Andrew Bedwell expects to take 90 days to go from Newfoundland to Cornwall in his tiny 3'3" (1.0 m) boat
An adventurous father from Lancashire, England will attempt to sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland to Cornwall in a meager 3'3" boat.
The attempt will break the current world sailing record for the smallest boat to successfully make an Atlantic crossing.
Andrew Bedwell, who custom built the tiny fibreglass boat known as Big C over three years, expects to undertake the 3000 km (1900 mile) journey in about 90 days. The boat is designed to rollover and withstand anything the Atlantic can toss at it, which Bedwell says will be like "being stuck in a wheelie bin, on a rollercoaster for 90 days."
It will have a total waterline of 3'3" (1.0 m) and a sail area of just 26 ft (8m).
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Bedwell says he was inspired by current record holder Hugo Vihlen and boat designer Tom McNally (also another ex-record holder). Vihlen succeeded in crossing the Atlantic twice, in 1968 and 1993. On his second trip, he travelled aboard a 5'4" boat. Bedwell's new boat is inspired by the Vihlen design, albeit 25" shorter than the already unbelievably short April Fool hull that Vihlen used.
“The vessel itself is incredibly strong,” Bedwell told the Daily Mail. “It’s literally built to survive oceans. It has a fibreglass exterior, then it’s got a foam core and fibreglass on the inside.
“Everyone who sees it – and a lot of naval architects have seen it – say, ‘she’s solid, she’s built to do it,’ and I know she is as well. Capsizing is absolutely not an issue whatsoever, because she’s designed to go over. The hatch seals down to keep it completely watertight, and it will self-right."
“We know she will be rolled, and she will be battered around, but I’ve got a full harness in there."
“There are also two big vents on the front of the vessel, and if waves hit them, they will just slam shut and that stops any water ingress in there.
“And if it is sealed, I’ve got 40 minutes of air."
During the crossing Bedwell will survive using water he collects via an onboard desalinator, and a protein-rich food substance that will be moulded around the internal walls of the cockpit to save space.
“My wife’s going to be making these protein bags, basically, of food. And then we’re going to mould them into the hull to maximise space as much as possible."
“It will taste pretty vile, but it’s just to do the job, basically. There’s not going to be any kind of niceties in there – but my daughter might put the odd skittle in.”
He'll have only one change of clothes, and a sweater for cooler weather.
“There are risks,” says Bedwell, “but we’re fitting the vessel out with as much safety equipment as possible to basically make it so that every other vessel can see us at all times. As we are going across one of the main shipping routes, in bad visibility [and] bad weather, we want the captains to be aware of us as well. I’ll be contacting as many as possible to make sure they’re aware of me on their radar.”
This won't be his first challenging trip, either. Bedwell has previously sailed non-stop around Britain, and he's crossed the Atlantic before in a racing yacht to reach the Arctic Circle.
The risks are worth it, because for Bedwell, "I always like to have a real challenge on the go - although my wife quite often feels I'm crackers - but I said before I'm 50 I want to have done something amazing."
You can get an inside look at Bedwell's boat and his plans in the video below: