Mike Perham's arrival at the end of his solo circumnavigation has raised the question of how young is too young to go solo?


Zak Sutherland completed his leisurely solo round the world cruise aged 17. Mike Perham opted for a more difficult course and a tougher boat to sail and pipped him by a couple of months in the age stakes.

Now we have 16-year old Jessica Watson planning to join the fray, along with Zak’s younger sister Abby and finally 13-year old Laura Dekker from Holland who the authorities are trying to prevent from setting sail.

This raises a number of legal and moral issues. You can go to war at 16 but not vote nor drink alcohol. You can marry at 16 so are you old enough to sail solo around the world?

I throw this debate open to readers and we’ll publish a selection of replies in November’s Yachting World.

Should there be an ‘age of consent’ for would be solo round the world sailors?


If YES what should that age be

16 or 18

As this is not strictly a poll if you want to take part please send me your replies and comments at elaine.bunting@timeinc.com.