Cuan Law can reach speeds of up to 14 knots!
The average sailboat cruises at about 4-6 knots, (4-7 mph or 7-11 km/h) and has a top speed of 9 knots (10 mph or 17 km/h). It’s just not that fast. That isn’t to say there aren’t any quick boats: they can be incredibly fast. Especially the multihulls, which have to displace a lot less water. They can go up to 50 knots (almost 60 mph or 93 km/h).
Most sailboats are slow because they are small (under 20′) – and the hull speed is directly related to the length of the boat. Longer sailboats are faster.
Cuan Law, with her three hulls, a length at the waterline of just over 29 meters, and 500 square meters of sail, has been able to reach up to 14 knots. Pretty impressive for a 36-tonne vessel!
So how is a sailboat able to go around the world in under 75 days? Well, they go on all day and night. Also, traveling on the water allows you to go in straight lines more often than on land!