Food for an ocean passage is tricky at the best of times, but when you're attempting a world-record in a microyacht? Now that's a challenge!


When you’re aiming for a solo world record, saving space is a priority… and when you’re in a 1m yacht, it’s absolutely crucial! Food needs to be small, longlife and packed with calories, explains microyachter Andrew Bedwell.

Next year, Andrew will attempt to cross the Atlantic in the world’s smallest vessel, Big C. At just over 1m in length, this tiny fibreglass boat has very little storage space – let alone cooking space – so Andrew will live solely off cold dehydrated food.  

Andrew during seatrials on Big C

Andrew during sea trials on Big C, the smallest yacht to attempt a transatlantic

Whilst it looks like a rather tasty slice of tiffin or fruitcake, this rectangular slab of food is actually dehydrated beef with peppers, homemade by Andrew and his wife. It’s what’s known as pemmican, which Shackleton and Amundsen used on their expeditions. It contains beef drippings, beef and raisins – all dehydrated.

Andrew gets PBO editor Ali Wood to try pemmican

Ali Wood tries Andrew Bedwell’s pemmican at the Southampton Boat Show

What is pemmican?

Pemmican originated from indigenous food in North America, with ingredients coming from whatever was available, including berries and dried meat such as bison or deer, or even fish or game. The high-energy food was adopted by Europeans involved in the fur trade and later by Arctic and Antarctic explorers. 

Pemmican freeze-dried beef

Andrew will be eating homemade pemmican during his transatlantic record-breaking attempt. His version contains freeze-dried beef

“It’s not as horrible as it sounds,” says Andrew. “Yes, it’s cold and crispy and not how we normally eat beef but it’s tasty enough. The beef dripping slightly hydrates the food and when in the mouth it gets fully hydrated.”

For the trip, food will be supplied by European Freeze Dry Ltd. The recipe includes some medicines to help thin the blood and prevent deep vein thrombosis. These are supplied in a carefully calculated mixture to administer the correct daily amount. 

Alongside this, Andrew will be drinking Revive active formulated vitamin and mineral supplements to help keep him as healthy as possible.

Andrew Bedwell stands next to Big C

Andrew Bedwell with Big C, his transatlantic microyacht at Southampton Boat Show

Andrew will eat two bars of pemmican a day – each will give him around 1,600 calories. Being a mountaineer, he’s no stranger to pemmican, and plans to start eating it full-time a month before the voyage to prepare his body for the trip. 


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