Everything You Need to Sail Around the World (by an expert)

yacht sailing around the world

Wanting to sail around the world is a wonderful plan requires dozens of items and skills. For a clear overview, we have compiled a one-stop-shop article that will push you miles towards your goal. Here are the things necessary to successfully circle the globe on a sailboat - the tangible and the intangible ones.

What do you need to sail around the world? You will need a route, a bluewater sailboat, enough money, time, the necessary paperwork, and equipment (i.e. water maker, electricity generator, satellite phone, power-free autopilot). You'll also need proper safety training, mental and physical preparation, and you will need to be prepared to do plenty of research.

There are many items hidden under each of these categories, so let's have a closer look.

Everything you need to sail around the world:

A well-prepared route, a reliable bluewater sailboat, $500 - $1,000 per month per person, travel documents (passport and visas, boat registration, port clearance), cruising equipment recommended by other cruisers, the proper safety equipment, the appropriate safety training, proper preparation to prevent poor performance, time: between 1-3 years, the right mindset to handle mental demands, research of expected sailing situations.

This list is not detailed to the last windproof jacket and a high SPF cream. Such an article would be fifty times the length. Rather it is a wide, birdseye view of categories you need to think about and research so that you can build your checklist.

yacht sailing around the world

There are more ways to skin a cat, and there are more ways to sail around the world. Since each of those ways requires a different approach in terms of necessary skills, sailboat, equipment, provisions, time, and crew, the first step should be planning your route.

yacht sailing around the world

7 Best-Known Routes for Sailing Around the World (with Maps)

You don't need to be especially detailed, outlining every stop on a precisely defined route. I'm talking about a general idea of what you want from the journey because this will influence the items on the following list.

Are you looking to simply tick circumnavigation off your bucket list, wanting the most straightforward, fastest way? Is this more of a world traveler's dream, and you want to visit beautiful places along the way and don't mind making a few stops on the way, even if that extends the trip duration by months? Or do you perhaps have specific stops in mind?

Either way, you will want to know what your expected journey is. A quick look on a globe will instantly hint to many approaches. Various approaches will differ not only in the overall length, which impacts the time needed but also in the distance between the stops, impacting the provisioning system and how far from the warm equator you will be, which impacts the kind of clothing you will need.

The safest sailing route around the world uses the trade winds You want to stay as close to the equator as possible, but you also want to avoid the following 5 places if you can. We've listed the safest and fastest sailing routes for you. Also read: The Safest Sailing Routes Around the World (Which to Avoid)

yacht sailing around the world

Let's get this out of the way first - you don't need a large boat to circumnavigate the world. Larger boats are comfier and faster, but technically not necessary. The smallest sailboat to circle the globe had around 21 feet. We have written many times about small boats that are great liveaboards, so it is possible. Your comfort level, partially dependent on how many people will go with you, is individual.

If you are in a money-saving mode, it pays off to get a smaller boat, but one in good condition, instead of a larger one requiring more maintenance.

But as mentioned before, since your route's character influences your needs greatly, if speed is what you are looking for, as well as long crossings without stops, requiring more spare parts and provisions, a bigger boat is what you will need.

Either way, it needs to be a boat with offshore capabilities. Not a weekend cruiser.

Many people think sailboats are super expensive We did the research, and it turns out you can get a capable bluewater sailboat for just $3,000 . However, it isn't for everyone. Here's the cheapest bluewater sailboat

The short answer is - prepare to typically pay around $500 - $1,000 per person per month when sailing with the sky being the limit, of course.

Here's a breakdown that will apply to you if you are a cost-efficient person:

Breakdown of cruising costs per month:

Roughly 25 percent of your budget will be for food . Eating out is not included.

Around 20 percent will be spent on maintenance (though this varies depending on the state you got your boat in). This means sail and rigging maintenance, yearly haul out and antifouling, electrical and winch malfunctions, engine spares, water filters, and so on.

Approximately 15 percent will be spent on insurance - unless you are against that whole concept.

About 7 percent will be spent on cruising fees , such as permits, visas, and check-in fees. Panama canal costs north of $1,000, and so does entering Ecuador. New Zealand, on the other hand, will set you back merely tens of dollars.

Around 6 percent will be needed for mooring fees , though only if you anchor whenever possible.

A similar amount will be needed for a basic satellite phone plan for communication and weather reports and various sim cards to connect to the internet, when possible.

Fuel varies, but 5 percent is not an unreasonable amount to expect to spend on it.

The rest will be spent on a range of expenses - various clothing, eating out, flashlight batteries, sunglasses you keep drowning, and all that jazz.

The percentages will vary from person to person, but they are not the most important part of the above breakdown - rather, it is the expense list since these are the things and items you will have to pay for, and thus you should know about them beforehand.

Just as before, the kind of trip you have in mind will determine many of the costs. Antifouling might not be needed if you are going at it non stop and are done within months. That $1,000 for the Panama canal won't be necessary if you venture around South America and the infamous Cape Horn. And venturing through Suez, Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden will require extra security expenses.

And of course, if you are paying $1,000 monthly, the overall expenses will differ whether this is a three-year travel journey or you are doing a Vendée Globe style circumnavigation.

Sailboats are cheaper than you might think We've compared thousands of sailboat listing prices for four different budgets. There are a lot of costs involved with owning a sailboat. Learn everything there is to know about ownership costs with our comprehensive overview. Read all about sailboat ownership costs

yacht sailing around the world

Boring? Yes. Necessary? Also yes. Except for those of you who will make the trip non-stop without visiting any country, you may need your passport and sometimes valid visas.

Then there is your boat registration and port clearance. Boat insurance policy is a must in some places, where they won't let you in without third party liability or personal liability.

Sometimes you will need your MMSI number and proof you have AIS capability. Having a few copies of passport-sized photos of the crew helps too - as well as plenty of photocopies of all documents. You will save yourself some running around, trying to find a copy machine.

Here are the licenses you'll need for sailing the world You'll need lots of documents for some places, and none for others. William sailed the world for 8 years and made an overview of all documents you'll need and the documents you can leave at home. Read all about international sailing licenses

yacht sailing around the world

Your actual checklist will be a mile long, but here are several things worthy of extra mentioning. These items came from quite extensive research where numbers of circumnavigators, both racers, and cruisers, were asked to name items they found the most useful. Safe to say, they all named more or less the same set of things.

Now, unless you plan on staying so close to the shore most of the time that you might as well make the trip in a car, you will need plenty of water. Full tanks probably won't cut it. You will need to make your own, probably from seawater.

Electricity generator

The same applies to electricity. Whether you will choose a hydro generator, solar panels, or a wind turbine, you will quite probably need a way to generate some power.

Satellite Phone

Whether it is about safety concerns, or wanting to be able to stay in touch, this is a must. You shouldn't set sail without a reliable weather report. There are many options,, including satellite internet, thanks to which you will be able to be online wherever you are. If you are unsure where to start researching a solution for you, Iridium GO! is among popular choices.

And if Elon Musk's Starlink kicks off as promised, global satellite internet will be an affordable thing for anyone.

Good Bimini

If you are a holiday cruiser kind of person or if you usually sail in areas without much strong sunshine, this might not come to mind when compiling your checklist. But the ability to be in the shade while being on deck will prove crucial.

So make sure your bimini is solid, has a few good years ahead of it, and covers what it needs to, without the need for makeshift solutions consisting of hanging towels and clothes around you to protect you from the low, afternoon sun.

Downwind Sails

The value of good downwind sails that will propel you forward even in light winds is undeniable, though not always do they find themselves on a sailor's checklist. If you plan a long journey, you will appreciate them since conditions won't always be favorable.

Power-free Autopilot

Autopilots will save you lots of headaches when on long stretches, especially if you do things short-handed. But the classical ones use a lot of power. So look into solutions like Hydrovane, which will take a lot of work off your hands.

AIS Transponder

Not only is this a good thing to have for obvious reasons, but it is also mandatory in some areas and will save you money on certain insurance plans.

There are many sailboat cruising essentials There's lots more you'll need, and plenty you hadn't thought of if you're a first-time cruiser. We've listed them all for you. Read all about cruising essentials

yacht sailing around the world

A liferaft, enough lifejackets, and harnesses. As for the liferaft, preferably one that isn't out of date - yes, that is a mishap way more common than you'd think. As for the lifejackets, preferably ones with a crotch strap and a sprayhood, as well as a light, reflective element, and a whistle. And as for the harnesses, preferably a three-point one. A grab bag with an EPIRB, basic survival items, and some provisions should be at the ready as well.

A well-stocked medical kit is a good idea too. Even something as simple as a plaster goes a long way when there is no place to buy it for thousands of miles around.

If you are unsure about what belongs in a solid safety kit checklist, consult, for instance, the ARC's safety equipment requirements - this event is meant for cruisers, not super experienced racers, so it lists everything you might need without supposing you will MacGyver your way out of any tricky engineering situation.

U.S. Coast Guart recommends this safety equipment We've created a full of the safety equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard, which is a great starting point for beginning cruisers. Read all about safety equipment

If there is a screw on the boat, have the tool to unscrew it, no matter the shape. A power drill, spares, wires, lines, patches, glue, pliers, a knife, a hammer… go wild. These items aren't particularly costly, so make sure there is a toolbox on the boat with anything you can dream of putting in it.

Get a head-start by using our recommended tools You just need a couple of basic tools to be properly prepared. Over the years, we've recommended products that are well-priced but reliable. Check out our favorite tools

Offshore Sail Repair Kit

This should be in the above category, I suppose, but let that one belong to the boat, while this one tends to the sails. Of course, you should have some spare sails, but incremental wear and tear is an inevitable part of long term sailing, so be prepared to mend here and there.

Fishing Gear

For obvious reasons. I'm not saying you will find yourself stranded in the middle of the Pacific, with no food left, reliant only on what you fish out of the ocean, but if you want to save on food, have it as fresh as it comes and have a backup plan just in case, a good bit of line with some hooks and baits will come in handy.

To leave the tangible category, here's something many overlook and never need. But if it all hits the fan, you will wish you wouldn't have. In other words, it pays off to rehearse various emergency situations, using the equipment you would, including fully inflating your liferaft.

It may sound a bit boring, and yes, perhaps you won't need it (let's hope), but much is at stake when you do.

You can learn most for free from home There are lots of free or cheap online courses that will teach you the fundamentals. Check out our course recommendations

If there is a time when you want to take advantage of the ultra-organized, obsessive part of your brain, it is before you depart.

In other words, have a detailed preparation plan. Have a detailed journey plan with all the distances and entry prices and necessary documents in it. This should be done to such details as general grocery prices in various areas. Many sailors, after crossing the Atlantic, arrived in the Caribbean, cursing themselves for not stocking up on groceries back in the Azores because food in the Caribbean is so bloody expensive.

Make no mistake; this isn't really about money. If you don't mind paying extra, that's fine. But this is mostly about the mindset of a person that prepares well for all the little eventualities and has two back up plans for if XYZ happens.

The kind of a mindset that will have spare parts for everything, two copies of maps on paper, and the will to power through the logistics of it all.

yacht sailing around the world

The Vendée globe racers do it in under three months, the world cruisers who are in a hurry in a bit over a year, but most take two years and up, to take advantage of good seasons and to get the most out of every location they visit.

You can sail the world in around 3.5 years How long it will take you depends on your goals. We've compared three sailing speeds to see how long it will take you . Find out how long it will take you

I'm not a fan of articles telling you how sailing is tough and why it probably isn't for you since only those belonging to the big boys club can enter. If circling the world on a sailboat is what you want, then circling the world on a sailboat is what you will get.

Nor do I like articles that speak of all the miseries you will have to endure, articles whose authors low key boast about how they don't have any issues enduring said agonies. They make sailing seem like something unattainable for the everyday man, an exclusive activity for those with warrior blood in their veins, which is just unnecessarily elitist.

That being said, know what you are getting into. Know what it means to sleep on a boat for months, know the limits (and perks) regarding comfort, using the bathroom, showering, preparing and eating food…

Also, know the physical and mental demands of operating a sailboat for months and know of its dangers.

Be aware of how you feel about spending lots and lots of time either alone or in the company of whomever you want to sail with.

yacht sailing around the world

How to get there? A regatta in 50 degrees Fahrenheit, high winds, and bad weather is a great start. Getting aboard a sailboat as a crew member, ideally not an island hopper, but one aiming for longer stretches, is a great continuation. Reading blogs and watching vlogs from various sailors helps too, as it virtually introduces you to situations and ideas you might not have thought of.

If I was to decide on a single way to get into the mindset you need, it would be joining an ARC fleet for an Atlantic crossing. Not just for the sailing experience, but because their events are fantastically structured, and you will understand what a long journey means logistically.

It is very much possible to go around the world in a sailboat. Yes, it takes preparation and an adventurous mind, but in the end, it is nothing but a set of specific tangible and intangible parts that, if you have under control, you will likely succeed.

And since there are not many greater adventures available on Earth, what better thing to spend time on preparing for than this?

Fair winds.

Leave a comment

You may also like, the sailing seasons around the world (with map).

Knowing the sailing seasons around the world help you to plan your trip well. I've made a list of sailing conditions around the world, so you know where to go when.

yacht sailing around the world

The Cheapest, Smallest Boat to Sail Around the World

yacht sailing around the world

How Big Should a Sailboat Be to Sail Around the World?

Sailboat in Tropical shallow water

How Long Does it Take to Sail Around the World?

yacht sailing around the world

Do You Need a License to Sail Around the World?

Own your first boat within a year on any budget.

A sailboat doesn't have to be expensive if you know what you're doing. If you want to learn how to make your sailing dream reality within a year, leave your email and I'll send you free updates . I don't like spam - I will only send helpful content.

Ready to Own Your First Boat?

Just tell us the best email address to send your tips to:

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

Yacht Cruising Lifestyle

Yacht Cruising Lifestyle

Everything fun you can do from your yacht

Sailing Around The World – Planning For Global Circumnavigation

August 14, 2021 by Martin Parker Leave a Comment

various sailing gear for global circumnavigation

There’s something about sailing around the world that captures the imagination and inspires. For some, it’s the reason for learning to sail in the first place. Others only start to think about global circumnavigation as their skills and experience grow. Regardless of what motivates you to circumnavigate, one thing remains true. For most, it will be the challenge of a lifetime.

But how do you start the process? For someone new to sailing, the prospect of circumnavigation can be truly daunting. With so much to think about and plan for, many get overwhelmed and abandon their dreams before they begin. 

This brief article aims to get you thinking about the task of circumnavigation and what it takes to practically and successfully navigate the process, from start to finish.

What Constitutes a Global Circumnavigation?

The definition of circumnavigation is a matter of debate, but there are some defined rules regarding a nautical, wind-powered trip where racing is concerned. A basic description would be to follow a route that forms a great circle. The passage must be at least 21,600 nautical miles for racing, and you must cross the equator, starting and finishing in the same port.

A cruising circumnavigation will often take a route that covers a much greater distance, with multiple diversions to visit places of interest. So long as you meet the essential criteria stated above, it can be classed as a circumnavigation.

If you are in a hurry, the current world record is held by Francois Gabart. He completed an official circumnavigation in just 42 days, 16 hours, and 40 minutes in December 2017.

No Substitute for Experience When Sailing Around the World

sailing around the world on a single hull sailboat

Some people spend a lifetime planning their trip, while others have just thrown the basics together and departed. In both cases, some have been successful, and some have not. We are trying to point out that while your planning is a necessary task, it does not guarantee success. Our best advice? Don’t keep putting off your departure because you haven’t planned everything 100%. 

Start with the basic, most important tasks, and get ready to learn as you go. After all, thinking on your feet will be a big part of your circumnavigation journey. 

Solo Circumnavigation, or Go With a Crew?

a man helps adjust the sails on a sailboat

Single-handed circumnavigation is perfectly possible. However, it’s a huge challenge that presents certain obstacles and dangers you could avoid with a crew. We highly recommend going with a crew for your first attempt, be it friends, family, or staff. The average time for cruising circumnavigation is around 18 months, although many people travel slowly over multiple years. 

If none of your family and friends are keen, you can use websites like Ocean Crew Link to find crew. You could also consider joining another boat as part of a crew to complete your first journey.

How Long Will it Take to Circumnavigate the Globe?

a wooden sailboat helm at dusk

This really is an open-ended question. How long you have might be a better question. If you’re in a hurry, the current world record is just under 43 days. For most of us, though, we’re circumnavigating to see more of the world at a leisurely pace.

On average, most complete their journey in approximately 18 months. Riley and Elayna from Sailing La Vagabonde started their trip in 2014 and are still going strong. They have even begun raising their young son on board during the journey. Theirs is a lifestyle choice that most won’t want, though. They even took a risky approach and started sailing around the world with little to no experience. It’s a route we wouldn’t recommend, but it shows that circumnavigation is possible – even for beginners.

In the end, your circumstances and endurance will determine how long you spend on your journey.

Is Sailing Around the World Dangerous?

The US Coast Guard practices an emergency rescue drill at sea

If anyone tries to tell you that it’s not slightly dangerous to circumnavigate the globe, don’t believe them. Sailing thousands of miles from land, passing through inclement weather, and relying on yourself and your crew presents many challenges and at least some level of risk. With proper knowledge, planning, and execution, though, you should be able to navigate your way through safely. By correctly preparing for your journey, you’ll have a better understanding of the risks, allowing you to reduce or even eliminate certain dangers. 

A good starting point is learning your basic sailing skills. These skills include setting your sails and trim, boat handling, and basic navigation, to name a few. Practicing emergency procedures also helps to set yourself up to manage emergency scenarios if they arise. Man-overboard scenarios, how to make a mayday or pan-pan call, having sufficient rescue equipment, and having excellent navigation skills will all help prepare you to make the best of a bad situation. There is a wealth of information and training available both online and through professional organizations, and we strongly recommend taking several training courses until you feel adequately prepared.

Choosing a Boat for Global Circumnavigation

A sailboat sits on the horizon while sailing around the world

When you consider that people have successfully traversed the oceans in a myriad of craft – including small rowing boats – perhaps the type of boat you choose is not the most critical factor. It’s true that with help, you can cross oceans in almost anything, but the less suitable the boat, the more challenging, uncomfortable, and dangerous it will ultimately be.

The range of boats available may seem baffling, but the standard for making significant passages are the cruising bluewater style yachts. Our recent article on bluewater sailboats for under $100,000 offers insight into some well-known, competent, and affordable cruising yachts .

Vessel Considerations For Sailing Around the World

  • Size: Yacht size affects many different aspects of sailing. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time onboard, having the extra space of a 40-foot yacht or bigger will undoubtedly come in handy. In this yacht category, you’ll also get a good sail area to cater to the varying conditions you’ll encounter.
  • Weight: Although a heavy yacht won’t break any speed records, it will keep you steady when the sea conditions are challenging. Strong winds can become challenging in the open ocean, and having a heavy-displacement vessel will help you keep your course.
  • Keel Design: Fin keels are very popular, and they’re featured on many modern boat designs. However, carefully consider where you intend to go. A bilge keel, for example, gives you a lower draught so you can visit more shallow waterways and will allow you to moor in areas where the tide will leave you aground. Additional benefits include easier maintenance when aground and reduced roll for added comfort.
  • Sailing Winches: There are pros and cons to electric and manual winches, but hand winches make sense on circumnavigation passages from a practical point of view. Electric winches save you effort and help if you are sailing short-handed, but they need an efficient power source. Manual winches are more straightforward and less likely to cause you trouble.

What Gear Do You Need for Sailing Around the World?

Orange and yellow emergency life raft used for sailing around the world

There is some sailing gear that is essential for safely navigating a circumnavigation. While this list is far from exhaustive, your boat should be equipped with the following: 

  • Life Jackets: This should go without saying, but it’s amazing how many don’t consider it essential. Ending up in the water thousands of miles from land is scary enough, but it could very well be a death sentence without a buoyancy device.
  • Lifeline: Prevention is better than a fix, so attaching yourself to the boat by a lifeline should be common sense when conditions call for it.
  • Ocean Liferaft: Inside should be an equipment and ration pack that will last longer than 24 hours.
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB): An EPIRB is a device that automatically begins transmitting a rescue signal as soon as it’s submerged in water. 
  • Battery Charging System: You will spend most of your time sailing during a circumnavigation. Running your engine to charge your batteries will not last long, and it’s also not advisable. Install at least one method, but preferably two or more, that can charge your batteries under sail. Solar panels, wind turbines, and towed impellors give you three different options for power, depending on the conditions.
  • SSB Radio: A Single Side Band (SSB) radio is a commonly used maritime communication system in the open ocean and remote parts of the world. Although AM radios are also widely used, SSB radios offer much better reliability and performance.
  • Pactor Modem: Connecting your SSB to a modem will allow you to send and receive emails nearly anywhere at sea. 
  • Flare Pack: Flare packs are used to signal distress to other boats or rescue services, and having them on board could potentially save your life.

Other Items to Consider for Sailing Around the World:

  • AIS Transponder: Safe navigation at sea, particularly at night, requires at least one pair of eyes to monitor the sea for natural obstacles and other ships. While using an AIS transponder does not remove this requirement, it gives you additional information to avoid collisions at sea. 
  • Satellite Phone: Keeping in contact with friends and family can be a lifeline that keeps you going in the most challenging times. A satellite phone will allow you to make direct calls from nearly anywhere on the ocean.

Natural Factors to Consider Before Global Circumnavigation

Turbulent blue waters in the ocean

Your circumnavigation journey will cover more than 21,000 miles, and during that time, you will likely encounter everything mother nature can throw at you. Through good planning, though, you can choose to avoid the worst of the weather and take advantage of favorable winds and ocean currents.

Trade Winds

The trade winds blow continuously throughout the year, thanks to cold air at the poles and warm air at the equator. These temperature differences create westerly winds (from the west) at the poles and easterly winds around the equator. 

Trade winds nearer the poles are much stronger than at the equator, and racers tend to take advantage of this – the passage will be colder and far less comfortable, though.

Cyclone and Hurricane Season

Cyclones and hurricanes occur mainly when the ocean water is warm. This happens between July and October in the northern hemisphere and between December and April in the southern hemisphere. Using this information, it’s a simple task to plan your passage, avoiding the main storm seasons. Of course, storms can still occur at any time in the year, so always be prepared for the unexpected.

Major Ocean Currents

In general, the ocean’s major currents follow the direction of the trade winds, but in some areas, such as South Africa, they can work against you. This makes following the trade winds even more appealing when sailing around the world.

Things To Do Before Sailing Around the World

White and green sailboat used for sailing around the world

Below, we outline some of the ways you should prepare before setting out on your first circumnavigation.

As we mentioned previously, some intrepid sailors have completed circumnavigations with no formal training and have learned while en route. While it is possible to do this, we wholeheartedly recommend you get some basic training before setting off.

Most sailing courses around the world offer certification that is acceptable in other countries. The Royal Yachting Association is the primary certification agency in the UK, and the US Sailing School is the leading agency in the US. 

The most widely accepted certificate is the International Certificate of Competence for Operator of Pleasure Craft (ICC). Once you have your national license, you can apply for the ICC, which is accepted in virtually every country worldwide. Even if a country doesn’t accept the ICC, most charter companies will, allowing you to charter a yacht nearly anywhere.

A variety of insurance policies are available for sailors, but there will likely be clauses in the policy referring to piracy and storms. If you ignore the clauses and visit restricted areas, your insurance will not cover an incident.

Piracy refers to anything from abduction and murder to petty theft and assault. Depending on where you’re at in the world, you’ll need to be vigilant to combat potential downfalls. 

The Philippines and the Suez Canal are two hotspots for more severe piracy, and your insurance likely will specify these areas as high risk.

Only you can assess the risk you are willing to take. Avoiding known problem areas can be beneficial, but incidents can still occur anywhere in the world. 

Get the Right Sails For Your Route

Assuming you will follow a typical cruising circumnavigation route, you’ll spend most of your time downwind. Aside from the fact that many monohull sailors find continuous downwind sailing uncomfortable, you’ll need to kit out the sail locker appropriately. Spinnakers and screechers are the order of the day, along with standard genoa sizes or furling genoa.

Many countries require visas for transit through them, and depending on where you’re going, they could take weeks or even months to traverse. You need to plan carefully, as arriving in a country’s waters without the correct paperwork could prove troublesome.

Interested in joining a like-minded social circle? Get a conversation started on the  new #BoatLife forum  by leaving a question or comment today!

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment below, share it on social media, and subscribe to our email list.

For direct questions and comments, shoot me an email at [email protected]

Sharing is caring!

Reader Interactions

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

MB #20512 PO BOX 480 Sevenoaks Kent TN13 9JY

Tel: +44 56 0386 9163

Keep In Touch

Thank you for reading.

Join our online crew and find more about the #boatlife

The Oyster World Rally 2028 29 Hero D 2

Oyster World Rally

An enriching circumnavigation of discovery, of magnificent experiences and exhilarating ocean crossings

Imagine embarking on the sailing adventure of a lifetime. Exploring remote destinations of rare beauty, unique places to immerse in new cultures and captivating ecosystems. A unique opportunity to experience a sense of freedom and wonder that many dream of, but few ever realise.

Oyster World Rally Circumnavigation Sailing Around The World Sailing Boat Fiji D

Experience unparalleled levels of luxury, comfort and safety, with the reassurance of uncompromising, personalised service and support from Oyster’s world-class Rally team.

Oyster World Rally

Rally Live 2024-25

Engaging, enriching, empowering

Rally information.

Discover what sets the Oyster World Rally apart

London Private View M 2


The Oyster World Rally – the ultimate circumnavigation of the world.

Entries open 18 June 2024 for the Oyster World Rally 2028-29. Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

Detail Page hero 1 v2

Find out more

Rally Information

Rally packages.

For everyone taking part in the Oyster World Rally, the Adventurer package comes as standard and provides everything required to enjoy the voyage of a lifetime.

Relish the magnificence of every destination and beyond with the Explorer package. Enjoy unparalleled concierge service and personalised luxury experiences.

Indulge in the sailing adventure of a lifetime with the Voyager package. Every comfort and convenience precisely composed, every detail considered.

Oyster yacht drone shot turquoise waters D

Experience the sailing adventure of a lifetime in real-time. The Oyster World Rally 2024-25


Inspiring stories and adventures

Infinity Monuriki Island

Oyster yachts

Explore our award-winning, rally-proven fleet of luxurious bluewater sailing yachts

oyster 495 sailing yacht


Join Formula 1 legend Eddie Jordan as he relives his voyage of a lifetime on the Oyster World Rally.

The decision to go


Frequently asked

Yes, you must own an Oyster Yacht to enter. If you are not yet an owner, we would be delighted to build you a new boat or help you find a brokerage Oyster.

The Oyster World rally is an event that sails around the world. All entries must sign up for the whole rally.

The rally entry fee is calculated according to the length of your yacht. Details of costs can be found in the Notice of Event.

Yes, due to event logistics and average yacht speed, the minimum yacht length that can enter the Oyster World Rally is 45 feet.

The answer very much depends on if you already own an Oyster yacht, whether you plan to sail her yourself or take professional crew, and your sailing experience. If you are an Oyster owner and plan to sail her yourself and at least one member of crew has their RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, we recommend at least two years of preparation and positioning for the Rally. Bear in mind Oyster’s Rally training programme runs for 18 months prior to the start of the event.

If you are considering building a new Oyster yacht for the Rally we recommend a three to four years preparation period. Typically, you should allow two years for the purchase, specification and build process. This period could easily be longer if there are extended waiting times on build slots for certain models. Once she is in the water, we recommend at least 12 months to shake down and familiarise yourself with your Oyster. You then need to factor in time to position her for the Rally start in Antigua, which typically means late September before the start in January, dependant on your home port.

For those considering a Brokerage boat for the Rally, we recommend a two to three years preparation period. This allows for a minimum of 12 months to find and purchase your ideal yacht, but it can take much longer. Then factor in the inevitable refit to meet your requirements. This will be your home for at least 20 months so it’s important she meets your every need. Dependant on waiting times, a typical Rally refit can take three to nine months. Once she is Rally-ready, we recommend a familiarisation period of 12 months to fully understand sailing style and features.

Other considerations worth factoring into your preparation timescales include sail training and qualifications; planning and sourcing your spares (Oyster After Sales can help here); ensuring you have the correct charts and pilot books for the Rally route; and deciding how you want to personalise your adventure on or off the Rally route, which Oyster’s Concierge Team would be delighted to help with.

We do not allow chartered yachts to enter the Rally, you must own your Oyster yacht.

The next Oyster World Rally sets sail on 18 January 2026 from Antigua.

Yes, once your entry has been accepted, there is an extensive pre-rally training programme run by our events team and suppliers, as well as regular interactive meetings and social get-togethers.

The World Rally lasts for 16 months and is designed to make the most of global weather and wind patterns.

Yes, a member of the Technical, Logistics and Concierge team will greet the fleet at all major destinations, offering services and support.

Yes, Oyster’s dedicated support team is included in the entry fee and they will be on hand to help you from the moment you sign up, to the day you become a circumnavigator.

Oyster have run three successful World Rallies in 2013, 2017, 2022. The Oyster World Rally 2024-25 is currently running. There are future rallies scheduled for 2026 and 2028.

Oyster Brokerage for the Rally

Ruth II

OYSTER 625 - 2018

€ 2,250,000 VAT Paid

Oyster Palma

Irish Blessing

OYSTER 625 - 2016

$ 2,350,000 US Duty Paid

Oyster Newport, USA

Man of War

OYSTER 655 - 2008

£ 900,000 VAT Paid

Barcelona, Spain

Sign up to our newsletter

Be the first to hear about new launches, exclusive events and all things Oyster


Oyster World Rally 2028 29 Mega Nav


The Oyster World Rally 2028-29. Embark on the sailing adventure of a lifetime. Entries open 18 June 2024

Oyster 565 Series II

The new 565 Series II

The pursuit of perfection continues

Oyster Ownership

Explore the benefits that come with taking ownership of a new Oyster, and becoming part of the family

Oyster 885GT 3 v3


Elaine bunting reviews the new oyster 885gt.

Oyster Charter Luxury Sailing Yacht Charters


Experience exhilarating sailing, luxury and style on an oyster charter. personal, exclusive and uniquely oyster.

Palma Boat Show 2024 6

Join Oyster Brokerage at the Palma International Boat Show, 25-28 April 2024. Book your tour today

Untitled design 83

oyster ownership

Personalised care, unforgettable experiences and lifelong yacht support.

Oyster World Rally 2028 29 OWR Mega Nav

Entries open for the Oyster World Rally 2028-29. Embark on the sailing adventure of a lifetime

Untitled 9

Follow the Oyster World Rally 2024-25 fleet live

Winner of European Yacht of the Year 2023. She sets a new 50 foot bluewater benchmark, offering a stunning combination of sailing performance, comfort, safety and luxurious living space.

Oyster 495 sailing yacht with man at helm

Heralding a new generation of Oysters, this 60 foot bluewater cruiser is a sailing yacht for all oceans. Practical and well-provisioned for long distance sailing or cruising in coastal waters.

Oyster 565 sailing yacht at sea in med

The much-anticipated Oyster 595 is well-proportioned and extremely versatile. Offering exciting, customised build options with no compromise, she is capable of great things.

Oyster 595 sailing yacht sailing at sea

A versatile sub-70 foot sailboat offering the perfect balance of size and practicality. She can be sailed shorthanded effortlessly or take a full crew and up to eight friends and family.

sailing yacht oyster 675

This long range 75 foot cruising yacht is designed for very big adventures. A joy to sail yourself, she also boasts dedicated crew quarters.

Oyster 745 sailing yacht at sea with mountains 1 v2

Oyster 885SII

An exhilarating 90 foot sailing yacht, delivering comfort and safety with uncompromising performance. She is capable of taking you anywhere in the world effortlessly, in luxury and style.

Oyster 885 sailing yacht with crew

First name *

Last name *

Phone number *

Country/Region *

Attach CV *

Attach covering letter

Current occupation

LinkedIn profile

yacht sailing around the world

How To Sail Around The World (With Timeline and Examples)

yacht sailing around the world

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

Every year 150 boats with crews complete a full circumnavigation of the globe, if(like me) you are in the process of planning the adventure of your life, or if you are just interested in how to sail around the world, then you have come to the perfect spot.

In this post, I will explain all of the aspects you need to consider before, during, and after a sailing adventure of this magnitude.

Firstly I will introduce you to  8 ways of sailing around the world; then, I will show how to plan and execute a circumnavigation .

There are 8 different ways to Sail around the world, 

  • Join a research vessel
  • Get on a friend’s boat that is already out sailing.
  • Date the owner of a boat
  • Get paid to work as a; Mechanic, Chef, or General helper .
  • Use Your specialty skill to help the crew; online marketing, language teacher, musician, etc.
  • Work for free but instead receive free meals and a berth .
  • Take care of children on board.
  • Become a boat sitter .

Table of Contents

How to Sail Around The World in Your Boat

Choose the right boat.

I have written an entire series on this topic, and if you want the full in-depth detailings on how you can make sure you get the right boat for your needs,  read this .

Some aspects that you need consider are, size, number of berths and hull shape etc.

What You Need To Know

How long is it going to take .

Circumnavigating the globe on a sailboat will take a considerable amount of time. There are some aspects that we need to consider before we can come up to a reasonable conclusion on how long it will take you! 

To get some perspective on the matter here are some data;

The fastest boat to sail around the world is a trimaran, and the shortest time recorded is 40days.

If you are on a sailing cruiser, it will most likely take you somewhere between 1.5 to 5 years until you have reached a full circumnavigation.

If you join the A.R.C. world cruise, you will return in 1.5 years but will not have had much time to explore all the places you have passed through. Therefore, many people do half a circumnavigation with the A.R.C., stop and explore, and then continue on their own.

So if you’re interested in exploring the locations you sail through, then plan on returning home closer to the 5-year mark.

What Factors Impact Time?

The most significant factor in determining how long it will take for you to sail around the world is how much time you spend in each region.

Every region has a time window of when it is best to arrive and leave; these are often due to storm or other weather patterns that will impact your sailing safety and pleasure.

If you choose not to use your time window, you might have to stay another three months or so until the hurricane season is over.

A factor that is  not very important in the long run is how fast your boat is,  even though you have a faster boat and will reach the destination quicker, that time will quickly be eaten up by staying an extra day or two at a marina. 

Here’s an example:

Crossing the Atlantic takes around three weeks, let’s say we double that speed(which is unrealistic but will hopefully make my point clear).

Now it only takes 1.5 weeks, and you have an additional 1.5 weeks that you can spend on sailing around or going to the next place.

1.5 weeks might sound much, but considering that this crossing is only one of around five major crossings, the amount of time you can save by going faster is small compared to how much time you will have in each region(months).

So if you want to get done with it quicker,  then it is a better tactic to spend less time in each region than getting a faster boat.

There are, of course, benefits of having a faster boat, much of this is discussed in my article;

Or check out my youtube talk!

Possible Routes

The northern route means traveling through the arctic circle and around the North American continent instead of heading straight through the Panama canal. Taking this route means that you will have to pass through the northwest passage, more on that below.

Heading east or west?

Most boats travel to the west since this means that they are able to utilize the trade winds going downwind, something that is much more comfortable. Although this is more enjoyable, the speed records for going around the world are set by going east into the wind.

Southern Route Going West, 2.5 Year Circumnavigation Example

This is the most common route to take when sailing around the world, the most significant difference between the southern and northern route is the Northwest passage north of Alaska.

The reason why most opt for the southern route is due to the colder climate and a more strenuous trip when crossing the arctic circle.

Southern Route is faster since you will not have to sail around the North American continent, but instead, you will enter the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal and its giant locks( more on that here )

The Atlantic Ocean, 9 Months

July to March

If you plan to explore the Mediterranean, make sure you have plenty of time here during the summer since this is truly the best time. It also synchronizes well with the tropical hurricane seasons in The Caribbean, starting in June and ending on November 30th.

This means you can spend the entire summer and autumn on the European side and from November to December cross the Atlantic to The Caribbean side. This will give you three months in the Caribbean before it is time to sail through the Panama canal.

The Pacific Ocean, 8 Months (Total: 1 Year 3 Months)

March to September

Many say that spending only one season in The South Pacific is too short, so make sure you plan enough time to explore the many paradise islands that you probably never will return to again! 

Most cruisers travel from Panama to Galapagos Islands and then head straight for Marquesas. I want you to know that there is an option here to head on a more southern route to include Easter Island on your trip, an Island that is well known for its hospitality but also those weird stones.

In this region, you will also have the opportunity to spend time in Fiji, Tonga, Bora Bora, and other magical places.

Your last big stop in this region is Australia, a land well worth exploring by car and a place to spend a lot of time exploring different animals and nature. Once you pass The Torres Strait, you will soon be in the next region.

The Indian Ocean, 6 Months (Total: 1 Year 9 Months)

October to April

Heading west after Australia, you can head towards The Suez canal via Thailand, Singapore, and the Maldives. Or you can stay south and reach the Atlantic through Cape Horn.

In this area, most people stop in Bali before continuing westward.

South Indian Ocean & South Atlantic Ocean, 9 Months (Total: 2 Years 6 Months

May to January

Due to the political situation around the horn of Africa and the Suez canal, most cruisers avoid that area and stay more south towards Madagascar and south Africa even though this has challenges of its own.

Rounding the southern tip of Africa is almost guaranteed to get you into some heavy weather, and you better prepare well.

Total Time to circumnavigate the world: 2 Years & 6 Months

Northwest passage .

July to August

This route will take you north of Canada and Alaska where you will have to find a way through the ice and snow that usually leaves an open path free from obstacles during late August.

The Northwest passage is around 782 Nautical miles, stretching from Canadian Baffin island in the east to the US Beaufort Sea in the west. 

Sailing the Northwest passage at 7 knots will take 112 h or 4.5 days of continuous sailing.

This does not take into account navigating around icebergs or having to turn around since there might be no ice-free route.

The crossing can only be done in mid-august when enough ice has melted to create a way through.  

Assuming that you leave the Caribbean when hurricane season starts at around June, this will get you in time to make the crossing in mid-august. If you make it, pop out on the other side in September, ready to head south and into warmer climates on the Pacific side.

Bottlenecks along the route

There are many variations of this route, but no matter what variation, you will end up going through one or more of these bottlenecks. (Unless you are competing in the Vendee Globe… but then you probably wouldn’t be reading this).

Panama Canal

Sailing across the Panama Canal is a story on its own, and I have dedicated an entire post to it ( read this ). The short version is that the canal will save you vast amounts of time since you won’t have to go around the cape horn, this is not as bad as the northwest passage, but it is still a cold and hard passage that will take its toll on boat and crew.

The Panama Canal is expensive; with all things covered, you will end up paying around USD 2500.

The Panama Canal will save you around 44 days and 8000 nautical miles! 

Other than the security issues discussed above, the Suez canal is much cheaper than the Panama canal. The Suez canal is 5300 nm shorter than going around the cape of good hope. 

Torres Strait

Torres Strait Is the water that separates Australia from Papua New Guinea and is the gateway between The South Pacific Ocean and The Indian sea.

How much time do you need to plan a circumnavigation

Actually, you dont need that much at all, once you find a boat suitable to your offshore needs you can get going. You dont have to have a perfect plan before you leave, if you are waiting for that, then you probably will never leave.

All you need is “enough preparations” to get you going, and once underway, many of the things can be sorted out. 

A big one is to  make sure you have an income  or a big enough sum of money in the bank since this is one of the few things that can ruin your adventure. 

You never want to be in the situation where you  have to sell the boat,  you might not have enough money to buy that fancy rigg or upgrade the rudder, but you will still have your home on the water, and with that, you can make money, one way or another! 

If you don’t know anything about sailing, one or two years of planning and preparing is definitely enough time if you are dedicated to the mission.

12 Skills You Need to Sail Around The World

Here are some of the skills that we found very useful;

  • Glass fiber work

Planning your sail

Potential income.

B.O.A.T., Break out another thousand, you have probably heard that a boat is just a hole in the water where you throw all your money. I would argue that your boat can actually make you some money (Sign up for the email list to find out when the “how to make money off your boat” article is published).

There are a few ways to make some good dollars.

Putting a Berth out for rent on Airbnb  could make some serious cash when you are in places that are well populated by tourists; this could earn you anywhere from USD 30 per night.

Take people out for snorkeling trips or a cruising weekend . You’re probably going to do this anyway so why not invite some new people, maybe you’ll end up being excellent friends! This has the potential of earning hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars for your trip.

Both of the examples mentioned earlier are good, but they require constant work involving customer interaction. I prefer a more stable  passive income  generated from either index funds or a low maintenance youtube channel.

Prepare Your Boat

Equipping the boat.

During your journey around the world, you will spend a lot of time on your boat doing stuff that you would also be doing in your nonfloating home onshore. Things like cooking, cleaning, and repairs should also be possible to undertake during a sail.

This means that your boat should be in perfect order to make sure you have the best experience possible.

The Galley should be configured to make food underway ; on a catamaran, This is less of an issue than on a monohull since it will not heel as much.

But your kitchen on water still should be able to operate during bad weather and therefore should have proper railings to hold on to, and many cruisers prefer a tight spaced galley instead of an open floor plan.

What sails do you need?

Getting the right sails is an entire article in itself, but I want to point out a few things here, firstly decide if you will travel in an easterly or westerly direction.

Most people go west(95%), especially sailors, with a catamaran since this means less upwind sailing.

Optimizing your boat for upwind performance requires another type of sails than it does for going eastbound and downwind.

The big difference between cruising your local archipelago and crossing big oceans is the number of different sails you will have to bring.

Since you will spend time in so many different weather patterns, you need sails that can work sufficiently in every condition, from storm to light winds.

Getting the right sail is very boat specific and differs widely, but there are a few key takeaways that I want to share.

Mainsail with a conventional single line reefing system  with three reefs makes it possible for you to reef and raise the sail without leaving the cockpit. The system is also as basic as it gets and will most likely work when you need it the most.

Genoa  is a sail that extends past the mast and is used to increase sail and is under low to moderate winds. These will come very handy during the low wind conditions mid-Atlantic or when coastal cruising. The Genoa is often combined with the spinnaker.

Asymmetrical Spinnaker  resembles the Genoa sail but looks more like a balloon and is often called a kite or chute. The asymmetrical is easier to set and requires less crew to handle than the symmetrical spinnaker and is, therefore, the preferred option for long-distance cruising.

Storm Jib  is a much smaller jib and is used to reduce the sail area to a minimum without losing too much speed rending the boat uncontrollable.

When picking out your sails, you should follow the O.S.R. Guidelines (Offshore Special Regulations).

Prepare Yourself and The Crew

What is it that you want to achieve on this trip?

Make sure everybody is on the same page regarding what you want to get out of this circumnavigation.

This dramatically reduces the risk for crew mutiny 😉 jokes aside, understanding each other is very important if wanting to avoid unnecessary conflicts. 

To exemplify, consider the following; The most important thing to me is to complete the circumnavigation.

My friend’s most important thing is to get away from his lifestyle and enjoy some warm weather sailing.

These two missions might not seem very different at first sight, but when the time comes. You have to decide whether you want to leave for the Bahamas now, significantly increasing the crew’s workload, or staying another season(and enjoy the warm weather). The discussions will get emotional if you have not previously aired your goals for the trip.

Equipping The Crew

Ensure your crew has  all the clothes they need  for all the different weather types that you will encounter. Even though you might be sailing in the warmer parts of the world most of the time, once you get tired, wet, and the temperature drops, it will soon be freezing and hard on your crew. 

Raingear is a must , even though it might be warm, a dry crew is a happy crew. Especially during night time in the Mediterranean, where it can be quite cold even in the summer.

Prepare for Emergencies

You need to consider two categories of threats, those that originate from natural causes, such as bad weather, and those initiated by a person, such as robberies.

Make sure you have an ongoing threat assessment and never allow yourself to get overly complacent.

Ensure you and your crew have sufficiently  practiced drills such as Man overboard, M.O.B., Reefing, Storm tactics , etc.

The importance of these drills cannot be understated; you will learn so much from practicing; here’s an example.

Weeks before heading to The Bahamas, we went through the Miami river to practice M.O.B. drills in the bay’s somewhat choppy seas. Even though the conditions were almost perfect, we realized a few things. Firstly, if someone falls overboard without a harness, there is little to no chance to retrieve them during a storm. Secondly, if someone is attached to harness and tether, but it is too long, the only thing that will happen is that the M.O.B. will be pounded between the hull and the waves, not a good option.

The conclusion we reached?  We must do everything in our powers to make sure nobody falls overboard, because if they do, we might not be able to save them. Shorter tethers and strict adherence to rules, and we felt comfortable to continue our journey.

These same principles also apply to reefing, make sure you understand precisely how it is done, and plan contingencies, what will you do when the mainsail jams? Cut it? There might be a time for such actions, but this means you no longer have a mainsail for the rest of the trip. 

Plan and practice wisely, and when the time comes, you will handle stressful situations with ease.

Bringing a firearm or not?

Bringing a firearm might seem like an excellent idea at first, but there are a few things that you need to consider before bringing one onboard your boat.

Bringing a gun to another country isn’t something most countries take lightly, in many countries we visited they asked us if we had a weapon, we said no but asked what would happen if we did. They let us know that we would have to turn it in an get it back once we leave the country. 

These rules mean that you won’t have access to the gun when you might need it, and that you need to exit from the same port that you entered.

This inhibits your freedom of movement in the country and just adds administration to your trip.

And even if you get to keep your gun, what are you going to do with it that you cant do with a flare gun that you already have on the boat(or at least should have)?

Yes, they still exist, no they dont have wooden legs or eyepatches, sorry 🙁 

Pirating is still a significant safety concern; it  is very uncommon in most parts of the world, but make sure you check out the  I.C.C. website  to assess the threat in your area.

Theft  is something that will sooner or later happen to you, no big deal, you will get mad for a while, and then you let it go. 

I only have one tip for you here, try not to take it out on the wrong people, not all the locals are horrible because somebody, who might not even be from there, stole your stuff.

Give the benefit of the doubt, and you will get plenty in return! 

Health Emergencies

Bring all the medications that you need at home, and then assess what you will need in each region depending on the local situation. 

Some basics include Malaria prophylactics, Imodium, and something for seasickness.

Ensure you get the right vaccines  before leaving home.

Financial situations

Insurance can be costly , you dont need to have one, but I think that most cruisers are insured. Concerning offshore sailing around the world, there are many ifs and buts that they dont cover.

Two ordinary circumstances are; staying in hurricane territory during seasons and sailing through pirate-infested waters

Keep yourself updated, so if the accident strikes, you haven’t missed a loophole in the contract.

Make Sure You Bring The Right Paperwork 

Every country has its own rules on what they consider necessary for you to enter the country. 

Paperwork can be anything from yellow fever vaccine certificate to bank statements, keep yourself up to date on the local requirements. Here are some of the essential documents you will need for most countries.

VISA,  Depending on where you are from, you might, or you might not need a visa to a particular country.

Usually, when entering a new country, the authorities want to make sure that you are the owner of the boat; make sure you bring an  owner’s certificate  in English.

If you carry a gun , bring the correct papers for that as well! 

Before you enter a country’s territory, make sure you  hoist the yellow quarantine flag  and understand how you are supposed to clear customs.

Understanding and following the right procedures will significantly reduce unnecessary troubles when making your first port of entry.

Final preparations before you head out

A few more, easily missed, boxes we need to check to make sure you have the best adventure possible.

  Prepay all your bills  is an excellent idea since you dont know when and how good of a internet connection you will have, and you are also leaving the landlocked life behind so why not also leave the boring task of paying bills behind..

Ensuring that your bills are paid will give you more time to focus on the boat and reduces the risk of getting charged extra for being late on a payment.

If you have decided to keep your old home, whether it is a house or an apartment, it is good to prepare it for storage. 

This includes getting someone to check up on it from time to time, set the temperature high enough that the house won’t freeze, and low enough that you don’t waste money on heating a place that you are not using. It is also good to make it look like it is still inhabited.

Share your float plan  with someone you trust and make sure you update it as your plans change. The most important aspect of a float plan is,  when  should someone start looking for you, and  where  shall they look! 


The importance of a going-away party should not be underestimated; this  is the chance for all your friends and family to come together one last time before you leave. 

These parties are always the best since the air is full of excitement and adventure! 

During The Circumnavigation

So you are finally underway, this life-changing trip is off to a good start, but how do you keep the winds of luck blowing?

2 Things That You Always Need to Be Up to Date With

This will be as normal to you as checking your watch, understanding weather signs, and looking for changes is essential when sailing safely.

This includes understanding shifts in the tradewinds might be a sign of a cold front approaching, and heavy winds are on its way.

Understanding how the currents will impact your sailing, especially in places like the Bahamas where the sea bottom goes from 12 m to 2000m in a few minutes of sailing, is very important. This sudden drop in depth creates massive local currents that you just won’t be able to oppose unless you have a powerboat.

Seasonal changes are one of the most critical factors. We  have briefly discussed hurricane seasons, but nature doesnt really use a calendar. She definitely doesnt wait for us humans to leave a place before it erupts into full blow storms.

Most cruisers will travel at the pace of the hurricane seasons and stay on the winter side of the equator.

It is also wise to keep in contact with cruisers in your area, for example, this might help you get the most recent update on the width of the doldrums (the area around the equator which usually have too little wind to sail)

2. The condition of your ship

Once the epic journey has begun, so will also the epic amounts of maintenance!   One of the things we totally underestimated was the amount that we would have to spend on maintenance and repairs while underway.

Suppose you’re sailing a catamaran, and there is a need to do repairs under the waterline, then you can do something called beaching. Beaching is when you put your boat on a sand beach, and when the low tide flushes away the water, the ship will stand on its hulls, and you now have full access to the bottom of your boat.

There is always something that breaks or is underway to breaking.

And when you are not repairing, you are maintaining engines, hulls, electrical systems, or the dingy. Make sure you check every line and sail for chafing often, and when you are out on a long-distance sail, you want to check that every time you are on watch.

The same thing applies to the engines: they are running smoothly at the right water temperature and with the oil at the correct pressure. Adjust your RPM so you will get the maximum fuel efficiency! 

After You Have Sailed Around The World

Coming back to a life on land can be hard if you haven’t prepared sufficiently, but with some thinking ahead before coming back home, the transition from a life at sea to a life at bay will be seamless.

Before you return home, you should have a solid plan for what you want to do and where you want to do it.

Do you want to keep or sell the boat?  Then you want a good plan on where to sell it and when so you can maximize profit. If you decide to keep it, you also have the possibility to relive good memories by taking it out on weekend cruises.

Do you want to go back to your old life , or have you been accustomed to a different lifestyle? How will you earn your income?

Don’t expect everything to be the same way as when you left.  Just as YOU have, the people back home will have carried on with their life, and you might not come back to what you left! For good and bad, of course, make sure you plan your future life on land according to the situation as it is right now! 

Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment.

Recent Posts

Must-Have Boat Gear for Catamaran Sailors!

Sailing is probably the most gear-intensive activity I've ever done; there are so many decisions to be made about what gear to buy now, for tomorrow, and what to definitely never buy. The gear on...

6 Best Trailerable Trimarans For Bluewater and Coastal Sailing

Having a boat costs a lot of money, even when you are not using it, marina fees, etc. And once it is in the water most sailors never go very far from their "home marina" and sailing will be somewhat...

yacht sailing around the world

Sail Away Blog

Ultimate Guide: How to Sail Around the World – Expert Tips and Routes

Alex Morgan

yacht sailing around the world

Taking up the challenge of sailing around the world is an exhilarating and rewarding endeavor that requires careful planning and preparation. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a novice, embarking on this global adventure requires a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects involved. From gaining sailing experience and choosing the right boat to planning the route and equipping your vessel, each step is crucial for a successful journey. Understanding weather patterns , maintaining health and well-being, and knowing how to handle emergencies at sea are essential skills to possess. Interacting with different cultures along the way also adds a unique dimension to the experience. In this article, we will guide you through the process, providing valuable insights and tips on how to sail around the world.

Key takeaway:

  • Taking up the challenge: Sailing around the world requires determination and perseverance, but it can be a life-changing experience.
  • Preparing for the journey: Gaining sailing experience, choosing the right boat, and securing necessary documents are crucial steps before setting sail.
  • Planning your route: Selecting the best season, considering trade winds and currents, and identifying potential stops and ports are vital for a successful voyage.

Taking Up the Challenge: How to Sail Around the World

To embark on the challenge of sailing around the world , follow these steps:

1. Taking Up the Challenge: Gain sailing experience by learning navigation skills and sailing in various weather conditions.

2. Plan your route: Conduct thorough research on seasons, wind patterns, and potential hazards to chart the safest course.

3. Prepare your boat: Prioritize safety by equipping your boat with necessary safety gear, provisions, and performing regular maintenance checks.

4. Obtain necessary permits and visas: Ensure compliance with country entry requirements by obtaining the required permits and visas.

5. Study weather patterns: Familiarize yourself with meteorology to make informed navigation decisions and ensure a safe journey.

6. Create a watch schedule: Establish a rotation system to have someone always alert and attentive during long passages.

7. Stay connected: Invest in reliable communication devices to maintain communication with the outside world throughout your voyage.

8. Practice self-sufficiency: Acquire essential repair and maintenance skills to address any potential issues that may arise during the journey.

9. Be prepared for emergencies: Carry a well-stocked first aid kit and have emergency procedures in place to be ready for any unforeseen circumstances.

10. Enjoy the journey: Embrace the breathtaking views and savor the unique experiences encountered along the way.

Fact: Sailing around the world can be a voyage lasting anywhere from 1 to 3 years , depending on factors such as weather conditions, route choices, and boat speed.

Preparing for the Journey

Are you ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime? In this section, we’ll dive into the essential steps for preparing your journey as you set sail around the world. Discover the importance of gaining sailing experience , choosing the right boat , and securing the necessary documents . So, grab your compass and get ready to explore the thrilling world of global sailing!

Gaining Sailing Experience

When it comes to gaining sailing experience, there are steps you can take to build your skills and knowledge:

  • Take sailing lessons or enroll in a sailing school to learn navigation, boat handling, and safety protocols.
  • Join a yacht club or sailing community to connect with experienced sailors who can provide guidance and mentorship.
  • Participate in regattas or sailing races to practice skills in competitive environments and learn from more experienced sailors.
  • Crew on other people’s boats to gain practical experience and learn different sailing techniques.
  • Sail in different conditions , such as different weather conditions and types of waters, to cultivate proficiency in different sailing scenarios.
  • Stay up-to-date with sailing publications, books, and online resources to enhance theoretical understanding of sailing techniques, rules, and navigation.
  • Consider completing certifications such as the American Sailing Association (ASA) or Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to validate sailing skills.

Fact: Gaining sailing experience is crucial for a safe and enjoyable sailing journey around the world.

Choosing the Right Boat

When sailing around the world, picking the right boat is crucial for a successful and safe voyage. Consider these factors when selecting your vessel:

1. Size: Determine the boat’s size based on the number of crew members and trip duration. A larger boat offers more space and stability but may be harder to maneuver.

2. Construction: Look for a boat made of durable materials like fiberglass or aluminum. They resist damage from waves and weather conditions.

3. Design: Consider the boat’s layout, ensuring it has enough storage space, comfortable living quarters, and a functional deck for sailing.

4. Sail Rigging: Choose a boat with a sail rigging system that matches your sailing experience and preferences. Options range from traditional sloop rigs to modern catamarans.

5. Navigation Equipment: Ensure the boat has essential navigation instruments such as a compass, GPS, and radar for safe navigation.

An illustrative story underscores the importance of choosing the right boat. A couple attempted to sail worldwide on a small boat. Despite their experience, the boat lacked stability and safety features for long-distance cruising. They faced multiple challenges, including rough seas and equipment failures. Eventually, they had to abandon their journey and get rescued. This story emphasizes the need for thorough research and selection of a suitable boat for your sailing adventure.

Securing the Necessary Documents

Securing the necessary documents is crucial when preparing to sail around the world. Follow these steps:

1. Research the required documents for each country you plan to visit, including passports, visas, and cruising permits.

2. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date to avoid complications.

3. Check the visa requirements for each country and apply well in advance. Some countries may have specific visa requirements, such as transit visas for shorter stopovers.

4. Obtain the necessary cruising permits or licenses for your vessel, providing proof of ownership and insurance.

5. Make copies of important documents, such as passports, visas, and permits. Keep these copies secure and carry them with you while sailing.

6. Consider getting international health insurance to cover medical emergencies while traveling.

7. Register your trip with your local embassy or consulate to receive assistance in emergencies or evacuations.

8. Stay updated on any changes in entry requirements or travel advisories for the countries you plan to visit.

Securing the necessary documents ensures a smooth and hassle-free journey around the world. It is advisable to start this process well in advance to allow for processing times or unexpected delays.

Planning Your Route

When it comes to sailing around the world, one of the most crucial aspects is planning your route. In this section, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details and explore how to select the best season for your voyage. We’ll also take a look at the importance of considering trade winds and currents in order to navigate efficiently. And of course, we’ll discuss the key factors to keep in mind when identifying potential stops and ports along your epic journey. Get ready to chart your course and make your sailing dreams a reality!

Selecting the Best Season

When planning a sailing journey around the world, selecting the best season is crucial. Consider factors such as weather conditions, navigation difficulties, visibility, chances of storms, and sea currents to help you determine the best season for your journey.

Typically, the summer months offer more stable weather conditions with calmer seas and lesser chances of storms. It is essential to research specific regions’ weather patterns as they can vary. For example, sailing through the Caribbean is best between December and April when the weather is pleasant with lower chances of hurricanes. Meanwhile, sailing across the Pacific may be best during the southern hemisphere’s summer months between November and April to take advantage of favorable winds.

Keep in mind that weather patterns can change, so it’s important to monitor forecasts and consult experienced sailors or local experts for accurate information to make the best decision.

Considering the Trade Winds and Currents

When considering a journey to sail around the world, it is crucial to incorporate the trade winds and currents into your planning. These natural forces can greatly impact the speed and direction of your voyage, making it essential to understand and take advantage of them.

The trade winds act as consistent winds that blow in specific directions in different parts of the world. By utilizing these winds, sailors can maintain a steady and efficient course.

Ocean currents resemble rivers within the ocean, flowing in various directions and speeds. By comprehending these currents, sailors can navigate more efficiently, ultimately saving both time and fuel.

To effectively plan your route, it is recommended to study weather charts, pilot books, and seek guidance from experienced sailors. This will help determine the best course to take full advantage of favorable winds and currents for each leg of your journey.

Remember that the timing of your departure is crucial as certain seasons may offer more favorable winds and currents. It is important to remain flexible and adjust your departure dates for a better sailing experience.

By considering the trade winds and currents , sailors can navigate their way around the world more efficiently, ultimately leading to smoother and faster passages.

Incorporating these factors into your planning is an essential aspect of ensuring a successful and enjoyable circumnavigation.

Identifying Potential Stops and Ports

When planning your journey to sail around the world, it is important to identify potential stops and ports. By doing so, you will have the opportunity to rest, resupply, and explore new destinations along the way. There are several important factors to consider when choosing these stops:

1. Research: It is essential to conduct thorough research in order to identify potential stops and ports that align with your travel goals. This includes taking into account the distance from your current location, the available facilities at each port, and the local attractions that may be of interest to you.

2. Navigation: To ensure a smooth journey, it is advisable to use nautical charts, guidebooks, and online resources to identify suitable ports. It is important to pay attention to any navigational hazards that may exist and ensure that the ports you choose have adequate mooring facilities available.

3. Infrastructure: Before selecting a port, it is crucial to check if it has the proper facilities to accommodate your vessel. This includes looking for marinas, anchorages, fuel stations, and repair services. By doing so, you can ensure safe docking and maintenance for your vessel.

4. Customs and Immigration: It is important to research the customs and immigration procedures for each potential stop in order to comply with local regulations. This includes planning enough time for clearance procedures and ensuring that you have all the necessary documents ready.

5. Safety and Security: Considering the safety and security of each stop is of utmost importance. It is advisable to look for ports that have a reputation for safety and low crime rates. Consulting experienced sailors or online communities for advice on port safety can provide valuable insights.

6. Local Attractions and Culture: It is important to take into account the attractions and cultural experiences available at each stop. Immersing yourself in different cultures, trying local cuisines, and exploring the beauty of each destination will enhance your journey.

By incorporating these considerations into your planning, you can ensure a more enjoyable and successful journey around the world.

Equipping Your Vessel

Equipping your vessel is crucial when embarking on a journey to sail around the world. In this section, we’ll explore key aspects such as ensuring safety equipment and first aid supplies , stocking up on food and water , and installing navigation and communication systems . Get ready to dive into the practical essentials that will make your sailing adventure safe and smooth, from the necessary gear to the provisions for sustenance and the tools for navigation.

Ensuring Safety Equipment and First Aid Supplies

When getting ready for a sailing adventure, it is essential to ensure the presence of safety equipment and first aid supplies. This will help protect both yourself and your crew. Here is a comprehensive list of the must-have items:

  • Life jackets: It is crucial for each person to have a properly fitted life jacket.
  • Flares and signaling devices: These items can effectively draw attention and assist rescuers in locating you during emergencies.
  • Fire extinguishers: Make sure to have fire extinguishers on board to swiftly extinguish any fires.
  • First aid kit: Include bandages, antiseptics, and medications for addressing injuries or illnesses.
  • Emergency radio: Use an emergency radio to communicate with the coast guard or other vessels in case of emergencies.
  • Navigation tools: Carry a compass, charts, and a GPS system to ensure safe navigation.

By having these safety equipment and first aid supplies, you will have peace of mind and be well-prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise during your sailing journey.

Fun Fact: The International Safety Management (ISM) Code has provisions in place that require the proper presence of safety equipment and first aid supplies on ships to ensure the safety of both the crew and passengers.

Stocking Up on Food and Water

When embarking on a global sailing expedition, it is vital to stock up on provisions, including an ample supply of food and water, to satisfy the crew’s sustenance and overall well-being.

For sustenance , it is recommended to procure non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, and energy bars. It is essential to take into account any dietary restrictions and crew preferences when selecting these items. The aim should be to have enough food to last the entire journey, while also considering additional supplies for unforeseen emergencies .

To meet hydration needs, it is important to ensure an adequate water supply. This can be achieved by calculating the daily water consumption per person and multiplying it by the duration of the trip. Factors such as climate, physical exertion, and possible delays should be considered in this calculation. It is advisable to invest in water storage containers and filtration systems to ensure safety during the voyage. Carrying extra water capacity is recommended for added security .

It is crucial to create a detailed provisioning plan for each leg of the journey, taking into account potential restocking points along the route. This plan should be adjusted based on the availability of supplies at these points.

To prevent damage or spoilage of provisions during rough seas, it is essential to have adequate storage space. Using lockers and securing items will help safeguard them. For the preservation of perishable items, it is crucial to rotate them regularly to maintain freshness and avoid waste. Prioritizing the consumption of items with shorter expiration dates is advisable. Proper food storage techniques should be followed to prevent contamination .

By adhering to these guidelines and diligently planning food and water supplies, you can ensure proper nourishment and hydration throughout your exciting sailing adventure.

Installing Navigation and Communication Systems

To sail around the world, install navigation and communication systems on your vessel. This ensures safety and effective navigation throughout your journey.

  • Choose a reliable GPS: Install a Global Positioning System (GPS) for accurate positioning information to determine your exact location at sea.
  • Install a marine VHF radio: A marine VHF radio is crucial for communication with other boats and coastguards. It allows distress calls, weather updates, and communication with nearby vessels.
  • Set up an AIS transponder: AIS transponders transmit your vessel’s information, such as position, speed, and course, to other vessels. This prevents collisions and enhances safety.
  • Install radar: Radar systems detect objects, land masses, and other vessels using radio waves. It provides valuable information during poor visibility or night navigation.
  • Consider satellite communication: Satellite communication systems keep you connected when out of traditional cellular networks. They provide weather updates, emergency services, and communication with loved ones onshore.

Pro-tip: Regularly test and maintain your navigation and communication systems to ensure optimal functionality before embarking on your journey. Familiarize yourself with their operation and keep spare parts or backup systems onboard as a precaution.

Understanding Weather Patterns

Weather patterns play a crucial role when it comes to sailing around the world. In this section, we’ll uncover the secrets to understanding these patterns. From learning how to interpret weather forecasts to navigating around tropical storms and heavy weather, we’ll equip you with the knowledge needed to sail safely. We’ll also explore how to tackle calms and light winds, ensuring you’re prepared for all conditions Mother Nature throws your way. Get ready to set sail with confidence!

Learning to Read Weather Forecasts

Learning to read weather forecasts is crucial for sailors. By understanding weather patterns, sailors can make informed decisions about when to set sail, avoid storms, and navigate through different wind conditions.

To read weather forecasts, sailors should analyze meteorological data such as wind direction , speed , atmospheric pressure , and cloud patterns . This information can be obtained from weather forecasting websites, radio broadcasts, and onboard weather instruments.

By interpreting weather forecasts, sailors can anticipate the behavior of weather systems and plan accordingly. For example, if a forecast predicts strong winds and storms , sailors can delay departure or seek shelter. Conversely, if the forecast indicates favorable conditions, sailors can plan longer passages and optimize their route using wind patterns.

Learning to read weather forecasts requires practice and knowledge of meteorological concepts. Sailors should familiarize themselves with weather symbols, terminology, and the use of weather instruments. It is important to stay updated with the latest forecasts throughout the journey to make necessary adjustments.

In a true story, a sailor named Lisa embarked on a solo circumnavigation. Her ability to interpret weather data and make informed decisions contributed to a safe and successful journey. Lisa learned the importance of constantly monitoring weather updates, trusting her instincts, and seeking advice from experienced sailors. Her newfound knowledge and skills in reading weather forecasts enhanced her confidence as a sailor.

Avoiding Tropical Storms and Heavy Weather

Stay updated on weather patterns and forecasts to anticipate the formation and movement of tropical storms and heavy weather.

Avoid areas prone to tropical storms and heavy weather by planning your route strategically.

Choose a time of the year when the likelihood of tropical storms and heavy weather is minimal in the regions you will be sailing through.

Utilize real-time weather information to avoid potential danger.

Stay in contact with other sailors, local authorities, and rescue services to receive timely warnings and advice regarding tropical storms and heavy weather.

Prepare your boat by securing loose items, reinforcing the rigging, and checking and maintaining essential equipment to withstand strong winds and rough seas.

If you encounter a tropical storm or heavy weather while at sea, find a protected anchorage or marina until the weather improves.

Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures and know how to deploy safety equipment and handle emergencies during tropical storms or heavy weather.

Develop a contingency plan for worst-case scenarios, such as losing control of the boat or facing exceptionally severe weather, to ensure the safety of yourself and your crew.

Prioritize safety above all else when deciding whether to continue sailing or seek a safe haven during tropical storms or heavy weather.

Dealing with Calms and Light Winds

Dealing with calms and light winds while sailing can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it’s possible to navigate through these conditions. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Maintain momentum: Maximize your boat’s speed by carefully trimming the sails to capture the available wind. Use any breeze, no matter how light, to keep your boat moving forward.

2. Be patient and persevere: Sailing in calms and light winds requires patience. Stay focused and alert for any subtle changes in wind direction or intensity.

3. Consider alternative propulsion: If there are prolonged calms, use methods like an engine or auxiliary power to maintain progress towards your destination.

4. Conserve resources: During periods of calms and light winds, conserve essential supplies such as food, water, and fuel. Plan accordingly and make sure you have enough to sustain your journey.

5. Stay updated with weather forecasts: Anticipate areas of potential calm or light wind conditions by staying updated with weather forecasts. This will help you plan your route and make necessary adjustments.

6. Utilize current and tidal flows: Take advantage of favorable currents or tidal flows that can provide additional propulsion in the absence of wind.

Remember, dealing with calms and light winds is a normal part of a sailing adventure. By using these strategies and remaining adaptable, you can continue to make progress towards your destination even in challenging conditions.

Maintaining Health and Well-being

When it comes to sailing around the world, maintaining health and well-being is crucial. In this section, we dive into the key aspects that contribute to a successful voyage. From staying physically fit to managing seasickness and maintaining mental resilience, we’ll uncover the essentials for a smooth and enjoyable journey across the vast oceans. So, grab your compass and let’s explore the secrets of maintaining your health while sailing the seven seas!

Staying Physically Fit

Staying physically fit is of utmost importance for sailors embarking on a journey around the world. Sailing necessitates strength, endurance, and agility to effectively navigate the physical trials experienced at sea. It is essential to consider the following key factors in order to maintain fitness:

1. Regular exercise: Engage in cardiovascular activities such as running or swimming to enhance stamina and cardiovascular health. Incorporating strength training exercises , like weightlifting, aids in building muscle strength and endurance.

2. Flexibility and mobility: Integrate stretching exercises like yoga or Pilates into your routine to improve flexibility. This is vital for maneuvering on the boat and reducing the risk of injuries.

3. Healthy diet: Maintain a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients to promote overall health and physical well-being. Ensure your diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to provide energy and aid in recovery.

4. Hydration: It is crucial to consume an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated. This helps to maintain optimal performance and prevent dehydration.

5. Rest and recovery: Allow your body sufficient time to rest and recuperate. Ensure you get enough sleep and schedule rest days to prevent fatigue and facilitate muscle repair.

By staying fit, you will significantly enhance your sailing experience by improving your well-being and proficiency. Giving priority to physical fitness ensures that you possess the necessary physical capabilities to overcome challenges encountered at sea.

One inspiring account of maintaining physical fitness while circumnavigating the globe through sailing is that of Lisa Blair . In 2017, she accomplished the remarkable feat of becoming the first woman to solo and unassistedly circle Antarctica . Blair exhibited extraordinary fitness and resilience by diligently adhering to a strict regimen of exercise, yoga, and a nutritious diet. Her unwavering dedication enabled her to conquer the physical demands of her journey and achieve this awe-inspiring accomplishment.

Maintaining Mental Resilience

Maintaining mental resilience is crucial when sailing around the world.

It requires staying focused, positive, and adaptable to handle challenges.

1. Build a positive mindset: Cultivate a positive outlook. Embrace the adventure, stay optimistic, and maintain a proactive attitude towards overcoming obstacles.

2. Develop coping strategies: Find healthy ways to cope with stress and difficult situations. Engage in activities like meditation or journaling. Take breaks and seek support from fellow sailors or loved ones.

3. Enhance problem-solving skills: Think critically and adapt to changing circumstances. Practice problem-solving techniques and develop a flexible mindset to navigate unexpected situations.

4. Prioritize self-care: Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Get rest, eat nutritious meals, and exercise regularly to keep both body and mind strong.

5. Manage emotions: Recognize and manage emotions that arise during the journey. Embrace the highs and navigate the lows. Develop emotional intelligence to make better decisions and maintain mental well-being.

Remember, maintaining mental resilience is an ongoing process. By applying these strategies, sailors can better navigate challenges, adapt to the demands of the journey, and enjoy a fulfilling experience sailing around the world.

Managing Seasickness and Motion Sickness

When sailing, managing seasickness and motion sickness is crucial. Here are some strategies to naturally alleviate discomfort:

– Stay hydrated: It is important to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, as it can worsen seasickness.

– Eat light meals: To avoid nausea, it is best to steer clear of heavy or greasy foods. Instead, opt for small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day.

– Focus on the horizon: To reduce the feeling of motion and alleviate seasickness, fixate on a stable, distant point.

– Take breaks: If you start feeling queasy, find a calm and well-ventilated area to relax.

– Use medication: Consulting a healthcare professional for options such as antihistamines or ginger-based products can help alleviate symptoms.

– Avoid strong smells: It is advisable to stay in well-ventilated areas to prevent worsening nausea caused by certain smells.

– Stay above deck: Spending time in the open air and feeling the breeze can help reduce motion sickness. Try to avoid staying below deck for extended periods.

– Practice relaxation techniques: Engaging in deep breathing exercises, meditation, or listening to calming music can distract from nausea and promote relaxation.

By incorporating these strategies, you can effectively manage seasickness and motion sickness while enjoying your sailing journey.

Handling Emergencies at Sea

Emergencies can strike anytime, anywhere, and even when sailing around the world, you need to be prepared. In this section, we will explore how to handle emergencies at sea. From dealing with equipment failures to managing medical emergencies, and developing a plan for man overboard situations, we will equip you with the knowledge and skills to navigate through unforeseen challenges. So, tighten your lifejacket and let’s dive into the essential tips for handling emergencies on your sailing journey.

Dealing with Equipment Failures

Dealing with equipment failures is essential when sailing around the world. It is crucial to properly maintain and prepare your vessel to minimize the impact of these failures. Consider the following key points:

– Regular inspection: It is important to inspect your boat frequently, including the engine, rigging, sails, and navigation systems. The goal is to identify potential issues before they become serious problems.

– Emergency repairs: Make sure to equip your boat with a comprehensive toolkit that includes spare parts, tools, and materials for onboard repairs. Addressing minor issues promptly can prevent them from escalating.

– Training: Take the time to familiarize yourself with basic repair techniques and procedures. Knowing how to fix common equipment failures can be incredibly valuable in emergency situations.

– Backup systems: Install backup systems for critical equipment, such as an auxiliary engine or redundant navigation instruments. Having this redundancy in place can help mitigate the impact of failures during your journey.

– Communication: Always carry a reliable means of communication onboard, such as a satellite phone or radio. This way, you can seek assistance in the event of major equipment failures or emergencies.

– Insurance: It is crucial to ensure that your boat is adequately insured to cover equipment failures or damages. Review the policy’s terms and conditions to fully understand the coverage it provides.

By following these steps, you can enhance safety and confidence while sailing around the world.

Managing Medical Emergencies

Managing medical emergencies is of utmost importance when sailing. It is crucial to be prepared for potential crises in order to save lives and guarantee a safe journey. Here are some important steps to follow in order to effectively manage medical emergencies:

1. It is vital to stock a comprehensive first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic solutions, and medications for common ailments.

2. Develop a clear communication plan to easily contact emergency medical services. It is essential to have a working satellite phone or radio onboard.

3. Ensure that the crew is trained in basic first aid and CPR. It is important that everyone knows how to respond to emergencies and provide immediate assistance.

4. Create a medical emergency response plan that outlines the necessary steps to take in case of injuries, illnesses, or accidents.

5. It is essential to regularly check and maintain all medical equipment and supplies to ensure that they are in proper working condition.

6. Keep detailed records of the crew members’ medical conditions, allergies, and medications. This information will be helpful to inform medical professionals if the need arises.

7. Stay well-informed and consider enrolling in medical training courses such as wilderness first aid or advanced marine medical training.

8. Consider subscribing to a telemedical service that can provide real-time medical advice while at sea.

Remember, prevention is key. Encourage good hygiene practices and ensure that the crew is aware of potential health risks associated with sailing. Being well-prepared for medical emergencies is essential to ensure a safe and successful journey.

Developing a Plan for Man Overboard Situations

Developing a plan for man overboard situations is crucial for safety. It is essential to follow these steps in such emergencies:

  • Immediately shout “ Man overboard! ” to alert the crew and ensure they start monitoring the person in the water.
  • Throw a buoyant object, like a life ring or flotation device, towards the person to provide something to hold onto.
  • Activate the man overboard alarm system, if available, to notify nearby vessels or authorities.
  • Designate a crew member to visually monitor the person in the water and continuously point towards their location.
  • Initiate a quick and efficient recovery procedure, such as turning the boat around or using a rescue sling or ladder.
  • Retrieve the person from the water using the established recovery procedure, ensuring the safety of the rescuer.
  • Provide immediate medical attention if required and monitor the person’s condition until professional help can be reached.
  • Conduct a debriefing with the crew to assess the situation and identify any lessons learned.

A true story highlighting the importance of a plan for man overboard situations involves a sailing team in a race. During a storm, a crew member fell overboard. Thanks to their quick response and well-rehearsed plan, they safely retrieved the crew member and provided necessary medical assistance. Their efficient handling of the situation highlighted the importance of developing a plan for man overboard situations and the significance of preparation and training for everyone’s safety on board.

Interacting with Different Cultures

Stepping into new cultures while sailing around the world offers a beautiful tapestry of experiences. In this section, we’ll dive into the joys of interacting with different cultures, exploring topics like respecting local customs and traditions , learning basic language skills, and establishing positive interactions with locals. So, get ready to expand your horizons and embrace the richness of diverse societies as you embark on your global sailing adventure.

Respecting Local Customs and Traditions

Respecting local customs and traditions is essential when sailing around the world to establish positive interactions with locals and ensure a harmonious experience.

Before visiting a new destination, it is crucial to research and understand the local customs and traditions to avoid offending or disrespecting the locals.

Following the appropriate dress code for each destination, taking into consideration religious or cultural requirements, is important.

Modest clothing is often expected in conservative countries or when visiting religious sites.

Learning the proper way to greet locals in each country is also vital as handshakes, bows , or other forms of greetings may vary based on cultural norms.

Being aware of social etiquette, such as dining customs, gestures, and table manners, is equally important.

Even if it differs from your own cultural practices, it is crucial to respect the local way of doing things.

Familiarizing yourself with local customs, such as gift-giving, ceremonies, or festivals, can greatly enhance your cultural experience and show appreciation for the local traditions.

An important pro-tip is to observe and follow the lead of locals in their own country.

By showing respect and embracing local customs and traditions, you can foster meaningful connections and create lasting memories during your sailing journey.

Learning Basic Language Skills

Learning basic language skills is essential when you are sailing around the world. It is necessary for effective communication and meaningful interactions with the locals. If you want to improve your language skills, here are some tips that can help you:

1. Begin by learning common phrases: It is important to learn simple greetings, directions, and essential words for daily interactions. This will enable you to navigate different countries and effectively communicate your basic needs.

2. Pay attention to maritime terms: Make sure to familiarize yourself with nautical vocabulary that is specific to sailing. Understanding these terms will allow for clear and effective communication with fellow sailors and port authorities.

3. Make use of language learning apps: Take advantage of language learning apps and online resources to practice and improve your language skills. These tools offer interactive lessons, pronunciation guides, and vocabulary exercises.

4. Consider attending local language classes: During your travels, you may want to consider enrolling in language classes conducted by native speakers. Learning from them will enhance your language proficiency and deepen your cultural understanding.

5. Immerse yourself in the local culture: Engage in local customs and traditions to enrich your language learning experience. By participating in cultural activities, you will have the opportunity for real-life conversations and gain a deeper understanding of the language.

Pro-tip: Try to speak with locals as much as possible, even if you make mistakes. Most people appreciate the effort and are willing to help you improve your language skills. Embrace the learning process and enjoy the multicultural experience!

Establishing Positive Interactions with Locals

Establish positive interactions with locals by respecting local customs and traditions. Take the time to learn about the culture and customs of the places you visit, showing that you have a genuine interest in learning and that you respect the locals.

To establish positive interactions with locals, it is helpful to learn basic language skills. While you may not become fluent in every language you come across, learning a few key phrases such as simple greetings, thank you, and please , can show that you are making an effort to communicate.

Being polite and friendly is essential in establishing positive interactions with locals. A smile and friendly attitude can go a long way. Treat everyone with respect and kindness.

Show an interest in the culture of the locals to establish positive interactions. Ask questions and demonstrate genuine curiosity about their local culture, traditions, and history . This will not only help you learn more but also show the locals that you value and appreciate their heritage.

In order to establish positive interactions with locals, it is recommended to support local businesses and artisans . Instead of patronizing big chain stores and restaurants, seek out local businesses and artisans. This not only supports the local economy but also provides opportunities for meaningful interactions with locals.

Being mindful of your actions is important to establish positive interactions with locals. Show respect for the local environment and be conscious of your impact on the community. Avoid littering, follow local rules and regulations, and be aware of cultural sensitivities .

Being open-minded and flexible is crucial when trying to establish positive interactions with locals. Embrace new experiences and be willing to adapt to different ways of doing things. Remember that you are a guest, and there is much to learn from the locals.

Some Facts About How To Sail Around The World:

  • ✅ Living aboard a sailboat and sailing around the world is becoming increasingly popular.
  • ✅ The duration of a trip around the world depends on factors like exploration, weather, and direction.
  • ✅ Legal documentation and the appropriate type of boat are required to sail around the world.
  • ✅ The recommended sailboat size is between 35 and 45 feet, considering factors like the route, number of people, and supplies.
  • ✅ Safety in sailing around the world depends on navigation skills, the right boat, and avoiding certain areas prone to extreme weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what are the key factors to consider when planning to sail around the world.

When planning to sail around the world, it is important to consider factors such as a well-prepared route, reliable bluewater sailboat, necessary paperwork, safety training, mental and physical preparation, and research. These elements will ensure a smooth and pleasant voyage, allowing you to make the most of your grand adventure.

2. Can I sail around the world with a rented sailboat?

While it is technically possible to sail around the world with a rented sailboat, it may come with restrictions and limitations. Renting a sailboat is typically more suitable for shorter trips or coastal cruising. For a circumnavigation of the globe, it is recommended to have your own reliable bluewater sailboat, which is better equipped to handle the challenges and demands of long-distance voyages.

3. How much does it cost to sail around the world?

The cost of sailing around the world can vary depending on factors such as the type of boat, family size, route, and lifestyle choices. On average, the cost can range from $500 to $1,000 per person per month. This includes expenses such as food, maintenance, insurance, cruising and mooring fees, satellite phone, fuel, and other miscellaneous costs. It’s important to budget accordingly and plan for unexpected expenses.

4. What safety training is necessary for sailing around the world?

Proper safety training is crucial when embarking on a sailing trip around the world. It is recommended to undergo appropriate safety training courses, both online and practical, to learn navigation skills, emergency procedures, and essential safety protocols. This preparation will equip you to handle unforeseen situations and ensure the well-being of yourself and your crew.

5. How long does it take to sail around the world?

The duration of a sailing trip around the world can vary depending on factors such as exploration, weather conditions, and direction. While the world record is 40 days, most trips take around 100 days or even 3 to 10 years if you want to make stops along the way to explore different countries and islands. It’s important to plan a flexible and realistic itinerary that matches your desired pace of travel.

6. Can I sail around the world without any sailing experience?

Sailing around the world without any sailing experience is not recommended. Operating a sailboat and having basic sailing knowledge is essential for a safe and enjoyable journey. It is advisable to gain experience by crewing on other sailboats, taking shorter voyages to refine your skills, and possibly obtaining an internationally recognized sailing license. Learning from experienced sailors and continuously improving your sailing abilities will greatly contribute to the success of your circumnavigation.

About the author

' data-src=

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Latest posts

The history of sailing – from ancient times to modern adventures

The history of sailing – from ancient times to modern adventures

History of Sailing Sailing is a time-honored tradition that has evolved over millennia, from its humble beginnings as a means of transportation to a beloved modern-day recreational activity. The history of sailing is a fascinating journey that spans cultures and centuries, rich in innovation and adventure. In this article, we’ll explore the remarkable evolution of…

Sailing Solo: Adventures and Challenges of Single-Handed Sailing

Sailing Solo: Adventures and Challenges of Single-Handed Sailing

Solo Sailing Sailing has always been a pursuit of freedom, adventure, and self-discovery. While sailing with a crew is a fantastic experience, there’s a unique allure to sailing solo – just you, the wind, and the open sea. Single-handed sailing, as it’s often called, is a journey of self-reliance, resilience, and the ultimate test of…

Sustainable Sailing: Eco-Friendly Practices on the boat

Sustainable Sailing: Eco-Friendly Practices on the boat

Eco Friendly Sailing Sailing is an exhilarating and timeless way to explore the beauty of the open water, but it’s important to remember that our oceans and environment need our protection. Sustainable sailing, which involves eco-friendly practices and mindful decision-making, allows sailors to enjoy their adventures while minimizing their impact on the environment. In this…


My Cruiser Life Magazine

Sail Around the World Route – Best Options Explained

Before you ponder your route to sail around the world, think about why you’re even thinking about such an undertaking. 

There are countless sailing routes you can take to circumnavigate the globe, but each one is for a different sort of sailor. The two most common routes are the mid-latitudes “Milk Run” and the high-latitudes journey through the Southern Ocean or Northwest Passage.

Here’s a look at some of these very different trips and the types of sailors and vessels that accomplish each one every year.

Table of Contents

Basic planning factors – winds, currents, and storms, the classic sail around the world route – the milk run, circumnavigating in the southern ocean, an alternate sail around the world route the northwest passage, which sailing routes would you pick for your circumnavigation, sailing routes around the world faqs.

sailing around the world route

The Basics of Sailing Routes Around the World

First, some lingo. Sailors refer to a sail around the world route as a “circumnavigation.”

Taking a boat around the world requires some gumption. So why do it at all? For some, it is the goal of having done it. For others, it’s a fun way to combine their passions of sailing and travel. Some folks compete in races to see who can do it fastest. And some folks think it would be a good lark and a neat way to see the world.

Whatever reason draws you to the idea of completing a circumnavigation, you aren’t alone. Every year there are rallies or races that you can join to meet up with like-minded people. And for as many people who compete in rallies, there are likely an equal number of people doing it on their own. 

No matter how you cut it, a circumnavigation is made up of numerous legs. So if traveling and seeing the sights is your goal, then it only makes sense to take your time and visit as many places as you can along the way. 

Folks with a limited time frame will inevitably miss something or rush through someplace they want to see. 

For sightseers, the goal of a circumnavigation might be secondary to seeing the places they want to see. In other words, someone with their heart set on circumnavigating might set a schedule of two years to get it done, while another sailor who wants to complete loops in the Atlantic and Pacific might have a lot more time to visit more countries and ports of call. 

Every sailor and every boat comes into this adventure with different goals. Therefore, it’s important to think about your motivations and the sort of circumnavigation that you’d like to have. What’s the most important part to you, and how much money and time can you dedicate to the endeavor? 

Sailing Routes Around the World

Most pleasure boaters contemplating a circumnavigation are interested in the safest route to sail around the world. Part of the safety and enjoyment of the crew comes from planning the trip to follow the prevailing wind patterns around the globe.

When sitting on land, you might think of the wind as unpredictable and variable depending on the day and weather conditions. And while that is true all over the world, at sea prevailing weather patterns tend to be more steady. 

That means by understanding the causes and patterns in the winds, you can use them to your advantage on a circumnavigation. 

For example, let’s look at the North Atlantic circuit. If a yacht wants to depart Europe for North America, its best bet is to head south first and follow the area between 10 and 30 degrees north latitude westbound. Why? Because this is the area where the winds flow from the east almost constantly. Since ships used these winds to get to the Caribbean in the old days, they are still known as the Trade Winds. 

What if you want to go the other way, back to Europe? In that case, your best bet is to head north and make your easterly course between 40 and 60 degrees north latitudes. There, the prevailing winds are westerly and will push you back to Europe. 

While sailboats can sail into the wind, doing so is called “beating” for a reason. It’s rough on the boat and crew; it’s tiring and unpleasant. You’ll have to do it occasionally, but a successful and comfortable passage is usually the result of planning so you don’t have to sail to weather. 

Similarly, you can use the world’s ocean currents to your advantage. If the Gulf Stream can give you a knot or two of an extra push toward Europe, you should take it! It makes a big difference when your normal speed is six knots. Trying to fight against it for any length of time could double your trip planning and make for a very nasty ride.

And then there is the risk of storms at sea. With good trip and weather planning, a boat can circumnavigate without ever experiencing a bad storm at sea.

That requires conservative planning to avoid areas and times of the year when the weather is bad. To do this means you must plan to be in the right places at the right times. Pilot charts are published for every ocean sector on Earth, showing the prevailing winds for any given month and the probability of encountering a severe storm in the area. 

Using pilot charts and the historical prevalence of hurricanes or cyclones, sailors can plan to transit these areas only during quiet times. In other words, no one wants to be in the middle of the North Atlantic during peak hurricane season or during winter gales, but being in the middle of the North Atlantic in May is pretty optimal. 

Likewise, you don’t want to be in the middle of the South Pacific during February when it is peak cyclone season, but June or July is good.

The classic route for circumnavigating is based on the path of least resistance, making it the safest route to sail around the world. These routes utilize the prevailing winds to make as many downwind, fair-weather passages as possible. 

The goal of this route is not speed but comfort and safety. This is the route you take your family on. This is the route that around the world rallies, like the World ARC Rally , use for every trip. 

Starting from the Caribbean, this route travels westbound and keeps close to the equator. Of course, you can start anywhere, but many yachts cross their wakes (begin and end their voyage) somewhere in the Lesser Antilles. 

After crossing the Caribbean Sea, transit is arranged through the Panama Canal. Canal transits are expensive and time-consuming, and they usually involve a broker to arrange all the paperwork and scheduling. 

Before the canal was constructed, the only way to make the journey was to travel south in the Atlantic and pass Cape Horn. There, you can follow Drakes Passage through Argentina’s islands and Patagonia’s wild lands. Many expedition yachts still choose this route to see this remote and beautiful part of the world. 

After the Panama Canal, most yachts take familiar sailing routes across the Pacific . The first stop is the Galapagos Islands. This takes you mostly south along the coast of Central America and across the equator into the Southern Hemisphere.

From the Galapagos, the single longest passage lies ahead–roughly 3,200 nautical miles to the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. This trip takes most sailboats about 14 days. An alternate route takes you farther south. It doesn’t shorten the trip but allows you to visit Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and Pitcairn Islands.

Once in French Polynesia, you can island hop your way through the South Pacific island nations, but with a weary eye on the weather. The point is to avoid the area during cyclone season, roughly the summer months (December through April or so). 

At this point, many yachts find a hurricane hole where they can relax during storm season. Usually, it is time to haul out and complete some maintenance after so many sea miles. Some make it south and out of the cyclone belt to New Zealand or Australia. Others opt to stay in the islands but find a well-sheltered marina or boatyard where they can haul out.

Once cyclone season is winding down, the next big passage awaits. After passing through the Torres Straits, stops in Northwestern Australia and Indonesia welcome you to the Indian Ocean. There are only a few isolated stops after that. Many yachts make one long passage out of it, although many enjoy a few stops, like Cocos Keeling, Maldives, Diego Garcia, or Seychelles.

This is where the route branches in two directions. Traditionally, boats would transit on a northwest course and into the Gulf of Aden. From there, you follow the Red Sea to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean is, of course, one of the most storied cruising grounds on the planet. You can cruise from Turkey and Greece to Italy, France, and Spain, with countless famous ports of call along the way. 

Unfortunately, the route to get there, through the Gulf of Aden and around the Horn of Africa, is home to bands of pirates who have been known to prey on leisure yachts and commercial vessels alike. For this reason, this route has fallen out of favor in recent years. 

Instead, boats head to South Africa. The country makes a good landfall point from which you can travel home or take land excursions to see the rest of Africa. Popular stops on the way are the islands of Reunion and Mauritius. Some folks also like to visit Madagascar.

After rounding the Cape of Good Hope, yachts are back in the Atlantic and can head northwest toward the Caribbean. You can make a few stops along the way, mostly isolated island nations like St. Helena and Ascension Islands. After that, it’s a straight shot back across the equator and to the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. 

When coming from the Mediterranean, boats heat westbound through the Straights of Gibraltar. The next stop is the Canary Islands. How long does it take to sail across the Atlantic? It’s a roughly 17-day passage downwind to the Windward Islands.

sailing around the world on the milk run

Most people take two full years or longer to complete a circumnavigation as described above, but even that only allows a little time to see the sights. So a more realistic number would be four or five years. 

This route isn’t for those looking to get it done in the shortest amount of time. Instead, the Southern Ocean Route is the favored path for those looking to trade a bit of safety for speed. This route, due to the prevailing winds along the route, is completed from west to east. 

Races like the Clipper Around the World , Vendee Globe , and the Golden Globe Around the World Race use this path. It utilizes the open expanses of the Southern Ocean. Once you get into these high latitudes, there are no real landmasses in your way, and you can steer a course all the way around the world in record time.

Of course, the Southern Ocean is not for the faint of heart. High-latitude sailing involves biting cold weather and dangerous gales. You’ll be rounding Cape Horn through Drakes Passage, one of the dicest stretches of water on the planet. 

It’s a punishing stretch of ocean, and boats are often beaten and bruised. Dismastings and equipment failures are common. In other words, a sailor who chooses this route must be ready for anything, capable of handling whatever the sea throws at them, and sailing an extremely well-founded bluewater vessel.

sailing the southern ocean

In recent years it has been in vogue to attempt a transit of the Northwest Passage, thereby making it possible to circumnavigate the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Obviously, this is a summertime endeavor only, and even then, only during years when the ice pack has completely melted. This is happening more and more, so the route is gaining popularity.

The leg that makes this possible starts from the United Kingdom going west across the Atlantic to Greenland through the Labrador Sea. The Northwest Passage itself then bisects Canada’s northern territories. Finally, you end up on the northern coast of Alaska. Then, keeping the mainland of North America to port, you continue south into the Pacific Ocean.

From the Aleutian Islands, the most favorable course is to transit to the west coast of North America. After that, you can make your way south along the famous Inside Passage, a network of fjords in British Columbia that can link you to Puget Sound and the Seattle metro area. 

Once in the US, your next steps are southbound transits to Baja, Mexico, or jumps like sailing to Hawaii from California . You can then join the normal routes across the South Pacific islands to Australia or Southeast Asia.

Both the Southern Ocean and the Northwest Passage routes are high-latitude routes that carry more risk than the Milk Run. High-latitude sailing involves dealing with more frequent severe weather systems, stronger winds, and greater variability in the weather in general. They’re also farther from services and more remote, so self-sufficiency is even more vital. 

While you can do the Milk Run in nearly any of best bluewater cruising sailboats , these high-latitudes routes are more comfortable in a robust expedition-level vessel. These are the perfect places for that aluminum sailboat you’ve been dreaming about.

sailing around the world in the Northwest Passage

There is much to learn and think about if you want to circumnavigate. If you’re dreaming of sailing the world, consider starting your research by picking up a book or two written by someone who has done it. Here are three stories of circumnavigations, but there are countless others and blogs galore to be found on the internet. 

yacht sailing around the world

  • Add custom text here

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Jimmy Cornell is the master of how to sail around the world. His “World Cruising” series of guides includes everything you’d ever need to know, from weather systems and route planning to legal formalities. This book, 200,000 Miles , combines some of those technicalities with a biographical story of his journey.

yacht sailing around the world

Sailing Around the World Alone is Joshua Slocum’s story of his journey. It’s not a modern tale–Slocum set out in the late 1890s from Nova Scotia. But his adventure is the OG tale of sailing around the world and is worth a read. 

yacht sailing around the world

  • Used Book in Good Condition

Lin and Larry Pardey circumnavigated several times (both eastbound and westbound), but if you totaled up the miles they sailed, it would be more like seven times. The difference, of course, is enjoying every port and stop along the way.

While they never wrote a book specifically about sailing around the world, their cruising tales live on in the various tales and how-to guides they produced over the years. 

Capable Cruiser discusses techniques that will get you there, interwoven by the Pardey’s inimitable charm and wit. For more travel inspiration, check out their original series of books: Cruising in Seraffyn , Seraffyn’s European Adventure, Seraffyn’s Mediterranean Adventure, and Seraffyn’s Oriental Adventure.

What route do you take to sail around the world?

There are several ways to circumnavigate, but the most common is the “Milk Run.” This route goes from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal. From there, it heads south to the Galapagos Islands and into the South Pacific. After Tahiti, yachts head to Australia, across the Indian Ocean, and through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, leaving the Med, boats cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean to close the circle, or “cross their wake,” as they say.

How long does it take to sail around the world?

The WorldARC around the world sailing rally usually lasts 18 months, but you can do it quicker by selecting fewer stops or taking faster routes. For most sailors, however, the length of the trip around the world really depends on how much they stop along the way and for how long. If the purpose of the trip is to travel and see the world, it makes little sense to rush and do it in the shortest possible time. Many circumnavigations take five or more years. 

How much does it cost per month to sail around the world?

Sailing has been described as the most expensive way to get somewhere for free. The cost to sail around the world is extremely variable–it is impossible to pin down any price. On the one hand, the type of boat makes a difference. The larger the boat, the larger the costs. The lifestyle you choose while sailing matters, too–lavish resort marinas cost more than anchoring away from town. Hiring professionals to do boat maintenance costs more than doing it all yourself. There are ways to do it lavishly and ways to be cheap about it. Comfortable cruising is somewhere in the middle, but where exactly that depends entirely on you. 

How big of a sailboat do you need to sail around the world?

Many solo sailors and couples have circumnavigated in boats less than 30 feet long. Lin and Larry Pardy wrote many novels as they circled the globe on 22-foot-long Seraffyn , a Lyle Hess-designed cutter. The size of the boat has everything to do with your cruising style and budget. So long as the vessel is well-founded and designed to take the rigors of bluewater passages, size matters less than many people think.

yacht sailing around the world

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.


How to Sail Around the World

How to Sail Around the World | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

Sailing around the world can be the experience of a lifetime - an adventure that lets you know you are living life to its fullest and not settling for a life that is too dull and ordinary. However, getting on a boat and sailing around the world is not something you can do a week after you decide you want to do it. Is sailing around the world something that an ordinary person without a lot of money can do at all?

You might worry that sailing around the world is only for the rich. Getting your own boat costs a fortune, and you might fear that without your own boat, it is hard to find an opportunity to go on a long sailing voyage. However, it is easier to find a crew and sail around the world on someone else's boat than you would think.

One of the best ways to sail around the world without having a lot of money is to volunteer on a sailboat. The work that you do on the boat may be enough that the crew will take you for free. Volunteering to work on a sailboat might be the single best way to sail around the world without a lot of money.

Other options are paying money to be part of a crew by sharing costs, finding friends that have sailboats, volunteering on a research boat, or paying a boat off over time if you have the income. People with the right skills, even if they are only cooking or knowing how to be a good deckhand, will find it easier to become part of a crew.

Table of contents

How to sail around the world without a boat

If you really want to sail around the world, you can find a way to do it. A sailing trip around the world is a realistic, achievable adventure. You merely have to be serious about doing it.

It is not the same as a trip to space - that you might not be able to achieve even if you are determined to do it. Sailing around the world is something an average person can do if they plan it out and look for an opportunity.

Volunteering to be on a boat

If you have a lot of sailing experience, it might not be difficult for you to find a crew to sail around the world with. Your nearest marina could very well be looking for deckhands. Not every boat will be heading off on an around the world trip, but some of them might be.

Many boats sailing around the world need an extra crew member and will be happy to take you if you have a bit of sailing experience. People underestimate just how much demand there is for volunteer crew members.

When a couple of wealthy people want to sail around the world, they don't necessarily want to do it themselves. Keeping a sailboat going with very few people on board is hard work. If there are only two sailors, they will have to take turns sleeping to keep the boat going safely.

A third or fourth crew member can mean the difference between a pleasant voyage and an exhausting one. Not everyone who sails around the world has a mega yacht and a large crew. They might have a smaller boat and only need a third person.

The best part of volunteering on a boat is that most of the time, it isn't even hard work. Sometimes you will steer the ship; other times, you will do some chores. It is not difficult to do this.

The fun you will have massively outweighs the work you will do. You will get to explore islands, see many different countries, meet new people, and end your voyage with stories to tell. Don't worry about doing unpaid work - it is more than worth it.

Paid work on a sailboat is also possible to get, but you must have quite a bit of sailing experience. Volunteering is a more realistic way of traveling around the world than looking for paid work on a boat.

Sailing around the world on a friend's boat

One disadvantage of sailing around the world as a volunteer is the possibility of not getting along with the people you travel with. While you might like the people you volunteer for very much, there is a chance that you will not. If you have the opportunity, traveling around the world on a friend's boat should be your first choice.

If you go off on shorter sailing voyages, you will meet people that have the resources to sail. Hopefully, you should know the right people when someone decides they want to sail around the world. They might be happy to take you along for free.

Being out at sea with someone you do not end up liking is sometimes a problem even if you know the person a little bit in advance. Even if you like each other now, you might not like each other when you are out to sea together for weeks, months, and years. Don't let this scare you away from going on a long sea voyage, but be confident that you can get along with the person before you head out to sea for years.

Save enough money and get a boat with your friends

While a sailboat that you can take around the world costs around $75000, this is not such a fortune if you split the cost between several people. If you and five of your friends want to sail around the world, it will only cost you $15000 each to get a seaworthy boat. $15000 isn't exactly pocket change, but you might be able to save that in a reasonable amount of time if you cut your costs.

If you had started saving a few years ago, you and your friends would have enough money to pay for the entire trip now. The best time to start saving was years ago; the next best time to start saving is today. If you have friends that have the same dream of sailing around the world, you might be able to talk them into making a serious plan to do it.

Sail around the world on a research ship

You don't have to be a scientist to serve on a research ship that studies marine wildlife. Such vessels also need deckhands, cooks, and so on. You will probably have to volunteer rather than find a paying job, but you will still be able to sail to many locations, perhaps even around the world, for free.

Offer your skills as a cook

Cooking is one of the best skills you can have if you are looking for a crew to sail around the world with. If you are an excellent cook with a bit of sailing experience, you have a good chance of becoming part of a crew. You need to be able to improvise and cook something tasty from the food you have available.

You do not always have to be a certified chef to cook on a sailing ship, merely being a good cook is enough. Only a larger ship might require their cook to be a certified chef, and even then, that is not always the case.

Teach the children of families sailing around the world

If a family is sailing around the world with children with them, they might not have time to homeschool the children. Such families will bring a teacher with them. This is less likely than some of the other options, but if you would be good at being a nanny and teacher on a sailboat, you might be able to find the opportunity.

Pay to be part of a crew

A crew might be happy to take you if you can pay for your share of the cost of the voyage. This may be expensive, but it is much more affordable than getting your own boat.

The daily cost of a trip for a single person might be $20, $50, or $70. Don't get ripped off by people trying to charge a lot more than that. They should not be charging you a very high daily cost, and are trying to make a profit from you if they do.

Paying to be part of a crew is a good idea if you are offered a fair price. It can add up to a lot of money if you are out to sea for a long time, but it is cheaper than buying a boat yourself.

Can you sail around the world on a rented sailboat?

Possibly not. A rented sailboat may have restrictions on where you can sail it, and you might not be able to rent it for long enough to circumnavigate the globe.

Then again, some people might have more luck than others. Give it a chance - try to find a sailboat you can rent for a long time and sail anywhere at a reasonable price - but this is not always the best option.

What if I have no experience on a sailboat?

You are not likely to be offered the opportunity to go on an around the world trip if you have no sailing experience. Also, not everyone loves being out to sea, and you should take a shorter voyage to know whether or not you would like it first. A shorter voyage will also get you the experience you need to find a crew for a longer voyage.

When you travel across the world at the slow speed of a sailboat, it makes you aware of just how large the world truly is. The world is a huge and mostly empty place where you can sometimes sail for days and not see another boat. Even though you can see for miles in each direction and travel many miles each day, a long time can go by without you seeing a single ship.

If you think you would love sailing, there is a better than even chance that you will. However, other people can find sailing too tiring. The crew has to keep the boat going 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether it is pouring rain out or not.

As well as there being a lot of work involved in sailing, there is also the possibility that you might find sailing boring, as it is not fast-paced. Probably, those who think they will love sailing will end up loving it - but there are no guarantees. Don't go off on a long voyage unless you know that you are happy on a short journey.

How can I get sailing experience if I have no sailing experience?

It may be a challenge, but you do have a chance of getting on a boat even if you have never been on a ship before. Don't lie about having any previous experience; instead, look for a crew that will accept a sailor without experience.

Sometimes, even an inexperienced sailor can find a boat just by walking around at the docks. If you live in or near a sailing town, you might be able to find a boat very quickly. Present yourself as a likable and trustworthy person, and you have a chance of getting on a boat with no sailing experience.

A shorter voyage can be a step towards a long one

After you get on a sailboat for the first time, you will probably decide you love it. You will love the escape from ordinary life, and how the night sky looks away from street lights. You will not usually think sailing is difficult or slow-paced.

Hopefully, you can meet the right people and learn enough about sailing that you are included on a trip around the world when someone you know decides to go. You do not need to go on a lot of shorter sailing trips before you sail around the world; you just need some rather than no experience.

How to sail around the world if you have a boat already

If you already have a boat, then you can get to the fun part a lot more quickly. There are still things to take care of in advance and to be mindful of while at sea, but you can get to your adventure sooner rather than later.

What route should you take sailing around the world?

Usually, people sail around the world on an eastward route. An eastward route is with the wind, so a westward route is more difficult. You can choose to take whatever route you want, but most people take an eastward route and follow the wind.

An eastward route means that you will sail from west to east, so you will be sailing west on an eastward route. If you are setting sail from the United States, you will first sail to the Panama canal and then sail west from there across the pacific.

After crossing the pacific, you should be north of Australia. Sail from there across the Indian Ocean and around the cape of good hope. From the cape, you can sail northwest again, eventually reaching the United States.

You can choose to sail to many other places as well, depending on how long you want to be at sea. For example, you could choose to sail from southern Africa up to Europe and the Mediterranean before returning to the United States.

One common alternative to the typical eastward route is to sail through the red sea and the Mediterranean rather than around South Africa. This is a somewhat faster route than sailing around the cape of good hope. Don't attempt this unless it is currently safe, as there are pirates off the coast of East Africa.

If you are looking for a more challenging route, you could sail under south America instead of using the Panama canal. A more daring option is to take the northwest passage and sail around North America. These routes take longer, and if you take the northwest passage, it is risky to sail through the arctic water.

How long does it take to sail around the world?

You can sail around the world in about 15 months, but it's better to spend a few years at sea and not rush the trip. If you try to make the trip in less than two years, you will not be able to stop anywhere for any length of time, as any delay means that hurricane season will cut you off for the rest of the year.

How much does it cost to sail around the world with your own boat?

While you are out to sea, you will spend $3000, $2000, or at the very least $1000 per month. If you try to spend only $1500 per month or less, you might have a lot of trouble. Higher numbers are more realistic, and if you stop a lot, the monthly cost can easily go over $3000.

You will also have to buy equipment, which adds to the cost of your boat and the daily cost of living. Equipment can cost you more than $15000, and it is dangerous to be out to sea with shoddy equipment. You will also be charged a fee - more than $1000 - when you cross the Panama canal .

You will also run into other fees while you are out to sea. Having your boat tied down during a hurricane will cost you around $500. You will also have to pay for storage, and you will run into other fees at ports.

Repairs are another part of your expenses, as you may have to pay $1000 or $2000 to fix your autopilot or engine. If you want satellite internet while you are out to sea, this will cost you about $120 per month, and you will only be able to use a very small amount of data. Nonetheless, $3000 a month is more than enough to pay for all of these expenses, and $1500 per month might be enough if you can keep your costs low.

Take everything into account, or else your expenses may be higher than you planned. You might rent a car when visiting a country, have to pay for medical expenses, or go to bars and restaurants. Expenses can appear suddenly and unexpectedly.

Some people also like to fly home during the middle of a long sailing trip. They want to get away from the sea for a while and then return to their boat and continue. Flying home only once or twice might not make your trip vastly more expensive.

Know exactly where you are going before you set sail

A sailing trip around the world has to be taken seriously and planned out properly in advance. You want to see as much of the world as possible on your adventure, so plan accordingly. When heading across the pacific, most sailors want to see Bora Bora, Tahiti, Samoa, and other famous pacific islands.

Estimate where you will be on each month of your trip

You should make a timeline even if you do not stick to it. You should know roughly where in the world you will be during each week or month of your journey. Without knowing where in the world you are going to be each month, it is not even easy to know how long you will be out to sea for.

Timing is also crucial for avoiding hurricanes. Sailing is an adventure in part because it is fairly dangerous. Don't make it any more dangerous than it typically is.

You absolutely have to avoid sailing through hurricane-prone parts of the world during hurricane season. Hurricanes can and do kill foolish sailors. You must time out your trip so that you sail through hurricane-prone parts of the world when there is no risk of a hurricane that time of year.

Take the wind direction into consideration. You can sail against the wind, but it is easier to sail with it. Know which way the wind will blow during each part of your journey.

Know as much about each place you are sailing through as possible

Is it safe to dock in each of the countries you plan to stop in? Some of the countries you are planning to stop in may be dangerous.

Are all of these countries considered safe for small groups of sailors? The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of somewhere where the law might not be able to help you.

Take care of everything in advance

Make sure you get everything done before you leave. Some things can only be done before you set sail and not in the middle of the trip. Get all of the paperwork you need, and get any vaccinations you need before the trip.

If you need visas to visit the countries you plan to visit, get this work done in advance. It will be much harder to take care of these things after you have already set sail. Go to your doctor for a medical examination before you leave, and take enough of any medication you need with you on your trip.

Make sure the boat is in excellent condition

Have a professional look at your boat first. There could be dangerous technical problems with your boat that you might not immediately notice. Be on the safe side and get your boat looked at properly first.

Buying a used boat is not always the best idea. The cost of fixing your boat may be more than you bought the used boat for in the worst cases. Going to sea with a serious problem with your ship could be a disaster, so let a boat mechanic take a look at your vessel first.

Prepare for emergencies

You and everyone you are sailing with should know what to do in an emergency. If a heavy storm hits you, what do you do? Everyone in your crew has to know what to do in these situations.

Pirates are still very real, and you have to know what to do if you encounter dangerous people at sea. The sea can be unpredictable, and your emergency plans should cover many different situations.

Taking the right emergency supplies with you is a must. Bring a life jacket, flares, and a fire extinguisher. Make sure you have clothing that will keep you warm and dry in whatever weather and climate you encounter. Have a list of numbers for all of the emergency personnel you might call if you are in danger.

Make sure your boat is still in good condition whenever you port

One of the most important things you can do for your own safety while out to sea is check your boat every time you stop at any port. Always make sure that your boat is still in good condition. More than a few people die sailing, and this is often because of not immediately noticing and fixing problems with their ships.

As well as maintaining your ship, you have to maintain other equipment. A broken satellite phone or broken radar could get you killed. Regularly test your equipment.

Obey the laws wherever you go

As soon as you sail close enough to the coast of any country, you are no longer in international waters and have to obey the laws of whichever country you are in. You cannot know a lot about the laws of each country you are visiting, but you should know a little. Be aware of any unusual laws that are relevant to sailors.

Be prepared to be away from home for years

Whether you are sailing away on your own boat or not, you are going to be away from home for a long time. While it is possible to sail around the world fast (the world record is doing it in only 40 days), an around the world sailing trip takes three or four years on average. Sailing around the world is not a vacation but an epic adventure that takes up a significant chunk of your life. Eventually, you will return to life on land, and you will see life differently after your sailing experience.

Related Articles

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

by this author


Most Recent

What Does "Sailing By The Lee" Mean? | Life of Sailing

What Does "Sailing By The Lee" Mean?

October 3, 2023

The Best Sailing Schools And Programs: Reviews & Ratings | Life of Sailing

The Best Sailing Schools And Programs: Reviews & Ratings

September 26, 2023

Important Legal Info

Lifeofsailing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

Similar Posts

How To Choose The Right Sailing Instructor | Life of Sailing

How To Choose The Right Sailing Instructor

August 16, 2023

Best Sailing Destinations In BC | Life of Sailing

Best Sailing Destinations In BC

June 28, 2023

Best Sailing Charter Destinations | Life of Sailing

Best Sailing Charter Destinations

June 27, 2023

Popular Posts

Best Liveaboard Catamaran Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Best Liveaboard Catamaran Sailboats

December 28, 2023

Can a Novice Sail Around the World? | Life of Sailing

Can a Novice Sail Around the World?

Elizabeth O'Malley

Best Electric Outboard Motors | Life of Sailing

4 Best Electric Outboard Motors

How Long Did It Take The Vikings To Sail To England? | Life of Sailing

How Long Did It Take The Vikings To Sail To England?

10 Best Sailboat Brands | Life of Sailing

10 Best Sailboat Brands (And Why)

December 20, 2023

7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat | Life of Sailing

7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat

Get the best sailing content.

Top Rated Posts

Lifeofsailing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. (866) 342-SAIL

© 2024 Life of Sailing Email: [email protected] Address: 11816 Inwood Rd #3024 Dallas, TX 75244 Disclaimer Privacy Policy

Yachting World

  • Digital Edition

Yachting World cover

Sailing around the world: Cruising couples’ top tips for a dream voyage

Helen Fretter

  • Helen Fretter
  • June 19, 2019

Is sailing around the world with your partner the ultimate bluewater dream? Helen Fretter meets World ARC couples who’ve done just that


Who would you pick as your round-the-world cruising companion? Photo: Tor Johnson

If you could choose anyone to go on a grand adventure with, would it be your life partner? For many couples that’s the ideal.

But what if you don’t have the same level of experience, or one of you isn’t confident to co-skipper? Perhaps you plan to take friends and family with you. But what happens if those plans change halfway round? I talked to World ARC crews near the finish of their circumnavigation to find out how different couples had answered those unknowns over their round the world voyage.

Over the 2017, 2018 and 2019 World ARC rallies (the round-the-world rally organised by World Cruising Club) around 20-30% of yachts set off double-handed. But by the time the fleet reached Tonga or Fiji that proportion had risen to about 50%.


Ruud and Laurie Bosman recruited crew from within the ARC rally after deciding to complete their world voyage

Grenada was a homecoming celebration for the World ARC fleet. While St Lucia marked the end of the 2018-19 rally, Grenada signalled the fleet’s return to the Caribbean. A full circumnavigation for most, 438 days sailing for those who’d completed it in a single World ARC loop.

Some 38 yachts started in St Lucia in January 2018, 16 were gathered in Grenada this March. Some had started in 2017 – or even earlier – but peeled off to linger in the Pacific or return to normal life for a while, then hooked into the 2018 rally on its way past. Others had diverted to explore New Zealand, Ascension Island, or another outpost, before rejoining their fleet.

No matter how they’d done it, all had sailed some 30,000 miles, crossed the Pacific , Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and lived at anchor for months on end.

With very few exceptions, most of the boats belonged to couples taking on their first trip sailing around the world. Some had sailed the entire voyage jointly, on others one partner had flown home for a stage or two. Some had taken crew from day one, others had switched between double-handing and sailing with more aboard. Several started with one plan, and finished with a very different set up indeed.

Article continues below…

yacht sailing around the world

How much does it cost to sail around the world? The real costs of liveaboard cruising

Two years ago my partner Nick and I set off from the UK to fulfill our dream of sailing around…


Onboard creature comforts: Little luxuries for sailing around the world

Cruising sailors who also call their boat their home usually give plenty of consideration to making life on board as…

Personal space

One such couple was David and Wendy Tipton. A former farmer from Staffordshire, UK, David had built up a recycling business that he sold, enabling them to buy Mischief , a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 479, and sail around the world. There was only one problem: Wendy hated the water and considered herself an inexperienced sailor.

Before they set off on the 2017 ARC transatlantic, Wendy had to learn to swim before she could even do a sea survival course. “It was never my dream to circumnavigate, it was David’s. So I went along with it, but it was totally out of my comfort zone,” she recalls.

Wendy’s initial condition of agreeing to do the World ARC was that they would take a crew to sail Mischief with them. They sent a round robin email to friends and sailing contacts to see who wanted to join them, and garnered an enthusiastic response, with many signing up for different legs. One was a very experienced sailor who sailed with the Tiptons for the first six months, which Wendy says gave her a lot of confidence.


David and Wendy Tipton began their World ARC with crew, but later switched to sailing two-up. Photo: James Mitchell

But 15 months is a long time to share your home, with up to six aboard at times, and Wendy admits having no personal space nearly drove her to breaking point. “I did have my bags packed to go home at one point. I was so fed up. It was nothing to do with the sailing, I was just sick of people.

“We were at the stage of needing down time on our own. It’s very intense – I didn’t appreciate how intense the whole trip would be. You wouldn’t have people living with you for six or seven months, and things that wouldn’t normally irritate you become irritating. For my own sanity I needed some time on our own.”

They decided instead to sail on double-handed from South Africa, and arrived in St Helena bowled over by how smoothly it had gone. “It was an absolute revelation,” David recalls. “The watches worked well, the boat worked well, and we were just asking ourselves why have we not done that before?”


The World ARC can include stop-offs for shoreside adventures including a South African safari. Photo: Haley Haltom

Before switching to sailing double-handed Wendy had sought advice from other crews on the ARC, many of whom had become close friends. She particularly asked the women for honest opinions, and says that they were overwhelmingly positive – with the obvious caveat that it could be more tiring sharing the sailing between just two.

They began their first double-handed passage with David sleeping in the cockpit during his off watches, “just in case she needed me quickly,” he recalls. “But after a few days of that regime she said, ‘You might as well go down below, I’m fine.’”

But things didn’t go so well on one of the next stages, from Cabedelo, Brazil, to Devil’s Island, French Guiana. “It was a bit of a catalogue of events,” he explains. “Our radar stopped working, so we were not able to monitor squalls.

“We had another boat who was monitoring them for us, but one came through that went from 7 to 35 knots and we had a spinnaker up in the dark. It broke the spinnaker halyard, the spinnaker went round the keel, the helm wouldn’t come off autopilot so we broached, an outhaul and a batten in the main broke.”


The Bay of Islands in Fiji’s Lau Group. Photo: Haley Haltom

Dealing with such a litany of problems between just the two of them was unknown territory, but Wendy says that while the situation did scare her, they were able to calmly work through and solve each issue.

“What the World ARC has given us – not just from the easy passages, but from the difficult passages – is the confidence that you could throw most stuff at us and we’d be OK,” David added. When they received the Division A 1st prize for the leg to Grenada, sailors across the fleet voiced their pride in Wendy for the progress she’d made.

Another couple that decided they were better off completing the rally two-up were Dan and Agnes Long from Florida on Smoke & Roses . Dan, a former firefighter, and Agnes, a former florist – hence the boat name – ran their Leopard 47 as a charter boat before the World ARC and were experienced sailing in home waters, both holding US Captain’s licences.


Setting off on the Lagoon 47 Smoke & Roses

Like many, they began their World ARC with trusted friends, and were also joined by their adult daughter for stages. But they later took on an unknown crewmember who had been recommended to them.

“She way overstated her sailing experience,” Dan recalls. “She could not trim sails, and she’d argue with you about it.” The final straw for Dan was waking up to find them sailing 90° off course. When he challenged the crew on deck she replied: “Because it’s faster.”

Fearful that they would run aground or make some other catastrophic error, Dan found himself supervising every watch – defeating the point of having a third person aboard. “So instead of being up for my shift, I’m up for my shift and her shift. But with Agnes [on watch] I’ll sleep through the night because I trust her.”

Having sailed two-up for some of the shorter legs around the Society Islands, the Longs also decided to go double-handed from Cape Town and found themselves easily handling the longer distances, setting a spinnaker for three days straight and covering 200-plus miles a day.

Bringing in reserves

For other couples taking on crew turned out to be a positive switch. Peter and Anissa Pappas, from Wyoming, USA, had never sailed any overnight passages with just themselves aboard their Amel Super Maramu 2000 Callisto before signing up to the rally. Anissa describes herself as a very inexperienced sailor, but they sailed from Grenada to Cape Town double-handed.

Their Amel is set up for single-handed sailing, with push button controls from a protected centre cockpit. The duo sailed conservatively, never over-canvassed. “And we set radar guard zones and cross-track error in case our autopilot started wandering around,” explains Peter. But Anissa still found night watches hard.


Night watches can be a long and lonely experience

“I was always worried if we were going to hit somebody. I never felt totally comfortable with that. I always felt that if something is going to happen, it’s going to happen on my watch.” She says she would frequently wake her husband for a second opinion.

But when one crewmember who had been sailing on another boat found himself without a berth for the leg from Cape Town, the Pappas’s made a snap decision to invite him to join them.

“We’d said no on countless occasions to taking other crew,” recalls Anissa. “It’s been hard [going two-up], especially hard on my husband because everything falls to him. But for us transitioning to crew has been easy, and our new crew has been the easiest person.”

With an extra hand they were soon able to carry more sail area, enjoying having the 52ft ketch flying along under four or five sails, including two spinnakers and a staysail.


The start of the 2018 World ARC Leg 16 heading out of St Helena

“With hindsight, I think we should have started out with crew,” admits Anissa. “Peter and I had not really been on the boat together for enough time to really get all the sails up and learn what we needed to learn. And later maybe – or even maybe not – we would have downsized.

“Two was tough, but we did it. But for couples I would say keep an extremely open mind about bringing crew aboard.”

Roving crew

While the Pappas’s made a sudden decision to take a third hand along, the 2018-19 World ARC was characterised by an unusually high number of crew who joined to sail one boat, and ended up becoming such a fixture of the rally community that they extended their trip by joining others.

Several of the roving crew had sailed on three or four different yachts by the time they reached Grenada. Karen Slater, a former fire service worker from the UK, was a very popular member of the ARC family and was about to join her sixth boat for the final cruise to St Lucia.


Freediving with whale sharks in Namibia. Photo Haley Haltom

Having a floating pool of experienced crew became an invaluable resource for some boats. American retirees Ruud and Laurie Bosman on the Hylas 54 Blue Pearl had originally only planned to sail the first half of the rally.

“But by the time we were in Australia Ruud felt very strongly that he wanted to complete the circumnavigation and do it all at once, and I felt very strongly that I did not want to cross the Indian Ocean,” recalls Laurie.

Both aged 71, the pair never wanted to sail double-handed and had organised crew for the Pacific legs, but no further. “Because we had never planned to do the whole circumnavigation we had made no plans beyond French Polynesia,” Ruud explains.


The unspoilt beauty of the Marquesas. Photo: Haley Haltom

When Laurie returned home to spend a few weeks with family, they invited other ARC crew aboard, some staying for the entire second half of the circumnavigation.

“It’s been quite easy, you are relatively familiar with the people because they have been in the fleet. They have a bit of a reputation, and importantly you know why they’re leaving boats,” he adds.

There are still no guarantees that an experienced ARC crewmember will be a good fit. Flashpoints were usually over domestic niggles like food preferences (several couples commented on how provisioning was much simpler with just two aboard, reducing one area of work).

Another issue for the boat-hopping crews was where their ‘home’ base was during stopovers. Peter Pappas commented: “It’s great having crew when you’re underway, but really when you get to your destination you assume they will get off the boat after a couple of days, so you and your wife can have some privacy, and have your home back.”

Many of the World ARC crew strategically took themselves away during long stopovers: diving in Australia, going on land tours, or even climbing Kilimanjaro during the fleet’s visit to South Africa.

Sharing the load

For those who did sail as a couple, how they divided the roles often reflected home life. Peter and Wendy on Mischief , and Dan and Agnes on Smoke & Roses , had both worked together so were used to spending extended periods of time with each other. Other couples, where one had spent much of the marriage putting in long hours at the office, had a bigger adjustment to make.


Mark and Helen Chatfield sailed Mad Monkey with their son Josh. Photo: James Mitchell

Some had chosen to time their world tour with natural breaks in their children’s education. Mark Chatfield on the Grand Soleil 56 Mad Monkey sailed with his wife Helen as well as his adult son Josh, timing it between Josh finishing school and starting university: “I worked as a sales director, with constant travel. So during the week, his schooling and upbringing, I didn’t see a lot of him – for me this trip was predominantly to get to know him better.”

The majority of boats divided roles along fairly traditional ‘pink and blue’ job lines when in port, with the women in charge of provisioning and domestics, the men in charge of repairs and systems. There were exceptions: on Misto British ex-pat Rosalind Cheetham skippered their Nautitech 443 and was hands-on with maintenance.

At sea the roles tended to shift slightly. Domestic jobs were more frequently shared underway, although the majority of ‘skippers in charge’ were the male partners.

Most couples ate an evening meal together before settling into some kind of night watch system, the most popular being a three or four hours on/off pattern, before reconvening for the 10am radio-net. Many adopted a much more fluid watch pattern during the day, each taking naps whenever needed. Several skippers took longer night watches than their partners, but would set alarms to allow 15-20 minute naps on open ocean legs.


Photo: YachtEmily Morgan.com

On Smoke & Roses Dan and Agnes changed their running rigging so reefs could be taken in and out from the cockpit. “It’s made life a lot easier for me because I was getting up for sail changes no matter who was on watch, every single time. Even with three people on the boat I was getting tired,” explains Dan.

They also modified their safety rules. “We did have a rule about not going out of the cockpit at night, but I was in the Pacific just to move the barber-hauler on the genoa,” recalls Agnes.

Several boats started out with conventional spinnakers and ordered furling Code Zero or asymmetric kites to replace them en route as they became more confident in sailing double-handed.


Suwarrow in the Cook Islands is one of the more remote destinations that the World ARC visited

A positive for many crews of joining a rally – and particularly reassuring for double-handed boats – was the option to ‘buddy boat’ for passages, particularly in areas of high traffic, where there were any concerns about piracy, or when one yacht had a technical issue. Even on the final ‘free cruising’ leg to St Lucia several yachts chose to sail in a loose flotilla to enjoy their friendships.

Experience of a lifetime

Every couple I spoke to emphasised that while the World ARC schedule was intense, and some stages had been very challenging, the rewards were hugely worth it.

“It’s been pretty incredible,” recalls Laurie Bosman from Blue Pearl . “Things like going through the Panama Canal, in your own boat – I get teary when I think about it. Those early mornings where you’ve got the sun rising and the moon setting, and nothing but you, water, sun and moon. You think you’ve died and gone to heaven.”


Swimming with manta rays at Suwarrow in the Cook Islands. Photo: Haley Haltom

“It changes you as a person,” said Wendy Tipton. “You have to improvise, shop for what you can get. We went home for Christmas and I was looking at all my bits and pieces and realised you don’t need it. I’ve been quite humbled by how people actually do live and how happy they are with so little.”

Her husband David added: “If you have the opportunity to do it, you’d be mad not to.”

Getting ready: Things to take or prep before you go

Downwind sails.

Many boats ordered new sails in Darwin, Australia, or South Africa – several of which did not clear customs in time to reach the yachts before they set off on the stage they were ordered for. The most popular were furling downwind sails.


Instruments and electrical systems

Multiple boats had issues with faults on one system triggering an issue on the other – an update to the MFD, for example, causing a fault on the SSB radio.

Bones Black, who runs the Bowman 57 charter yacht Emily Morgan  with his wife, Anna, was widely praised across the fleet for helping troubleshoot and fix problems on almost every yacht. He suggests splitting systems to avoid interference.

“On Emily Morgan , all the comms runs down one side of the boat and all the power supplies run down the other side of the boat,” explains Black.

Likewise he advises against installing AIS and VHF using splitter boxes to share the same antenna: “I would always advise separate antenna, then if you have a problem you can always transfer over.”

Google Maps and Open CPN

Many boats used Open CPN to overlay chart data with satellite images from Google Maps, particularly in areas where charts alone were not reliably accurate, such as Fiji and the San Blas Islands.


Experienced bluewater cruisers Bones and Anna Black run charter yacht Emily Morgan and were a source of expertise for many rally participants

Anna Black, who skippers Emily Morgan , spent a lot of time preparing by looking at cruising blogs and other free resources, such as the Fiji Atlas for Mariners website and Noonsite. She also recommends Fastseas.com for affordable weather routeing.

Bones suggests taking digital and hard copies of the owner’s manual – and, if possible, an installation manual – for every system and piece of hardware on board.

Seagull water filter

Emily Morgan is set up with a double filter (coarse and carbon) of water going into the tanks, then drinking water is filtered a second time through the Seagull unit, so they can refill reusable drinking bottles from the taps.


Finding a quiet spot on Emily Morgan

Several boats had to replace dinghies or outboards in far-flung locations such as Fiji, due to being lost or simply coming apart after weeks of extreme heat and UV. The cost could easily be five times the equivalent price at home.

Washing machine

This was the most recommended ‘luxury’ item, mainly because it avoided wasting precious time in stopovers finding a laundry and dealing with missing items. If you can’t fit a machine, it seems prudent to make friends with a yacht that has one…

Cash savings

Some crews felt the costs had been surprising. Marina fees were higher than many had anticipated, and the social aspect of the rally made a few feel under pressure to eat out more.

David Tipton commented: “You need to know what this is going to cost you. We have a repairs budget of £5,000 every three months, but you only have to start doing a few jobs and that gets eaten up.

“We had a boat that was pretty much under warranty for the whole trip, but a lot aren’t. If you suddenly have a big ticket item, like putting a new engine or gearbox in, you’ve got to have £20-30,000 that you can put your hand on.”

Halyard breakages were commonplace. Bones found undiscovered sharp edges in the rigging had contributed to some halyard failures: “We also have independent blocks for our spinnakers, so as the boat and spinnaker moves the block moves.”

Adding Kevlar reinforced outer covers to halyards and sheets worked well on some yachts, others added padded protection to stop the main chafing on spreaders.

  • Crew Login Forgotten Password

Enter your details below for the race of your life

Select a race

About the Clipper Round The World Race

About the race

The Clipper Race is one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other.

With no previous sailing experience necessary, before signing up for the intensive training programme, it’s a record-breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht. The next edition will be the Clipper 2025-26 Race and will begin in late summer 2025. The route is divided into eight legs and between 13 and 16 individual races including six ocean crossings. You can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select one or multiple legs.

The brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, the first Clipper Race took place in 1996. Since then, almost 6,000 Race Crew from all walks of life and more than 60 nations have trained and raced in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race; the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of identical racing yachts (eleven), each with a fully qualified skipper and first mate to safely guide the crew. Crew complete four levels of intense ocean racer training before they compete. Mother Nature does not distinguish between female and male, professional or novice. There is nowhere to hide - if Mother Nature throws down the gauntlet, you must be ready to face the same challenges as the pro racer. Navigate the Atlantic Tradewinds and Doldrums en route to South America, endure the epic Roaring Forties, experience Indian Ocean sunsets, face the mountainous seas of the mighty Pacific - and bond with an international crew creating lifelong memories before returning victorious.

Seize the moment, unleash the adventure.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only event of its type. Anyone, even if they have never stepped on a boat before, can join the adventure.

Maddie Church

History of the Race

Since the first Clipper Race crew left Plymouth in October 1996 on board eight 60-foot yachts, the race’s increase in size is almost immeasurable.

Today more than 5,000 people and three generations of Clipper Race ocean racing fleets have competed in what is known to be the world’s toughest ocean racing challenge.

The route of each edition of the race is unique, often formed by Host Ports around the globe. In the race’s twenty five year history, more than fifty cities have played host to the Clipper Race.

Click here to further explore the history of the race.

The third generation of one-design Clipper Race yachts debuted in the Clipper 2013-14 Race, proving to be faster and more dynamic than previous Clipper Race yachts.

The eleven 70-foot yachts make up world’s largest matched fleet of ocean racing yachts. Designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro, they are the shining jewel in the Clipper Race crown, perfectly adapted to this gruelling sailing challenge.

Click here to learn more about the Clipper 70s.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Over 50 years have gone by since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston made history by becoming the first man to sail solo and non-stop around the globe in 1968-69.

One of nine sailors to compete in the Times Golden Globe Race, Sir Robin set off from Falmouth, with no sponsorship, on 14 June 1968. With his yacht Suhaili packed to the gunwales with supplies he set off on a voyage that was to last just over ten months. He arrived back in Falmouth after 312 days at sea, on 22 April 1969, securing his place in the history books.

Sir Robin wanted everyone to have the opportunity to experience the challenge and sheer exhilaration of ocean racing because there are far more flags of success on the top of Mount Everest than on the high seas.

Among many other races, in 2007 Sir Robin has circumnavigated again in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race at the age of 68. In addition, Sir Robin competed in the 10th anniversary edition of the Route de Rhum race which started in St Malo, France, on 2 November 2014, and finished at the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

yacht sailing around the world

Log in with user name:

Log in with social media:

Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

10 Incredible Yachts That Sail Around the World

Andrea M. Rotondo

Americans are falling in love with small-ship yacht adventures, and cruise lines are scrambling to launch smaller ships in the hopes of securing the loyalty of adventure seekers that want to experience the world’s finest hidden harbors on their own terms. Three new yachts—Ponant’s Le Lyrial , Windstar’s Star Legend , and Crystal Espirit —entered service this year. Here are ten yachts to consider if you seek the ultimate in personalized service and intimate access to destinations around the globe.

by Andrea M. Rotondo

yacht sailing around the world

Crystal Cruises

Yacht: 62-passenger Crystal Espirit

The stunning all-suite, all-inclusive Crystal Espirit debuts December 2015 with an emphasis on “storied waters and hidden harbors.” The yacht begins its inaugural year in the Seychelles and will then spend most of 2016 exploring the Adriatic coastline. The newcomer to Crystal’s fleet will offer impeccable service and promises Michelin star-level gourmet cuisine, which can also be found aboard Crystal’s larger ships: Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony . Where this little sister excels is in the very intimate ports of call the yacht can reach.

Insider Tip: Crystal turns the traditional yacht experience on its head by offering unusual amenities like a two-passenger submarine for undersea exploration. Reserve your excursion upon embarkation. The ship is also outfitted with two 10-passenger Zodiacs, a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender, water skis, wake boards, kayaks, and jet skis as well as fishing and snorkeling gear.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Crystal Cruises Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions

Yacht: 224-passenger Le Lyrial

Launched in 2015, Le Lyrial is a sistership to Le Boreal , L’Austral , and Le Soleal . As you’ve probably guessed from the ships’ monikers, Ponant is a French-flagged line and that means an emphasis on luxurious yet tough ship design (the ship’s hull is ice rated so it can sail Antarctica); compelling interiors featuring a crisp white, cool gray, ice blue, and turquois color palette; and gourmet cuisine and wine with a decidedly French flair. Throughout the year, Le Lyrial sails Antarctica, the Greek Islands, and the Mediterranean. Especially popular is the ship’s seven-night round trip itinerary out of Venice, which calls on the Croatia ports of Sibenik, Split, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Hvar, Pula, and Rovinj.

Insider Tip: All suites are located on Deck 6, where you’ll also find the pool. For the most spacious accommodations, book the 581 square foot Owner’s Suite. The bedroom and bath with Jacuzzi are separated from two dressing areas, living room, dining area, and guest bath. A spacious balcony with entrances from both the bedroom and dining area afford you the ability to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner al fresco.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Ponant Guide

yacht sailing around the world

SeaDream Yacht Club

Yacht: 112-passenger SeaDream I and SeaDream II

Personalized service. That’s a hallmark of SeaDream Yacht Club. The crew seems to know everyone’s name—and preferences for food and drink—from day one. Pampering is pulled off in a sincere way and, with so few other passengers onboard, you feel as if the yacht is truly yours for the week. While the line doesn’t offer many shore excursions, its captains are known to lead complimentary walks, hikes, and bike trips (the ships maintain a fleet of mountain bikes) to tiny beach coves and farmer’s markets. The aft watersports marina is also a true gem, allowing for swimming and snorkeling as well as wake boarding, water skiing, windsurfing, and kayaking. There’s also a sailboat, towable banana boat, and several jet skis. There’s nothing quite like anchoring off St. Barts and jumping into the Caribbean Sea from your very own yacht.

Insider Tip: Head to Reception the moment you step aboard and reserve a special night under the stars. SeaDream will prepare one of its 11 comfy on-deck Balinese beds with fine linens, fluffy duvet, and pillows so that you may sleep under the stars. A bottle of Champagne is provided so you may toast to sweet dreams. (Hint: Ask for the larger and more private Balinese bed at the forward end of the ship.) This experience takes glamping to an entirely new level.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s SeaDream Yacht Club Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Four Seasons Explorer

Yacht: 22-passenger Four Seasons Explorer

If you dream of exploring the jewels of the Indian Ocean, the atolls of the Maldives, you can’t do better than booking passage aboard the luxury liveaboard, Four Seasons Explorer. This 22-passenger, 129-foot, three-deck catamaran is operated by Four Seasons Hotels and plies the waters between Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. Your days are spent at deserted island hideaways with uninhabited beaches, out of the way coral reefs, and world-class dive sites. If your ideal vacation consists of sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming, and diving, Four Seasons Explorer can make it all happen.

Insider Tip: The all-inclusive itinerary of Four Seasons Explorer is geared toward qualified divers and includes up to three dives a day at the best, and most secluded, reefs in the Maldives. During certain times of the year, manta rays and whale sharks are common sightings on those dives.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Maldives Travel Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Windstar Cruises

Yacht: 212-passenger Star Legend

Windstar’s fleet has grown quickly in the past few years with its purchase of several 212-pasenger yachts like the 2015 addition of Star Legend . The line has always been known for providing a top-notch yet casual and comfortable experience on small ships calling upon the world’s most tucked-away harbors. Star Legend sails seven-night round trip Caribbean voyages out of San Juan, calling on Culebra, St. Barts, Montserrat, St. Martin, and the British Virgin Islands of Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. From April to October, there are a variety of Mediterranean and Northern Europe itineraries as well as Reykjavik round trips that circumnavigate Iceland. (Sister yacht Star Breeze also launched in 2015 and Star Pride has been sailing since 2014.)

Insider Tip: For a spectacularly romantic sail-away with your significant other, don your bathing suit, grab a few cocktails, and head to Deck 5 forward. Walk all the way to the end of the hallway and exit through the doorway to the open deck and a hidden-away hot tub.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Windstar Cruises Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Un-Cruise Adventures

Yacht: 36-passenger Safari Explorer

Un-Cruise Adventures is all about getting out into nature with a small group of like-minded people who want to explore a destination in depth. From November through April, board Safari Explorer for a seven-night voyage around the Hawaiian Islands. You’ll visit Maui, the Big Island, Molokai, and Lanai and will have extensive opportunities for skiff tours, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking to the top of towering waterfalls, and snorkeling coral gardens and a sea turtle habitat. On land, Un-Cruise Adventures introduces you to locals. On Molokai you’ll take part in a Hawaiian music “jam session” and a traditional island feast.

Insider Tip: Don’t miss your opportunity to night snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta rays. These creatures are gentle giants and are nothing to be afraid of. Groups of snorkelers hold on to a modified surfboard with lights shining into the depths of the water to attract the rays. The experience—with the night sky filled with stars above you and graceful Manta rays in the water below you—is something you’ll never forget.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Un-Cruise Adventures Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Variety Yachting

Yacht: 72-passenger Variety Voyager

“The Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal” is one of Variety Cruises’ most popular itineraries sailed by the line’s newest and sleekest mega yacht, Variety Voyager . The ship—which generally draws a young, active crowd—visits some of the most pristine nature reserves as well as the national parks of Isla Coiba and Manuel Antonio, offers an excursion through the Darien Jungle, and features a crossing of the Panama Canal. The line’s next Voyager-class vessel, Voyager Pride , will make her debut in 2017.

Insider Tip: Dreaming of a yachting vacation with friends? Variety Yachting often offers discounts to groups booking six cabins or more on select voyages. Certain itineraries also are eligible for one free cabin for every five paying cabins plus several complimentary spa treatments and shore excursions.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Costa Rica Travel Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Blue Lagoon Cruises

Yacht: 68-passenger Fiji Princess

If you’ve always wanted to visit the islands of Fiji—there are more than 300 of them dotting the South Pacific smack dab between Hawaii and New Zealand—consider the 179-foot, 68-passenger Fiji Princess from local outfit, Blue Lagoon Cruises. The ship offers three-, four-, and seven-night voyages that visit the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Blue Lagoon likes to say that Fiji Princess is small enough to “tie up to coconut trees during the day” and that’s true. The crew will bring you to white sandy beaches for swimming and sunbathing, to healthy coral reefs for snorkeling and diving, and to villages that embody Fiji’s friendly culture where everyone has a warm bula (hello) for visitors.

Insider Tip: Demand for small ship adventures around the Fijian islands has grown quickly in recent years… so much so that Blue Lagoon Cruises is currently refurbishing its luxury ship, Mystique Princess , and will bring her back to the fleet in 2017.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Fiji Travel Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Yacht: 20-passenger MV Origin

Making its debut in January 2016 is Ecoventura’s new MV Origin . Two naturalist guides and a concierge will be onboard to cater to each of the ship’s 20 passengers. Expect gourmet meals (served both indoors and on the open deck), an open bar, sun deck with Jacuzzi, fitness center, and kayaks and paddleboards for independent exploration around the Galapagos Islands. The yacht will offer seven-night round trip voyages out of San Cristobal and will visit places like Darwin Bay, Prince Philip’s Steps on Genovesa Island, Isabela, and Santa Cruz. If you love animals, this is the voyage you’ve dream of. You’ll have the opportunity to see blue- and red-footed boobies, snorkel with Galapagos penguins and dolphins, spy giant tortoise and land iguanas, and learn about the volcanic islands that make up this archipelago.

Insider Tip: To get the most out of an ultra-small ship cruise like the 10-cabin MV Origin , be sure to attend the captain’s welcome cocktail party on the first night of the voyage. Forge relationships with the other travelers so you can enjoy the beauty of the Galapagos Islands with friends.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

yacht sailing around the world

Alaskan Dream Cruises

Yacht: 40-passenger Alaskan Dream

The 104-foot Alaskan Dream is sleek and yacht-like but it’s actually a catamaran that was purpose-built to navigate the tiny bays, coves, and narrow channels of Alaska’s Inside Passage. While all 18 cabins have ultra-large viewing windows, you’ll actually spend most of your time on deck, in the ship’s skiffs, or exploring on land. You’ll get to experience the wilderness of Alaska and may spot sea otters and whales, bald eagles and tundra swans, bears and wolves. Beyond nature sightings, you’ll also explore the small towns and villages that comprise the fabric of the State of Alaska.

Insider Tip: When Alaska Dream Cruises says they have insider knowledge of the area, they aren’t stretching the truth. Alaska is the ancestral home to many employees who are members of the native Tlingit Kaagwaantaan tribe and they are uniquely qualified to introduce you to the history, culture, flora, and fauna of the area.

Plan Your Yacht Cruise: Visit Fodor’s Juneau, Inside Passage, and Southeast Alaksa Travel Guide


Home » Blog » Buy a boat » 5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

By Author Fiona McGlynn

Posted on Last updated: April 19, 2023

sailing around the world

A small sailboat can take you big places

Small sailboats are the ticket to going cruising NOW — not when you retire, save up enough money, or find the “perfect” bluewater cruising boat. In fact, it’s the first principle in Lin and Larry Pardey’s cruising philosophy: “Go small, go simple, go now.”

Small yachts can be affordable, simple, and seaworthy . However, you won’t see many of them in today’s cruising grounds. In three years and 13,000 nautical miles of bluewater cruising, I could count the number of under 30-foot sailboats I’ve seen on one hand (all of them were skippered by people in their 20s and 30s).

Today’s anchorages are full of 40, 50, and 60-foot-plus ocean sailboats, but that’s not to say you can’t sail the world in a small sailboat. Just look at Alessandro di Benedetto who in 2010 broke the record for the smallest boat to sail around the world non-stop in his 21-foot Mini 6.5 .

So long as you don’t mind forgoing a few comforts, you can sail around the world on a small budget .

dinghy boat

What makes a good blue water sailboat

While you might not think a small sailboat is up to the task of going long distances, some of the best bluewater sailboats are under 40 feet.

However, if you’re thinking about buying a boat for offshore cruising, there are a few things to know about what makes a small boat offshore capable .

Smaller equals slower

Don’t expect to be sailing at high speeds in a pocket cruiser. Smaller displacement monohulls are always going to be slower than larger displacement monohulls (see the video below to learn why smaller boats are slower). Therefore a smaller cruiser is going to take longer on a given passage, making them more vulnerable to changes in weather.

A few feet can make a big difference over a week-long passage. On the last leg of our Pacific Ocean crossing, our 35-foot sailboat narrowly avoid a storm that our buddy boat, a 28-foot sailboat, couldn’t. Our friend was only a knot slower but it meant he had to heave to for a miserable three days.

pocket cruiser

Small but sturdy

If a pocket cruiser encounters bad weather, they will be less able to outrun or avoid it. For this reason, many of the blue water sailboats in this list are heavily built and designed to take a beating.

Yacht design has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. Today, new boats are designed to be light and fast. The small sailboats in our list are 30-plus year-old designs and were built in a time when weather forecasts were less accurate and harder to come by.

Back in the day, boat were constructed with thicker fiberglass hulls than you see in modern builds. Rigs, keels, rudders, hulls and decks – everything about these small cruising sailboats was designed to stand up to strong winds and big waves. Some of the boats in this post have skeg-hung rudders and most of them are full keel boats.

The pros and cons of pocket cruiser sailboats

Pocket cruiser sailboats present certain advantages and disadvantages.

More affordable

Their smaller size makes them affordable bluewater sailboats. You can often find great deals on pocket cruisers and sometimes you can even get them for free.

You’ll also save money on retrofits and repairs because small cruising sailboats need smaller boat parts (which cost a lot less) . For example, you can get away with smaller sails, ground tackle, winches, and lighter lines than on a bigger boat.

Moorage, haul-outs, and marine services are often billed by foot of boat length . A small sailboat makes traveling the world , far more affordable!

When something major breaks (like an engine) it will be less costly to repair or replace than it would be on a bigger boat.

how to remove rusted screw

Less time consuming

Smaller boats tend to have simpler systems which means you’ll spend less time fixing and paying to maintain those systems. For example, most small yachts don’t have showers, watermakers , hot water, and electric anchor windlasses.

On the flip side, you’ll spend more time collecting water (the low-tech way) . On a small sailboat, this means bucket baths, catching fresh water in your sails, and hand-bombing your anchor. Though less convenient, this simplicity can save you years of preparation and saving to go sailing.

Oh, and did I mention that you’ll become a complete water meiser? Conserving water aboard becomes pretty important when you have to blue-jug every drop of it from town back to your boat.

Easier to sail

Lastly, smaller boats can be physically easier to sail , just think of the difference between raising a sail on a 25-foot boat versus a 50-foot boat! You can more easily single-hand or short-hand a small sailboat. For that reason, some of the best solo blue water sailboats are quite petite.

As mentioned above small boats are slow boats and will arrive in port, sometimes days (and even weeks) behind their faster counterparts on long offshore crossings.

Consider this scenario: two boats crossed the Atlantic on a 4,000 nautical mile route. The small boat averaged four miles an hour, while the big boat averaged seven miles an hour. If both started at the same time, the small boat will have completed the crossing two weeks after the larger sailboat!

Less spacious

Living on a boat can be challenging — living on a small sailboat, even more so! Small cruising boats don’t provide much in the way of living space and creature comforts.

Not only will you have to downsize when you move onto a boat  you’ll also have to get pretty creative when it comes to boat storage.

It also makes it more difficult to accommodate crew for long periods which means there are fewer people to share work and night shifts.

If you plan on sailing with your dog , it might put a small boat right out of the question (depending on the size of your four-legged crew member).

boat galley storage ideas

Less comfortable

It’s not just the living situation that is less comfortable, the sailing can be pretty uncomfortable too! Pocket cruisers tend to be a far less comfortable ride than larger boats as they are more easily tossed about in big ocean swell.

Here are our 5 favorite small blue water sailboats for sailing around the world

When we sailed across the Pacific these were some of the best small sailboats that we saw. Their owners loved them and we hope you will too!

The boats in this list are under 30 feet. If you’re looking for something slightly larger, you might want to check out our post on the best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet .

Note: Price ranges are based on SailboatListings.com and YachtWorld.com listings for Aug. 2018

Albin Vega 27($7-22K USD)

small sailboats

The Albin Vega has earned a reputation as a bluewater cruiser through adventurous sailors like Matt Rutherford, who in 2012 completed a 309-day solo nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas via Cape Horn and the Northwest Passage (see his story in the documentary Red Dot on the Ocean ). 

  • Hull Type: Long fin keel
  • Hull Material: GRP (fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:27′ 1″ / 8.25m
  • Waterline Length:23′ 0″ / 7.01m
  • Beam:8′ 1″ / 2.46m
  • Draft:3′ 8″ / 1.12m
  • Rig Type: Masthead sloop rig
  • Displacement:5,070lb / 2,300kg
  • Designer:Per Brohall
  • Builder:Albin Marine AB (Swed.)
  • Year First Built:1965
  • Year Last Built:1979
  • Number Built:3,450

Cape Dory 28 ($10-32K USD) 

small sailboat

This small cruising sailboat is cute and classic as she is rugged and roomy. With at least one known circumnavigation and plenty of shorter bluewater voyages, the Cape Dory 28 has proven herself offshore capable.

  • Hull Type: Full Keel
  • Length Overall:28′ 09″ / 8.56m
  • Waterline Length:22′ 50″ / 6.86m
  • Beam:8’ 11” / 2.72m
  • Draft:4’ 3” / 1.32m
  • Rig Type:Masthead Sloop
  • Displacement:9,300lb / 4,218kg
  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio:52
  • Displacement/Length Ratio:49
  • Designer: Carl Alberg
  • Builder: Cape Dory Yachts (USA)
  • Year First Built:1974
  • Year Last Built:1988
  • Number Built: 388

Dufour 29 ($7-23K)

small sailboat

As small bluewater sailboats go, the Dufour 29 is a lot of boat for your buck. We know of at least one that sailed across the Pacific last year. Designed as a cruiser racer she’s both fun to sail and adventure-ready. Like many Dufour sailboats from this era, she comes equipped with fiberglass molded wine bottle holders. Leave it to the French to think of everything!

  • Hull Type: Fin with skeg-hung rudder
  • Length Overall:29′ 4″ / 8.94m
  • Waterline Length:25′ 1″ / 7.64m
  • Beam:9′ 8″ / 2.95m
  • Draft:5′ 3″ / 1.60m
  • Displacement:7,250lb / 3,289kg
  • Designer:Michael Dufour
  • Builder:Dufour (France)
  • Year First Built:1975
  • Year Last Built:1984

Vancouver 28 ($15-34K)

most seaworthy small boat

A sensible small boat with a “go-anywhere” attitude, this pocket cruiser was designed with ocean sailors in mind. One of the best cruising sailboats under 40 feet, the Vancouver 28 is great sailing in a small package.

  • Hull Type:Full keel with transom hung rudder
  • Length Overall: 28′ 0″ / 8.53m
  • Waterline Length:22’ 11” / 6.99m
  • Beam:8’ 8” / 2.64m
  • Draft:4’ 4” / 1.32m
  • Rig Type: Cutter rig
  • Displacement:8,960lb / 4,064 kg
  • Designer: Robert B Harris
  • Builder: Pheon Yachts Ltd. /Northshore Yachts Ltd.
  • Year First Built:1986
  • Last Year Built: 2007
  • Number Built: 67

Westsail 28 ($30-35K)

small sailboat

Described in the 1975 marketing as “a hearty little cruiser”, the Westsail 28 was designed for those who were ready to embrace the cruising life. Perfect for a solo sailor or a cozy cruising couple!

  • Hull Type: Full keel with transom hung rudder
  • Hull Material:GRP (fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:28′ 3” / 8.61m
  • Waterline Length:23’ 6” / 7.16m
  • Beam:9’ 7” / 2.92m
  • Displacement:13,500lb / 6,124kg
  • Designer: Herb David
  • Builder: Westsail Corp. (USA)
  • Number Built:78

Feeling inspired? Check out the “go small” philosophy of this 21-year-old who set sail in a CS 27.

Fiona McGlynn

Fiona McGlynn is an award-winning boating writer who created Waterborne as a place to learn about living aboard and traveling the world by sailboat. She has written for boating magazines including BoatUS, SAIL, Cruising World, and Good Old Boat. She’s also a contributing editor at Good Old Boat and BoatUS Magazine. In 2017, Fiona and her husband completed a 3-year, 13,000-mile voyage from Vancouver to Mexico to Australia on their 35-foot sailboat.

Saturday 1st of September 2018

Very useful list, but incomplete - as it would necessarily be, considering the number of seaworthy smaller boats that are around.

In particular, you missed/omitted the Westerly "Centaur" and its follow-on model, the "Griffon". 26 feet LOA, bilge-keelers, weighing something over 6000 pounds, usually fitted with a diesel inboard.

OK, these are British designs, and not that common in the US, but still they do exist, they're built like tanks, and it's rumored that at least one Centaur has circumnavigated.

Friday 31st of August 2018

This is a helpful list, thank you. I don't think most people would consider a 28' boat a pocket cruiser, though!

Terms and Conditions - Privacy Policy

Boat Pursuits Logo

What Size Yacht To Sail Around The World? All You Need To Know

yacht sailing around the world

If youre dreaming of sailing around the world, youll need to make sure you have the right size yacht .

But what size is best? In this article, well cover the benefits of both larger and smaller yachts, the factors to consider when choosing yacht size, the types of routes and their impact on yacht size, the experience of the sailing team, maintenance and upkeep considerations, and cost considerations.

With this comprehensive guide, youll be able to make an informed decision about the size of your yacht and set off on your journey around the world.

Table of Contents

Short Answer

The size of the yacht you need to sail around the world depends on the type of voyage you are planning to take.

If you are planning a leisurely cruise, then a mid-sized yacht between 35-45 feet is typically suitable.

However, if you are planning a longer-term voyage for more than a year, then a larger yacht of at least 50 feet is recommended.

In addition, you should factor in the type of weather and sea conditions you’ll be facing in your voyage, as this will determine the type and size of necessary equipment and provisions.

Benefits of a Larger Yacht

When it comes to sailing around the world, a larger yacht can provide a number of benefits.

A larger yacht provides more comfort and space for the crew, as well as more storage space for supplies and equipment.

A larger yacht also offers more stability, which is especially important when sailing in rough seas.

Additionally, a larger yacht will have more fuel capacity, which is important for long-distance voyages.

Also, a larger yacht has more room for amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping quarters, allowing the crew to be more comfortable over long periods of time.

Finally, a larger yacht is better equipped to handle adverse weather conditions, providing better protection from the elements.

Benefits of a Smaller Yacht

yacht sailing around the world

When it comes to choosing the right size yacht to sail around the world, size matters.

A smaller yacht can provide a number of benefits that can make your voyage more enjoyable and successful.

One of the biggest benefits of a smaller yacht is its ease of maneuverability.

A smaller yacht is more agile and can turn faster than its larger counterparts, making it easier to navigate tight spaces and shallow waters.

In addition, a smaller yacht will require less fuel to operate, making it more cost-effective and eco-friendly.

Another advantage of a smaller yacht is its ability to dock in various places.

With a smaller yacht, you wont have to worry about finding a dock that can accommodate your vessel.

This makes it easier and more convenient to explore various ports, islands, and harbors along your journey.

Finally, a smaller yacht can be easier to maintain.

With a larger yacht, youll need to be prepared to do more maintenance and upkeep to keep it in optimal condition.

With a smaller yacht, however, this is much less of an issue.

Youll be able to keep up with the necessary maintenance and repairs much more easily, giving you more time to enjoy your voyage.

Ultimately, the size of the yacht should be based on the crew’s experience and desired route.

A smaller yacht can be a great choice for experienced sailors who are looking for a more agile and cost-effective vessel, and for those with less experience who are looking for a more manageable vessel.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Yacht Size

When choosing the size of yacht for a voyage around the world, there are several factors to consider.

The size of the yacht should match the crew’s sailing experience and desired route, so it is important to evaluate both of these factors closely before making a decision.

First, it is important to consider the experience of the crew.

Experienced sailors may be able to handle a smaller yacht, while a larger yacht might be better suited for those with less experience.

This is because a larger yacht requires more knowledge and skill to navigate safely, and a smaller yacht may not have the necessary storage and space for a comfortable journey.

Second, the desired route should also be taken into account.

Depending on the route, a larger yacht may be necessary for more treacherous waters and longer voyages.

A smaller yacht will be able to navigate more easily in shallow waters, but may not be able to handle larger swells and rough conditions.

Finally, it is important to remember that the size of the yacht will affect the costs associated with upkeep, maintenance, and fuel.

A larger yacht will require more resources to keep it afloat and running, while a smaller yacht may be more economical.

All these factors should be taken into account when choosing the size of yacht to sail around the world.

A yacht of at least 40 feet in length is generally considered suitable for a global voyage, but the crew’s experience and route should dictate the size of the yacht for the most comfortable and safe journey.

Types of Routes and Their Impact on Yacht Size

yacht sailing around the world

When planning a global voyage, the size of the yacht is an important consideration.

The type of route one plans to take will have a direct impact on the size of the yacht that is chosen.

Generally, a yacht of at least 40 feet in length is considered suitable for a global voyage.

A larger yacht provides more space, storage, and comfort, but also requires more upkeep, maintenance, and fuel costs.

For those planning to sail along coastal routes, a smaller yacht may be sufficient.

Coastal routes are typically shorter and simpler than open-ocean routes, and therefore require a different type of yacht.

A coastal yacht should be able to handle the rougher seas and strong winds that can be encountered along the coast.

It should also have enough space to store supplies and equipment.

Coastal yachts are often smaller and more maneuverable than those designed for open-ocean sailing.

For those planning an open-ocean voyage, a larger yacht is usually preferred.

Open-ocean routes are often much longer and more challenging.

A larger yacht will provide more stability and comfort in rough seas and strong winds, as well as greater storage capacity for supplies and equipment.

Open-ocean yachts should also be equipped with all the necessary safety equipment, such as life rafts, life jackets, and emergency radios.

The size of the yacht should also be considered in relation to the crew’s sailing experience.

By taking into account the type of route, the crew’s sailing experience, and the desired comfort level, one can determine the size of yacht that is most suitable for a global voyage.

The right yacht will make the voyage more enjoyable and provide the necessary comfort and safety.

The Experience of the Sailing Team

When planning a voyage around the world, the size of the yacht is an important consideration.

Many people assume that the larger the yacht, the better it is for a global voyage.

However, this isnt always the case.

The size of the yacht should be directly proportionate to the experience and comfort of the sailing team.

This size of yacht allows for enough space and storage for the crew, and a comfortable ride.

However, a larger yacht may be necessary for those with less experience.

A larger yacht provides more space for the crew to spread out and more storage for supplies and equipment, which can make the voyage more comfortable.

A larger yacht also provides more stability and maneuverability in rough seas, which is an important safety factor.

An experienced sailor may be able to handle a smaller yacht more easily due to their familiarity with the vessel and their knowledge of sailing in general.

For those with less experience, a larger yacht can provide more stability and maneuverability in rough seas, as well as more room for the crew to spread out and gain experience.

Before choosing a yacht size, it is important to consider the experience of the sailing team, the route they plan to take, and the conditions they will be sailing in.

For example, a smaller yacht may be more suitable for a shorter voyage, while a larger yacht may be necessary for a longer voyage or a more challenging route.

When it comes to choosing the size of the yacht for a global voyage, it is important to consider the experience of the sailing team and the route they plan to take.

With the right size yacht, the crew will be able to sail safely and comfortably around the world.

Maintenance and Upkeep Considerations

yacht sailing around the world

Maintenance and upkeep considerations are important when selecting a yacht size.

Larger vessels will require more time and resources to keep in good condition.

If the vessel is new, it will likely come with a maintenance schedule, but experienced sailors should factor in the expense of routine upkeep.

This includes tasks such as waxing, polishing, and painting the hull and decks, as well as regularly checking and replacing hoses, pumps, and other essential parts.

One of the main advantages of a larger yacht is the ability to store and access more supplies and spare parts, which can provide needed peace of mind.

However, this should be balanced with the fact that larger boats take more fuel and require more resources to maintain.

Additionally, a larger yacht may require more crew members, adding to costs and possible complications.

It is important to remember that the size of the yacht should match the crew’s sailing experience and desired route.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to planning a voyage around the world, the size of the yacht is an important factor that must be taken into account.

Not only does the size of the yacht affect the comfort and convenience of the crew, but it also affects the cost of the voyage.

Larger yachts provide more space, more storage, and more comfort, but they also come with more costs.

Upkeep and maintenance costs can be significantly higher for larger yachts, and fuel costs can also be higher due to the increased size.

It is important to remember that the size of the yacht should be matched to the crews sailing experience and desired route.

Additionally, the size of the yacht should be matched to the desired route.

If the crew is planning a voyage that requires sailing in open ocean, a larger yacht may be necessary for greater stability and safety.

On the other hand, if the crew is planning a voyage that involves navigating through shallower waters, a smaller yacht may be preferable.

Ultimately, the size of the yacht should be based on the crews experience and desired route.

While it may be tempting to purchase or rent a larger yacht for comfort and convenience, the cost considerations should be taken into account to ensure that the voyage is financially feasible.

Taking the time to research and plan ahead is essential for setting out on a successful voyage around the world.

Final Thoughts

The size should be based on the sailing team’s experience, desired route, and the maintenance and cost considerations.

A larger yacht provides more comfort and storage, but requires more upkeep, while a smaller yacht is better suited for experienced sailors and those with limited funds.

Ultimately, finding the right size yacht for your crew and route is critical to a successful voyage.

Now that you know the key factors to consider when selecting a yacht size, you can confidently make your choice and have the adventure of a lifetime!.

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

Recent Posts

What is the Banana Boat Font? (Unveiling a Playful Tropical Typeface)

The Banana Boat font is a typeface that is often associated with the popular sunscreen brand Banana Boat. The font is typically bold and playful, reflecting the brand's fun and tropical image. It is...

Does Banana Boat Have PABA? (ANSWERED)

No, Banana Boat sunscreen products do not contain PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid). PABA was a common ingredient in sunscreens in the past, but it has been largely phased out due to potential skin...

yacht sailing around the world

Sailor fulfils dream of sailing around the world

A woman who dreamed of sailing around the world has fulfilled her wish by competing in an eight-month long global race.

Willow Bland, 26, from Waldringfield, Suffolk was a member of an all female crew taking part in the Ocean Globe Race.

The crew sailed on The Maiden - the same boat which the first all-female crew sailed around the world on in the 1990 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Ms Bland arrived back home in the UK last Tuesday and described competing in the event as a "privilege".

'I got the bug'

"It shows what a group of females can do and you don't have to have come from anything to get to here, you just have to be given the right opportunity," she said.

Ms Bland began sailing when she was about six or seven at the Waldringfield Sailing Club on the River Deben.

She developed a passion for the sport and took part in competitions racing small boats.

When she was 18, she made the decision to race in larger boats.

"I wasn't ever going to be good enough if I kept going in dinghies - I would never make the Olympics or anything like that," she continued.

"I decided bigger boats were for me and I just got the bug for it completely."


Ms Bland heard about the opportunity to sail on The Maiden in the Ocean Globe Race last year.

Immediately she knew she wanted to be a part of the team to fulfil her dream of sailing around the world.

She made the bold decision to email the project manager, Tracy Edwards MBE - who skippered the first all-female crew in the same boat.

"Growing up there were a few really iconic sailors and Tracy Edwards was definitely one of them," Ms Bland added.

When she found out she made the team, Ms Bland said it was "a pretty amazing moment, it's like living a dream".

The first leg of the race began on 10 September last year setting sail from Southampton journeying to Cape Town, South Africa.

The rest of the journey took them from Cape Town to Auckland in New Zealand, to Punta del Este in Uruguay before finishing off back in Southampton.

'Freezing cold'

During sailing, the 11 crew members alternated every four hours between sailing and resting.

"We didn't get very much sleep on legs two and three in the southern ocean where it's really cold," Ms Bland said.

"You are wearing all your layers and you're in two sleeping bags when you sleep.

"We didn't have a heater onboard so we were freezing most of the time.

"You're mostly using your energy to warm yourself up."

The journey also saw many unexpected encounters with wildlife.

"On leg one from England to Cape Town we had a pod of whales that followed our boat for three hours and they were jumping out the water and playing with the boat as if they were dolphins," Ms Bland added.

"They were massive whales almost the size of the boat - that was pretty incredible."


While the crew knows they have won their class, the overall race results are yet to be finalised.

"We are waiting on one other boat to see if we have won the overall race," Ms Bland explained.

"One of the others boat who isn't on land yet could sneak in and steal first place.

"We'd be second which would still be incredible."

The crew was welcomed back to the UK last week with friends and families waiting for them before a large party was held at the weekend.

"I have to go back to my real life and my job in London which I am very fortunate to have," Ms Bland continued.

"I've already planned more sailing for the summer and I have races coming up which should be really good fun.

"Maybe I'll look for another big project but I think I need to spend some time at home to rest and recover."

Follow East of England news on Facebook , Instagram and X . Got a story? Email [email protected] or WhatsApp us on 0800 169 1830

Stories like this

  • Couple stranded after boat struck by lightning
  • The people keeping the historic foot ferry afloat
  • Teen fisherman hopes to attract young to the job

Related Internet Links

  • Ocean Globe Race

yacht sailing around the world

Published on April 22nd, 2024 | by Editor

Maiden wins Ocean Globe Race

Published on April 22nd, 2024 by Editor -->

Cowes, UK (April 22, 2024) – The Bruce Farr designed 58-foot aluminum Maiden has won the 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race, taking first in IRC handicap rankings against the 14-boat fleet. They have also been written into the history books as the first ever all-women crew to win an around the world yacht race.

The former Whitbread yacht, sailed by an international crew took the title after 153d 2h 16m 53s of racing around the world. Virtually none of the crew had previously faced such an epic challenge and only one had sailed in the Southern Ocean before.

They completed the final leg – a 6599 nm course from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Cowes, UK – on April 16 after 41 days, but had to wait to learn if the French Swan 53 Triana could reach the finish line early enough to claim overall honors.

With all legs combined, Triana had to finish today at around 0600hrs to win, which they failed to do, with the IRC overall victory going to Maiden.

yacht sailing around the world

“It’s very exciting to be the first all-female crew to win an around the world race,” noted skipper Heather Thomas, the youngest skipper in the fleet. “It’s a historic moment. The girls have worked really hard for it and we’re very proud of our achievement.

“To those we raced against, it’s been a pleasure to get to know them and we’re going to miss them. It’s been an incredible first OGR and I hope the ones that follow are as good. Maiden won’t do the next one, but I will.”

She said from race start they were “in it to win it”, something they achieved while consistently ranking in the top half of the fleet. In Leg 1 they came in third in line honors and IRC. In Leg 2, fourth in both line honors and IRC and Leg 3, Auckland to Punta del Este, second in line honors and 4th in IRC.

She speaks very highly of her talented crew, hailing from the UK, Antigua, USA, South Africa, France and Afghanistan. Thomas describes being a tight-knit team, with first mate Rachel Burgess, as one of Maiden’s main strengths. “We work together so well. Everyone brings something to the team, without this we wouldn’t achieve what we do. ”

It’s fitting that Maiden should take the title with her poignant Whitbread history, as she came fourth in the 1981-82 Whitbread, known then as Disque D’Or 3. She was later renamed Stabilo Boss for the 1986-87 BOC single-handed challenge, coming seventh. In 1987, she was bought by Tracy Edwards MBE, who made headlines in the 1989 Whitbread skippering the iconic yacht around the world with an all-female crew.

Event information – Race rules – Entry list – Tracker

No longer racing: • Swan 51 Godspeed (USA) – retired after Leg 1

The 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race (OGR) is a fully crewed, retro race, in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race, marking the 50th Anniversary of the original event. Racing without computers, GPS, and high-tech materials, they navigate with sextants and paper charts. Seven of the fleet are former Whitbread competitors.

Starting in Southampton (UK) on September 10, the OGR is a 27,000-mile sprint around the Globe, divided into four legs that passes south of the three great Capes. The fleet is divided in three classes with stop-overs in Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; and Punta del Este, Uruguay before returning to Southhampton in April 2024.

2023-24 Ocean Globe Race: FIRST LEG: Start 10 September 2023. 7800 miles. First boats finish 9-21 October 2023. SECOND LEG: Start 5 November 2023. 7250 miles. First boats finish 14-23 December 2023. THIRD LEG: Start 14 January 2024. 6500 miles. First boats finish 9-14 February 2024. FOURTH LEG: Start 5 March. 6550 miles. Finish 1-10 April 2024.

yacht sailing around the world

Tags: Heather Thomas , Maiden , Ocean Globe Race

Related Posts

yacht sailing around the world

Whitbread history comes full circle →

yacht sailing around the world

Hull damage in Ocean Globe Race →

yacht sailing around the world

Being the only woman on board →

yacht sailing around the world

Ocean Globe Race: Slow and challenging →

© 2024 Scuttlebutt Sailing News. Inbox Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. made by VSSL Agency .

  • Privacy Statement
  • Advertise With Us

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Your Name...
  • Your Email... *
  • Phone This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

yacht sailing around the world

Interview : Sailing around the world with a sunken yacht

Nils Leiterholt

 ·  25.04.2024

Interview: Sailing around the world with a sunken yacht

Mr Lohner, what do you want with a wreck?

I've been looking for a suitable boat for a few years now and have also placed a classified advert myself looking for a steel boat to give away. I want to set off on a circumnavigation in four years' time. Until then, I want to use my manual skills as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician to make the boat suitable for this. When I came across the advert from the former owners' association of the "Raido", I got in touch and had a look at the boat.

What did the ship look like on the inside when you first visited it?

Everything was muddy, there was still a lot of water in the bilge and the engine wasn't running.

And that didn't put you off?

No. I thought that everything would come out anyway. I want to rebuild the ship from the ground up according to my ideas. Even the big puddle in the deck saloon didn't bother me. My only condition was that the engine had to be running. The day after the viewing, I was called and told that the engine had been preserved and was intact. I then bought the "Raido" for a symbolic euro.

What is your strategy for the refit?

I search a lot on online platforms for second-hand material. On the one hand, I do this because I want to approach my project in a fairly low-budget and sustainable way. Secondly, old parts are often of better quality than newer ones. Just last week, I came across some wood for the interior panelling: I was at the recycling centre and the wood was piled up there. It had only been used once before. I'm going to paint it and install it.

What does your schedule look like?

In 2028, I would like to sail in the Mediterranean for two years, after which I plan to sail around the world for five years. Along the way, I want to see where I like it best and where I would like to live in the future.

How much money have you budgeted for the refit? ?

I believe that it should be possible to make the "Raido" seaworthy for 20,000 to 30,000 euros, so that everything is in order. As far as the basic structure is concerned, I'm arguing that everything is relatively cheap - so far. Of course, the instruments and technology will be expensive, but I believe that I will be able to realise the whole thing well thanks to my frugal approach. I also want to actively run a YouTube channel during the trip. This will not only give me a nice documentary for me and my son. I also want to use it as an opportunity to earn money while I'm travelling.

You have no previous sailing experience. How do you intend to solve this problem?

When the boat is ready, I would like to do the first strokes on the North Sea and Baltic Sea with experienced sailors as hand-against-jelly guests. If that goes well, I'm confident enough to do longer trips on my own. Basically, however, I always plan to take people with me who want to accompany me.

Nico Lohner next to his upmarket yacht "Raido"

Most read in category Special

yacht sailing around the world


  1. These are the Top 10 Largest Sailing Yachts in the World

    yacht sailing around the world

  2. THIS IS US Yacht Charter Details, yacht charter

    yacht sailing around the world

  3. These extreme sailing superyacht concepts prove that the sky’s the limit

    yacht sailing around the world

  4. Sailing photography, Yacht racing, Sailing

    yacht sailing around the world

  5. Fastest sailboat in the world : sailing

    yacht sailing around the world

  6. 2018 World Superyacht Award Winners Attract Attention In Florence

    yacht sailing around the world


  1. The 10 100m+ yachts from The Netherlands

  2. Our Last Ocean Sail: AUSTRALIA Bound!

  3. Why Would Anyone Sail Around the World?

  4. We Bought a £30,000 Yacht to SAIL AROUND THE WORLD

  5. Which Sailboat Keel is the WORST? Ep 233

  6. BAD Sailboats


  1. 7 Best-Known Routes for Sailing Around the World (with Maps)

    The Fast Route - for the minimum time. The Pleasure Route - for the maximal pleasure. The Traditional Route - the road most taken. The Arctic Route - for the rough ones. The Dangerous Route - without regards for piracy. The Cheap Route - with a budget in mind. The Coast Lover's Route - never going far from the coast.

  2. How to sail around the world: Launching an epic adventure

    On 1 February 2024, Skyelark II nosed her bow through the Panama Canal 's final Miraflores Lock, and became the first yacht of this year's World ARC fleet to enter the Pacific Ocean. It's ...

  3. Everything You Need to Sail Around the World (by an expert)

    Everything you need to sail around the world: A Well-Prepared Route. A Reliable Bluewater Sailboat. $500 - $1,000 per Month per Person. Travel Documents (passport and visas, boat registration, port clearance) Cruising Equipment Recommended by Other Cruisers. The Proper Safety Equipment. The Appropriate Safety Training.

  4. 10 Best Sailboats for Sailing Around the World

    9. X-Yachts Xp55. Another X-Yacht is included in our list of best sail around the world boats. It is the Xp55, a sibling of the X4.9, that is also mentioned in this article. The Xp line focuses on the performance of the boat. This Xp model has a mix of fiberglass and carbon fiber in its hull structure, absorbing rigs and engine loads.

  5. Sailing Around The World

    There's something about sailing around the world that captures the imagination and inspires. For some, it's the reason for learning to sail in the first place. Others only start to think about global circumnavigation as their skills and experience grow. Regardless of what motivates you to circumnavigate, one thing remains true.

  6. Sail Around the World

    Ever dreamed of sailing around the world? Set sail on the journey of a lifetime on the 2022 Oyster World Rally, our third supported circumnavigation rally. ... An exhilarating 90 foot sailing yacht, delivering comfort and safety with uncompromising performance. She is capable of taking you anywhere in the world effortlessly, in luxury and style


    What is it like to SAIL AROUND THE WORLD? We spent the last 6 years sailing offshore across oceans through storms and calms, meeting new cultures and overcom...

  8. How To Sail Around The World (With Timeline and Examples)

    There are 8 different ways to Sail around the world, Join a research vessel. Get on a friend's boat that is already out sailing. Date the owner of a boat. Get paid to work as a; Mechanic, Chef, or General helper. Use Your specialty skill to help the crew; online marketing, language teacher, musician, etc.

  9. So you want to sail around the world. Now what?

    A sandbar in the middle of nowhere. 1. Get some offshore sailing experience. Sure sailing around the world sounds romantic—the freedom of the open ocean, sunsets on a beach in Bora Bora, sipping fresh water from a coconut you picked yourself (words of caution: climbing a palm is much harder than it looks!).

  10. World Cruising Sailing Yacht

    A world cruising sailing yacht is the ideal ocean-going vessel for those wishing to sail around the world. Owning a world cruising sailing yacht gives you the freedom to explore wherever and whenever you choose. Hoist up the sails and cruise to some of the world's most remote destinations or enjoy a luxurious vacation with your family ...

  11. Ultimate Guide: How to Sail Around the World

    Choosing the Right Boat. When sailing around the world, picking the right boat is crucial for a successful and safe voyage. Consider these factors when selecting your vessel: 1. Size: Determine the boat's size based on the number of crew members and trip duration. A larger boat offers more space and stability but may be harder to maneuver.

  12. Sail Around the World Route

    The Basics of Sailing Routes Around the World. First, some lingo. Sailors refer to a sail around the world route as a "circumnavigation." Taking a boat around the world requires some gumption. So why do it at all? For some, it is the goal of having done it. For others, it's a fun way to combine their passions of sailing and travel.

  13. Sailing Yacht Florence

    We are a British couple who set off in 2016 to sail around the world on our 37ft monohull. Thousands of miles and multiple oceans later, the adventure is still ongoing. Our videos document our ...

  14. How to Sail Around the World

    Volunteering to work on a sailboat might be the single best way to sail around the world without a lot of money. Other options are paying money to be part of a crew by sharing costs, finding friends that have sailboats, volunteering on a research boat, or paying a boat off over time if you have the income.

  15. Yachting World

    The Yachting World team brings you on board action, insights, expert analysis, yacht tests and sailing techniques from around the world

  16. Sailing around the world: Cruising couples' top tips ...

    While St Lucia marked the end of the 2018-19 rally, Grenada signalled the fleet's return to the Caribbean. A full circumnavigation for most, 438 days sailing for those who'd completed it in a ...

  17. Can Yacht Travel Around the World? All You Need To Know

    Short Answer. Yes, yachts can travel around the world. Many people choose to sail around the world in their own yachts or in chartered yachts. The journey is often long, taking several months and even up to years, depending on the route and the pace at which the journey is taken. It is an experience that many people find to be both thrilling ...

  18. About the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race

    The Clipper Race is one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other. With no previous sailing experience necessary, before signing up for the intensive training programme, it's a record-breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht. The next edition will be the ...

  19. 10 Incredible Yachts That Sail Around the World

    Crystal Cruises. Yacht: 62-passenger Crystal Espirit. The stunning all-suite, all-inclusive Crystal Espirit debuts December 2015 with an emphasis on "storied waters and hidden harbors.". The ...

  20. 5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

    Vancouver 28. Photo credit: YachtFathom.co.uk. A sensible small boat with a "go-anywhere" attitude, this pocket cruiser was designed with ocean sailors in mind. One of the best cruising sailboats under 40 feet, the Vancouver 28 is great sailing in a small package. Hull Type:Full keel with transom hung rudder.

  21. Best Sailboats of 2022: From Top To Sail

    Picking out a great vessel is imperative to enjoying a great sailing experience. We have selected the creme de la creme of sailboats suitable for a range of budgets and needs. Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380. Beneteau First 44. Fountaine Pajot Isla 40. Hylas 57. Leopard 42.

  22. Around the world sailing record

    The first around the world sailing record for circumnavigation of the world can be attributed to the surviving crew of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, ... the first round-the-world yacht race. The BT Global Challenge, was a race held every four years and followed the westward route. The Race, was a race held in 2000, ...

  23. What Size Yacht To Sail Around The World? All You Need To Know

    The size of the yacht you need to sail around the world depends on the type of voyage you are planning to take. If you are planning a leisurely cruise, then a mid-sized yacht between 35-45 feet is typically suitable. However, if you are planning a longer-term voyage for more than a year, then a larger yacht of at least 50 feet is recommended.

  24. Sailor fulfils dream of sailing around the world

    A woman who dreamed of sailing around the world has fulfilled her wish by competing in an eight-month long global race. Willow Bland, 26, from Waldringfield, Suffolk was a member of an all female ...

  25. Maiden wins Ocean Globe Race >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News: Providing

    major sailing news, ... In 1987, she was bought by Tracy Edwards MBE, who made headlines in the 1989 Whitbread skippering the iconic yacht around the world with an all-female crew.

  26. Interview : Sailing around the world with a sunken yacht

    The 35-year-old Nico Lohner wants to make the sunken "Raido" fit again and then go sailing around the world. However, he has no sailing experience. The 35-year-old Nico Lohner wants to make the sunken "Raido" fit again and then go sailing around the world. ... Going deep: In January, a 35-foot steel yacht sank in Oldenburg's city harbour. After ...