My hatches slide, but not on tracks, they are guided by strings. Over the years I have tried many different variations. Sliding and hinged hatches each have advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantages with hinged ones is that they collect spray and when you close them you get a salt-water shower if you do not close them very slowly.

An other disadvantage with hinged hatches is that they cannot be dogged on the hinge side. To get pressure there from the leverage from the hatch the gasket has to be of the correct size. An old gasket may not keep out the water. To overcome that difficulty, on Amphibie-Bris I made the hinges sliding up and down. On Al-Bris with a sliding hatch the slides could move up and down.

On the yellow boat 2011 I let the hatch be guided by strings. It worked very well. Now the hatch could slide forewards to open and there was enough play in the strings to let the tensioners mowe it down against the gasket with enough pressure al around. I will use that solution on Ex-Lex.

Having waterproof hatches is not a question of life and death. It is about peace of mind, of always being dry, warm and snug.

Below are some pictures illustrating my ideas.

The mock up of yellow boat. Hatch closed.

Below hatch open. The guiding strings can be seen.

Hatch of yellow boat, closed and locked.

Me in hatch i Poerto Santo 2011. Hat in hand shoes on hatch and landry in rigging.

Below open hatch in a calm tradewind crossing. I like this kind of hatches.

The little rope coming out of the hatch is my life-line. I always put it on before going on deck even in calm weather like this.

One time I had an American girl as crew. She had read Lin and Larry Pardey who said you need only lifeline in heavy weather. However I was the Captain. She wanted to learn, so one time she was in nice weather on the foredeck changing the wisker poole. When she pulled a string it let go of the jib. To her surprise it let go of the mast at the same time. Instantly she was in the water. It was rather cold becouse we vere near the Falkland Islands had just left them a few days before. I fished her up undressed and dryed her before letting her into the cabin. I do not like salt water inside my boats.

Later she willingly wore a lifeline.

The mainsail boom is let out about 120 degrees making the boat directional stable and reducing risk of gibe. The shrouds are tied on to the chainplates with knots making it easy to mowe them.

Below tensioners for Ex Lex hatches. There are two deckhatches, two bulkhead hatches and two storage hatches. The deckhatches need two tensioners each. By using Dynema-strings the tensioners can be a distance away from the hatch. That way there is no chafe.

The bulkhead hatches are also sliding guided by ropes. Unlike a Japaneese door, as they slide they also twist 90 degrees as boat is very narrow. I have found a neat solution for that. More aboat that later.

To be contiued…

Regards Yrvind


What will happens if… Doomsayers have many ways of predicting disasters.

One of the more common regarding small boats is this:

Sooner or later you will be blown up on a lee shore and that will be the end of you and your boat.

There is no law forbidding such a calamity to happen, but the likelihood is small indeed if the skipper prudent and the boat are well conceived.

I have been spending many years in small boats and never even bean near such an incident.

Small boats have many ways of avoiding bad luck.

For Ex Lex I have gotten myself a big anchor, a fifteen-kilo SPADE from Bövik Marine here in Sweden. That size is recommended for yachts 40 feet long. I have a 200-meter long anchor rode with a braking strength of close to 3 tonnes, 6 mm Dynema from Teufelberger. Close to the anchor I will have 10-meter chain, close to the boat I will have shock absorbers, although I do not think a 200-meter long line will stretch tight.

Like a fire extinguisher it’s a piece of equipment I hope I never have to use.

For normal use I have a 6-kilo SPADE anchor.

The Dynema specifications.

This can happen:

Ingrid and Jonas, friends of mine did get embayed in the Firth of Forth on cruise in a boat designed by me. They had rigging problems on their pivoting mast and gave a Pan-pan. The coast guard told them that the weather was deteriorating and that they had to abandon the boat.

The rescue was successful. A few days later the boat was observed close to the rocks.

Running before the wind Jonas had employed an old tire of mine that had seen use near Cape Horn. About ten meters from the rock the old tire had got stuck on something in the bottom and the boat was saved.

Jonas told me that onboard everything was in perfect order. The coffeepot was still on the gimbals. Only his sunglasses had fallen to the flour, but had not broken.

Click once or twice to enlarge.

Regards Yrvind


Most of this week has been spent with an impatient lady. Her name is Emma Vånemo. She has been cycling to Cape Town from Sweden alone. Now she likes to row the Atlantic on her own. I advised her to get a small boat and take her time to fit it out.

First we went to Vituddens Kanotvarv and spoke to Ingvar and Kåre Ankervik about a big kayak. Their Yooakim at 5.8 m long would be suitable it can load 350 kilo and comes equipped with out rigged oars.

Göran Marström had such a kayak. Generously, he said he would let Emma use it.

To make the boat suitable for an Atlantic crossing I advised a sliding deckhouse and two pontoons to give the kayak stability and making her self-righting by hinging them upwards in when the boat kayak capsizes.

I estimate it would take a year to do good work of it.

However Emma like to leave in the end of this year.

“I am not afraid of dying”, she said.

I would be sad to loose such a enterprising friend.

Belov are some pictures.

Emma visiting one of my boats. I wasa glad to be able to keep up with her speed on the bike.

With the kayak builder Ingvar Ankervik. The kayak Yooakim in the foreground.

Emma gets aquinted with her Atlantic rowboat.

Regards Yrvind.


I have spent a few days improving on the tensioner that put pressure on the hatch against the rubber gasket that it may become waterproof.

Its a job well worth doing. Heavy weather may come at any time. If you are snug in your bed and suddenly is waked up of a roaring wind its nice to have smoth funktioning gear that you can with confidence make the door to your bedroom waterproof before opening the deck hatch to the breaking seas.

My new tensioner is a variant of the Highfield lever, but more simple. The price for a Highfield ranges from 300 to 700 €. I need about ten for my varius hatches. By making them myself I can get them bespoke.

Below are some pictures.

An over the center latch.

Below my tensioner, before being tensioned. The light wood represents the hatch.

The lever tensioned.

An other vieuw.

An other vieuw.

Close up of the bearing side.

Close up of the tension side. The stretchted Dynema rope is below the bearing (the pin) that makes the latch self locking, quick and easy and the power increases exponetionelly. Wery powerfull.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind.


I have made progress on the bulkhead hatches.

I am using “tufnol” an early composite material of phenolic resin reinforced with cotton fibres to get edges that will put pressure on on the EPDM cell rubber gasket.

To get an overlapp I am adding 5 mm Divinycell to the bulkhead frame.

Gluing them

Now comes the outside pieces holding the gascet. Instead of gluing the EPDM I am squising it in position. That makes it very easy to replace them, if need should be at sea as EPDM is difficult to glue, but you have to work within a 0.5 mm margin to get it good. The gasket is 15×20 mm. The gap is 14.5 mm. To get that pricision I am using spacers.

Gasket in place.

The hatch fits.


Next problem, working out a system to get enough pressure on the gasket to make the hatches waterprof.

I am quite pleased with this idea. Its fast and gives good pressure. Top view.

Side viuw. I am using a over center fastener and rollers to get even forces in the dynema rope.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind.


This is the position of the main bulkheads.

Before epoxy them into place i will do the waterproof hatches on the bench horisontally as that is much eaysier.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind


The bulkheads are now laminated. The core is Divinycell H80 30 mm thick 450 gram glass on each side in NM-epoxy. They are marked ready to be cut. Photo below.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind.


After a few days of tweaking the layout is now OK. It has been a balance of how much room each compartment should have.

I decreased the size of the doors to 45×40 centimeter wich is ample. The bed will be 3 cm narrower and the stowage to port 3 cm bigger.

Some numbers.

The seat:

By having my legs through the door into the bedroom I gained a lot of space.

The deckhouse will cover my head.

The bed is 1.9 meter long and 70 centimeter wide, much bigger than the bed in “Yrvind.com” the yeallow boat. Plenty of space.

Passing through the door to the front room from where sail handling and adjusting the leeboards will be done.

In the front room.

After closing the waterproof hatch to the sleeping room I open the deckhatch. In this position I can handle sails and leeboards.

Some people say the lenght of your yacht should correspond to the your age.

Thats is: Ten year old your boat should be ten feet

15 year old your boat should be 15 feet

30 year your boat 30 feet

40 year your boat 40 feet

50 year your boat 50 feet

60 year your boat 60 feet

Well thats certainly is a good formula for comfort, but comfort makes you lazy, fat and bored. Comfort gives a short life.

Better be active and happy in a small boat. It is also better for the enviroment.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind

mock up

Ex Lex is now laminated on the inside and i have started the delicate compromise of of dividing the space. There is a bedroom in the middle and in front of that a waterproof bulkhead with a door leading to a foreward compartment where from a hatch I can handle the sails and leeboards.

Behind the bedroom is a similar arrangement. From that hatch I will scull the boat and do a bit of observations and enjoy nature.

The hole in the foreward compartment seams to be more than ample. I probably reduce its size.

So far thing are working very well.

Tomorrow I cut the hole in the back bulkhead.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind.


Ex Lex is now lifted off the moulds.

Below are some pictures.

Knocking down the front mould.

Lifting her

Stern viuw.

First look inside

First time inside

4.48 long with a beam of 1.04 and a high prismatic she should give me enough space and at the same time be easy to handle.

To be continued…

Regards Yrvind.