The Boat (not quite a RIB)!
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Lynge (closest) &
Ole Jørgen Hamiken
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Powers the World's First Open Boat Expedition
Around the Arctic
An expedition powered by two Suzuki DF140 4-stroke
engines and led by a Danish explorer has become
the first ever to successfully travel all the
way around the Arctic Ocean by open boat. Polar
Passage 2000 has made history by recently completing
the 26,000km journey over eight summers.
team of four explorers travelled in the modern
Eskimo way by speedboat, living
with indigenous people en route and recording
the 'positive Arctic' that still exists – the
national culture and the natural primeval
landscapes. They also witnessed the effects
of climate change first hand, reporting that
the Northwest and Northeast Passages are
both ice-free for the first time in 100,000
The success of the expedition is testimony
to the strong spirit of adventure and endurance
of the team, assisted in their venture by
Suzuki's outboard technology, the latest
safety and navigational equipment and logistical
support from the Adventure Club in Moscow.
The high performance Suzuki DF140 4-stroke
engines proved vital to the success of the
expedition, as expedition leader Anders Bilgram
states, "Without the development of
Suzuki's 4-stroke engines we would never
have been able to go all the way around the
Arctic – especially because of the
very long distances in Siberia." He
adds, "The 4-stroke engines were reliable
and extremely efficient in fuel consumption,
saving us 35-40% on fuel."
The ice-cold open boat adventure led Bilgram,
an experienced open boat explorer and engineer,
and his team to live alongside the indigenous
people, experiencing true Arctic conditions.
Bilgram says, "The expedition marks
1000 years for the indigenous people living,
hunting and surviving in a place many call
home and others call a 'hell of ice'. Travelling
by open boat we won the respect of these
people and met the true Arctic hospitality
in Siberia, Canada, Alaska, Greenland and
The twin Suzuki DF140 engines
powered the POCA 600, a 6 metre open boat
that is also
used by the Danish Police at sea, through
the toughest conditions of the Arctic Seas.
The advanced acceleration and top end speed
of the DF140 engines meant the team could
wait for the most favourable weather conditions
to undertake each leg of the journey. The
4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system, computer
controlled fuel injection and self adjusting
oil-bathed timing chain helped to power the
boat through icy seas, uncompromised by temperature
and rough conditions.
Of course it's not possible to travel
like this without dangerous moments. We had
a few, mainly because of bad weather. In
Russia we had to go into the life-raft when
we were surprised by a storm 650km from the
nearest village, without cover and on open
sea. A dry cargo ship "Captain Bogatyrev" was
discovered nearby and came to our aid. We
also had close encounters with polar bears,
but that was not dangerous", explains
Once you have been in Greenland, or
anywhere else in the Arctic, you most certainly
will be compelled to return", concludes
Bilgram, thinking already about his next
endeavour and the Suzuki engines to take
Upon hearing of the successful
completion of the expedition, Masahiro Yamamoto,
of European Marketing Group for Suzuki Motor
Corporation commented, "This is an inspiring
achievement in the spirit of true adventure
and I warmly congratulate the expedition
team. We are delighted that Suzuki 4-stroke
outboards served the expedition so robustly
in what must be the ultimate endurance test
for man and engine. It is a wonderful testimony
to the vision and determination of the team
and the performance and reliability of Suzuki's
Copenhagen - North Jutland – Norway
- Shetland Islands - Faroe Islands – Iceland – Greenland – Baffin
Island, Canada – Bering Strait - Chukotka,
Russia – Tiksy, Russia – Denmark
(boat sent back for repair) - Norway - Naryan-Mar,
Russia – Dikson - Tiksy, Russia.
The Expedition Team
Anders Bilgram - expedition leader, is an
engineer and member of the Adventurers'
Club of Denmark. He led the Danish Northwest
Passage Expedition in the late 1990's,
boating 3000 kilometres from Thule, Greenland
to Coppermine, Canada.
Frederik S. Lynge - second
in command, is a police officer from Greenland.
He was responsible
for visually documenting the entire expedition.
Ole Jorgen Hammeken - a
Greenlandic adventurer who has travelled
both by boat and dog sledge
in most parts of northern Greenland and has
climbed the northern most mountain in the
world - close to Cape Moris Jesup, Peary
Land in northern Greenland.
Sergey Epishkin - a specialist in Siberian
matters who has worked extensively with Danish
scientists and acted as interpreter on the
expedition as well as being responsible for
all contact with Russian authorities.
2 x Suzuki DF140 4-stroke
Multi-point Sequential Electronic Fuel Injection
Maximum output: 103kW/84.6kW/3.5kW
Cylinders: In-line 4
Displacement: 2044cm3 (124.7 cu. in.)
Shaft length: L: 508mm (20 in.)
X: 635mm (25 in.)
POCA 600 – 6 metre long, open boat.
Built in Denmark.
Fuel tank capacity: 220 litres
Total boat weight: 4 tonnes
Satellite communication, navigational equipment,
ebirp safety device.