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…
Regards Yrvind.

Please support the project with a donation

This boat was built on the same lines that Matt helped me create 2003. She proved to be to small for longer voyages
Owe took this picture Yellow stick is the oar.
Sculling thrugh a bit of a calm behind the island Tjörnö Kalv
The lines stretched from 5.4 meters to 7.68
One of the original drawings. She will keep the beam but be longer have a different rig and lateral area.


The original idea was to sail Exlex to New Zealand nonstop from Ireland. Due to Corona I could not trail her to Ireland. I that time a person asked me what I was going to do in NZ. Trying to answer the question I realized that it was not the destination but the voyage that I was seeking. Besides that I began to realize that the project was to ambitious.
I said to myself I might as well just sail around in the pleasant Sargasso Sea.
I had sail there before and liked it. The problem with that idea was that after summer the sun would go south and the weather would deteriorate. Finally I ended up in Porto Santo.
I had failed but that did not make me sad because had sailed the Atlantic for 101 days and that was better than watching TV. Also during at I had got some pretty good ideas for a new boat.
I left Porto Santo with the ferry for Madeira Monday the 23 of November. I had an airplane ticket for Stockholm Thursday 26. It can happen that bad weather prevents the ferry. To get a margin of safety I took an early ferry. A good thing because the ferry on Wednesday was cancelled.
The airplane from Madeira got a late start that made me nervous but there was no problem in Lisbon to catch the plane to Stockholm.
My seat was occupied by a guy from California. I asked to move and conversed with him a bit. He told me he was some kind of alternative doctor. He also told me that there had been much fraud in the election and that luckily Trump would sort it out and remain in the White House. At that time I noticed that his mask did not cover his nose. I told him to respect the other passengers and to put it on properly as I did not want Corona. He said that that prevented him from breathing. I got angry and raised my voice. Surprisingly it helped despite me being 50 or so years older than him. He left for an other seat and I never saw again. A believer in Trump and alternative medicine he probably thought that it injecting bleach would help against Corona.
The plane was in good time for Stockholm. Peter had told me that he would be there to meet me in his new black car. Surprisingly the car was white. It had broken down and he had gotten a new one just in time. He bought food for me in Nyköping then delivered me to my flat.

There is plenty to do here to get me started. One thing at the time. I have gained 5 kilos mostly ice-cream in Madeira. Now I am back to eating once a day. I have started with exercises and today I was out running a bit for the first time in five months.

To be continued…
Regards Yrvind.

Pictures below


My Portugise friends that helped me so much
My French friends that entertained me in their mother tounge at the Porto Santo marina cafe I ate ice-cream
Exlex well secured
The Porto Santo pleasant marina from the deck of the ferry
Me Yrvind arriving at the Stockholm airport Peter drove me to Västervik Peter Gevsjö also tock this photo


I kind of lost time but I think I have been here in Porto Santo Madeira about 2 and 1/2 week not really knowing what to do mainly due to Corona.

Yesterday I was bold and bought a ticket to Sweden for 26 of November a friend will pick me up at Arlanda Stockholm and drive me to my flat in Västervik where I will start the new boat. I hope that I do not catch the desise.

Exlex will have to wait here patiently to spring when I will return to do sail in hopefully the Sargasso Sea.

I still have the offset of Bris the boat I started to build Midsummers eve, Friday 25 of June, 1971 nearly 50 years ago. It was a good boat 6 meter long 1.72 beam height 1.2 meter.


Next boat Exlex Rex will be 8.4 meter long, beam 1.22, height 1.1 meter


The ratio is =0.91

That is Exlex will be about 9% smaller than Bris.

Also comparing her to Exlex, hopefully she will not be much more heavy due to being pointed in boat ends and been giving rounded bilges.

Exlex in Porto Santo marina. Hopefully she will patiently wait for me until spring 2021
Exlex in Porto Santo Marina To my surprise one day as I was eating my musli I saw that the tiller was on the lee side. She had lee helm. The designer had not done his work properly. The builder had to correct it. Now the fore mast is mowed about 1.7 meter back. This will interfere with the daggerboard as can be seen, click on the picture to enlarge. Luckily the balanced lug sail has no gooseneck so by taking a reef the boom kan be moved up and go klear.

Yrvind thanks all the kind persons that have been donating making my trip possible

Regards Yrvind

Yrvind shows up at Porto Santo

Yrvind and his boat Exlex always draw interests wherever they appear. Here is a short film from the moment he arrived to Porto Santo. It just happened to be someone there to make an interview with him and produce a nice little film.

Video made for the French magazine Voiles et Voiliers
English subtitles are availables in the video settings !
Directed by Juliette Mauban-Nivol (co-founder of New Flow to Sail)
Interview : Juliette Mauban-Nivol & Martin Droit
Rushs of the entrance in the harbor : Alain Mangon 


Yrvind at Porto Santo

At last an update! As everyone can see Yrvind is now at Porto Santo, Madeira. His sailing from Azores was a mixed experience. Light wind conditions one day and tuffer weather next day. The last days at sea he had a tremendous sailing with good speed running beam reach. He logged 5 to 6 knots. I was not prepared for that speed and missed his landfall and saw suddenly his tracker spot at Porto Santo, a day or two too late. The intense sailing had its price and Yrvind is now resting and hope he soon will find energy to be able to write about his last sailing experience on the website. Until then we had to make it with some photos taken by Laurent Gougeon, a french sailor, at Yrvinds arrival to Porto Santo harbour.






An abstinence syndrome

After only a week or so I long to be back at sea. I have already gotten strong abstinence syndrome.

First my plan was to ship Exlex back to Sweden but that would not really have been fair to her. Also I decided that it will be better to spend the shipping money on my next boat Exlex Rex.

Now after having had the use of my legs and gotten new books from Amazon, eaten fruit, bread, cheese, the urge to go to sea again is possessing me.

Also I have here been lucky to be out on the whaleboats 3 times. The hull of the next boat, Exlex Rex will have a whaleboat shape.

Exlex my present boat is painted below the waterline with Copper Coat. There have been different reports on how well it works. In my case the result is excellent. Exlex bottom is as clean as the day she came out of my workshop. I am pleased.

I intend to sail down to Porto Santo, Madeira. If Exlex can have the same average speed as from Ålesund Norway to Horta, 2 knots it will take us 20 days, but the weather decides. Only God knows how long it will take to reach Porto Santo. I have no self steering, no motor. In calms I have to wait for wind or use my oar, but thats fine as I have plenty of food and water and like to spend time at sea especially now that I have so many more books to learn from.

Some internet people worry about me not sailing fast enough. They say 2 knots is to slow.
I say the sense of speed is like most human senses adaptiv.
Therefore there is laws stating that cars must have speedometers. There is no speedometer on Exlex. My sense of speed has adapted so that I feel fine sailing with 2 knots.

High speed attracts strong forces. Nothing has broken during my recent 78 days long sail. Exlex is gentle on her gear and crew. I feel fine sailing with two knots. 4 – 5 knots would be fine too.
Haste makes waste. I take it easy. To read a book slowly, to enjoy a meal slowly, to make love slowly, to slowly reflect on life is fine for an old man. 60 years ago I was more in a hurry. I have learnt some.

After spending time in Porto Santo with nice friendly people the idea is to fly back to Sweden.

In my workshop I will start on Exlex Rex. Her beam will be 1.22 meter, or 4 feet, same as the present boat. I do not need more beam.
Exlex Rex will be at least 6 beams long, hopefully even up to 7 beams long or 8.4 meter depending on space in my workshop.

Adding 2 meters my present boats length will add about 80 kilos to her weight. Her circumference is 4 meter.
4 meter times 2 meter is 8 square meter.
Each square meter is 10 kilos.
10 kilos times 8 square meters is 80 kilo.

Adding wave creating length to a boat reduces her resistans. It is a better alternative of creating speed.
It is better for the environment, it is also cheaper for the builder than adding sail area and ballast keel and winches and rigging, its also more gentle.

After working on next boat in Sweden, in the end of April 2021 the plan is to return to Porto santo and Exlex and sail her to Dingle in Ireland and from there to trail her to Sweden.

This is the prediction. What really will happen might be a different story.

I thank everyone that has contributed to my experiment. Hopefully my work will lead to small safe ocean going boats that do not use to much of the earths non renewable resources.
Regards Yrvind


Exilex is a fine boat.
Her problem is me.
My ambitions was to greedy. Sailing to New Zealand non stop was not realistic. Now I have learned that lesson.
Sailing an Atlantic circuit in her would have been no problem if I had not loaded her with water for 160 days and food for maybe 300 – 400 days.
Also Corona changed everything. Borders were closed. The plan was to depart from Ireland like I did in 2018. That was not possible year 2020.
While considering different options someone asked me what I was going to do in New Zealand.
After some thinking I realized that really I had no business in New Zealand it was the voyage I desired.
I said to myself: With all the hassels of Corona visas customs bureaucrats etc why not just float around on a nice piece of the deep blue endless eternal ocean that I love so much?
1983 I sailed my boat Bris to Museum of Yachting in Newport R.I. via the Sargasso sea.
I had a fantastic time. Sunshine a very very light breeze, the Sargasso sea was flat like a mirror. I enjoyed myself.
The new idea 2020 was to load up the boat with as much food and water as possible.
I overdid it. After 78 days at sea I still have 75 liter water of 130 having used 65 liter.
As for food even worse. I do not know how much food I loaded but I have hardly dented it. Probably there is still 80 or 90 % left. That is I have not eaten more than a fraction of it.
This time with boarders closed I left Ålesund, Norway 27 of June 2020.
It turned out to be a very cold, grey, windy voyage.
Finally after passing the latitude of Cape Finisterre I hoped to get god weather. The pilot chart showed 1% gales but then there was 3 days of gales and predictions for more just at the beginning of September.
There was also some problems with the boat. She sailed very slow with all the food. I had experimented with a new type of hatches that was not satisfactory. The steering system, The jammers did not work. There were other things also that could be improved on.
Besides I had such good ideas for a new boat, a canoe cruiser. The hull shape like a whale boat. In Horta Azores there are whale boats. I have been extremely lucky twice so far I have been out sailing whale boats.
I cut the voyage short mostly due to bad weather and winter coming.
I now have sailed from Norway west of Scotland and south three times, first in Bris  1973, then in Bris 1983, now in Exlex 2020.
1973 was very stormy
1983 was good weather
2020 was windy cold and gray.
I will try to ship Exlex back to Sweden if I can afford it and myself somehow get back.


About next boat more later.
Regards Yrvind

Yrvind adapts to a life on land

Yrvind is enjoying himself at Horta Azores. The long period (78 days) at sea took it’s attribute. He is now slowly adopting to land life. He says he making progress, but still suffer from fatigue.

Kind people have offered him ice cream and that’s something he really like. He also have to stay in quarantine a couple of days. That sounds crazy with respect to his long lonely period at sea. But the authorities have to treat everyone equally, so he find it okay. He will soon start writing on his website and tell us his story. For now he is satisfied to stay where he are and have found some interesting boats to study for his next boat project, a kind of narrow whale hunting boats. For sure, as soon he gets home he will start  building a boat inspired of all new ideas he acquire from his latest adventure.


Photo Marek Hryniewiecki
Interesting boat design