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[Member News] Eyemouth Marine transforms ocean rowing boat in unique wingfoiling project

Published on: 22 April 2021

Eyemouth Marine transforms ocean rowing boat in unique wingfoiling project

Eyemouth Marine has recently been working on a unique project in partnership with Leven Brown Adventure to make upgrades to an ocean-going paddle boat called the Impifish. It has been converted into a wing-foiling craft, which means it will use sail power rather than being paddled. 


The Impifish has been worked on over the past two months with the key task to carry out intricate modifications in GRP to make her sail worthy. Now she is on her way to the United States for final assembly before South African adventurer Chris Bertish embarks on a 2,850 miles adventure from California to Hawaii. 


The fit out represents the latest step in Eyemouth Marine’s continued development and is one of the first projects to be completed in the company’s dedicated GRP moulding shed which was recently approved for such work. Going forward the team at Eyemouth Marine hope to expand this aspect of the business to produce GRP vessels and continue to fit out, modify and repair GRP boats. 


The boatyard at Eyemouth has a long history of building, servicing and modifying boats and one of their aims is to build on this heritage whilst modernising operations to meet diverse markets. 


The Impifish project demonstrates the capabilities of the team and they are proud to be sending vessels not only to the North Sea, but also in this case to the Pacific. 


Eyemouth Marine’s role with Impifish

The work itself involved raising the topsides and deck to reduce incoming seawater, protecting Chris whilst avoiding seepage inside the craft and contamination of supplies. Hatches were raised to reduce the risk of seawater entering onboard tanks. New equipment has been installed, including an auto helm to help with steering, new uprated batteries and a sea water generator. Fixings have been fabricated to attach VSAT communication which will help Chris to provide regular updates whilst he is at sea, and further alterations to the craft’s structure have been made to accommodate foil wings which are designed to give the vessel lift and stability. 


Leven Brown who leads the project with Chris is a specialist in Ocean Rowing and is regarded as one of the leading consultants in the field. Leven has entrusted the team at Eyemouth and when modifications to the craft were recently completed, Leven commented; “I had been keen to work with a local company to help work on our boats, Eyemouth Marine stood out because of their knowhow, facilities and location. The team has worked incredibly hard to complete the work within the time available and I’m delighted with the results. Going forward I’m keen to build on the work we’ve carried out with the yard, and I’m hopeful that we might work together in the near future on two similar boats which will be used to make an attempt at the North West passage next year”. 


The TransPac wing project

In June and July later this year the Impifish will embark on a journey estimated to take around two months from Half Moon Bay in California to Oahu in Hawaii. In doing so Chris plans to be the first person to wing-foil alone and unsupported across an ocean. Chris is already the first person to paddle the Impifish across the Atlantic, in March 2017 he completed the 4,050 mile journey from Morocco to Antigua. He has also won the prestigious Mavericks Surf contest in 2010. Chris has used his achievements to raise funds and awareness for excellent causes. For example, donations from his trans-Atlantic crossing were used to support Operation Smile. A non-profit organisation providing care to children with cleft conditions in more than 30 countries. This time the TransPac Wing Project aims to promote conservation causes, in particular promoting the Ocean Unite project whose goal is to rally influential leaders acting as a catalyst for positive change and protect at least 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030. 


Everyone at Eyemouth Marine has been excited to be involved in the project, and wish Chris all the best of luck with his voyage and will be following his progress from a far with interest. Updates from the Impifish journey can be found here.


For more details about Eyemouth Marine, click here.