This is the Windvinder - a small, unmanned experimental sailboat that was built to travel across the vast open seas, powered and steered by wind alone and driven by headwind through its propeller and tail fin that keeps the boat on a never changing course following every wind shift on its own. The boat's builder is a German architect and a sculpture named Wipke Iwersen, who specializes in building uniquely-designed boats in Germany and the Netherlands.
The Windvinder is constructed of a wooden skeleton covered with nylon fabric, which is easy to mend without tools. It is designed to sail against the wind, the only direction the boat can go, and is impossible to steer it by hand. The boat wanders aimlessly over calm and rough seas, and anyone who finds it is encouraged to report the date it was found, the name of the place where it landed, and to describe the changes, if there is any, in the construction of the boat to Expedition to the Origins of the Wind website at www.windvinder.com. Instructions translated into more than 45 languages can be found engraved on all parts of the boat, asking to mend what is broken, improve what was not working, and to relaunch the boat on its voyage. On-board are also some fabric and twine for repairs, if necessary, to the skin of the hull. However, any patches or new seams would have to be made watertight with varnish or grease. Finders of the Windvinder are also encouraged by Iwersen to make the boat better and stronger, or build an entirely new vessel, larger or smaller, with the condition to allow the boat to resume its intended voyage back into the open seas.
|The Windvinder on the way to the seas|
The Windvinder was launched sometime in 2009 from an isolated beach in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) in Davao del Norte where Wipke Iwersen, the boat's designer and builder, was working on a number of experimental vessel designs, and who had been staying for a time with a Davao-based German publisher who runs a publishing company in Hamburg, Germany that produces two popular monthly magazines for sailboat owners, operators, and hobbyists worldwide.
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Expedition to the Origins of the Wind