top of page


 Hakluyt is a purpose built sailboat designed to endure the rigors of high latitude sailing and remote exploration


"As it is 'easy' to climb up to Disko island, going further north requires specific preparation of the boat and great caution." - Gilbert Caroff

Hakluyt's Design and name

Is Disko - Disco? What kind of super dance is this?

Hakluyt was built in Chantier Brument, France according to a 2016 survey.  However there is a slightly conflicting report she was built in the Caroff Duflos shipyard.  Maybe these are the same?!  The 2016 survey has several notable errors so we tend to take some of the information found in there with a grain of salt.  We do know with certainty she is a steel, 47 foot "Super Disko" whose design was drafted by renowned French Naval architect Gilbert Caroff.  She has a noticeable steep raked bow designed for riding up and over low icebergs or growlers (larger submerged chunks of ice) and has a shallow draft with a lifting keel to provide safety and maneuverability in arctic regions where ice flows often force boats to shallower waters.  Her flat bottom belly allows Hakluyt to be easily beached in emergencies or when the opportunity presents itself.  Her accommodations and interior are built for expeditionary work and field research.  This isn't really a "pleasure craft" in the conventional nautical sense, but a working expedition vessel! 

"Super Disko" - Gilbert Caroff's famous design, refers to Disko Island off the central West coast of Greenland.  Famous for both its surreal beauty and its proximity to one of the most iceberg producing regions in the north - the Jakobshavn Glacier.   Google "Where did the iceberg that sunk the Titanic come from?".


In a way, we stuck with Caroff's naming convention, "Hakluyt" - our boat name - takes the name of a small craggy island way to the North of Disko island - "Hakluyt Island".  It is situated on the west most protuberance of Greenland and guarded by steep cliff walls as if a fortress left to defend itself.  Hakluyt Island, much like SV Hakluyt, has stood defiant and endured nature's sledge hammer poundings and erosion effects of glacial ice, sea ice, water, and gale force winds.


Hakluyt island sits just West of Kiatak island (Northumberland island) in the Northern end of Baffin Bay.  It is a sentinel standing watch over the entrance the famous Nares Straight. Historically, per NOAA's 1981-2010 averaged minimum ice extent assessments, Hakluyt island would sit at the Southern edge of the annual "minimum ice extent" in summertime (the place where sea ice would retreat to during its peak melt off).  But with climate change chipping away at this "minimum extent" more and more each year - Hakluyt Island is now standing watch over open water in summertime and now, rarely if ever, sees a summertime icepack.


We first heard of Hakluyt island while reading about the famous "1881 Greely Polar Expedition" that took place on the north end of Elsemere Island at a location called Fort Conger chronicled in Buddy Levy's book "Labyrinth of Ice".  

Fort Conger and the Greely Polar Expedition was a first of its kind  international collaborative climate research station established in 1881, a mere 8.5 degrees and 575 miles from the North Pole.  This much storied research station was a participant in the "1881 International Polar Year" climate study.   Much of what we know of the Artic's early benchmark climate data was produced by this 2 (plus) year expedition.  It is an amazing and fascinating story of adventure, leadership and survival!   Perhaps - one day - SV Hakluyt will sail into Lady Franklin bay and pay Hakluyt Island and the Fort Conger sites a visit! 

For more information on the historical "International Polar Year" climate study consortium and objectives please visit:



In keeping with Caroff's mantra at the top of this page - SV Hakluyt has the right preparations / design features to reach icy, desolate places like Hakluyt Island, and perhaps Lady Franklin Bay - and beyond!

bottom of page