Me looking out of the mock up, dreaming of the big oceans.
I have two hobbies, amateur boatbuilding and small boat sailing. The root of the word amateur is amour. An amateur boat builder builds with love. For me it’s an immense pleasure to solve problems and hopefully come up with something good.
Every morning I go to work filled with joy. Every evening I proudly look at what I have accomplished during the day and feel great satisfaction.
A good amateur boat builder builds a much better boat than a professional. Not necessarily because he is so much more skilled or more clever, but because the professional boat builder is restricted by economics and time pressure. The professional boat builder is forced to use as cheep and inferior materials as he can get away with. He cannot spend more time on a product than is economical defensible.
Professional boat builders go to work to earn a living, not because they enjoy their trade. Many of them, understandable, do not look at their days work with pride.
For me, my days, weeks and months pas quick; still I dream of the day when my boat will carry me across oceans. For more than fifty years I have been building boats for my voyages. I have made many mistakes and not all of my boats have been successfully. Yrvind Ten, I did build with money, not love in mind, although it was an interesting engineering project my heart was never in it. With Ex Lex it’s different, therefore I feel good about her.
Most people, including journalist, find sailing more exciting to watch and write about than boatbuilding, they keep asking for the launching date. That is unfortunately, because on a well planned and well executed voyage not much exiting things happens. On the other hand watching an innovative experimental boat take shape, that is exciting because a lot of surprising things do happen.
Of course, to go into details and start building from the fundamental principles takes more time than to walk to the ship chandler and buy the item off the shelf. Not just a little more but much more time. With a standard part the job might be done in half a day, by going back to the fundamental principles it usually takes weeks.
Friend of order will say, this is a waist of time, but friend of order misunderstands life. Life is not about producing a lot of things fast. If building slowly gives me pleasure and harmony, friend of order should not try giving me bad conscience. On the contrary, I think the world would be a better place if people did not make so much haste.
Out in a storm, I never regret time spent on a job well done. On the contrary knowing that I have made my best makes me feel wonderful when I am far out on the waste, lonely ocean, when I am in the grip of furious, ruthless storm, because then I know that nothing whatsoever can happen to my little boat. The big waves can shake me tired, but they cannot make me scared.
This is in sharp contrast to people sailing production boats built by professionals how did not care.
To legally sell a boat in the EU it has to confirm to The Recreational Craft Directive which sets minimum requirements of a boats safety to guarantee its suitability for ocean passages, class A. This sounds reassuring at first, but the surprising fact is that that guarantee does not include weather above force 8. To my mind an ocean crossing boat must be able to survive storms, not just gales.
The Recreational Craft Directive makes it illegal to sell small boats for ocean passages, only big boats are safe according to the directive.
Of course big boats are not safe. Big boats are dangerous; they create large forces. To control them complicated technology is needed. The more complicated the technology is the more vulnerable it is, especially in marine environment.
Of course I worry when building my small experimental craft, will she be to heavy, will she have enough stability. Will my money be enough to finish the project?
Still I do not have bad conscience because I do not hurry my work. Persons visiting my webpage shall know that everything is fine that I enjoy my work and that I am happy. I like to make sure that people understand because I am happy now that does not imply that I have given up my plans for the ocean, indeed, it’s the desire to sail the ocean that is the driving force behind the building of Ex Lex.
The joy of cooking does not exclude the joy of eating.
The joy of boatbuilding does not exclude the joy of sailing.
Do not hold your breath, there is still a lot of time before Ex Lex will hit the water.