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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, recently I have been wondering about the requirements for a boat sailing in Antarctica. It looks like most of the boats down there are built with aluminium or steel. I was surprised to see that a lot of of them relatively exposed helm stations, and was even more surprised to see that some even had spade rudders. I assumed boats sailing in Antarctica would have a skeg hung rudder to protect against submerged ice. I have gathered that it is possible for grp/wooden boats to sail around there, provided the skipper is experienced and the boat is properly equipped. So, my question is, considering the boats that sail down there, would it be crazy for someone to bring a modern fin keel, spade rudder grp boat down to Antarctica? A good example of the type of boat I am talking about is the RM 1360 (although it's built with plywood and epoxied over, and I would post a picture but it says I have to post at least 10 times before I can)
Thanks in advance for any answers.
 

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Hi everyone, recently I have been wondering about the requirements for a boat sailing in Antarctica. It looks like most of the boats down there are built with aluminium or steel. I was surprised to see that a lot of of them relatively exposed helm stations, and was even more surprised to see that some even had spade rudders. I assumed boats sailing in Antarctica would have a skeg hung rudder to protect against submerged ice. I have gathered that it is possible for grp/wooden boats to sail around there, provided the skipper is experienced and the boat is properly equipped. So, my question is, considering the boats that sail down there, would it be crazy for someone to bring a modern fin keel, spade rudder grp boat down to Antarctica? A good example of the type of boat I am talking about is the RM 1360 (although it's built with plywood and epoxied over, and I would post a picture but it says I have to post at least 10 times before I can)
Thanks in advance for any answers.
That's a cool-looking boat, but it sure wouldn't be my first choice for venturing into that part of the world...

Sailing down there, one thing that's safe to assume is that you might have to spend some time heaving-to, or lying to a series drogue... That boat does not appear to be very well suited to doing either, especially the latter... ;-)





Needless to say, those underwater appendages don't look particularly well suited to high-latitude voyaging, in one of the most remote regions on Earth...


 

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Discussion Starter #4
MarkofSeaLife-
Thanks for replying, what would you say about the hull material? I've never seen a production boat built like that and it's pretty hard to find information about.

JonEisberg-
Thanks for replying, I can see what you're saying about heaving to and using a drogue, and sorry if this is a stupid question but whats wrong with the keels? I can see the problem with the rudder, but how are the keels not fit for that type of sailing? Do you think if the rudder was removed and replaced with a transom hung one that swings up when it hits something it would be more appropriate? To me, the hull design seems okay, considering the amount of modern racers that sail in the southern ocean with relatively similar designs.

Two conflicting answers is not what I was expecting, but it gives me more to think about.
 

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Skip Novaks boat is down there as a charter business. Not a one off trip but a business that runs all summer.

Skips boat is overkill for what the OP wants.

The Antartic Peninsula is not that hard usung modern sat weather, right time of year etc.

If the OP buys a brand new boat designed for ocean passages he will be in the right boat for this adventure... And thats the boat he is looking at.
 

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I think you'd be torturing yourself in that open cockpit.
 

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JonEisberg-
Thanks for replying, I can see what you're saying about heaving to and using a drogue, and sorry if this is a stupid question but whats wrong with the keels? I can see the problem with the rudder, but how are the keels not fit for that type of sailing? Do you think if the rudder was removed and replaced with a transom hung one that swings up when it hits something it would be more appropriate? To me, the hull design seems okay, considering the amount of modern racers that sail in the southern ocean with relatively similar designs.
Well, racing in the Southern Ocean, and cruising Antarctica, can be 2 quite different things...

In a region as poorly charted as down there, one is often compelled to seek protection in anchorages shallow enough to keep heavy ice out. I wouldn't want a boat with such high aspect keel(s), in the event of a grounding while trying to 'feel' your way around... It seems to me extremely rare, cruisers venturing into remote high latitude regions, on boats with high aspect foils...

If I was ever gonna venture down there, I'd prefer a boat that could take the ground easily and comfortably, something along the lines of Jimmy Cornell's former Alubat...


 

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Skips boat is overkill for what the OP wants.

The Antartic Peninsula is not that hard usung modern sat weather, right time of year etc.
Yeah, sure... hell, it's a veritable Milk Run down there... ;-)





If the OP buys a brand new boat designed for ocean passages he will be in the right boat for this adventure... And thats the boat he is looking at.
Well, I hope he at least adds a handrail to the forward half of that sexy coachroof, it could come in handy... ;-)


 

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Well it really depends on how long you intend to be down there. If you are just passing past the capes, then I think that would work. Would not be my first choice, but I am a bit more traditional in taste. But if you are going to spend much time down there take a look at Skip's videos in the Yachting World series. If you plan on doing extensive time down there then yes I think it would make sense to look at a purpose built boat, or at least something with some protection. I would want someplace to get out of the inevitable weather at least.
 

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I'll second Skip Novaks series. Some episodes are a stretch to be very informative, others are great, but they're good overall. Gives you a sense of what you need to deal with.
 

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I have sailed in snow only once and that experience would suggest that the boat you suggest would be grossly uncomfortable. You need protection from the wind even in summer in the Antarctic.
 
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