People often ask what the biggest boat is they can operate. Well, did you know that you can actually operate a 100′ sailboat by yourself – if you rig it the right way?
World-record holder François Gabart operated the 100-foot Trimaran MACIF by himself. However, it’s not easy and you have to be experienced and mentally tough. Most sailors seem to stay under 35 feet.
Sailing alone is also called short-handed sailing, and you need a short-hand sailing rig. Typically this means lot’s of automated systems, and all the sheets (cords and cables attached to the sails) running to your cockpit, allowing you to operate the sails while steering at the same time.
The hardest part of sailing by yourself may actually be the docking. Some marinas even offer a special service to help you with that, lending a helping hand. If you are inclined to sail alone (or don’t have any friends), you should definitely consider switching to a marina that provides this service.
While Cuan Law can be sailed single handed, it’s not an easy task. In fact, sailing her with a crew of seven still provides quite a good work-out. Docking Cuan Law single handed really is not an option, and this tricky maneuver requires all our crew to be on deck and helping out.
And you thought parallel parking your car was intimidating!
Do you know that girls as young as 16 years old have sailed around the world all alone? 16-year old Laura Dekker from the Netherlands is the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the world solo after Jessica Watson of Australia did it just before her 17th birthday. Dekker was 16 and 123 days.
Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail around the world with no stops and completely unassisted! While the just as impressive, Laura Dekker, completed her own sailing adventure around the globe with stops.
Another fascinating fact is that Dekker almost didn’t make it. The reason for this was the interference of the Dutch government. They didn’t think it was a good idea for a teenager to sail the world. However, she proved them wrong in all sorts of ways. You can learn more about Dekker’s journey in the film documentary Maidentrip.
The youngest circumnavigation isn’t recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, because they don’t want to encourage 14-year olds to sail around the world alone.
What do you think, should we recognize such achievements and therefore encourage them? Or are people right to worry for young kids who are interested in such fascinating, but dangerous endeavors? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!
The ideal wind speed for sailing is between 8-12 knots
The easiest wind to maneuver small and mid-sized boats is between 8-12 knots, while still being able to reach good speeds.
Anything between 5-8 knots is ideal for beginners that are trying to learn to sail. Anything under 5 knots gets tediously slow.
The average wind speed in the British Virgin Islands is 9 knots which makes the BVI one of the premier sailing destinations in the world.
The Star-class fleet of the 2012 Olympic Games competing in Weymouth.
Sailing has been a part of all modern Olympic games, except for the 1904 Summer Games, which were held in Louisiana.
This makes it one of the longest-running Olympic disciplines around. So if people ask you: ‘is sailing a sport?’, simply answer with: ‘the International Olympic Committee has believed it to be, for over 120 years’.
It was a gender-mixed discipline for the most part, until 1988, making it one of the only sports where women and men join in open competition.
Great Britain currently holds the most Olympic medals.