Exlex Minor the Idea

Yrvind is back home. There is many things to sort out, for example to get a new internet connection.

As soon I am settled I will start working this site and build a new and better boat called Exlex Minor with a length of 5.8 meters, beam 1,12 meters, draft of hull 0,18 meters and displacements loaded for 60 days at sea, 800 kilos. That will give approximately 5000 nautical miles. The idea of this boat will be presented on this page.

Exlex Minor will be the mountain bike of the oceans
Two of the tourist’s means of conveyance are the recreational vehicle and the bicycle. The RV gives its owner comfort and speed. It has beds, kitchen and a shower. If it starts to rain, there are windshield wipers. The cyclist uses a simple and environmentally friendly form of transport. He sleeps in a tent and eats outside, but cycling is sweaty work and during heavy rains he gets wet. Furthermore, compared to the RV he does not get far in a day – despite his feeling of speed. But, cyclists do not get fat, nor do they get bored- their bliss comes from within. Bike trips are known to be healthy and mentally enriching, therefore even people who can afford a RV go cycling. At sea it’s different. Although people paddle kayaks and sail small boats along coasts, normal people only cross oceans in big boats with beds, a kitchen and shower. If a small boat sailor leaves the coast he is deemed mad. If he successfully returns to land after having crossed an ocean, he is hailed as a hero. But what he has done is not madness or heroism, because the oceans are waste regions of wilderness, stunningly beautifully in their ever-changing magnificence. To roam them in a small, safe, environmentally friendly boat, propelled by wind and muscle-power is healthy and mentally enriching.
I must stress the importance of safety because the sea is ruthless in its fury and the small boat, far out to sea, has no place to hide. Alone, without help, it must be able to survive storms of the worst kind. Some things are inherently dangerous. Fires, electricity and cars can hurt you, but we have not done away with them, we have made them safer and developed better ways to handle them. Ocean-going production boats are big not because bigness makes them safe, but because there is more money in big than in small boats, and much money spent gives the owners status.
Exlex Minor aspires to be the mountain bike of the oceans. It’s a new product and a product much needed. Today people wishing to enjoy the beauty of the oceans are obliged to use big expensive deep draft boats equipped by heavy diesel engines.
Exlex Minor is different. Here I will describe the Ideas behind here from time to time. Be patient because I will also work on the boat. This is a start more will follow.

I take the opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to my last project, because at sea I been unable to express my gratitude.

Regards Yrvind


SUITABILITY .     Västervik Sunday 19 of August 2018

A product should be suitable for its intended use. That a production cruising boat should be suitable for cruising seems so obvious that few persons question it, but cruising boats are not produced to be cruised in, they are produced to make money for the producer. There is more money in big boats than small boats. Hence the producer tries to sell big boats. He does not care about what you need. He cares about making big money. This behavior is accepted in our consumer society, but that does not make it right. Do I put the blame on the producer? Yes but only partly. The consumer has also a responsibility. He can get more informed. If he did not consume to impress his fellows the producer had no reason to build big boats. I also blame the yachting press for not writing about these important things, but of course they like the money they get from the boat producer.

Does this mean that producers and journalists are bad people? Far from it, I know many really nice commercial boat builders and journalists. They treat women well and care about the environment. It’s the economical situation that causes problems for our limited world.

A sailor needs a suitable boat! If he cannot trust the producer who then can he trusts? Choosing a cruiser is a two part complex and difficult process. First you should know what is really suitable for you, then you must find out what boat really has those desirable properties. May be you like to have a boat with all the comfort the salesman is tempting you with, but comfort works only in the short term.

The only way to get energy is to use energy. Persons enjoying comfort gets robbed of their energy, they become lazy and fat, and they lose their health and get bored. A small boat with less comfort is a better choice.

But what is a small boat. The shorter a boat is, the smaller it is. That is the commonly accepted consensus.

If the two boats are of the same kind, then there is some truth in that statement, but if you compare a cruiser, for example an Allegro 27 that has a displacement of 3.2 tons with an Olympic single scull that only weighs 14 kilos, surely the Allegro is much bigger even if she is a bit shorter. Racing people have tried to measure size by a single number for more than a hundred years but it is impossible. They should know better, but it is very desirable to have a single number on which the boats handicap can be based that’s why they keep doing it despite better knowledge. If you chose length, then the heavier of two equally long boats is bigger. If you chose weight then the boat built of composite is bigger than the one built in steel even if they weigh the same and so on…

Despite the inconsistence, for convenience sake, – its easier to measure length than to weigh a boat, – length has become the measure of boats size despite the fact that weight is much better. Having chosen length, producers put into that length as much speed and comfort as possible. The result is boats that make a lot of resistance.

Exlex Minor is designed along a different idea. I have chosen a desirable speed 4.3 knots and then designed a hull long enough so that my boat at that speed she will make very little resistance, in fact she needs only about 18 % of the power a ordinary boat uses, because she slower for the same length.

Now comes a difficult abstract concept. If my boat is passed by a boat of the same length that sails much faster I must not be angry because I must keep in mind that also my boat could have been designed to sail faster had I chosen to. If I had given her 6 times more power she could have been 1.4 knots faster. She could have made 5.7 knots instead of the designed 4.3 knots, but to gain those extra 1.4 knots the 6 times more sail area had to be placed higher up, that means a that each square meter up there would have had much more healing moment, not to mention the taller mast. To carry all that sail and the gear like winches to control it the hull would have had to be equipped with a deeper and heavier keel. The boat had then become so heavy that she had needed even more sail area. I would have been in a vicious circle. A small sail is easy to handle. Big sails in strong winds are demanding.

My choice is tranquility, shallow draft and beach landing capability that gives me access to thousands more destinations. My choice is an economical boat that can be propelled by muscle power. In my opinion, speed is desirable, but it is overrated.

For more about the low energy concept see my Manifesto in English and Swedish.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind