How Long Would It Take to Sail Around the World?

Have you ever wondered how long it would take to sail around the world? The answer to this question is not straightforward as there are various factors that come into play. However, we can make some rough estimates based on historical records and modern technology.

Factors That Affect Sailing Time Around the World

There are several variables that influence how long it would take to sail around the world. Some of these include:

  • The route taken
  • The size and type of the boat
  • The weather conditions
  • The experience and skills of the sailors
  • The number of stops made along the way

Historical Records

The first recorded circumnavigation of the globe was completed by Ferdinand Magellan’s crew in 1522. It took them three years to complete their journey, but this was largely due to unforeseen circumstances such as mutinies, hostile encounters with natives, and lack of provisions.

Average Time Taken by Modern Sailors

In modern times, sailors have been able to complete a circumnavigation in significantly less time than Magellan’s crew. The current record for a solo non-stop circumnavigation stands at just under 43 days, set by French sailor Franรงois Gabart in 2017.

However, most sailors take much longer than this to complete their journeys. The average time taken for a circumnavigation is around one year, with some sailors taking up to three years depending on their route and stops made along the way.

Technology and Route Planning

Advancements in technology have significantly reduced sailing times over the years. For instance, improved navigation tools such as GPS devices allow sailors to plot more efficient routes and avoid unfavorable weather conditions.

Another factor that affects sailing time is the route taken. Sailors can choose to take either the eastward or westward route around the world. The westward route is generally faster due to prevailing winds and currents, but it also involves more challenging weather conditions.


In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long it would take to sail around the world. The time taken depends on various factors such as the route taken, boat size and type, weather conditions, experience of sailors, and stops made along the way.

However, with modern technology and proper planning, sailors can complete a circumnavigation in significantly less time than in previous centuries. Whether you’re an experienced sailor or just starting out, sailing around the world is an adventure worth undertaking.

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Daniel Bennet