IceBear Crew Patch.png
 

Introducing 'Ice Bear'

That's right - we ARE gonna need a bigger boat! Mia & I are happy to announce the addition of Ice Bear, a German Frers-designed Swan 59 to the 59 North Sailing fleet starting February 2019! In short, Ice Bear can accommodate 6 crew instead of 4, so we've opened up additional berths for our 2019 calendar, PLUS a handful of passages next year where we'll be running TWO boats - both Isbjorn and Ice Bear in company.

This is a huge leap of faith for us, and we'll use 2019 as a way to 'test the concept' of a two-boat program. We'll be running Isbjorn with another skipper on a limited schedule, while Mia & Andy will be running Ice Bear on the standard 2019 calendar previously published, with the 2 extra bunks added on each leg. If it works, we'll run both boats on a full schedule starting in 2020. 

There obviously is a LOT more to this story, the details of which will be out in the weeks to come. For now, enjoy a preview of the new boat, check on 2019's passages to sail with us, and read below the letter that was sent to all former & future Isbjorn crew outlining the plan!

Read the blog posts below for more details!


Swan 59 ICEBEAR


Q&A With Isbjorn Crewmember Dan

Note: Dan is Isbjorn's oldest and most loyal crew. He was aboard for our first-ever passage to Lunenburg in 2015, and has sailed with us many times since. He was one of the first to hear the news about the new boat, and had a lot of questions for us! I've published our answers here:

  1. How will you break it to Mia ;)

    Very funny!

  2. You just refit Isbjorn. Why the new boat? What are your plans for Isbjorn?

    You know me, always up for a challenge! The main reason is from the success of this summer and our enthusiasm going forward - sailing with Delos was so inspiring, and we're going to get so much publicity from this summer that we wanted to capitalize on that momentum. Not just from Delos either - we've been written about in Yachting World the past 4 issues now, and have a big feature on Svalbard coming out. Plus somer other magazines. A second and/or bigger boat has always been in the back of my mind, and now feels like the right time. 2019 will be a test on the two-boat concept. If it works, we'll keep both boats. If not, we'll have to make a decision on which one to keep.

    As for refitting Isbjorn, the refit served it's purpose in the short-term - we got through the Arctic without a single maintenance problem. Plus, going forward now, she'll be much cheaper to maintain.

  3. Did Forbes talk you into this:)

    Haha, no! Entirely on my own this one, he wasn't even involved.

  4. It's a big boat. Will you try to change headsails at sea?

    TBD. Gotta sail her first ;)

  5. Looks like automatic furling on the head stay. What if that fails. Is there a manual override?

    Yes, and yes.

  6. Electric winches in the cockpit? Same question.

    We'll use them in manual mode when crew are onboard. They're identical to manual winches in that regard, to the electric part is redundant.

  7. Are the mast lines run aft like Isbjorn? Reefing?

    Everything is forward. She's got the old-school Swan winches all over the deck, so basically every line coming off the mast has it's own winch.

  8. Is the spinnaker pole so big I won't be able to lift it?

    We'll install it on the mast, so you never have to lift the entire thing. And in any case, you'll have help since we'll be 8 total onboard ;)

  9. Will it have enough fuel?

    It's a sailboat Dan ;)

  10. Will you have more crew? Where will they sleep? I looked online and I dig the sleeping quarters. Will you have crew hot bunk? Sleep at the settee? Will you convert aft cabin to sea bunks?

    Yes, we'll take 6, plus Mia & I on each passage. There is the twin cabins port & starboard with two bunkbeds each (4), plus the forepeak that currently has a double (2 more). We'll eventually convert the forepeak double into two singles. In the meantime, two unrelated crew can share the forepeak for gear storage, and then they'll have to hot bunk at sea and use the port settee in port, but only temporary. We'll hopefully refit the forepeak bunks next August when the boat is in Annapolis.

    Aft cabin is for Mia & I and one of the main reasons we wanted the bigger boat. We realize spending 6 months on the boat as part of our life, we want/need some more personal space and privacy, especially in port. At-sea it's fine, but in port we can't even stand up in our aft cabin to change clothes, and it's wearing on us. I know this sounds like first-world problems, but that's it! The big bed aft is actually two single mattresses side-by-side, with a leeboard that fits in the middle at sea, so it works.

  11. Business stuff - if more crew, are the economics worth it because the upkeep will also be substantially more.

    If we're at capacity, the economics still work in our favor, but not by a ton. We'll make an additional $20-40K per year than we do on Isborn alone at capacity. If we can run BOTH boats at capacity, than it's substantially more upside, but we're taking it slowly.

  12. Did you photoshop the Instagram pic with the Ice Bear text and logo?

    Yes ;)