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…
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