Stødig Survival Lifeboat

If you’ve been a fan of The Coolector for any amount of time, chances are you’ll know that we’re pretty big Wes Anderson fans and there is definitely that sort of vibe going on with this rather extraordinary looking Stødig Survival Lifeboat. Two architects have completely repurposed a 100-man survival vessel and turned it into a self sufficient expedition home and travelled 5000km from the UK to the Norwegian Arctic.

The stunning aesthetic impact of the Stødig is all very reminiscent of Wes Anderson and his seminal masterpiece, The Life Aquatic. For this sea-faring vessel, however, architects Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel purchased a marine survival lifeboat in February 2018 and after a year long conversion left on four month trek to the Arctic. Along with Shackleton, Guylee’s dog, they made their way from the UK to Tromsø, far north in the Norwegian Fjords.

Yellow Submarine

Located at 70o north, Tromsø is the largest city in the Arctic and having safely arrived, the lifeboat and crew spent the winter there and had a wonderful opportunity to explore their snowy surroundings. The aim of the expedition is to explore this wild and isolated landscape, showcase the ability of design innovation to allow for self sufficiency in such extreme environments and to document and share the adventure through photography and film. Mission well and truly accomplished.

The Stødig Survival Lifeboat is very evocative of the Wes Anderson film, A Life Aquatic, and its voyage started in May 2019, departing the southern British port of Newhaven. The route edged around the Belgian and Dutch coast, passing the Kiel canal in Germany into the Baltic. After this, they went up the Danish then Swedish coast past Copenhagen and Gothenburg, before making their way across the Skagerrak south of the lower tip of Norway up to Bergen.

After this, the Stødig followed the route of the famous Hurtigruten ferry, passing up the fjords to Tromsø which allowed its occupants to take in some truly extraordinary sights and sounds in the process. Stødig has had a scenic life already. It was built in 1997 in Norway by Norsafe and she spent her previous life as Clansman Lifeboat No.1, serving the Western Isles of Scotland aboard the CalMac ferry, MV Clansman. It was originally conceived to carry 100 people in a survival situation but has come to be the two architect’s behind Stødig robust, unsinkable and spacious blank canvas.

Exceptional Build Quality

The redesign of Stødig boasts two forward cabins, a kitchen and dining area, bathroom, bunk beds and stern cockpit. The name Stødig is a Norweigian adjective which means sound and steadfast and was chosen to reflect the lifeboat’s reliable, versatile and functional design and her adaptation into a utilitarian expedition vessel.

With the architects behind this breathtaking vessel both working extremely hard to raise funds alongside the conversion, and continue to work whilst travelling, it is made all the more impressive. At the same time they are benefiting from the generosity of a number of companies who have donated their products and a crowd funding campaign which sells shares in the lifeboat, the profits from which will go to the work of Hope Health Action.

Leo Davie
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