Oceanographic Interview

A passion for minimalistic, human-powered expeditions has taken endurance athlete and ocean rower Olly Hicks to every continent and to every ocean. A world record-breaking adventurer, his brutal ocean crossings have taught him a little bit about solitude and survival. We sit down to find out a little more about the man behind the adventures.

Oceanographic Magazine

Read the full interview with Olly Hicks here>>>

Find out more about Olly Hicks here>>>

Arksen Origins – Episode 2

As a team of climbers, sailors, skiers, divers, surfers and kiteboarder’s, getting off the beaten track is in our DNA and this fuels our passion for the ocean. Discover more about the adventures of two lead characters behind Arksen, Founder Jasper Smith and Foundation & Explorers’ Club Director, Olly Hicks.

“I was very lucky to do a trip sailing from Australia all the way up to Alaska on a sailing boat, and we were one of the first boats, if not the first western boat to go into Kamchatka. I was a climber and so I had spent many years climbing and being inspired by Doug Scott, Stephen Venables and Chris Bonington and these amazing mountaineers.” – Jasper Smith, Arksen Founder

Not seen the Return to the Blue from the Arksen Film series? Click here to watch it now>>

Arksen gets more adventurous

18 January 2020 – boot Düsseldorf, Germany: Arksen took centre stage at boot Düsseldorf Boat Show today as the eco-focused innovation and technology company presented a series of new initiatives, each providing greater access to its range of exceptional explorer vessels. These new revolutionary approaches will help drive Arksen’s aim to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable marine future by uniting like-minded adventurers and families, enabling them to go off-grid and explore the world’s oceans whilst participating in conservation projects and marine research. 

New pioneering developments

In addition to the newly launched Arksen Adventure Syndicate an innovative new ownership model offering access to a multi-year cruising program at a significantly lower cost, the company is delighted to unveil details of the brand-new Arksen Explorers Rally powered by PELORUS.

A concept born from two companies’ commitment to ocean conservation, exploration and a desire to expand the horizons of luxury travel. Designed to enable friends and families to explore the world’s wilder lands and oceans, the initial Viking Saga and Middle Seas Rally will take place in 2021. To deliver this series of events, the Arksen and PELORUS team has created an incredible itinerary of life-enhancing experiences and built an inimitable network of adventure professionals.

The Arksen Foundation, a non-profit company that actively contributes to research programs to support the identification of new species as well as the preservation of existing ones, has announced its new lead campaign, 10% for the Ocean. Inspired by its passion for preserving the ocean’s ecosystem, developed from discussions with leading scientists and philanthropists, this campaign is designed to move the needle for ocean conservation funding and set new standards in targeted generosity.

This campaign is a pledge taken by individuals, families and companies to address a global and systemic problem; that less than 1% of all charitable funding goes to supporting ocean-related causes today. Arksen’s aim is to create a scale funding network for ocean science and related causes – to increase the oceans share of funding from 1% to 10%.

All-new Adventure Vessels

Iconic marine brand, Ring Powercraft, has been appointed as the official partner to work alongside Arksen to produce an exceptional range of power vessels, built to accommodate a wide-range of uses; pleasure, adventure, diving, tourism, charter, expeditions and research. The Arksen Adventure vessels are based on Ring Powercraft’s outstanding reputation for producing ground-breaking, high-performance hulls, with exceptional manoeuvrability and rough water handling, which are already utilised in commercial and military markets. In-line with Arksen’s ethos, sustainable approaches and methodologies will be applied to the design and production of these vessels.

The Arksen Adventure vessels will be offered with a range of power and propulsion options to suit different users including outboards, stern drive and water jet propulsion systems, with petrol, diesel and hybrid power plants.

Ring CEO, David Jackson, commented on the partnership:

“We are proud to be working with the Arksen team on this exciting new project to create a range of explorer craft. 

“Arksen’s innovative approach, a perfect fit with our strategy on development projects, will deliver a unique British offering in short and medium range adventure boating. Ring’s proven hull designs, which have evolved throughout the brand’s 51-year history, enhance the concept with fuel efficient, soft riding and exceptional rough water handling capabilities. Our experience in the Commercial and Defence sectors will add durability, range and ‘no-fail mission’ features.

“One of the key drivers for us, as we develop our eco-strategy, has been Arksen’s approach to sustainability. This platform will provide the opportunity to research and develop the practical application of eco-friendly bio, sustainable and recyclable materials for marine use, which can then be rolled out to our production processes.

“As we start the year, we look forward to adding ‘Adventure’ to our current Leisure, Commercial and Defence ranges.”

Arksen COO, Ewan Hind, reflected on the company’s recent announcements:

“A year on from company launch and we’re delighted to return to boot Düsseldorf to unveil our line-up of new project developments.

“Arksen has gone from strength to strength, with our technical teams working tirelessly to develop new and existing relationships with partners and suppliers, looking at the full life cycle of each element of the build but ensuring that above all the vessels meet and exceed safety standards so that our clients can explore in exceptionally high levels of comfort.

“In addition to having the first Arksen 85 ready for build early this year, the designers have been finalising the Arksen 70, a model which has proven to be very popular and makes up a large part of the enquiries we receive. The 70 will also be ready to commence build in 2020 alongside the Arksen 85.”

To find out more about Arksen and its range of 70-140+ ft explorer vessels, visit arksen.com. Keep up to date with the latest happenings by following Arksen on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Arksen Explorers’ Rally powered by PELORUS

A rally like no other, born from two companies’ commitment to ocean conservation, exploration and a desire to expand the horizons of adventure yacht travel.

The Arksen Explorers’ Rally Powered by PELORUS is a new yacht rally that sees groups of like minded yacht owners and charterers cruising the Arctic, Mediterranean and Pacific Ocean, in the name of grass roots conservation. Kicking off in 2021 with the Viking and Middle Seas rally, followed by the South Seas expedition in 2022, the Arksen rally differs to any other by focusing on conservation and far flung exploration for groups of friends and families. Identifying a gap in the market, Arksen and PELORUS have come together to create the most adventurous and environmentally aware yacht rally in the world.

“Encouraging and supporting people to embark on journeys that have the capacity to change lives and that engage our community to actively support philanthropy and ocean conservation is at the heart of the ethos behind Arksen. We are proud to launch the Arksen Explorers’ Rally, a series of global events that we think will redefine marine adventure travel – offering deeper, more fulfilling experiences than those currently on offer.

At Arksen we thrive on partnerships and so I am delighted to announce PELORUS as a key partner. They have a unique blend of skills in the industry and when blended with our own, create a powerful new voice in the industry.  Pelorus will focus on helping develop the Explorers’ Rally with us, whilst Arksen will continue to develop its range of science programs. We very much look forward to working with them.” – Jasper Smith, Arksen Founder

A rally that gives its participants more and that gives more back. An opportunity to explore, knowing you have specialists backing you every step of the way. A chance to see a familiar area in a new light or to discover new destinations accompanied by a fleet of other yachts offering a built in support network.

The competition element of the rally will focus on the Arksen and PELORUS ethos of grass roots conservation and research. By joining the challenge, you will commit to take part in curated scientific, philanthropic and ocean conservation efforts. Each project that is assisted in or contributed to will accrue ‘Challenge Points’ with the vessel that accrues the most over the course of the rally gaining an award.

With PELORUS and Arksen designing the route and the itineraries, participants can be assured that this will be an incredible journey, full of life-enhancing experiences. The vessels will benefit from our inimitable network of adventure professionals and will be supported every step of the way.  

Both privately owned and charter yachts can take part in the Arksen Explorers’ Rally Powered by PELORUS and we will endeavour to assist in marketing charter availability during the rally. Yachts will be divided into categories based on a number of factors, including length and cruising capabilities, and the rally itineraries will be tailored to suit each category.

“We are hugely excited to collaborate with Arksen for the world’s first Explorer Rally. The yachting world is changing and there is a shift in mindset by owners and charterers that is seeing them wanting to explore further afield, the industry is becoming more environmentally aware and the trend for designing and building more eco-conscious expedition style vessels is on the rise. The Arksen Explorers Rally reflects all of this and will be something not seen before in the yachting sphere.” – Jimmy Carroll, PELORUS Co-Founder

Starting from 35,000 GBP per yacht, the entry cost for each rally will be based on a sliding scale depending on the size of the vessel. There will be an additional compulsory payment covering carbon offsetting the entire rally for each yacht through PELORUS partners The World Land Trust. The cost for this will be precisely calculated for each individual vessel. In addition, participants will be provided with an activity menu, varying from high-octane to family friendly. They will have the option to choose what to take part in based on their own budget and guest interests. Each rally will run with a minimum of 4 yachts and the maximum number will depend on the size of the vessels that have signed up.

Arksen partners with Praxis

Arksen has partnered with Praxis Automation Technology to develop the hybrid propulsion systems and vessel management systems for its 20-30m range of explorer yachts. The Netherlands-based technology company develops, manufactures and delivers innovative ship automation, navigation and electric propulsion equipment for all types of vessels and shares many common goals with Arksen, notably the joint desire to design and build a more sustainable and environmental-conscious ocean-going vessel.

Jim Mair, Arksen’s Technical Director, has been integral in the development of this new partnership:

“When deciding upon the powering and propulsion for the Arksen range of vessels, it was vitally important that we found not only the most suitable equipment package, but the right partner to work with on the development of this most crucial of vessel systems. Praxis Automation offered not only an excellent package for the key powering, energy storage, distribution and propulsion systems we were seeking, but also a well-proven vessel control and monitoring system, that along with Arksen Control, will underpin a new wave of marine automation. The impressive level of integration and redundancy possible with the Praxis Automation system, combined with their team’s approach to reliability and safety, fits perfectly with the core technical values of Arksen.”

Arksen and the Praxis Automation project team are already working closely on the systems engineering of the current Arksen 85, with hull one entering production early 2020. This exciting process, along with discussions around future R&D projects, has really highlighted the synergies between the two companies, when it comes to innovation and the commitment to providing 24/7 global support to a client base of ambitious adventurers. The partnership, already working in a creative and dynamic fashion, has enabled both companies to push their designs, opening new ideas and solutions to the industry.

The first of the Arksen Series, the Arksen 85, will boast a full hybrid propulsion package and energy management system supplied by Praxis Automation, further cementing Arksen’s commitment to being industry leaders in innovation and technology. With an expected range in excess of 7,000nm on a single tank of fuel, with solar increasing silent running times the Arksen 85 will take on much larger vessels in terms of capability, with a significantly lesser usage of fossil fuels and energy consumption. Facilitating a new breed of explorer to take to the water, Arksen is determined to make exploration more accessible and sustainable.

Benjamin Van Dam, Sales Director at Praxis Automation Technology comments on the partnership:

“By combining the latest technologies in electrical energy storage systems powered hybrid propulsion, with state-of-the-art automation and navigation systems, we are working towards making Arksen vessels clean, smart, efficient and of course comfortable. In line with the Arksen philosophy we feel we are a part of bringing the vessels to the forefront of a revolution within the marine industry and create a new approach to long distance offshore sailing in a sustainable way. We salute Jasper Smith and his team for materialising this project and selecting Praxis Automation as their technology partner for this challenging and visionary explorer yacht venture.”

Arksen is undeniably committed to producing the world’s most capable and technologically advanced explorer vessels, and this key partnership is another step in the journey to becoming the industry leader. Arksen’s range of vessels start at 70ft, up to 140ft for special projects. Arksen will be exhibiting at boot Düsseldorf on stand 7aB24, from the 18th – 26th January, to get in touch with the team, or to arrange a meeting, contact tellmemore@arksen.com.

New Adventure Syndicate

Arksen is proud to announce the launch of the Arksen Adventure Syndicate; a pioneering club via which members enjoy shared ownership of one of Arksen’s exceptional vessels and full access to their experiences on offer. In this time-scarce and chaotic world, the new concept is a real game changer, it provides the ultimate adventure for families through access to a multi-year cruising program, which includes the great explorer routes used by Cook, Nansen, Scott, Cousteau and Tilman.


By providing the tools to access some of the world’s most remote places, Arksen makes the impossible become possible. All can be explored with reduced impact on the environment and whilst offering the opportunity for members to participate in projects that help to better understand and conserve the world’s oceans.


It has been a year since Arksen first launched at the 2019 Düsseldorf Boat Show and the team return to the show in 2020 to offer the first opportunity to sign up to the new program (Hall 7a, stand B24). Arksen has set out to inspire a new generation of explorers and their new program offers infrastructure and support to enable a community of like-minded, ethically conscious people and their families to utilise the fleet of vessels to their fullest. Arksen aims for their new sharing economy approach to encourage more mindful explorations and collaborations between owners, scientists, ocean advocates and activists.


The new forward way of thinking uses a future-ready model, while promoting much needed shifts in consumption behaviour. The program offers all the benefits of owning a vessel; the opportunity to discover and explore new destinations, long periods of utilisation, fully-equipped, maintained and crewed, all at a significantly lower cost and without the commitment of full ownership. 


The offer is available across two family-friendly production vessels, the Arksen 70 – which accommodates seven guests in three cabins – and the Arksen 85 – which accommodates 10 guests in four cabins. Whatever adventure the members and those closest to them choose to embark on, the equipment will be onboard; the interior can be personally reconfigured for comfort, specific needs and requirements for each expedition. 


Each ship is purpose-built, functional and versatile and built to Arksen’s ‘Explorers’ Specification’ to suit leisure, research and commercial voyages. They are designed and constructed on the South Coast of England in collaboration with world-renowned naval architects and yacht designers, Humphreys Yacht Design and Wight Shipyard, one of Europe’s leading commercial and superyacht ship builders. 


Best practices for procurement, manufacturing efficiency and life cycle thinking have been embedded into the design and construction, with aluminium used in the hull due to its ability to being infinitely recyclable. 


Jasper Smith, Entrepreneur and Founder of Arksen commented, “Arksen has always been about offering our community new experiences and the chance to embark on life-enhancing adventures and we want to make these opportunities as widely available as we can. The Arksen Adventure Syndicate has been designed very much with families in mind and our aim is to provide everything they need to embark on a remarkable journey together. 

“By creating a fully managed syndicate around a vessel, we are essentially offering all the ‘good bits’ without the hassle and frustration of paying to own all of a boat that you may not be able to make full use of. We aim to enable more people to explore now and discover new destinations, whilst sharing our passion and continued support to save our oceans.” 


Members combine to buy the vessel, which is then managed by a professional crew and made available for the member’s use in proportion to their share of ownership. Twenty-five weeks per year will be allocated across all co-owners and the vessels will operate in a specified cruising ground: Europe, the Americas, Asia and Global. Members from a syndicate can swap weeks in one cruising area for another, so they will not be limited to the location of the boat they own. The logistics and support will be provided by the Arksen Explorers’ Club.


Each vessel within the syndicate makes the 10% for the Ocean pledge, donating 10% of its operating time to scientific work, and the syndicate members are encouraged to be actively involved. Members will also have the support of the Arksen Explorers’ Club, who can provide logistical, administrative and operational support and the chance to join the Arksen Explorers Rally, an epic cruising adventure open to those with a suitable vessel.


The Düsseldorf Boat Show runs from Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th January. Arksen will host an official Press Conference at its stand on Saturday 18 January at 10:00 CET (local time), all guests of the show are invited to join this occasion.  

Visit our Adventure Syndicate page for more information.

New pioneering project developments

With just days to go until the world’s largest boat and water sports fair opens its doors to the public, Arksen is inviting visitors to its official press conference at boot Düsseldorf 2020. A series of project announcements will be made on Saturday 18 January at 10:00CET (local time) at the Arksen stand, in the new location of Hall 7a B24.

A year on from the company’s first introduction to the marine industry at the same show, Arksen is set to present a compilation of exciting new project developments, part of the brand’s three fundamental areas; The Arksen SeriesArksen Foundation and the Arksen Explorers’ Club

A unique, pioneering experiential ownership model, the Arksen Adventure Syndicate will provide a platform to increase access to Arksen’s range of exceptional explorer vessels, encouraging more people to explore the world’s oceans and in turn, create a profound positive impact. This membership will afford families the opportunity to enjoy a shared ownership, alongside other like-minded adventurers, giving them earlier access to life-enhancing experiences, whilst working with Arksen to help change the world through its marine research initiatives.

Visitors attending the show will have the opportunity to sign up to the syndicate at the Arksen stand throughout the week.

Partnering with leading travel and yacht expedition specialists, PELORUS, Arksen will launch a brand-new initiative enabling people to embark on once in a lifetime voyages. The Arksen Explorers Rally powered by PELORUS will provide a number of adventures with the first event scheduled for 2021.

Through the Arksen Explorers Rally, like-minded people will come together to not only challenge themselves but to discover new places by getting off the beaten track, experiencing some of the wilder places the world has to offer. Participants with capable vessels will be provided with all the necessary support and infrastructure to conquer this series of life-enriching expeditions, along with fully-mapped itineraries.

During the Press Conference, record-breaking adventurer, endurance athlete and newly appointed Arksen Foundation Executive Director, Olly Hicks, will introduce the Foundation’s latest campaign, 10% for the Ocean. This pledge, to be taken by the Arksen community, individuals, families and companies, is designed to address a global and systemic problem; that only 1% of all charitable funding goes to supporting ocean-related causes.

“The Arksen project has progressed well since its launch in January 2019 and has been going from strength to strength. The Arksen Foundation and Explorers’ Club have been setting down deep roots and we’re delighted to be returning to boot Düsseldorf to introduce the new developments to the project,” explained Chief Operating Officer, Ewan Hind.

The Arksen team will be on-hand throughout the week, welcoming guests to learn more about the development of the company’s 20-30m range of eco-conscious, hybrid explorer vessels, as well as the latest company updates. To book an appointment with the Arksen team, contact tellmemore@arksen.com.

Follow Arksen on social media: FacebooktwitterInstagram & LinkedIn.

Jasper speaking at the Superyacht Forum

Taken from Superyacht News:

We are delighted to announce that on Monday 18th November at the RAI, Amsterdam, Jasper Smith will open The Superyacht Forum 2019 and inspire over 800 delegates with his invaluable experience as a venture capitalist, investor, technological entrepreneur and advocate of doing things differently with The Arksen Foundation.

In order to build for the next generation, we must seek out role models who have successfully navigated their way through business, to understand the lessons they have learnt along the way, and the ways in which they keep the momentum going when times get tough.

The Superyacht Forum welcomes Arksen founder, Jasper Smith, who will share a personal insight into his career to date, including his motivations to build a new business in the yacht space with sustainability, adventure, and discovery as the project’s DNA. Smith will reveal what he believes is on the horizon for the next generation, as well as what the customers of the future will want from the sea and yachting, and the new type of journey they will be requesting.

“Our mission is to inspire a new generation of explorer, sailor, adventurer and scientist; motivating them to go further, for longer and in support of projects that empower global audiences to better understand, protect and nurture the world’s oceans” – Jasper Smith, Founder – Arksen

SuperyachtNews spoke to Jasper Smith and Ewan Hind (COO – Arksen) about the businesses various updates as we approach and the key goals for the company. “Arksen is a technology and adventure company designing the ultimate marine exploration vessels, with the aim to develop the world’s largest fleet of research capable vessels. Our mission is to inspire a new generation of explorer, sailor, adventurer and scientist; motivating them to go further, for longer and in support of projects that empower global audiences to better understand, protect and nurture the world’s oceans.”

Created out of a deep-rooted commitment to help promote behavioural change in the way that we use and understand the ocean, Arksen places a focus on showing the industry and the world that it is possible to re-think the way we do things, and that holding sustainability and technology at the core of a business is a must if businesses want to be guardians for future generations – a focus that will be explored over the course of the three days at The Superyacht Forum 2019.

When considering our theme for this year’s Forum, Building for the Next Generation, Smith commented, “My children were at the climate protests in London this summer. They, and millions like them around the world, have done a better job at provoking change in the last 12 months than we have done in the last decade. The level of change that we need can only be delivered by governments cooperating unilaterally and globally. But our children are doing a great job at stimulating the debate and communicating. They are a powerful catalyst for change. We should be universally proud of their achievements and rally behind their efforts.

“We feel that owning an Arksen vessel is not a status symbol, but a statement of intent and we are looking to build a like-minded community of owners.” – Jasper Smith, Founder – Arksen

“There are numerous reports released recently that demonstrate…..[Read more here]