To spend 600 days, or maybe even two years, alone on a ten feet boat, far from land trying to set a record, is a foolish thing to do, but foolish things can bring big rewards.
A friend told me that in the US there is one man that gets paid the equivalent of one billion Swedish kronor each year for golfing. My pension is 5000 Swedish kroner.
A billion kroner, just one years earning of that top sportsman would keep me with food and board for seventeen thousands (17000) years. Thatâ€™s an incentive.
Henry Ford, early in his career, built a car that went so fast that he did not dare to ride it. With another man at the wheel it did set a world speed record.
That fame enabled him to set up a factory to build millions of T-fords for ordinary people. Thatâ€™s an incentive.
So when this idea of aroundinten came up, like Ford, I saw a chance to get the means to give ordinary people a chance to safely sail the worldâ€™s oceans in a small, ecological and functional boat.
But readers beware, Fords world record car was not a good car for ordinary people and this present boat, Yrvind Ten is not a good boat for ordinary people. My next boat, a boat with similar displacement, but longer and narrower will go faster with less sail area and that is better engineering and that boat will be a good boat for people that like to have an alternative to the wilderness on land. There is many times as much wilderness out there on the deep water.
I hope that when people read about me sailing my little functional boat on the sympathetic, eternal, endless, deep, and wet sea, non-stop, for so many daysâ€™, bright persons, even governments, may realize that the sea is not a war zone and that we better not waste our non-renewable resourcesâ€™ on big boats.
When I was a child our earth had two billion inhabitants. Now we are more than seven and heading for ten. Oil, phosphor and other resources are getting exhausted.
Many grown ups say that economical growth is more important than freedom and that they donâ€™t care if we run out of oil and phosphor. They say we will always find something else, something that is even better. But oil is not produced; it is a finite resource that is extruded. There are no economical alternatives because oil is concentrated energy and to concentrate energy is terribly expensive. Alternatives to phosphor cannot be bought for money. Phosphor is a chemical element and vegetables cannot grow without it. That is proven by LiebigsÂ law of the minimum.Â It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource.
Grown ups say, doomsayers have been around long before Malthus and they have always been proved wrong.
I beg to differ; we have always paid an unreasonable price for economical growth. The invention of agriculture was mankindâ€™s biggest disaster. Before agriculture we lived the sort of carefree life the kind Jesus said his father had meant us to live, like the birds in the sky and the lilies on the fields. With agriculture that changed, instead came bondage and hierarchies, abundance and scarcity, and of course, many more people.
During the industrial revolution it got even worse with child labor in the mines and grown ups stupefying themselves with alcohol.
During the twentieth century, to pack even more people on the earth they started to feed us, and even our cows with industrialized food, poisoned with, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colorings, sodium nitrate, phthalates, antibiotics and much more.
Agriculture, industrialization and factory food, each of those inventions multiplied the population. Itâ€™s a one-way road. Todayâ€™s billions of people cannot go back to foraging because foragers need wide open spaces, not cities. Besides that, todayâ€™s people do not have the skills and stamina of Stone Age man.
The genes of todays people is from the same gene pool as Stone Age people, but from that gene pool has been selected the genes that breed todays zombies, the kind of people that can stand working in the inhuman conditions found in factories and offices. Luckily not all freedom loving people have been exterminated and some even revolt.
Natureâ€™s idea of sex is not pleasure; it is to keep a gene pool that can produce individuals, not clones, because individuals can adapt to different environments. If we were bred like clones, mankind would not be resilient to changes.
I do not agree. I do not like to be fenced in in an office or factory. For me there exists one last habitat that has not been changed by the grown ups desire for economical growth. Thatâ€™s the sea, the sympathetic, eternal, endless, deep, and wet sea. I like to spend my time out there.
Not only will my planned voyage give me an opportunity to try out new technical solutions like my cherished ideas about rigging, rudders, swim platform, side hatches and many more things. It will also help me to explore new mental states, the higher spheres. Physiologically and mentally there is not as much as we like to think that makes us different from rats and other mammals. Consider this, nearly all drugs are tested on rats before we eat them ourselves. Not only drugs for bodily ailments but also drugs for mental diseases. The fact is we do not consist of body and mind. We are only body; otherwise drugs and other physiological interferences would not have mental effects.
Animals, except in captivity, do not get bored. We humans get bored because we live in captivity. We believe that we are free but thousands of things tie us down. Donâ€™t believe me; just try to leave right now for the seemingly simple thing of a week of walkabout.
We try to escape our boredom by consumption and entertainments, by food and sex, and by dopamine releasing drugs like, tea, coffee, alcohol and worse. But our body is not so easily fooled. If we wear glasses that make us see the world upside down, the brain soon adapts and gets it right. When we take them of we will again, for a while, see the world upside down.
If we eat painkillers, soon our bodies will adapt and make us more sensitive to pain.
The more dopamine releasing drugs we consume, the smaller our dopamine receptors become and we get dependent on the drug, even if the drug is not more harmful than coffee and tea. Even animals quite different from us, crayfish for example, get hooked on our kind of drugs. Lifeâ€™s ancient building blocks are the same in all animals.
Carefully calibrated pain and pleasure sensors are our survival guides. Do not mess with nature. Millions of years of trail and error have optimized our organism for survival.
Seeking comfort, borrowing money, taking drugs and having big boats, feels good in the short term, but is a disaster in the long run. Seeking comfort is in our genes because they were created at a different time when comfort had survival value. Some drugs consist of very simple molecules, alcohol for example. If drugs had any survival value animals, always under survival pressure, would long time ago have started to produce them. Take alcohol for example some people say it is good for health. I disagree. If it had any over all value our bodies would have started to produce alcohol even before the much more complicated hormones. We have pain receptors, not to give us hell, but to help us to survive. Our bodies release pleasure hormones when we act survival wise to guide us on the good path.
At sea I will be free from the daily overstimulation I get exposed to here on land. Some people argue that adventurers seek stimulation and adrenalin kicks. They think that is what makes me tick during my stormy voyages. They are wrong. Sailing in a well conceived, small, strong, and self-tending boat is for me not an adventure, its routine; building the boat is adventure. After giving my boat direction she will take good care of me even when she is fighting the seas most terrible fury. Donâ€™t misunderstand me, the voyage will be an endeavor, even a struggle at times, but when you fight to the limit of your capacity you are happy without stimulants. You fall asleep without sleeping pills, because you are tired. You wake up like a dog, wide-awake without coffee because you are eager. You do not have to spice your food. You eat it plain with delight because you are hungry and your body needs nourishments and ordinary tap water tastes wonderful because you are thirsty.
Most people misunderstand life. Comfort does not make anyone happy; on the contrary, comfort is highly dangerous. Comfort makes you lazy, fat and bored. It is only by using energy that one is creating energy and it is an excess of energy that makes you happy and healthy. Happiness cannot be bought for money.
I was born on the windward side of a small island in the North Sea in a house 50 meters from the sea. Water is my element. The sea is my home, the stars my friends, out there and only out there do I feel completely safe. On land I am like a fish in the woods.
ItÂ is not easy to set a world record when one is 75 years old. To give myself the best chances I will do as yacht designers have done since measurement rules came into use. I will take advantage of the rule. Now at first it seams that the aroundinten rule is so extremely simple, so very well defined that there cant possible be any loophole.
One. -The boat has to be shorter then ten feet.
Two. â€“The boat has to circumnavigate.
Thatâ€™s all there is to it.
However, first I like to mention that the custom to measure a boats size by length is most unfortunate and misleading. There are slim boats and there are fat boats. Obviously, for the same length a fat boat is bigger than a slim boat. An eight-year-old child understands that. A corollary is that a ten feet boat designed for a two-year non-stop circumnavigation just have to be fat, and fat boats are bad boats. Still this challenge like the challenge of becoming a golf world champion is an interesting task and it has taken me to a road seldom visited. On this lonesome road my eyes has been opened for new solutions and the boat has taken on a life of its own. I now feel more like I am guiding a young beautiful little she to grove than designing a boat.
Back to the rule! Life is not always as simple as it seams. For example there exist many different kinds horsepowerâ€™s and tons. Before 1960 there were also many different kinds of feetâ€™s, but today we have an international agreement that equals a foot to 0.3048 meters and we can forget the plethora of obsolete feetâ€™s that have been in use in different countries throughout history. And the meter, it is now defined as the distance light travels in a 299,792,458 fraction of a second.
Euclid has postulated, â€śThe shortest distance between two points is a straight lineâ€ť. Regarding my circumnavigation the question is where on the boat, according to relevant authorities, can I situate these two points. One would like to think that the outermost points would be the logical candidate for measuring length overall. The truth is, marina operators favor them. Most other authorities, like the US coast guard, the European Recreational Directiveâ€™s harmonized rules, the International Towing Tank Conference, the Nordic Boat Standard and other recognized bodies according to common practice, exclude spars, bowsprits, and rudders, bolted on swim platforms, pulpits, and other fittings from the measured length.
A boat can also be measured by, its length on the waterline, its length between its perpendiculars and for racing yachts the very important rated length that is considering the fullness of the bow and stern in a more or less complex way.
So evidently not even length is as simple as it first seams. This has designers of racing yacht in all times taken advantage of. One classical example is E. H. Bentalls Jullinar. The rule at the time measured length from stem to sternpost, the aft end of the boat. Bentall placed the sternpost well forward of the aft waterline thereby he got, according to the rating rule, a much shorter boat and a better measurement and handicap and thereby gained many a races. The history of yacht racing is full of such examples. Figures of two of the more famous ones are shown below.
Today, if a yacht designer is not trying to find the rules sweet spot he is not doing his job and obviously any designs of his if built will not win. Even as recent as during the latest America Cup Races 2013 the lawyers were fighting to define length. The first of those races was sailed in 1851.
By adding a bolted on non-measured swim platform that has some buoyancy I have to my shame become a rule cheater, but if by being a rule cheater I will also increase my chances, so it may be. My excuse is the idea of measuring a boats size by its length is foolish and if my rule cheating can help to change that custom I be happy. I prefer to see an aroundinoneton race (metric) a race based on volume, not length.
As to the route, the east about way at first seems to be the most difficult one. But the never changing truth is, land and its bureaucrats they are small boats sailors worst enemy, not the sympathetic, eternal, endless, deep, and wet sea.
My boat has taken on a life of its own and I have started to love her and I am really looking forward to spending long time at sea with her.
To those that do not agree on my bolted on rudder and swim platform arrangement I like to say the following.
Yeas it is a complication. But KISS is not everything. Without complications we would still be driving around in T-Fords and using crank starts. Nature is complicated; every little cell is more complicated than the most complicated sailboat we can imagine. Nature proofs that complications do work. The Wright brothers did invent the airplane in their bicycle shop. The airplane is more complicated than the bicycle. Still the airplane can be a useful thing.
But also with every complication you add there sure will be some detail or interference that mess everything up; something you did not think about. Reality is to complicated for an invention to work at first try. Do not give up. Fix it and get an improved product. To succeed you must give yourself plenty of time to test your invention in all kinds of different conditions. And if you cannot find a good solution to the problem kill your darling like writers do all the time.
Yrvind Ten is an experimental boat and there will be many things that at first will not work. If I cannot fix it even after hard thinking I kill it and try something else.
My intention is first to try her here in the Baltic. If that works out I intend to make a voyage from Norway to Grimsey, an small island just north of Iceland. It has been inhabited since Viking times. It is a cold and miserable place even in summer.
Of course the bolted on swim platform is a complication. But at present it looks that its good points outweigh its bad ones.
To prevent the aft extension to force the bow up I will give the twin rudders quite a bit of displacement â€“ no law against that. I will give them a 0020 NACA section, a cord of 0.4 meter and a depth of 0.9 meter. That gives about 40 liters of added displacement far aft and should more than compensate for the weight of the platform and I think even help to reduce pitching.
As for having rudders far back. Its simple mathematics the further back they are the more leverage you get and the more Â yaw damping. Think about them in this way. The peripheral speed of the rudders increases with the gyradius and the hardness of water increase with the square of the rudders speed and the rudder force increase also with gyradius.
As for self-steerers if you can avoid them its good. I made my first ocean passage 1969 and my last one 2011. They were made without self-steering as well as the many ocean passages I made between them. I have succesfully crossed oceans in six very differnt boats without self-steerers. Self-steerers are cumbersome fragile things. My friend Matt Layden does not use them either. When he single-handed did win his first entry in The Water Tribe Race he came to the races destination one day before the second finisher. That indicates that sailing with out self-steeres dont have to be sloow.
Do not misundrstand me. I am in favour of simple things but I also like progress.