One month at sea

Message from Yrvind received 27 July.

I left Norway 27 of June so now 27 of July I have been at sea for one month. It takes me a month to adapt and forget the world and start my own. Corona forced me to leave from Ålesund Norway. 2018 I left from Dingle Ireland. That was more easy. It was a question of departing or staying at home. It was more than I asked for. Myself is much to blame. I loaded Exlex with far to much food. I am a packrat. Exlex would not go to windward. Bad and dangereous. I had to be careful.

As I was getting near the Fareoe Island, bad wather was coming from the north. I took a chanche and tryed to sail between Shetland and Faereoy. I did not make it before the wind changed. Threre was also oilfield west of Shetland that I was afraid of. I went north rounded The Fareoe Islands. Now I have pasted them.The weather up here is cold grey damph. It´s a lot of rain and drissle. There is no sun. The heroes are the Sunbeam System solar panels. They give me all the power I need. Luckily I had hoped to bee across the Bay of Biscay before August, before gales. From my present position north of Scotland it´s still a long way to. I can handle most tasks good. The good thing: moral is high and I am in a very good mood and shape. Before leaving many persons was worried that being 81 years old I was pushing my luck.

– Sven Yrvind

Update 28 – july.
Yrvind  expecting bad weather coming thursday and friday.

Yrvind and Exlex at sea

Many followers of this website have been worried about Yrvind when they look at his tracker. His track looks sometimes as he is trying to send us some mysterious message from the sea.  Has he fallen out of the boat, may someone ask, or is it something wrong with the boat? Yrvind is fine. He enjoy him self very much out there. He is at sea where he likes to be, a place he has been so many times before. Of course he struggle with tuff conditions, he is wet, it’s cold and he has a lot to worry about. But that is a normal situation for him.

One of the reason to his wobbly progress is that the boat can’t go up wind to an acceptable degree. The memorable follower of this website may remember that he just tested Exlex during last year’s sailings and the boat sailed acceptably against the wind. Yes, that’s correct. But now Exlex is heavy loaded. The weight balance is bad. 

Too much weight at the stern. To much food, to much equipment etc. There is also a problem to lock the rudder from inside the boat. That’s very critical when it comes to make the boat going steady on course. The locking mechanism slips. He is very self-critical for all these short comings.

And there are calms. Remember, Yrvinds does not have an engine. When the wind is very light it happens that the current set him back. That was the case after he left the Norwegian coast.

Because how Exlex performs, he is also afraid of oil platforms and lee shore. He want to keep a long distance. That make him stop and wait for the right winds to take him safely away from these dangers.

But there are also good things. The boat behave very well in ruff sea conditions. There were two situations when he had a nock down, but the boat did handle that perfect. She doesn’t need any micro management and steer nicely without wind wane or rubber bands.

Yrvind lets us know that he feels good, he is in no hurry and he isn’t going anywhere. He just want to be out at the sea. And soon he is sailing warmer waters. He takes it as a stoic person, he says. He is also working on the next boat design and let us know he had make great progress with all new experiences he got so far. He greets and feel grateful for the interests people shows him.


Yrvind is fine

There have been some worries about Yrvind and his sailing among followers. We can report that Yrvind is fine and an update and explanation on his website is coming soon.

Status update 1 from the sea

Yrvind can write short messages with his tracker. This was received yesterday.

I am on my way. Plenty of food and water onboard. Unfortunatly most have to be stored aft.That immerses the transom. Decreasing severely speed and vindward performance. I have only made 110 miles good since 27 june. A conseqence is that I have to keep lots of distance to Shetland and Färöarna. Its cold here at lat N 62.

Good thing. I have no destination and plenty of time. I enjoy the sail plenty. I have 10 000 books, paper in plenty to draw and calculate next design. She be much faster and have more load capacity. I got already many new good ideas.


Yrvind on his way

After some initial minor problems and very light winds with north going current,  Yrvind is now heading west in good winds. He writes he enjoy himself and are very happy to be out at sea again , however a bit cold.


Hopefully tomorrow Exlex and me will be on our way.

Soon you can see where

Beppe webmaster will try to get it on my website as well.

Fate will decide where she will be launched.

Exlex a with her usual patience waiting for the 24 of June and to hopefully see the sunshine after a winter in the workshop
Outside equally patient to trail Exlex to her new adventures are waiting Volkswagen and trailer.

Please support my research by a donation

More in a few days hopefully.

Best regards Yrvind


Hi friends

Today I uploaded a video on internet. It is self explanatory but a little clarification might not be out of place.

The praparations are now mostly done. Corona has caused a lit of disruption. I like to start my sail from a place with little marine traffic and close to open spaces. One such place and a beutiful one at that is Ålesund in Norway. At N 62° 28′ it is a high latitude place. The idea is to sail west round the Faeroe Islands and then south down to Saragosso Sea and spend time there until I run out of food in maybee November. Then to find a place to reprovision. Santa Maria in the Azores seams to be a good place. Few plans survive the first contact with the enemy but we will see.

I have a about 20 year old car that have not been running for over two years due to my bad economy. Our gouvernment have imposed a driving ban on her but I will try to start her tomorrow and try to get her past an inspection. Then I trail my boat to Ålesund. Frinds will drive car and trailer back to Västervik and when weather permits I be on my way hopefully within one month.

There is food and water in Exlex for about 120 days. I had hoped for more. Therefore my plan is to build a boat with better range when my economy so allows. In my spare time I scketch her. At present she is 7.2 meters long with a beam of 1.2 meters. Draft is 40 cm. She is a bigger wessel than I like on the positive side she has plenty of stovage and even a bunk for a small lady. There is also a flat space on deck 1.8 meter by 0.8.

She have a small 30X20 cm canard trimrudder that can be adjusted from inside.

She have a new type of ballasted centerboard 2.4 meter long that descends 20 cm to increase her stability a bit for windward sailing and help to prevent leeway.

It is of course a complication but life favors complication evolution is increadible complex. I might get away with it. Anywhay it is fun to experiment.

Thuse equipeded she can sail in 50 cm shallow water.

The centerboard in retracted position. She is 240 cm long 20 cm deep and lives among the stovage below my bed.
The ballasted centerboard in the down position. The Tufnol triangle is the lever that helps me to control her. The lever is controled from a slot in the deck with the help of a tackle and is immensly powerful. As with other centerboards when she hits something she automatically retracts.
The planned next Exlex is a Canoe Cruiser 7.2 meter long 1.2 meter beam 40 cm draft. She is rigged as a cat ketch. 4 square meter on the main mast and 2.5 on the mizzen. Empty 800 kilos 1300 ready for an extended ocean cruise. I know boats always comes out more heavy than the designer intends. Still it is an rough estimate, no calculations.

As always please help to support my research by donating on Pay Pal and Swish.

To those that already have donated. A great thanks it helps an old pensioner  a lot.

Regards Yrvind


This is the story of how I came to realize that bigger and bigger boats is not a way to a meaningful life.
I once had a 13 feet long rowing boat Anna that I had converted to a cruiser by decking her. 1967 I sailed her on the Swedish west coast and in Limfjord Denmark. 1968 I sailed her to England via Denmark, Germany, Holland and Belgium. In most of the fifty harbors I visited the grown ups had advised me to get a bigger boat. It would be safer, faster and make me more happy they all said.
Obediently I went back to Sweden were I found the hull of a 40’ steamboat. She was made of iron 1885. I named her Duga and converted her to a staysail schooner and sailed her to Rio Brazil. On the way in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, a 72 feet Camper and Nicholson Ketch dropped her anchor next to Duga.
She flew a Norwegian flag. It was father and son, his wife and baby. They were on their way to the Caribbean to do charter and wanted the boat to be shiny. I was asked to do the masts. First they had to be scraped, then varnished seven times, a big job that would take plenty of time. As a bonus I was invited to have all my meals onboard. After a few weeks on board the huge luxuries ketch I found her size to be just right. In the evening after the days work was done it felt embarrassing and unfair that I had to row back to my much smaller Duga.
In less than a year my comfort zone had grown from a 13 foot converted rowing boat to a 72 feet ketch.
During the long sail to Rio I realized that I was trapped in the hedonic treadmill. It was a sobering lesson. The grown ups had promised me that I would be more happy in a bigger boat. It was true initially but not in the long term. I had been fine in my 13 feet Anna. After Rio I sold Duga and built Bris a small boat that I sailed happily in for many years.
Most people do not realize that they adapt to the size of their boats so they want bigger and bigger all the time. Science has found out about that and given it the name hedonic treadmill.
It is a consequence of hedonic adaptation. When your boss gives you a raise you will initially be happier. After a time you habituate to the larger salary and return your happiness set point. Even if you win a million on the lottery the same thing happens, first you get happy, then you return to your happiness set point. Luckily this also goes for bad luck. You lose your job and your house burns a thing that happens to many in war but after some time you return to your happiness set point.
In our consumer society most persons waste their life upgrading their possessions to be in the false belief that they will get happier.
2011 in Porto Santo Madeira I witnessed an example of how a family had wasted their life’s saving in the false believe that they get more happy in a big expensive boat. They planned to sail around the world and wanted a new boat from a yard with good reputation.
They had ordered a 36 feet long boat. They had to wait 2 or 3 years for delivery. After a year or so the salesman told them that now there was a new model and that that model would have a better second hand value. The new model was more expensive but the family did not like to louse money so the upgraded. Then the salesman told them that there was problems with fresh water in the Pacific and that they better get a water maker. The water maker was expensive but they liked to have plenty of water.
Then the salesman told them that it would be stupid to run the main engine just for the water maker. He told them they better get a gen set.
At this point the family was about to run out of money so the said that they had to wait and see.
The salesman then told them that it would be far more expensive to install the gen set after the boat was built. The family got the gen set too.
Now the boat was so expensive that they had to sell their house. Not only that they also decided to work an extra year to better their economy, losing a year of cruising time.
Now the boat was so expensive and contained most of their life savings so they decided they better get an insurance.
Now the insurance company said that once they got into the Pacific the insurance would be more expensive because it was so dangerous to sail there. That drained their economy even more.
Also as the boat was so expensive they had to worry about her and the wife told the husband that he had to clean and polish the boat very often so that it did not depreciate in money and the wife had to worry about the inside was shiny and they did not have time to be happy.
I was feeling very sorry for the family. There I was at the same dock, enjoying the same landscape, paying less harbor due as my boat was smaller. I had no expensive insurance and I did not have to polish my boat. I had an oar instead of an engine. I did not have to change oil on my oar nor change any fuel filters on it and so on. I could spend my time enjoying myself.
Even sadder this story is not unique, there are thousands of families like that.
The solution is to have simple habits. With simple habits you can live on a small boat have a meaningful and not worry about economy and other boring things.
It is not easy to live a meaningful life in this world full of salesmen and plenty of advertisement but a simple habits is a good start.
I got my introduction to simple habits in an unlikely place.
The spring of 1962 I was living with eastern orthodox monks on the Mount Athos peninsula in Greece.
The Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain is a region in northern Greece. There are twenty monasteries and different villages and houses that depend on them. Around 2000 monks live there in seclusion, introspection and prayer. The landscape is sometimes called “Christian Tibet”.
I was there to learn from their different lifestyle. I was young and searched for answers to the big questions.
After some time among them I noticed that lived a very repetitious life. Everything was done over and over and again and again. They had fixed habits for everything. As I was walking in the landscape I became friends with an eremite. One time I asked him about all those habits.
”You do everything over and over. Do you not find it boring always having to do the same thing all the time?” I asked him.
Sven, he told me,
”What you are noticing is my worldly life. You do not see my inner life. What I live for is to talk with God. I therefore simplify my worldly life because that gives me more time for God and that is what is important.”
I am an atheist. My passion is to find out about life. That eremite thought me something of value. Since then I have simplified my worldly life just like the monks on Athos. That gives me time to think about the mystery of life and each time I find out something it gives my life meaning.
Many humans are bored, their minds are fettered by worldly things. That prevents them living a meaningful life. Free animals are not bored nor should humans be.
One of my zeal’s is for the good boat. I also try to find answers to the big questions. That way of life is not for everyone. A meaningful life can also be found by gardening or painting or writing or like a bird just sitting on a twig singing all day. The main thing is to be interested in something and not caring to much about consuming.

Yukio Mishima expressed it well when he was asked how come he always delivered his manuscript so punctual. He answered: My fellow authors live bohemian lifes but their minds are bureaucratical. I live a punctual life that way I can write original books
If you like to be a free spirit, live a life of simple habits.
In the sixties people lived simpler lives, boats were smaller and people were not less happy.
One hundred years ago life was even simpler, there was no electricity and people were not less happy.
1845 Thoreaux built a cabin near Walden Pound and lived a meaningful life.
1750 Rosseau urged people to go back to nature.
For thousands of years wise men have urged people to live simple meaningful life’s. Building a small boat and sailing the huge oceans is one of many way’s of doing it.