About Philip Shelton
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Iwalani's Voyage Around the World
Weekly logs of Iwalani's three year circumnavigation written by Philip Shelton, Amy P. Wood and Stewart the Cat.

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The "World Voyagers" Book
A true story of the three year circumnavigation by Philip Shelton, Amy Wood and Stewart the cat. From designing and building a 42 foot wooden cutter "Iwalani" to sailing around the world— this is not a watered down, sugar coated tale, but a "no holds barred" account of just what it's like to live a "dream."

Phil Shelton grew up on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Having one grandfather who was a wooden boat builder and the other an auto mechanic, he was immersed in hands on skills from an early age. From working underneath boats in the dead of winter, to washing out automobile gas tanks so his grandfather could braze them, he learned the value of first-hand experience. He also spent time on the Great South Bay with his stepfather, learning the ways of the bayman, putting food on the table and appreciating what nature had to offer.

After honing his skills as a boat builder and rebuilding an old VW Micro Bus, he headed for the woods of Maine. In the wilds of Washington County he bought 30 acres of woodland, 3 miles from electricity and his nearest neighbor, and built a log cabin from the trees on the land.

His next project was designing and building the 65 foot hackamatac schooner "Janet May".  He and a student of the Washington County Boat Building School cut down 60 cords of wood, milled it into lumber and constructed one of the last large wooden schooners on the East Coast.

After living for 5 years without electricity or running water (unless you count running up from the stream with galvanized buckets “running water”) and with a second son on the way, he decided to move towards civilization.

It was in Bath, Maine that he landed a job at the Maine Maritime Museum teaching boat building for the next ten years.

His next project was designing and building the worlds largest rotating globe for DeLome Mapping. Computer controlled, 42' in diameter and built with 3 miles of aluminum tubing, it made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999.

His lifelong goal, as a boat builder, was to design and build his own boat and sail it around the world. After ten years of off and on construction, the 42-foot gaff rigged cutter “Iwalani” was finally launched. Phil and his second wife Amy left Maine in 2000 and successfully returned three years and 30,000 miles later.

The plan on returning was to sell the boat and buy a floatplane. Phil was already a licensed pilot, but not an FAA licensed mechanic. Not wanting to have someone else work on his airplane, he decided to build his own. Building your own plane allows you to do all the maintenance yourself. The wings and fuselage are completed and he is working on the amphibious float kit. Once the plane is finished, he and Amy hope to fly to Alaska.

Mouse Over the Image Above for a LARGER View of the SkyCam Picture
Updated Every 15 Minutes


Check the progress of Phil's Tundra Kit Plane


Paintings, Artwork and Blog of Dr. Amy Peters Wood.


Building the 65' schooner "Janet May"