If you’re into sailing to the point where you own a boat, chances are you’ve thought about sailing around the world at least once. There is certainly a romantic undertone to giving up your 9-to-5 job, picking up just the basic essentials and taking off into the deep waters. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth if we are to realistically consider successfully completing a sailing trip around the whole world. It takes immense planning, great knowledge of one’s boat, and even financial commitments that the person needs to be prepared for.
It is essential to take sailing very seriously, because despite what we might have seen in the movies, if you are unprepared and start a major sailing trip, it can have tragic consequences as there is no one out there to offer you immediate help once you’re far from the shore.
The condition of the boat
First, you must consider how reliable your yacht is. And that involves disregarding how much emotional attachment you have to it and how much the two of you have been through and truly taking a critical look to see whether the boat would be able to sustain a trip that will span over 6 months (the world record for solo travel belongs to François Gabart who completed his solo trip in just over 42 hours, so expect to do significantly more, unless you’re a professional sailor). The worst case scenario of sailing around the world is your yacht seriously breaking down in the middle of the ocean.
But it’s not just the boat’s health, it’s also your own you need to take into consideration. You’ve probably spent a day or two on a boat, but have you really spent months on a boat at the sea before? If the answer is no, you’re in for some challenges when it comes to your physical and mental health, and you need to be prepared for that in advance. You cannot foresee many of these health issues, so essentially it is advisable to commit to such adventure with at least one other person. It’s safer, and if you choose a good companion, it’s a lot more fun too.
This really depends on your prior sailing experience. If you’re a professional sailor or you went to a sailing school at some point, you probably know all the essentials. If this is about to be your first time on a boat, maybe postpone sailing around the world. At least for a few years. But if you have reasonable experience, but aren’t sure where to start, consider these aspects: you need meteorological training, you need to understand the mechanics of your boat, including the engine, very well. It is also crucial to be familiar with first aid and related matters when it comes to performing them on oneself, understand how to navigate and choose a path for it. Plus, take finances into account; even if you own a boat already, your budget might go all the way up to $25,000 if you want to sail around the world!