was cranking the engine and cranking the jams. On Voyager, a 100′ Azimut I captained for a year, I think…

The Galactic Guide to Hitchhikers

A dozen or so South Africans stand on the same quadrant of the traffic circle that leads out of St. Francis Bay towards Humansdorp. There’s a small rain shelter nearby. It looks like a bus stop, but there are no buses here in St. Francis Bay. There is no public transportation at all. There are just thumbs, and the choices drivers make. I picked up my first hitchhiker here on my previous visit to St. Francis. On my way to dinner one afternoon, two women on the side of the road put…

The Wayfinder Build: Part 11 – The Home Stretch

In addition to giving you an update on the boat’s progress, I thought I’d show you what my typical day is like here in St. Francis Bay, South Africa. It starts when I wake up to this. It’s the view from my bed at Sands Resort in St. Francis Bay. The service here is remarkable. Hot water bottles in the bed at night, a wonderful staff, and a view to die for. The first thing I do every morning is my Five Tibetans. My favorite spot is down on this landing,…

Wayfinder Build: Part 10 – Video Tour

I landed in South Africa today after a long series of flights from San Francisco. As soon as I got in my rental car, I drove straight to the boat yard in St. Francis Bay. With my camera in hand, I walked through the boat for the first time in twelve weeks. We are probably three to four weeks from final assembly and putting her in the water. Here is a tour of WAYFINDER as she now sits: I get a ton of questions and comments about my plans, so…