Things to know about sailing around the world

Things to know about sailing around the world

You may not have the money to buy a boat, or the know-how to sail it around the world. But you can still dream about doing so. And if you want to live your dream, there are plenty of ways for you to start preparing now.

One way is by reading guidebooks like this one that offer practical advice on how to plan and execute an epic voyage of exploration.

You’ll learn things like how much food and water will be needed, what kind of weather conditions might be encountered (a lot!), and what safety precautions should be taken. All in all, sailing around the world is no small feat; but with determination and preparation, anything is possible!

What is another word to describe sailing around the world?

To sail around the world is to circumnavigate it.

Circumnavigation definition:

The word circumnavigate comes from circum “around” + navigare “to sail”

How much does it cost to sail around the world?

Of course, the cost of buying the boat is something to consider. If you leave your job and life in order to set out for this adventure, then buying an expensive yacht might not be practical. On the other hand, if you want to go full-time, then purchasing something more expensive is fine. Otherwise, if you plan to work while sailing around the world, cheaper boats are usually the most practical.

The cost to sail around the world will vary depending on the size of the boat, how far you’re going, and what type of accommodations are desired. Generally, the more luxuries you want on your boat, the higher it will cost.

Planning and executing a voyage like this will require a lot of money and preparation.

  1. Living costs

Living costs on a sailing boat will differ depending on what kind of luxuries are desired. If you want to be able to run a fridge, stove, lights, fans, etc. then the cost will be higher than if you plan on being more minimalistic. Generally speaking though, daily living costs can be very low on a boat. Maybe you catch fish or gather coconuts or something.

  1. Boat maintenance

A big consideration when sailing around the world is maintenance. It’s important to know how much it will cost to maintain your boat and how much fuel you need. One thing you’ll want to do before leaving is to make sure you have an idea of how much money you’ll need: As a rough guide, calculate 10% of the boat purchase price each year for maintenance.

  1. Travel expenses

You want to experience the world, not sit on your boat in one port after another. You’ll need to pay for the travel expenses involved in moving from one location to another. For this, you need to consider the cost of transportation, tickets, and accommodation. Depending on how long you stay in one place (or country), food and accommodation might be quite expensive.

Sailing around the world routes

The routes to take around the world are worth considering too. Going clockwise means having more favorable winds, but also means taking on ocean currents that go in the opposite direction. If you go anti-clockwise then you will be exposed to the trade winds for longer, but there is a chance that you will have unfavorable currents working against you.

Suggestions for sailing routes:


  • Mediterranean Sea: Gibraltar – through Suez Canal
  • Indian Ocean: from the Red Sea – Maldives – Australia
  • South Pacific: from Sydney – Tahiti
  • South Pacific: from the Tahiti – Panama – Caribbean
  • North Atlantic: from the Caribbean – Azores – Gibraltar


  • North Atlantic: from Gibraltar – the Caribbean (Windward Islands)
  • South Pacific: from the Caribbean – Panama – Tahiti
  • South Pacific: from Tahiti – Sydney
  • Indian Ocean: from Australia – Maldives – Red Sea
  • Mediterranean Sea: through Suez Canal – Gibraltar

Boats for sailing around the world

If you want to go on a circumnavigation, choosing the right boat is key. What type of boat do you need? Size and type of the boat., style of rigging, wind conditions, distances sailed, number of crew members, length of voyage required. The type of boat that is best for one person might not be the ideal vessel for others sailing around the world.

Type and size:

The first step in finding your perfect circumnavigation vessel is figuring out what size and type it will be. For example, if you’re going to be on your own most of the time, then a small sailboat with minimal luxuries might suit you best. If you want to be able to entertain friends and family, then maybe a catamaran is more your style; they easily accommodate many people while still providing enough space for activities like fishing or diving.


When it comes to types of boats, it’s not just about the size and luxury you want, but also how practical it is for your purpose. For example, an uncomfortable wooden boat may not be suitable for families or new sailors. Steel boats are often seen as “safer”, but they weigh more and can be harder to handle. Fiberglass is lightweight, durable, and easy to maintain, but it does not provide the same safety if a collision occurs.

Boats for circumnavigation:

There are many different types of boats you can use when planning a circumnavigation. A day cruiser is not suitable for full circumnavigation – However, some boats can be adapted to become suitable for the purpose of circumnavigation. So you must decide how much effort you are prepared to devote to the project of preparing a boat for long-distance sailing.

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