What Boat Do You Need For An Ocean Crossing?

10 Sep 2022

The crossing of an ocean in your sailboat is no easy task; you will need a sturdy and dependable vessel, a good deal of sailing experience, and strong hands-on abilities to be able to repair anything that could go wrong while you are at sea.

It is essential to have the sea boat that is optimal for ocean crossing in terms of size to navigate such a vast distance and remain functionally independent for weeks at a time.

But how large of a boat do you need to cross the ocean? Keep reading the post to find out more information.

What Size Boat For Ocean Crossing?

If you want a quick answer, the Atlantic Rally For Cruisers (ARC), run by the World Cruising Club every year in November from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, requires a minimum sailboat length of 27 feet for ocean crossing to enter the competition. But most sailboats that cross the ocean are bigger than this.

Keep in mind that it's easier and cheaper to maintain a smaller boat, so you'll be more likely to keep it in good shape. The less likely you are to have problems during the trip, the better your boat is kept. How fast you go and how comfortable you are on board will depend on your boat size.

What Size Boat For Ocean Crossing

1. Speed

Longer water lines typically translate to higher top speeds.

It's safe to assume that, all else being equal, a larger boat will travel at a faster clip than a smaller one, even though there is some variation in speed between boats of the same length due to differences in shape and weight. Remember that the time it will take you to finish your crossing is also impacted by your chosen sailing technique.

For instance, when we sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west in a monohull sailboat measuring 37 feet in length with a keel (a Tayana 37), it took us the same number of days as it did for a Bavaria 46 to complete the journey.

This is because we went further north than they did, where the wind was greater, and we ventured to sail "deeper" downwind than they did, which resulted in our covering fewer miles in the same amount of time as they did even though the wind was stronger.

2. Comfort

The larger the boat, the more pleasant the journey will be for its passengers. You could claim that having greater space results in increased levels of comfort as a general rule. This is because larger boats often have more space for lounging, allowing more crew members to be carried on board and traveling more slowly overall.

Given this information, you will want to make the crossing in a boat at least 30 feet long and possibly even longer, depending on how many people you plan to have on board.

However, although a larger boat provides more space, the vessel's design also affects how easily the boat goes through the water, which decides how comfortable the passengers will be on board. For instance, we went with a keel sailboat 37 feet long, had a canoe stern, and was constructed with great care.

The heavy weight and deep keel of the Tayana 37 help keep the boat steady, and the canoe-shaped stern allows for waves following the boat to break naturally, as opposed to hitting a sugar scoop stern, which would cause a large splash and throw the boat off course. These characteristics combine to make the Tayana 37 a sailboat that moves more gently.

Is it possible for yachts to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans?

A yacht is suitable for sailing across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Sailing or motor yacht can travel between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It is in your best interest to have a fuel tank that is spacious enough to carry the amount of fuel you anticipate using.

That said, not all yachts can do these kinds of journeys. If you choose to travel across either of these seas, you will want to ensure that you have access to an ocean-worthy boat and the necessary gear and expertise to complete the journey.

Because the fuel capacity of some yachts is insufficient for the journey, those yachts often have to be transported aboard specially adapted freighters.

How Long Does It Take To Cross The Atlantic & Pacific ocean?

It will take you at least 20 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and it could take longer if you choose to sail across the ocean rather than use a motor.

It is possible that crossing the Pacific Ocean on a large boat with a powerful motor will take a much longer amount of time, depending on the weather conditions. The amount of fuel you are willing to use significantly impacts how much variation there will be. When you increase the speed of your motor, you will need more fuel. Another option is you can also travel across oceans in a sailboat.

You will consume less gasoline doing this, but your speed will be slower due to the boat's features and the fact that the weather will greatly impact your journey.

What’s the smallest boat you can cross an ocean with? Does boat size matter?

The two most important concerns that typically come to the minds of ambitious sailors considering sailing across the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean are the following: what is the smallest vessel capable of completing the journey? And does the size of the boat make a difference?

To address your question in a nutshell: yes, boat size does matter for various reasons. On the other hand, there are numerous examples of extremely small boats completing an ocean journey, indicating that other factors are more significant. Let's look at the kind of vessels that can successfully cross an ocean and why.

How Big Of A Boat Do You Need To Cross The Ocean?

If you want to cross the Atlantic Ocean, you will need a boat at least 30 feet long, regardless of whether you plan to sail or motor. For both protection and convenience, the ideal length of your boat is forty feet. Both motoring and sailing across the Atlantic are very different adventures, but to be one of them, you need a boat at least this size. You may also need an even larger boat if you plan to bring other people with you on the voyage.

Why Do You Need A Boat Of 30 Or 40 Ft To Cross The Ocean?

Since it is feasible to sail across the Atlantic Ocean in a much smaller vessel, the question arises as to why you would need a boat that is 30 or 40 feet in length. The answer is that attempting to cross in anything smaller can be very dangerous and becomes increasingly inconvenient as time goes on. This is a simple explanation. A boat of at least this size is desirable for several reasons, including the following:


When the waves start to get rough, the last thing you want to do is be confined in a little boat. In the Atlantic Ocean, storms frequently cause the sinking of boats with lengths significantly more than 30 or 40 feet. If it is any smaller than this, there is a significant possibility of sinking during a storm. Do not fall into the trap of believing that you can organize your trip so that it avoids the possibility of poor weather.

Storage of Supplies

You will need to bring supplies across the Atlantic Water, even if you plan to conduct as much open-ocean fishing as you possibly can while traveling across the ocean. You are responsible for packing an adequate supply of food and water for everyone in your crew to last them for the duration of the journey.

Keep in mind that border crossings typically take longer than anticipated, so stocking up on sufficient supplies is essential to account for delays. You will need to conserve fuel if you plan to make the voyage in a motorboat or if your sailboat is equipped with an auxiliary motor in case your primary one breaks down. If you need to bring many goods on your journey, you will probably require a larger boat. Too much weight on a boat might cause it to sit lower in the water, which can make it much less seaworthy, even if the boat would be seaworthy otherwise. When a boat is positioned too low in the water, it increases the likelihood that waves will swamp it.

Before you load up your boat and head out on the water, you must be sure that you are aware of the maximum amount of weight it can safely carry.

The Pleasure of the Staff

Before you've spent a few weeks aboard a vessel of either 30 or 40 feet in length, you might think that it's a rather big boat. If you want the passage to be enjoyable for everyone on board, you need a large enough boat to have its place on the boat and get up and stretch its legs at regular intervals while you are traveling. Even if only one or two people are working toward this objective, a staff of thirty or forty feet is required.

Crossing The Ocean In A Motorboat

It is possible that you will be surprised by the amount of fuel that is required to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in a powerboat. Merely storing all that fuel will use a considerable portion of your boat's available space.

In most cases, fuel should not be utilized for more than ninety days after it has been purchased. Although it should be long enough for you to traverse the Atlantic Ocean, there is a possibility that it is not. If you use a fuel stabilizer or avoid mixing it before, you can store the fuel for a longer period, up to six months or even two years. It is necessary to allocate a sizeable portion of your total storage space for fuel storage. This indicates that you may require a larger motorboat than a sailboat to complete the same journey.

When you travel across in a motorboat, rather than relying on the power of the wind to propel you, you use fuel to power your propulsion, which makes the trip a lot more predictable. However, this comes at the expense of increased storage space and fuel consumption. If you want to progress in a sailboat, you will need to wait until the wind blows in the right direction. On the other hand, a motorboat can travel in almost any condition except extremely stormy and bad weather. As a result, you won't need nearly as many goods to prepare for the possibility that you won't arrive at your destination when you anticipate that you will.

Crossing The Ocean In A Sailboat

The concept of traveling across the Atlantic Ocean by sailboat is one of the most romantic things a person can imagine doing. There is no one else to help you cross the ocean besides the winds from the Atlantic, you and your boat.

However, a high degree of danger is associated with sailing across the Atlantic. The wind must be strong enough to push you along to get you across the lake. If there is no wind, you may end up being adrift in the middle of the ocean for a considerably longer period than you had planned. It is advisable to fit your sailboat with at least a couple of engines if you are not completely committed to traveling only using sailing. Different motors will indeed add weight, which is not what you want. Still, most sailors believe that the added peace of mind from knowing they can motor when needed is well worth the burden of carrying that additional weight.

Bottom Line

It is difficult to think of an activity that would be more exciting than sailing alone across the Atlantic Ocean in your boat. It doesn't matter if you want to go with a monohull or a multihull, a powerboat or a sailboat; as long as you select a vessel that is at least 30 or 40 feet long and makes proper preparations, you should have a voyage that is filled with a lot of fun.

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