Why I'm Following Sven Yrvind

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by sharpii2, May 7, 2020.


Do you believe Sven's latest Ex Lex will make it to New Zeeland.

  1. Nope.

  2. Probably.

    0 vote(s)
  3. Almost certainly.

  1. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 1,892
    Likes: 103, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Some people find the new foiling AC boats fascinating. I find them somewhat interesting, as they show what can be accomplished with high technology and gobs of money. They go quite fast, maybe in the high 30s to low 40s in knots. Quite incredible for a mono-hull sailboat.

    But Mr. Yrvind's projects fascinate me much more. He seems to be trying to find out how little is needed to make an ocean going sailboat. His boats tend to have little ballast and very short rigs in both aspect ratio and actual sail area.

    This probably has as much to do with practicality as foiling monohulls, which can do nothing but go fast, and only in a narrow range of conditions. But it really gets me.

    He once crossed the Atlantic with a 15 footer which had only 75 sf of sail. And he did it with two people on board.

    Granted, a boat with a ballasted fin keel and a high aspect-ratio rig with generous sail area is certainly faster and arguably more seaworthy. Weatherliness not only wins races, but save one from the clutches of a Lee shore.

    But as limited as his boats are in performance, they do have their vertues. I imagine they are easier to maintain, they can sail in shallower water, and probably have much lower hull and rig stresses. Also, on his latest Ex Lex creation, he can easily step its three masts himself, even when it's in the water.

    Now, the price he ends up paying for these virtues is the interesting part of the story. Will he make it to New Zeeland? Or will he have to give up, like he had to with the first Ex Lex.

    My personal belief is that the original Ex Lex could have been successfully modified, by replacing the two end house structures with a central one, adding another mast and sail, then pushing her harder, which would have meant putting up with a much greater angle of heel.

    But the new Ex Lex is certainly a better boat. It's extra Beam, although not that much extra, seems to have greatly improved its stiffness. It can now carry 6 sm of sail or more. But this still gives it a puny S/D of around 6.0, about what one could expect on a more conventional sailboat which is on its 2nd or 3rd reef. Will this be enough?

    If it is, I find the practical implications interesting. Perhaps motor sailors can be designed with rigs of this class, and sill go vast distances powered by mostly sail, and be a lot easier to keep and look after.
  2. trip the light fandango
    Joined: Apr 2018
    Posts: 382
    Likes: 65, Points: 28
    Location: Rhyll Phillip Island Victoria Australia

    trip the light fandango Senior Member

    I looked up Sven after seeing your poll and thoroughly enjoyed reading about his approach to sailing and life. think he has far less chance of being pole axed by a ship at the moment , ..unless it's Saudi oil , he may pass away from old age , but he seems rudely healthy in mind and spirit.
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 825
    Likes: 216, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Has he set off from Dingle yet?
    The website notes that he was planning on leaving in June 2018.
    Exlex https://www.yrvind.com/videophoto/exlex/

    And that he anticipates possibly taking 167 days to sail from Argentina to Australia in that little boat. Yikes!
  4. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 17
    Likes: 2, Points: 3
    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Junior Member

    I was following Sven for a time when I first found out about the AiT challenge. It's part of what prompted me to join this forum. That whole concept has captivated me because it speaks to independence and doing things with little or no resources.

    I love what he's doing and his reasoning around the virtues of smaller craft taking less stresses than larger craft make perfect sense. I haven't tuned into his website for a while, but I will vote for his making his destination, but not on his expected timeline.

    I'm also not a fan of his design choices, but they work for him.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
  5. Waterwitch
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 98
    Likes: 13, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 20
    Location: North East USA

    Waterwitch Junior Member

    I wonder if he is really sailing or more drifting with the prevailing winds and currents. After all coconuts from the Caribbean wash up on the shores in Ireland. Big logs from Oregon end up on the beaches in Hawaii. Thor Heyerdahl managed to crash land his raft near Tahiti. The Pacific voyagers set off from Taiwan found and inhabited every known island in the south Pacific they even stoped in South America and brought back people with them to Easter Island. They traveled in long lean double canoes and proas though
  6. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 17
    Likes: 2, Points: 3
    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Junior Member

  7. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 825
    Likes: 216, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I wonder how long he has been moored in Funchal, Madeira?
    I admire his patience, sailing at an average speed of 2 knots, or less.
    I can think of better things to do in life.
    'It is still a LONG way down to Argentina, and he has to get through the doldrums as well.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.