Are you are planning to sail around the world? Maybe you’re still in the dreaming phase and would like to someday, but have no idea how it is even possible. If you have ever dreamed about sailing around the world, continue reading and I’ll let you how I plan on doing it myself; which means not only is it possible, but you can certainly do it too.
Looking into it, there is actually a lot of ways to sail around the world. Some of them are more feasible then others, but thought I’d mention them as options before I get into my specific plans.
How to Sail Around The World - The Options
One of the best ways, which I even thought about, is to apply to sailing crews for larger boats. There are several websites such as The Yacht Week, Findacrew, and Crewseekers, or just do a search for “crew finder” in your search engine. This is probably a better option if you have certificates and experience. The benefit is you actually get paid to do what you love, but the drawback is you are paid crew and therefore on someone else’s schedule.
If you’re more adventuresome, you can volunteer to crew on sailboats. There is actually a small culture of individuals and couples that are basically hitchhiking their way around the world. Basically you go down to the local docks and look for boats that are headed your way, volunteer to crew, and go. The obvious advantages are you get to get off when you want and explore before you catch the next ride. A major down side to this is you never know when your next ride may be. Additionally, most boaters will expect you to pay for your own expenses such as food and other consumables.
It has been suggested to me that you can also seek out boat sitting opportunities. I am assuming this is a more localized option; perhaps you sit for a boat moored in the Bahamas while the owner is back home taking care of business. This would allow the owner to not have to pay moorage while he is away and you the ability to sail the Bahamas during that timeframe. You would have a better time selling this if you are certified and experienced. The drawback is it is also likely the owner will want to rent or in some other fashion charge you fees for the use, but perhaps it would be an economical option compared to chartering.
There are also sailing cruses out there to consider. This isn’t the best of options, but makes the list of options to consider if you want to sail the world. It will give you the opportunity to experience being at sea and you are a paying customer, so no work for you. Unfortunately, these cruses cost a lot of money and you are on a set schedule, but if you don’t own a boat and have the resources, it’s worth considering.
The wild card is to date someone who owns a boat. I’m serious; I didn’t make this one up. I actually found this on another blog. Even better a girl named Kate responded that it was her favorite options and the most doable one for her. I would link the site so you can read it for yourself, but I only remember this due to that comment and was not able to locate it again; downfall of reading so many blogs over the last several years leading up to buying a boat and starting my journey.
Last but not least, you can buy your own boat and sail it around the world. Obviously, this is the option I choose. It is the best of all worlds when it comes to setting schedules and itinerary, because you are the Captain. But there are a lot of downsides as well; you are the Captain. You have to buy the boat, maintain it, sail it, plan everything, etc., etc.
Obliviously there are a lot of things to consider when you plan on sailing around the world. The questions run the gamut from A to Z, but the four most asked questions I have seen and been asked by others are, what boat should I get? How long does it take to sail around the world? What is the best route to take? How can you afford it?
What is the best boat to buy?
I have done a lot of research in this area and can honestly say, there is no best boat to buy. On top of that, it will also be extremely dependent on what you intend to use if for, how many people on board, and what your comfort requirements are. Every boat of every design has its own inherent positives, negatives, and unique quirks. Everything is a tradeoff in a boat. If you want one thing, you will have to trade some other aspect you want to get it. I am quite certain that the “perfect” boat does not exist.
The reality is you are sticking an entire house in and 36-45 foot by 12-15 foot space. Yes, there are bigger boats, and wider boats, and a catamaran will give you more space, but everything comes with a tradeoff, I guarantee it.
So my boat is a Beneteau 390; in that average size being 38.3 feet long and 13 foot at her beam. I did a lot of research on this and am quite aware “stability issue”. I have read the Ocean Madam report in full and despite being rolled twice and demisted, she was found still floating upright when scuttled. After reading the report, it appears that there were a lot of mistakes made, one of which was being out in a force 9 storm with wave heights of 7-9m (22-29ft); this boat was not made for that.
By the numbers, if you plan on doing a lot of cursing and offshore passages, you want look for a boat with the following:
Displacement/length (D/L) ratio of around 300
Ballast ratio Sail area/displacement of around 35-40%
The Sail Area/Displacement ratio of 17-20%
Angle of vanishing stability of 120 degrees or better
The stability index of 35 or higher
Unfortunately, I have been swinging back and forth about whether or not my boat, Queen O’ Hearts, is the one for sailing around the world in. She was bought because I was looking for a liveaboard and now that I have lived on her for so long and have had many miles of cruising with her, I recognize many things I would trade off for things I would desire for long ocean voyages. But, we’ll see where I am on that subject in a couple years.
How long does it take to sail around the world?
I always find this question the most fun of what I get asked. My typical answer is, “I don’t know, maybe ten years.” I love to watch people’s eyes pop out of their head when I say this. Honestly the truth of the matter is, it takes as long as you want.
The world record for a circumnavigation is currently 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes, and 35 seconds. That’s great, but I kind of what to see something between start and finish. On the other hand, if you circle the globe 6 times and never stop on the same city twice, you didn’t officially circumnavigate the globe.
So what does this all mean, for most people they plan a three to four year trip. That gives them plenty of time to take in the sights, see things they want to see, and not be in a rush so they can pick the best weather days to sail.
My goal is to for it to be a six to seven year trip. My route will take me to places most don’t go and will also back track a few time for weather seasons and further exploration. I am planning on a projected longer time frame to account for my true desire to explore the different cultures and areas I am in.
You never know, I may be the guy who does sail around the world and never circumnavigate cause I just don’t stop the same place twice. It’s just as likely that I get lost in the South Pacific and decide that is as far as I ever need to go, just sailing from island to island till I see them all; there is about 25,000 to check out.
What route to take
Despite what any one tells you, there are only two routes around the world; East and West. The rest is just choices you make along the way. The three major choices are to use the Panama Canal or go around the horn, use the Suez Canal or go around the Cape of Good Hope, and go North or South of Australia.
As I mentioned above, I am going to be doing a little different thing. I plan on leaving Alaska, heading down the Inside Passage, and following the west coast to Panama. That plan all would be considered normal; however, after that is where I am going to be a little different. Most sailboats would head from Panama, to the Galapagos Islands, and on into the South Pacific. I will head South to Ecuador and then on to Rapa Nui (Easter Island). I mean, why sail around the world if you’re not going to stop and see the Moai? From there I will travel north into the South Pacific.
From there it will be a more traditional course until I hit New Zealand, then I may go to Indonesia or back to the South Pacific for a Second season. As I said, choices. I am not in any hurry and unless I have a reason to be, I plan on taking my own sweet time, as long as I can afford to do so.
How to afford it
Speaking of afford, this is the question I get asked the most and that I have researched the most, yet still have the least amount of answers. The most common way is making money through your social media platforms, generally YouTube and/or Instagram, and by Blogging. If you haven’t read my last post, YouTube vs Blog, Which Is Better For A Sailing Niche, you should before you choose which platform you will focus on. The blog explains why I choose a blog over the standard of YouTube and why I think it will be a better platform in the long run.
My primary source of income will be from my rental home once it is paid off. The drawback of this is there is timeframes that it won’t be rented and therefore won’t be making money. There is also the fact that between taxes, maintenance, and other expenses, I will only be putting away $700 a month that I can use. I will defiantly need other sources of income.
I have looked into everything from selling my photography to freelancing to just doing odds and end jobs. I am continuing to look into the feasibility of different strategies and working to see if I can at least start gaining some foothold in a few of them before I depart. I know with, as with any business, it takes time and work to make progress, so I am working in advance of my projected departure date.
Wrapping it all up, there are a lot of choices to make when planning to sail around the world. There are several different options to get around the world, and if you opt to do it on your own boat. Once you decide on what boat to actually get, which can be daunting in itself, you then have several other decisions to make. I hope this article gave you some ideas to help get you on the way to planning that trip around the world.
If you are interested in hearing more planning to sail around the world, or any other aspect of the process, go ahead and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. I will be posting blogs every Sunday and putting reminders out on my other platforms throughout the week. If you feel so inclined, you can follow me on YouTube as well, I will eventually be back on that platform weekly as well.
Thanks for dropping by and hanging out, I do appreciate it. Before you go, let me know in the comments if there is anything you would like me to expand on in future posts or any specific questions you have. Your feedback is important to me.