Can you travel the world on a sailboat? This travel season is a mess.
Can you travel the world on a sailboat? Most boat owners choose to live on a boat full-time, and it’s a great way to live and travel for longer periods of time. We spoke with Brent Turney, a sailboat owner who went to sail around the world on his sailboat. To follow in his footsteps, you’ll need to get a crew together, find a boat to sail, find a crew, and pay for lodging at each place. That may be too much.
I can’t do that. Yes you can, but it will take a lot of work and dedication. The job takes a little practice, a lot of determination, and a healthy dose of faith in yourself. Once you get the hang of it, however, it’s a lot of fun, and the freedom and adventure can be the ultimate reward. It’s probably easier to do a couple of months, but if you’re a true explorer like Turney, you should aim to live on your boat for months at a time.
Are you a sailboat owner? Check out my tips for living on a boat while traveling.
Is sailing an affordable way to travel? It depends. Buying a boat and sailing it around is one way to go, and it can be very expensive. In the UK, for example, where it’s now legal to live on a boat without a license, you can buy a 20-foot boat and sail it around for £20,000 to £30,000 (about $24,000 to $35,000). Turney estimates that buying a boat and taking it to many different countries and islands will cost him about $40,000 to $50,000.
“I don’t think sailing is easy, it’s hard work,” said Turney. “If you want to get there you have to have a boat and you have to be willing to work really hard. I enjoy the ocean, and I’ve always loved the challenges of getting myself into the water.”
Do you need to go to each place you sail?
No. You can take your boat from place to place. Turney estimates that he can sail around the world in two to three years, based on how much money he needs to spend, how much time he wants to spend away from his wife and daughter, and how much time he wants to spend in each location. He spends a lot of his time in Jamaica, where he spends three to five months sailing and exploring each island. In August, he heads to Brazil and then Portugal for about five months. In late December, he heads back to the UK and spends about four months there.
Who can do this?
You don’t need to be a professional sailor to take your boat around the world, but you should have some training, some experience with sailing, and some resources. There are a few schools around the world that teach basic sailing skills to adventurers like Turney. Many people go through school to learn to sail and become instructors, but if you don’t have the time or money to do that, it’s still possible to teach yourself, or take some courses at your local community college or sailing school. A majority of sailing schools require you to have a license for sailing, and while there are some instructors who don’t need a license, it’s much more difficult to teach yourself.
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