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5 tips on how to tackle ice with an explorer yacht

5 tips on how to tackle ice with an explorer yacht

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Plan when is best to tackle ice

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Antarctic Ice Field

Last year’s Global Order Book showed a surge in explorer yachts as owners seek to visit remote destinations. However, if you want to visit some of the world’s most incredible ice destinations the biggest challenge is also going to just that — ice.

Here master mariner Uli Demel, a veteran of 135 voyages to the Antarctic and 25 to the Arctic, and EYOS Expeditions' Tim Soper, who helped mastermind the furthest voyage south ever undertaken with Arctic P, share their knowledge on how to tackle the hard stuff.

1. Plan when is best to tackle ice

The first decision for an Antarctic adventurer, Demel says, is when to tackle it: “From mid-October until mid-March visibility is good and some ice is likely to have retreated or broken up.”

Pictures courtesy of Captain Ronald Maclean, Paul Crierie, Dr Glenn Singleman and EYOS Expeditions

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Do your ice research

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Antarctic record Arctic P

Surveys – read by an expert pair of eyes – report both the coverage and type of ice. In the case of Arctic P’s journey to the Ross Sea, EYOS Expeditions looked into records for years and decades before, then closer to the time made sure it got daily updates. They waited until mid-January to set off.

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Assess your superyacht: is she ice-ready?

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Arctic P new Antarctic record

Before you set off, make a serious assessment of your boat. Of course, it should be Ice Class – but there’s more. The propellers and rudder are important: what are they made of? Are they protected? Are seawater intakes low enough not to get clogged with ice?

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