Stødig, Arctic LifeboatInspiration
Exploring the Arctic on a Repurposed Lifeboat
Film by Sunflare, written by Guylee Simmonds, Photography by David Schnabel
Stødig is a short film about two architects, Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel and their converted survival lifeboat which recently reached Tromsø, Norway after a 5000km voyage from Newhaven, East Sussex.
Built in 1997 in Norway, Stødig spent her previous life as Clansman Lifeboat No.1, serving the Western Isles of Scotland aboard the CalMac ferry, MV Clansman. Originally designed to carry 100 people in a survival situation, she is their robust, unsinkable and spacious blank canvas.
‘We started dreaming of a big trip’, explains Guylee, ‘What started as a hiking trip to explore Norway then became a big road trip over several months, ended up as a several year project converting a boat and moving onto it. We wanted to experience a range of cultures, different approaches to living by the sea, different landscapes, different climates.’
Both architects saw the opportunity of the fibreglass lifeboat for conversion, a chance to use their skills to design an expedition home for themselves and to take a slow adventure up to the Arctic. After a long year converting the lifeboat they departed Newhaven, along with Guylee’s young retriever, Shackleton.
‘Taking that blank canvas and then saying okay, where do we want to views to be, where do we want to allow all light in, what do we want as more private spaces and where do we want to have big expansive views out. We wanted to contrast a functional, utilitarian exterior with a modern, homely interior.’
The name Stødig is a Norweigian adjective meaning sound and steadfast reflecting the lifeboat’s reliable and functional design and her adaptation into a utilitarian expedition vessel.
Guylee, David and Shackleton are currently living aboard Stødig in Tromsø and look forward to further voyages in 2020.