Our ultimate guide on things to consider if you're planning to sail across the Atlantic

4. Get some extra training

Ocean seamanship is more about fixing things and managing problems on board than navigation or routeing. Diesel engine maintenance, sea survival, medical and first aid training and courses run by manufacturers on servicing and maintaining their equipment are all invaluable preparation – for crew as well as skipper.

Sea Survival

5. Make the most of your time out

Don’t rush the opening stages of your year(s) off; enjoy the great summer cruising on the route down to the Canaries and other hopping-off points. The West Country, France, Northern Spain, Portugal and Madeira could be some of the best places you visit.

6. Take more crew for the crossing

Never underestimate how tiring ocean sailing can be and consider how hard-pressed you’d be two-handed if the autopilot were to break. Extra crew make life much easier and add to the stimulation.

You can find fresh new faces from Crewseekers , but do assess your compatibility first on a trial cruise.

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  • Roman Kogalin

    hahaha we can imagine.. funny.

  • Buy your fruit and vegetables from the farmers market, supermarket produce will have been chilled and will go off quicker
    I stored some cheeses below the waterline “to keep cool” and then had a nasty mess to clear up when it melted as the sea got warmer.

  • khizar_07

    A P&O Cruiser can do it in 7 days.
    10 days for a super yacht doing 10 knots.
    The Atlantic is a harsh environment. You will have to take engineers with you to ensure

    the thing does not break down.

  • CaptainDoomster

    In 1989 I crewed a 46 foot boat from Southampton to Antigua. We left Southampton in October (wrong end of the season). The Bay of Biscay was without doubt the worst stretch of the entire voyage – beating into four Force 10/ 11’s all the way down to Morocco with 30 – 40 foot sea.

    I went from never sailing a boat in my life to rounding Cap Finisterre alone at the night helm with big shipping in extreme gale force conditions….a true baptism of fire….and one of the finest most memorable moments of my life.

    Once in the Trade Winds the crossing was easy…..in fact I would almost call it boring….apart from seeing whales, dolphins, flying fish and the magical phosphorescent after 21 days the crew began talking about Hamburgers and Beer.

    I remember 500 miles off the coast of Africa we encountered two boats no bigger than 22 feet in size sailing together….so it is a myth when people say you cannot cross the Atlantic in small boats. In fact in the 60’s 25 – 30 foot was the norm and all those boats were basic….no water makers etc. Modern boats are cluttered with so much unnecessary crap.

    From my experience keep the boat simple, uncluttered and as the author stated maintain the momentum. Buggering around with complex sail arrangements in a squall or in the middle of the night is an annoyance.

  • Adam christ

    Thank you, happy sailing 🙂

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