Our resident YouTube aficionado shares her favourite picks of microyacht adventurer video blogs...
The universe of microyacht adventurers is large with a long history, as Elaine Bunting recently surveyed in a recent article Smallest boats: The bonkers world of Microyacht adventures in Yachting World.
And while I deeply respect and admire the legendary Swedish adventurer Sven Yrvind, who, at age 84 is building yet another vessel with which to embark on more long solo ocean passages, my favourite has to be Yann Quénet, the unassuming 54 year old Breton sailor who last year completed a solo circumnavigation on his self-designed and built 4m (13ft) glass-on-ply yacht Baluchon (French for ‘bindle’), fulfilling his childhood dream.
Yann’s first attempt in 2015 on his (also self-designed and homebuilt) 4.3m Skrowl (a portmanteau of ‘skow’ and ‘krill’) ended with the rescue from his sinking boat by a ship a few hundred miles from Madeira.
In 2019 he set off again on what would be a successful three-year circumnavigation, documented at the time on a blog written by a friend back in France, as well as various vloggers and journalists he encountered as he went, such as an interview by Charlotte of Drifting Sailing Adventures in Richard’s Bay, South Africa, the only one I have found in English (although many of the others have auto-translated subtitles available and are worth seeking out).
Upon his return to North Brittany last year Yann started designing a new boat for his next circumnavigation, which would incorporate all the improvements he thought of while sailing Baluchon, but for financial and ecological reasons, he has ultimately decided to alter (quite radically) his current boat instead.
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He has started his own YouTube channel to share this project, and, I hope, the subsequent journey, which he maps out in a very entertaining fashion with a cartoon boat on a stick, a globe and generous lashings of voilàs, doncs and Gallic shrugs.
As is the case for many of my favourite channels, the production quality is inversely proportional to the interest, joy and humour contained in the videos.
For example, before he begins the demolition of the Baluchon by taking a reciprocating saw to the interior structures, a warning is displayed, which (translated) reads ‘Attention!!! The following sequences may offend the sensitivity of the most fragile people…’
À ne pas manquer !