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These 2 architects repurposed an old lifeboat and are using it to explore the Arctic with their dog — check out photos of their incredible adventure

Mary Meisenzahl , Business Insider US
 Jan 19, 2020, 10:24 AM
Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel are exploring the Arctic on a refurbished lifeboat.
  • Architects Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel are exploring the Arctic on a refurbished lifeboat.
  • They spent a year redesigning the boat to make it a "supreme adventure craft."
  • Now, they're spending the winter in Tromsø, Norway, and they hope to release a film about their journey this year.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinesInsider.co.za.

Two architects and their canine sidekick are on the adventure of a lifetime.

Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel spent a year refurbishing a rescue lifeboat, and making it into the ideal homebase for an adventure. In May 2019, they took off from a British port and headed north towards Norwegian fjords. Along with exploring, they've also been documenting their trip through photography and film, and they hope to debut at film festivals in 2020.

Follow along with their journey on Instagram, and check out their website.

Check out some photos from their amazing adventure.


In February 2018, two architects bought a lifeboat.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


The vessel is called Stødig ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


... which means "sound and steadfast" in Norwegian.

David Schnabel

Stødig was built in Norway in 1997, and served as the lifeboat on the CalMac ferry on the Western Isles of Scotland.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


It was originally designed to carry as many as 100 people in an emergency situation.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Architects and owners Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel called the boat their "robust, unsinkable and spacious blank canvas."

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


They spent a year converting the lifeboat into a comfortable living space.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


A total redesign gave the boat a new life.

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


A new yellow exterior was a good start.

David Schnabel

They added a kitchen ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


... dining area ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


... two forward cabins ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


... and a cockpit, bunk beds, and more.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Lifeboats are designed for safety, so they are enclosed ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat Tumblr


... but Simmonds and Schnabel wanted storage space and light.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat Tumblr


They knew they needed a place to fish, and for cooking ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat Tumblr


... and, most importantly, a place to sit in rare sunny weather and have a beer.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat Tumblr


They're also joined by the third member of their crew, Shackleton.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


He enjoys "adventures, walks, licking, and sniffing," according to Simmonds and Schnabel.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Though he's a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, they said that his main duties on board are "morale and vacuum cleaning," not duck hunting.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


He also seems to enjoy an occasional swim.

David Schnabel

The boat is 10.7 meters long and 3.2 meters wide.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat Tumblr


The crew of three began their journey in May 2019.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


They launched from Newhaven, a British port.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


The trip has taken them through eight countries and over 5000 kilometers.

Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Their route took them past the coasts of Belgium and the Netherlands ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


... through the Kiel Canal in Germany, up to the Baltic Sea.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Next, they continued even farther north, past the Danish and Swedish coasts ...

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


... into the Norwegian fjords.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


They followed the path of the famous Hurtingruten Ferry, which takes tourists to see the Northern Lights each year.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


The crew made it to Tromsø, the largest city in the Arctic, up north in the Norwegian fjords.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Now, they are waiting out the winter in Tromsø.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


During their winter in the Arctic, the crew wants to"explore this wild and isolated landscape."

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Simmonds and Shnabel also hope to demonstrate their innovation and self sufficiency under extreme climates in the vessel that they redesigned.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


Of course, they've had the chance to take in amazing views along the way.

David Schnabel

In 2020, they hope to go farther north, and explore the remaining Norwegian coast.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


After that, they said, "who knows?"

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


They've also had filmmakers helping them document their adventure, and which they hope to show at film festivals this year.

David Schnabel

Source: Arctic Lifeboat


This video shows the lifeboat in action.

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