I"m checking my map here, and also I"m simply curious: exactly how long walk it take to cross the Atlantic? In this article, I"ll answer the inquiry for the most usual sailing boats and also routes.

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So there"s a short and also a long answer. If you desire the brief answer, here it is:

How long does it require to sail throughout the Atlantic? The Atlantic takes around 3-4 weeks come cross. If you"re fast, take shortcuts, and also get lucky, it can be done in around 2 weeks. If you"re the end of luck and also are there is no wind because that a mainly or more, or usage a slow-moving ship, the can conveniently take approximately one month.

It really counts on how you plan to travel, what form of delivery you"re sailing, that is size, and -of course- your skills and speed. So over there you have actually it. It takes 3 weeks. however why? If you"re in the the very least like me, you"re not at every satisfied through this answer. You"d want the long and detailed answer. If so, check out on.

In this article:


Why Does the Take 3 Weeks?

Of course, there space multiple possible routes. For sailing, however, the is recommend to manipulate the tradewinds (read on because that details). The easiest path from eastern to West follows Portugal - The Canary Island - Cape Verde - Windward Islands. The full distance that this journey on a map is about 6,800km.

A boat rarely sails in a directly line. The most most likely will cover more distance as result of a curved or S-shaped journey. A an excellent rule of ignorance is to add 15-20% on height of the theoretical distance. In real life, you"ll travel around 8,000km. This comes under to about 20 job of sailing in great weather.

Please keep in mind that sailers choose to speak of distance (nautical miles), rather than time. Friend never understand what the weather brings. A Nautical Mile is specifically 1.1508mi or 1,852m.

Want to recognize how much a sailboat have the right to sail in a day? inspect out mine other post on the mean sailing street in different conditions (new tab).

How to overcome the Atlantic?

Well, i don"t suggest you go and also cross the Atlantic after reading this article. Sailing open up seas is for competent skippers. I"m including this part to provide you a thorough idea of how to carry out it, and also what the journey consists of.

There space two main routes, from east to west and also from west to east.

The southerly passage (which is eastern to west)The northern passage (which is west come east)

You"ll see that both the these courses seem like huge detours (which they are), yet they space the many forgiving cruising route and have worked for over centuries. The courses are dictated by the profession winds. I"ll define them further on.

The southerly passage (east come west)

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The Atlantic crossing: the southerly passage

You an initial need to reach the harbor of departure. If you take trip from Europe to the Americas, you want to sail South-East. Her port of exit will most likely be the Canary Islands, offshore from west Sahara. Climate you will set sail to Cape Verde, offshore native Dakar. Or you"ll sail straight to the Windward Island in the Carribean.

The ranges of this route are:

Portugal come the Canary Islands - 750NM (5-7 days)Canary archipelago to Cape Verde - 850NM (5-8 days)Canary islands to Windward Islands - 2700NM (16-21 days)

This bring your full travel distance approximately 4000NM and travel time between three and also four weeks.

Quickly discover how to usage a boat compass v my short beginner"s guide here (new tab)

The north passage (west come east)

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The Atlantic crossing: the northern passage

First, you must reach Bermuda, serving together your port of departure, due to the fact that it has actually the ideal westward winds. Mainly you"d be cruising from what in the Carribean to Bermuda. Then you will collection sail come the Portuguese Azores, and also from there you"ll set sail to the Portuguese coast, and then your last destination.

The distances of this route are:

Carribean to Bermuda - 850NM (5-8 days)Bermuda to Azores - 1900NM (14-17 days)Azores come Portugal - 700NM (4-8 days)An extr 3-10 days come reach your destination

Your complete sailing time will again be in between three and four weeks, though this journey will take a little bit longer that the from the west journey.

Avoiding the hurricane season

Timing additionally plays critical role in the planning of her journey. Your main worry is to protect against the hurricane season, which lasts native June come November. Most watercrafts leave in November, showing up just gradually for Christmas. But the trading winds are stronger in January, making because that a much faster crossing.

Want to watch a handy map with the ideal sailing season throughout the globe? examine out my write-up on cruising seasons right here (opens in brand-new tab).

Some details on the Atlantic Ocean

The cross of the Atlantic is fairly a journey. It"s the seconds largest ocean in the world, after the Pacific. The covers around 41 million square miles, which is 20% of the Earth"s surface. Conclusion: it"s big, and you want to be smart around it.

How tough Is It come Sail throughout the Atlantic?

In short: it"s as difficult you enable it to be.

Sailing throughout an ocean deserve to seem quite daunting. Ns haven"t done the cross myself (yet), but from what ns understand, it"s in reality pretty dull. Bluewater sailing is greatly long stretches of blue, in light airs, cruising at 5 knots. So, in general, it"s not super hard.

However, that can obtain pretty lonely at times. Gift alone for 20+ days, through nothing but water and also air, can take a toy fee on you mentally. Many sailors agree that this is the most an overwhelming part of crossing the Atlantic.

It does take some nerve to cross an ocean. Open up sea can acquire quite rough, and when the does, the waves are greater and the winds punch harder 보다 anything you"re provided to inland.

You have to be all set for these kinds of changes. The most essential thing is the you"re maybe to conveniently take down a reef. So friend should have actually a an easy rig, that permits you to readjust to sudden changes in weather.

If girlfriend don"t have the experience essential to deal with heavy weather, you could make (fatal) mistakes. You require to have the confidence the you room in manage of her sailboat.

If you want to obtain into sailing, i recommend you read my write-up 9 ways to discover to Sail for (Practically) totally free here.

Also, make sure to carry enough fuel.

How much fuel must you actually carry? It"s basic to calculate. Find out how in my article on fuel consumption here (opens in new tab).

But what about storms? - A solid watercraft with a good, capable crew can resolve almost any kind of kind of weather.

I think the if you have actually the knowledge, experience, and proper gear, it"s no difficult. However, if you"re unprepared, inexperienced, and also unsure around your own capabilities, the good blue can get the much better of you.

What room Trade Winds and also How perform They Work?

Luckily ours ancestors native the sixteenth century and up were plenty smart. They uncovered the Atlantic had really reliable "wind roads", which they can use to fairly safely sail to the Americas. These are dubbed trade winds, and also they"re so advantageous precisely since they"re an extremely predictable. Each brand-new season we have the right to be certain the profession winds lug us to the soil of the free. And also so they have actually been supplied by vendors for countless centuries.

In the north Atlantic, just the east-to-west blow winds space trade winds.

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A 1686 wind map, reflecting the trade winds - interesting detail is the level of the north SeaThe factor they are called trade winds isn"t at every obvious

You might think that, because we"ve offered them for trading so much, so we"d speak to them after the trade. However it"s in reality the other way around. The word derives from the Late middle English trade, which way path or track. The winds were first called profession winds, and then we"ve named our business after them. In the eighteenth century, the word trade involves mean "commerce".

So how do these trade winds work?

In the dead center of the Atlantic basin, there"s a huge area the high atmospheric pressure. We recognize it as the Azores High, and also it stretches every the way to Bermuda. Hot air rises in tropical areas below, ~ which it cools at higher altitudes, and comes down near the poles. This unknown transaction creates wind.

Because of that, there"s a dead region in the facility of the Atlantic, wherein there"s or no wind at all, or hurricanes. The reason the winds room so predictable, and practically always punch in the very same direction, is as result of the rotation of the planet (this is dubbed the Coriolis effect). The current likewise moves in this direction, producing a comfortable ride.

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If we line up our paths with our profession winds, you"ll notification they line up perfectly.

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My favorite Beginner cruising Gear

For passages like these, you require sound navigation gear. The doesn"t have to be expensive. Here are my optimal 3 items:

For much more details on every one, head end to my recommended equipment section.

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Related Questions

How lengthy did the Atlantic crossing use to take? In 1492 it take it Columbus two months to cross the Atlantic. In the 18th and 19th century, the still take it on typical six weeks. If weather problems were bad, it can take up to 3 months.

So why are we quicker now? The wind hasn"t enhanced (or possibly it did, how can I possibly know?).

Why does cross the Atlantic take much less time nowadays? It"s mostly due to improved sailing technologies; the form of the hull, the all at once efficiency that boats, and, of course, improved navigation techniques. And also sailing boats nowadays usage an engine to save going as soon as the wind lays down. Which, you have the right to imagine, will make fairly the difference.