You are here

Smallest vessel to break solo non-stop world tour

News International-French

28 May 2014

Sven Yrvind, a 75-year-old swedish man, plans to break a world record. His goal is to sail solo non-stop around the world with the smallest vessel ever, the Yrvind Ten – a 10-foot, 1½-ton boat he has built himself using composites sandwich.

Sven Yrvind plans to sail alone at sea for 600 days, supplied simply with muesli, powdered milk and sardines along with a couple hundred pounds of books as familiar company.

Sven Yrvind seems to have always had the sea in his life. He grew up on a small island in the North Sea while his grandfather was Captain and his father First Mate on a Swedish cargo ship. Born Sven Lundin in 1939, he later changed his name to Yrvind, reflecting the intense “whirlwind” of a gale at sea. After struggling early in his life, he found his purpose and passion in building boats by age 23. One of his first is on display in the Museum of Yachting’s Hall of Fame for single-handed sailors in New England.

Now, 50 years later, he is not preparing for retirement but for his biggest challenge yet – sailing around the world in a ten-foot boat. Estimated to take about 600 days, this will be his longest voyage alone at sea.

"People say it’s impossible. Who cares? It is not the first time people have discouraged me" Sven Yrvind laughs. And true, he is no stranger to remarkable solo achievements. Nearly 35 years ago, the UK’s Royal Cruising Club granted him the Seamanship Medal for sailing a 20-foot boat alone through the notoriously tempestuous waters off Cape Horn. His coming endeavor will take him through those waters again. That is why he is taking no chances in constructing the Yrvind Ten.

Decades of experience, research and intuition have given Sven Yrvind unique expertise in boat building. He knows it is not a question of if, but when the boat will capsize, strike something at sea, or otherwise be put to the test. However, he believes there is no reason to fear the sea. On the contrary, he finds it safer than land — as long as one is smart and prepared.

He has been building boats using Diab composites since the 1980s. His very first Divinycell-boat, with the centerboard uniquely placed in front of the mast, can today be seen at the Maritime Museum in Stockholm.

Using Divinycell H100 makes the boat strong, lightweight, well-insulated and practically unsinkable. The hull itself is made of small tiles, or quadrangles of Divinycell that are glued together and laminated.

More information: -