Place of Build:
- Pacific Northwest
Wander was designed by John G. Alden (note that Alden’s draftsman was the then 30-year-old Carl Alberg) and built at Todd Dry Docks (surreptitiously) for the president of the company, C. W. Wiley, in 1933. Three sets of plans for design #494 were sold, but only two boats were actually built. A sister ship, the Mary III, was built in 1931 for Chandler Bowditch by George L. Chaisson of Swampscott, Mass. Chaisson was also a longtime builder of the famous Swampscott dories.
Originally designed as a sloop with a small cabin and open cockpit, with an engine box and tiller steering, she is carvel-planked cedar on steam-bent oak frames. After Wiley’s somewhat controversial death in 1935, she fell off the radar screen for 25 years. Having never been registered or documented, she has no records about her whereabouts that we can find until David Dirksmeyer bought her at Marina Mart in 1960. Dirksmeyer was a Boeing machinist and spent several years designing the pilothouse, converting the tiller steering to dual-station wheel steering and lengthening the mast and standing rigging so the boom could swing clear of the house. She was now a true motorsailer.
The teak and mahogany house was built at Tripple & Everett Shipyard in Seattle. He commissioned a new suit of sails from Franz Schattauer, who had opened his sail loft just a few years earlier. Those beautifully crafted sails are still serviceable today.