The Boat

Builder : Topper Hermanson

Model : H44
Length : 44ft
Beam : 13ft 10
Draft : 5ft 6
Year : 1990

Wandering Star is a steel built boat by a small but well known yard in Fernadina Beach called Topper Hermanson.  Topper Hermanson was a mechanical design engineer whose career included designing submarine systems for General Dynamics Corporation. He was bitten by the sailing bug and logged over 80,000nm including a world circumnavigation and rounding Cape Horn. He begin boat building in 1976 choosing steel as the ultimate material for a true world crusing boat.  Over the years Topper Hermanson Boatbuilding Inc (THBI) built a reputation for building high quaility steel boats ranaging from 20 to 65ft.

Wandering Star is one of four custom made boats for the H44 series - The Distance Cruiser. Developed as an excellent sailing boat able to carry the comforts and conveniences for enjoyable cruising.  They were designed  to be handled by a short handed crew. The hull is made of steel and the pilothouse, cockpit, cabin and deck are made of aluminium to save on weight.  They are welded using a Dupont Delta coupling strip. Which is far to complicated for me to explain but the general gist of it is that under some inmense pressure the metals are somehow bonded together molecularly.

Wandering Star has two cabins, two heads, a comfortable saloon and dining area and a fully equiped galley.   She has a large walk in storage cupboard which is currently piled high.  Sim dreams of clearing it for a workshop but has yet to work out where to store all the spares/tools/gear and whatever else that are currently filling it. The cockpit is fairly small but that was to make it easy for one person to handle.  I call it cosy. 

Love this photo

Cockpit at sea

Center Cockpit - easily sailed by one person

Protected from the elements when at anchor

Comfortable sailing helm with hydralic steering 

Our comfortable saloon. Three huge sofas. We converted the port side from two swivel chairs into a sofa/sea berth that you see now - a wooden leeboard slots into place to make it snug at sea. With lots of storage throughout. 

We love our galley - its large with a seperate fridge and freezer.

Our aft Cabin with its own en suite heads 

Our guest cabin with built in cupboards to port and en suite heads to Stb.


  1. Lovely vessel! I'm very curious about the steel/aluminium joint, and the chemistry of those two metals where electrolysis is concerned? It must be working, but how?

  2. Hi, We don't get electrolysis between the two metals because of the way they are bonded. It's very clever and I don't claim to understand it.Maybe this will help explain it.

    1. Actually it does - pretty amazing process!

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