The Engineering of Blossom to Achieve a Guinness World Record

Chloe Bunce

In just under four months, Charlie Martell will be embarking on an inspirational and challenging journey, an attempt of another Guinness World Record feat – to be the first person in history to row solo and unsupported across the North Pacific Ocean, from Japan to the USA, land to land. A crucial piece of equipment that will enable Charlie on his journey is his purpose-built boat, Blossom. In this blog, we explore how the engineering and equipment of Blossom will play an important role in helping Charlie reach his destination.

Equipment and Stores Needed to Row the Pacific 2019

Safety, storage and space must be at the forefront of the boat’s engineering must-haves. For 150 days or more, Blossom will be Charlie’s home away from home and therefore, needs enough room to contain all the vital equipment, food and water storage needed to complete the challenge. Below is a selection of the essential equipment on-board Blossom and where it is housed:

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon – AFT Cabin (storage 1):

The EPIRB is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency. It works by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest rescue co-ordination centre. With built-in GPS it enables the rescue services to accurately locate Blossom +/- 50 metres. Charlie had to activate the EPIRB in 2012, so it is a tried, tested and trusted piece of safety equipment.

Parachute Anchor – Middle of Boat:

Also referred to as a drift anchor, drift sock, para-anchor or boat break; the parachute styled device is used to stabilise a boat in heavy weather. Rather than tethering the boat to the seabed, the sea anchor increases the drag through the water and thus acts as a brake. Often used at night to help prevent drifting too far in the wrong direction. The para-anchor can be deployed from either the bow or stern of the boat.

Yellowbrick Mobile Tracking and Mapping Device – AFT Cabin (storage 3):

The Yellowbrick regularly sends a position automatically, obtaining a position on Blossom using the GPS satellite network from anywhere on Earth with a clear view of the sky. The position is then visualised on an online map so that Charlie and Blossom’s position and route can be seen virtually live. When the tracker goes live in April 2019, Charlie’s position will be displayed on a chart on his website.

Automatic Identification System – AFT Cabin (storage 3):

The AIS is an automatic identification system used on ships for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships. The information shown alerting nearby vessels of Charlie’s location includes the boat name (Blossom), boat type (ocean rowing boat), status (underway) and destination (San Francisco), at which time the boat’s captain will probably look shocked! The AIS is set to alarm if any vessel comes within 1 mile of Blossom.

The nine storage cabins on Blossom allow space for other essential items in addition to the above, such as medical kits, oars, tool kit, spares kit, anchor, life jacket, survival suit, water bottles, fire extinguishers, sleeping bag, sleeping mattress, laptop and more. Click on the infographic below to view a detailed diagram of Blossom and Charlie’s packing list!

The Engineering of Blossom

Find out more about Charlie’s previous adventures on Motion’s brand-new supporting page here.

Want Your Business to be Involved?

Charlie’s incredible challenge will no doubt inspire many people who read and follow his journey. Motion Marketing is working with Charlie to help reach (and hopefully succeed!) his fundraising target of £100,000, which will go to Charlie’s three worthy causes: Give them a Sporting Chance, Veterans in Action and The VC Gallery.

If you are interested in sponsoring Charlie and would like to hear about the excellent commercial benefits being a sponsor can deliver to your business, please contact the Motion team or visit Charlie’s Pacific 2019 website to learn more about the challenge.

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