Flashback about tragedy which finally led to inspiration to Li Yachts

Exactly 10 years ago at offshore worksite northern storm ripped away the container where the equipments of my young commercial diving company were stored, it drifted away during the night and flooded because of the holes cut into it and finally sank. Never found, it was a total loss.

What comes to sailing, all the money that I had saved for a boat and one year’s voyage went to starting my company again, which was hard during long economical depression. So I bought the only boat that I could afford by the price of recycling metal.

The boat was aluminium yacht Li, which inspired the design project of new boat and gave her name to Li Yachts. Interesting point here is that a tragedy can also be a new beginning with an unknown and interesting direction – an adventure.

First article about Li Yachts published

In new Purje-magazine there is an article about two aluminium boats, one 52 years old, one under design! Available only in Finland.

There will always be people who will tell you, that there is no sense to do something. Don’t listen. Last three years I have been working from a dream towards the reality with my project. If I’d listened, even the first step hadn’t been made.

Li Yachts 40 VPP polar diagram

Many of us might think that the use of VPP analysis (velocity prediction program) is more related to competitive sailing. But that’s also good tool in cruising boat design to reach desired capabilities. Here you can find the polar plot of final hull form of 40 ft model.

I can happily say that it shows us that the concept design has achieved its goals.

Cruising boat needs to perform well in all points of sail without any segment over highlighted. That’s the key element for good mean speed in long rung in variable conditions. We had a target of rounded performance with little more efficient performance when the wind is aft of the beam. Polar plot shows that the main designer Jean-François André has successfully designed the hull to meet the goals of sailing performance.

Thanks to Mikko Brummer from WB-Sails of full VPP analysis!

VPP polar diagram Li yachts 40

New 47 ft aluminium sailboat design project

Now it’s official, we are also designing a bigger boat. The 47.

I had been already working with this base concept before, so it was easy to start. It just needed a spark for the motivation. And that came in the form of many encouraging comments from interested people, who liked the basic rugged beauty of the boat, but it just needed to be bigger.

So I thought, why not, if there is signs of an interest. You never know what’s going to happen, if you are crazy enough. Please see here first glimpses of the basic lines of 47!

47 ft aluminium yacht

My thoughts after the release of IPCC 2018 report

The new report from IPCC was published last week. The message was loud and clear – according to 6000 studies we have a need of urgent change of the course.

My opinion is that the key element of the change is behavior of us as consumers. Our everyday choices can form a new direction to the flow. There is no sense to wait for advanced technological solutions to come up to solve the problem, meanwhile we can do a lot.

The reason of writing this post is to point out that the things aren’t black and white. I also want to show few of my own choices towards more sustainable living and maybe inspire others. You don’t have to go to extremes and start to eat raw food and collect your month’s trash to a glass jar. But if you do even something to reduce your carbon footprint, and your neighbor and their neighbors and a whole town will do the same, the effect is significant.

Dreaming of more sustainable future

I also want to reflect my own thinking to Li Yachts, sustainability shouldn’t be only trending terminology, which is used to boost up marketing. Whole project should progress in accordance with the values of people behind it. That forms the base to the goals of the project.

I have asked myself many times that does it make sense to design a new aluminium sailboat to a world where we should fabricate less and consume less. But again things are not black and white.

I think that we should prioritize our purchases and concentrate only to our main ambition and interest. These are the items that you use the most in your free time. Other things that are used rarely, which are just nice to own, can be made available by sharing economy.

What this means to me? I want to sail, so decision is clear. I don’t have a need of dreaming about summer cottage, which would only be used few weeks a year and during winter time just using electricity to keep up basic heat.

We are designing a boat for sustainable way of living for determined and ambitious people who know how they want to live. For me the ideal would be living onboard energy self-sufficient most of the time and the rest of the time in a small apartment on land. We are doing it already, even though old Li would not allow us to live on board in northern climate. We have learned to live last five years in apartment of 30 square meters. For many of us that would be extreme for two people, but in many cases the square meters are needed to store unnecessary items, and without them we could live in smaller space. How about the temperature during the heating season? Anything above 20°C is wasting of energy. Last ten years I have learned to live in 18°C.

When living on board with limited storage, the food can’t be wasted. It needs to be bought with consideration and used effectively. Selection of foodstuff onboard is limited, but it can however be healthy. In our live on land we eat most “red tagged” food that is close to its best before date. By doing that we save a lot of money and the wasting of food is reduced. There is no sense to use energy for producing food for huge selection of the shelves and then waste it. We also have halved the amount of beef that we eat, which means one or two times per week in average. Producing beef causes the highest amount of CO2/kg. Destiny of food rubbish has also its effect. I have composted all organic carbage in last ten years. Rotting organic waste in landfill sites produces methane and carbon dioxide, which are greenhouse gases.

I have burned thousands of liters of fossil fuel in my cars during the last 17 years. Four years ago we moved closer to points of interest and since that I have used only tenth of the diesel than before. As we know traveling by plane makes huge addition to our carbon footprint. To keep the plane in the air huge amount of energy is needed. It’s easy to be selfish – I require this holiday under the sun once in a year. I have a desire to the distant dive sites, which are calling me to fly. But it has been now almost eight years since my last flight voyage.

As you might have noticed we are designing Zero Fossil Fuel prototype of the boat. That was my initial goal. It’s better to do things and try to develop them to more sustainable direction than stop doing anything. In this case towards sustainable sailboat concept – despite the challenges. Dream needs to be kept alive and just continue working determinedly forward to reach it. Some voyages aren’t possible in safety way without diesel engine, that’s true. But for me personally that would be selfish for example to “sail” through The Northwest Passage with a rows of jerry cans on deck. How can we use the term expedition boat then, some have asked? Well, who defines what is an expedition? For me there is no sense to burn diesel on a boat which is meant to be moved by wind propulsion. You just need to accept the possible routes and areas.

I have always lived with little or minimal amount of items. All my furnitures have been bought used with few exceptions, that way it has been also easy to get rid of them when needed. When I purchase something I prefer high quality and long service life. For example this laptop has worked fine last nine years after few upgrades. If some item is showing signs of worn, it doesn’t need to be replaced immediately, few tiny holes in a T-shirt does not matter. Things should be used to an end. I dreamed about new bicycle but then decided to refit the old one from year 1993. As mentioned before when purchasing new items prioritization is needed. And if something new is bought it has to be really needed and within peak point of interests. That is how I have justified the aim to build a new boat, again things are not black and white. If the purchases of useless items will be avoided, lots of resources could be saved.

We want to design a boat so that it will have as long service life as possible. After that major percentage of it can be recycled as effective way as possible. I have recycled all sortable materials whole my adult life, so thinking a new life of building materials is also essential when designing a boat as well as seeking choices of materials that have already high recycled content. We need to move towards circular economy in all sections.

If you get this far, what is the whole point of this? You can grow your business, enjoy your meals, go for holidays and purchase items, but it can be done in more sustainable way. Little changes really matter if we all make them. Stopping won’t give any hope – improving the way of living will.

Aluminium yacht Li 50 years birthday tour

It has been very quiet in here for too long time! Apologies to all followers in here.

As you might have noticed the first set of rendered product images has appeared to website. Producing them wasn’t easy and I almost fell to endless fine tuning of details. The spring was busy.

Then we took a little break of the design project to prepare original Li for her 50 years birthday tour! That would also be my first real summer holiday since 2011, so it was well deserved.

Aluminium yacht Li

There has been so much enjoyable sailing, which is needed to keep this design process for the new boat going! We have visited unique places in The Baltic Sea and soaked energy.

Li’s CapeHorn windvane has been again the most important crew member. Below the dramatic capture of him, which I like most.

When the boat can sail on her own I can concentrate to create these images and video clips by which I hope to inspire others to set sail.

Now we have turned back towards north. Last month was very inspiring. The voyage has been mentally like this beautiful morning after beating against 16 m/s wind with steep waves of The Baltic Sea.

During the voyage we have talked a lot about the first prototype of Li Yachts. We call her in Finnish “Uusi Li”, which means The New Li. The design process is running forward constantly in the background of my mind. When taking a reef to cooking dinner – during everyday life onboard.

We have enough living space with original Li, but we are missing bicycles and full diving gear, which needs more storage. And I don’t mean folding bikes with small diameter wheels.

The best thing that you can do after sailing passage is another form of traveling without fossil fuel – cycling. Combining these two would be perfect.

We met a retired couple on their way from Baltic Sea to Canary Islands to escape dark northern winter. That brought to my mind the need for more speed, which would allow us to be also like migrating birds if some day the situation allows. More speed won’t come from high top speed. What matters is ability to keep high average speed all the time and minimizing the effort to do so.

I would like to end up this post with my thoughts, which I wrote down one morning.

Please find lots more images and video clips about the voyage on my Instagram profile. The site is accessible for anyone to view freely without the registration.

ALL YOU NEED IS OCEAN

Now it’s time to launch the slogan of this project and the story behind it!

We all know where comes the origins of the sentence. Our slogan will remind us the oceans vital role to life on this blue planet.

Famous song, which gave the origins of the slogan, was written to promote world peace. In the near future we will see that climate change will be one of the greatest hazards to sympathy on earth if the actions won’t be fast and effective.

Upcoming problems won’t know borders. Ever green song was performed in Our World television show, which was the first international satellite broadcast in 1967. Modern technology gathered the audience of  at least 400 million people, connecting the continents as the oceans do.

That year happens to be also the year when the original Li was built!

You might hear the first part of the French national anthem in your head and that’s the tribute to many inspirational French sailors through the decades.

The slogan describes our commitment to do something to help protect oceans within this project.

It also tells the self-sufficient goal of our Zero Fossil Fuel concept – ALL YOU NEED IS OCEAN.

Slogan of Li Yachts