Year 2020 I cruised in my small, narrow, shallow draft boat named Exlex for 101 days on the deep, wide, northern North Atlantic Ocean. I started from Ålesund in Norway and sailed westwards, keeping the Faeroe Island on my port side. Before Iceland I turned south, keeping west of Scotland and Ireland, and the Bay of Biscay.
Finally I after 78 days I made my landfall at Horta, Fayal, one of the Azores islands.
There I was lucky to sail on their whaleboats several times.
I Then continued to Porto Santo, Madeira.
During the 101 days the weather was mostly grey and windy.
Despite that and accompanied by no one, I had been content with my solitude, it had given me plenty of time to reflect on life and I concluded that life is more interesting if it is lived outside the comfort zone.
The Portuguese have a saying, ”The bigger the boat, the bigger the storm”.
It is very true, the bigger the boat the bigger forces she attracts. A bottle floating out in the mighty ocean do not mind storms.
I was fit and had learnt a lot. I decided to try to build a better boat, a small boat capable of a Cape Horn doubling.
I now realize that a boats length is not necessary a good measure of size.
Length has for hundreds of years been restricted and taxed to the extent that it is now almost taboo.
That is bad because length is an excellent property and it is very cheap, nearly free, that is if you can restrict yourself from filling it with all the junk that people like to collect.
Our disease is ”horror vacui”, latin for ”mans fear of emptiness”, the cure is to keep it simple. Unfortunately this not exactly what the yachting business encourages.
Exlex from 2020 is 5.8 meter long, next boat is planned to be 7.68 meters or 1.88 meters longer.
The extra hull surface will be: 1.88 times the circumference. That is about 10 square meters. Each square meter have a weight of about 8 kilos. The weight added will thus be about 80 kilos.
However as she will be a double ender with soft chines I will make better use of materials next time I guess the final weight will be about the same. So even when she will be about 2 meter longer she will not be bigger.
This planned boat Exlex 2021 will be smaller, but longer than the 20 foot Bris I started to build in my mothers basement 1971. The new Exlex of year 2021 will be narrower and having less draft than Bris.
I will give her balanced lug sails on two short masts a dagger board.
As the two boats are double enders I can compare their sizes by multiplying their length, beam and height.
Bris 6 X 1.72 X 1.2 = 12.384
Exlex 7.68X1.28X1 = 9.83
According to the above the new Exlex of year 2021 will be about 20% smaller than Bris of 1971.
I base the new boats lines on a 5.4 meter long cruiser Matt Layden helped me to design in Florida the year 2003. Those lines are similar the Bris I started to build 1971.
I have used those lines before to build a boat 4.9 meter long with a 0.96 meter beam. It was a good try but the boat was to small to be suitable for longer voyages. She has been in Loftahammar for a number of years.
To create space in my workshop I will have to get rid of about ten thousand books that I have been collecting for decades. It hurts but technology moves on and I now can travel with tens of thousands books on my iPad.
I will also have to convert the drawings to the size and demands of the new aim.
After making a 1:10 model I will make a full scale sailing mock up in wood, strip planking her. Wood is pleasant nice easy and fast to work with but unfortunately it does not make boats as strong and durable as I like have them.
Exlex 2020 is waiting for me in Porto Santo. I will return to sail her in April, maybe trying out some new ideas.
This new project is ambitious and with my small budget it will most likely take a few years to complete.
Credit to Matt Leyden and Guy Lilljegren for important advise.
To be continued…
After some initial minor problems and very light winds with north going current,Yrvind is now heading west in good winds. He writes heenjoy himself and are very happy to be out at sea again , however a bit cold.
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.
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.
Yesterday the Mullion insulated flotation suit arrived from Bövik marin. In September 2007 when I and 19 year old Captain Grahn crossed the North Sea from Norway to Scotland in an old Albin Vega we where cought in a equinoxial storm. We had no heating it was could and our ship Maja leaked from abouve. It was the Chinese water torture. Fortunatley Bövik Marin had supplied us with the Mullion insulated flotation suit. That saved the trip. Do you also want to have comfortable voyages across stormy seas? Contact Bövik Marin and they can supply you with the comfortable Mullion insulated flotation suit. Old leaky Vegas are cheap. For example today there is one on Blocket for 10 000 kronor and you are all set to escape the Corona virus in comfort.
Below me in the Mullion insulated flotation suit close to my beloved Exlex the pride of all the oceans.
It comes in a handy bag.
Besides reciving fantastic gifts and donations now and then for which I am grateful, I am working with the sails. I have healed Exlex about 45°. That enables me to step the mast and rise the sailes. That way I will be able to trim lazyjacks and and sheets.
The week after next I plan to travel to Stockholm and give talks at the boat show. Coming back about 15 of Mars it time to start making food for 250 days and fill Exlex whit it, well stowed.