An arctic adventure in a marine lifeboat

For some people, a journey of thousands of kilometers may begin step by step, but this adventure of 5 thousand kilometers was beginning differently, with the creation of a prototype boat first and then the planning of the entire journey. Architects Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel bought the 100-person boat in 2018 with the sole aim of embarking on an unforgettable voyage to Norway. Before they use it on the high seas, they redesigned it from the beginning, in a conversion that lasted a year. It bears the name Stødig (meaning sound in Norwegian) and the two architects chose to take advantage of its functional design and turn it into a solid lifeboat.

During the redesign, the boat was transformed into a real houseboat, with two cabins in the front, a bathroom, and a kitchen with a dining area. Upon completion, the architects and Guylee’s retriever embarked on their Arctic adventure. Starting from Newhaven in the United Kingdom in May 2019, they crossed the Belgian and Dutch coasts at the same time and after arriving in the Baltic, they moved along the coasts of Denmark and Sweden. They then headed from Bergen to the Norwegian fjords in the north, with their last stop being Tromsø – the largest city in the Arctic.

In addition to exploring the wildlife, Guylee and David wanted to create an archive of rich photographic material, recording each step of the journey. They also collaborated with filmmakers COPA and Febril and the British director Jonny Campbell created a feature film that covers all the stages of the boat’s conversion and the entire duration of the mission.

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