GPS Pipes Cross the Atlantic: The Untold Story

24 March 2015


GPS has another claim to fame; our pipes are central to a new book telling the story of an incredible mission to the sail across the Atlantic…. On a raft made from GPS pipes!

The late Anthony Smith had a dream to set sail from the Canary Islands and cross the Atlantic to reach the Bahamas, replicating the journey made by two navy sailors in a lifeboat after their ship had been sunk in 1940.

At the age of 84 Anthony realised his dream and, recruiting three like-minded crew members, built a raft from 18 GPS pipes; four 2ft diameter pipes formed the base and then 14 smaller pipes were fitted across these, which contained the crew’s drinking water. 

Named Antiki, the raft measured just 40ft by 18ft and set sail, to complete the mammoth 3,500 mile trip, in January 2011. Travelling at just two knots, the vessel only managed to cover 50 miles a day and, when a severe storm caused the raft to come off course, the crew were forced to change their destination and headed to the island of St Maarten instead.

After 66 days and 2,478 miles at sea, Antiki arrived in St Maarten having successfully navigated the Atlantic ocean thanks to its sturdy base of GPS pipes. The book capturing the incredible journey, The Old Man and the Sea: A True Story of Crossing the Atlantic by Raft, by Anthony Smith, is out now and is well worth a read.

Published by The Little Brown Book Group, more information about the book can be found here

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