Antarctic exploration is about as tough as it gets, particularly if you involve classic boat sailing. Shackleton Epic Expedition had to equip a replica of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lifeboat, for a perilous voyage across the Southern Ocean in January 2013. Here expedition engineer, Seb Coulthard, discusses some of the essential pieces of equipment that saw the 23ft ‘Alexandra Shackleton’ safely across the most tempestuous ocean on Earth. Read more about the expedition at: www.shackletonepic.com
Kru Sport Pro Lifejacket
A comfortable and compact waistcoat style lifejacket offering superior 180N buoyancy. It has been designed for all weather conditions and comes fitted with two of the most underrated piece of marine safety equipment: crutch strap, and spray hood.
Sold by www.oceansafety.com
2. Thermal Protection Suit
Guy Cotten T.P.S. Survival Suit
With water temperature below two centigrade, and surrounded by icebergs, Seb Coulthard swam 200 yards from ship to shore whilst at anchor off the coast of Antarctica. The suit was a warm confidence builder – a total game changer when abandoning ship.
Sold by: www.guycotten.co.uk.
3. VHF Radio with DSC/AIS
This compact combination of Class D VHF and AIS brings two important safety and communication features into the hands of the classic boater. This versatile radio was put through 12 days of abuse.
Sold by: www.jgtech.com
4. Tracking Beacon
Yellowbrick V3 Basic
As well as buying or renting a Yellowbrick, you pay a rental fee (about £8 per month) or buy position reporting credits (12p for 50). It can transmit more than 2000 plots before the battery needs recharging and can be used on land and sea. Shackleton Epic recorded the plot of the Alexandra Shackleton across the Southern Ocean for documentary purposes, that plot can be viewed by clicking here. Please visit: www.yellowbrick-tracking.com
5. Electrical Power
EFOY Comfort 210 Fuel Cell
This whisper-quiet power generator is scarcely audible, even when fitted under your boat bunk. With an incredible charging capacity of 210Ah @ 105 watts, the EFOY fuel cells converts pure methanol into electricity by magic! Something to do with protons and electrons - an amazing piece of kit. The 'Alexandra Shackleton' was fitted with one of the most sophisticated HD camera rigs afloat, putting tremendous power demands on half a ton of battery stored onboard. The EFOY fuel cell met this demand with relative ease despite the extreme environment.
Sold by: www.fuelcellsystems.co.uk
6. Navigational Instruments
Admiralty Pattern 182: Boat Compass
Robinson’s Compass Adjusters of Hamble, Southampton, supplied the alcohol filled compass. Despite being 100 years old, after a compass swing this instrument was found to be incredibly accurate. For classic compasses, sextants, and marine chronometers, please visit: www.compassadjuster.co.uk
7. Bilge Pump
Davey & Co Brass Bilge Pump
Available in two sizes, these solid brass bilge pumps are of traditional design and offer a pumping capacity of up to 40 litres per minute. REMEMBER: if the pump gets blocked, the best bilge pump in the world is a man in distress with a bucket (the bucket also has a secondary function). Buckets and pumps can be purchased from: www.marinestore.co.uk
8. Traditional Sails
Produced by Philip Rose-Taylor,
Weymouth, Dorset, UK.
Sail Area: 10.52 sqr. mtr.
The modern sail maker uses computer-aided design and manufacturing tools. There are few, today, who truly understand the art of sail making as the necessity to produce them by hand has departed. One man keeps this tradition alive: Philip Rose-Taylor. For further information please contact Seb.
9. Woolly Jumper
By North Sea Clothing
The ‘Expedition Jumper’ is a shawl collared sweater made from 100% British wool. Worn in the harshest conditions imaginable for over 100 years, this sweater fits snugly and will keep you warm even when wet.
Sold by: www.northseaclothing.co.uk
10. The Spirit of Adventure
Mackinlay’s Rare Old
Highland Malt Whisky
£98.95 / 70cl @ 47.e% vol
Every whisky is an adventure but this one more than most. Two bottles of Shackleton’s favourite tipple were carried onboard the ‘Alexandra Shackleton’ during her epic voyage across the Southern Ocean. "Boats, like whisky, are all good". Bottles of morale can be purchased from: www.enduringspirit.com
PERSONAL AIS BEACON: “During an AIS transmitter failure in zero visibility, we decided to deploy a personal AIS beacon to ‘light-up’ our position - it was the last resort during deteriorating conditions before turning to pyrotechnic flares or EPIRB. Our 75ft support yacht could only detect our lifeboat at approx. 150 yards with the beacon mounted 8 foot above sea level. This beacon is usually employed in ‘Survivor Recovery’ but, our inadvertent test proved the manufactures range of 4-5 nautical miles to be ‘rather optimistic’ on high seas. If you plan to fall overboard (and you should), take an automatic lifejacket fitted with crutch strap, spray hood, lamp, and whistle. Best advice: "one hand for the boat, one hand for yourself”