View Full Version : cross atlantic -how long?

04-09-01, 18:48
Ballpark figures - How long would it take a 30 foot yacht to sail across the Atlantic , via the Canaries (2 day stop-over), if went at the most favourable time of year? (When would that be by the way?)
Non- stop, crew of 7 say, with a professional skipper.

04-09-01, 18:56
If it takes more than a fortnight with 8 people on a 30'er I would expect murder to be done.

04-09-01, 20:06
Depends how hard you sail her and what weather you get. In a 30 footer you'd be lucky to AVERAGE 4.5 knots - say 100-120 miles perday. UK to Canaries @ 1300 miles Rhum line is thus about a fortnight. Then St Lucia is c2700 but in steadier winds still 21-25 days. Change the assumptions how you like but it's at least a month direct.

Biggest problem is that there isnt a "most favourable" time to do the whole trip. Any journey across Biscay has to be planned carefully - to leave after mid August could set you up for a long wait for a weather window and a nasty pastiing on the way over. The passage beyond Finisterre relies on the northerly Portuguese Trades which will have dissipated by Sept 30.

Once you get to the Canaries, the Trade Winds South of 18N dont fill in until early-mid November. If you go before and/ or sail the rhumb line you might get across OK, but you'll more likely be becalmed.

If you are becalmed and there are 7 plus a skipper then you will be into Cannibalism - some of your crew might not get there...............

If you are serious - a crew of 4 - max, depart UK 15 August, take a leisurely sail to the Canaries - do the Canaries properly (there's easily a month's cruising there) and then set off at mid-end November.

Good luck

04-09-01, 20:29
Yes, I see now. Thankyou

04-09-01, 20:31
Yes, excellent points. Thanks for the advice.

05-09-01, 22:14
About 3 hours now Concorde is back in service

06-09-01, 18:08

06-09-01, 19:29
Perhaps a couple of seasons experience in coastal cruising would be advantageous before setting out on something as ambitious as a transatlantic.

06-09-01, 20:55
All I wanted was free advice before even contemplating the expensive stuff such as hiring the skipper. Read original message again.

06-09-01, 20:59
All I wanted was free advice before even contemplating the expensive stuff such as hiring the skipper. Read original message again. Duh

07-09-01, 07:23

Unfortunately, you have shown us all, by the "howlers" in your original posting, that you are either completely new to sailing or living in a black hole.

Eight people on a 30 foot boat is about four times too many. They couldn't even all sit in the cockpit, never mind eat, sleep, sail the boat, or just live for an extended period. Three people would be a crowd for the four or five weeks or so that you contemplate.

Next, you cannot possibly provision this number of people for a long trip. Most people are more concerned about water, even at the most conservative estimate you will need somewhere around a gallon per day per person, for say four weeks if you are lucky, makes 224 gallons. Most 30 footers carry about 20 - 30 gallons normally and add about the same extra capacity for a long trip. Amounts of food needed would be vast, and don't say dehydrated. Sea water is far too salty to reconstitute this type of food.

Further, I think it must be true to say that almost anybody who has ever picked up a sailing magazine knows when to cross the Atlantic. Going too early in the year increases the risk of storms this side and hurricanes that side, so the classic timing is to leave UK in summer, get to the Azores by October and leave in time to reach the West Indies by Xmas. There are also trade wind benefits in doing it at this time.

Next, you will have a mutiny on your hands if you reckon to give your crew two days break after a non-stop sail to the Azores. They will be trying to get their joints to go straight again after sleeping in lockers with nothing to drink. Most will jump ship and crew on a nice 50 footer with a big refrigerator and lots of beer.

As my co-posters have suggested above, get a couple of seasons experience around the coast first and you will then have far more idea of what is involved.


07-09-01, 09:52
All other people who posted - you were simply repeating what Decaukill, and Bergman kindly stated, except you throw in insults as well. (You got that time to waste?) I can go elsewhere for insults.

After the first reply I knew I needed to charter a bigger boat or take less people. I then knew what part of the year to book my holiday. The skipper would sort the rest. Or I could just jump on the next BT global challenge - people do that with no previous knowledge if they have the money. And of course, you have told me I know nothing or that I live in a "black hole".
If you don't know someone, why say stuff that could hurt them or make them angry or whatever? Why not just answer the question as Decaukill and Bergman did?
So, that's life, that's people. The score is, what, two nice guys -vs- three not so nice? Yes, I reckon that is the way it is in this world. Nice is a minority.
Goodbye for good.

07-09-01, 12:35
No insult intended, plenty of facts, some repetition inevitable. Perhaps I've saved you from far more embarrassment.

08-09-01, 09:20
I kept a diary when I crossed - then typed it up when I had flu. It's on my web site if you want to read it - it's VERY long, (and probably boring) but it's there if you're interested - a very personal "wharts 'n' all" account of 23 days at sea.

to go http://www.first-magnitude.co.uk/ - then it's under the "links" section.

Roger Holden

08-09-01, 13:52
If you are thinking about a holyday is better if you fly to the Caribbean and chater a boat there. If you are enough confident you will not need a professional skipper but you still will need a bigger boat or two 30 foot boats.

08-09-01, 20:44

Firstly thanks for the kind remarks

You find on these boards (Scuttlebut especially) insults are a fairly normal form of address. Its a case of not taking them personally and giving back as good as you get.

I think the really nasty element of a months back has gone now so please stick around and dish it out a bit.

Hope you enjoy your sailing