Atlantic Crossing Attempt Relies on Caterpillar Power

Thursday, July 24, 2003
Bear Grylls’ expedition relies on Caterpillar main propulsion power supplied by Finning (UK) Ltd. A world record breaking attempt, to cross the North Atlantic in a RIB power boat this month, will see a team of adventurers led by Bear Grylls, travelling from Nova Scotia to John O’Groats via a route which passes just south of the Arctic Circle. The expedition, which will raise around £50,000 for the U.K. young person’s charity The Prince’s Trust, has come to fruition following major contributions from a wide range of organisations and will, if successful, be a world first after a previous attempt, in 1997, resulted in an icebreaker needing to be employed to get a different intrepid team out of the polar icepack. The RIB, built by Ocean Dynamics, is a 35-ft. aluminium hulled boat which features a Caterpillar® 3126B marine diesel propulsion engine rated at 456 mhp at 2800 rpm, which drives the boat via a Twin Disc TDEJ130 jet drive, and is designed to deliver a cruising speed in the region of 18-25 knots, depending upon fuel and water storage conditions. The boat will have a top speed of 28 knots at reduced fuel and water levels, but with the longest leg of the voyage - from Greenland to Reykjavik - spanning a distance of over 850 nautical miles, the vessel has additional fuel tanks and an overall capacity of 4,000 litres of fuel. At 94 litres an hour when flat out, this equates to 42 hours’ travelling which, at an average speed of 20 knots, would see the boat covering a distance of 851 nautical miles.

“It is tight, but I believe it is possible - and choosing Cat was a big factor in making this dream a reality for us. We simply had to fit the best,” comments Bear Grylls. “The main challenges lie in the fact that we are so exposed to the elements for so long, and of course the ice conditions up there, but God willing, we will achieve this and return successfully to our families


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