Described as the ‘ultimate explorer yacht’ Vinson of Antarctica is designed to withstand extreme and remote environments in her role as a polar expedition and research vessel. The 77-foot aluminium schooner built by Netherlands-based KM Yachtbuilders is the result of concept design from experienced high latitude adventurer and skipper Skip Novak and naval architect and yacht designer Tony Castro.
Vinson of Antarctica will undertake exploration, scientific, research and filming expeditions in some of the most remote and most environmentally sensitive parts of the world. Designed to carry teams of up to 14 people, the yacht can carry sufficient fuel and provisions to last for expeditions of up to three months.
“Being in incredibly remote and sensitive areas means that we have to ensure we only take samples and research materials away with us, and leave absolutely no trace behind,” says Skip. The vessel has capacity to carry up to 200 litres of waste or oily water, and 1000 litres of grey or black water on board, and has been fitted with a Wavestream bilge filter to ensure that no traces of oily or polluted waste, including microplastics, are discharged overboard.
Skip explains: “We are set up to be totally self-reliant for many months whilst away on expeditions. We even carry enough storage space for food waste to be kept onboard whilst in sensitive areas. Every boat though has to ensure its bilges are kept dry and that involves a bilge pump emitting water overboard. We have fitted the Wavestream bilge filter as it’s totally reliable, even down to the coldest conditions that we will encounter, and the filter can be easily changed as and when required. With the Wavestream in place, we can be totally confident that we meet the most stringent requirements of less than five parts per million of oily discharge in water.”
Vinson of Antarctica is more than just an expedition ship. Following her owner’s vision, this vessel, designed to withstand the polar extremes, aspires to become a vehicle to educate children and young people around the world through Vinson’s voyages.
The crew are working on an educational programme called “Learning by Exploring” aimed at teachers who are interested in including the expeditions undertaken by Vinson of Antarctica as part of their lessons. “Vinson offers a different way of teaching in the face of new educational challenges, as well as enabling students curious about the natural environment and sailing culture to work on an interactive, live, and exciting project,” says Skip.
Paul Gullett, managing director of Wave International says, “We’re delighted that a vessel as special as Vinson of Antarctica has recognised the value and importance of fitting a Wavestream bilge filter onboard. Due to the extremely remote areas in which Vinson of Antarctica will be operating, it is essential that there is always complete confidence that this important research and educational vessel will meet and even exceed the stringent discharge regulations at all times.”