Which sailboat for a round-the-world trip?

Sailing around the world is a dream for many yachtsmen, but also for would-be adventurers. But setting off on a transatlantic or Pacific crossing requires a good choice of yacht. We will see together what are the different types of sailboats, monohulls or multihulls, to go around the world. We will also see what are the important criteria to take into account when choosing the right boat.

Types of sailboats for a round-the-world trip

There are several types of sailing boats that can be suitable for a round-the-world trip. Here are some of the most popular examples:

Monohull or multihull?

When looking for a sailing boat, the choice between a monohull or a catamaran, or even a trimaran, is generally the first question that comes up.

The monohull is the most common configuration for a round-the-world yacht. They are generally considered to be more seaworthy and have better behaviour in bad weather. Monohulls are also often cheaper to buy and maintain than multihulls.

Multihulls (catamarans and trimarans) have the advantage of much greater stability and are also faster. In addition, catamarans generally offer a larger and more comfortable living space. However, they are often more expensive and can be more difficult to manoeuvre, especially in harbours or shallow areas.

Keel or long keel?

Another important feature to consider is the type of keel of the yacht. A twin keel offers greater stability and makes it easier to run aground, while a long keel makes it easier to manoeuvre and is generally considered safer in the event of impact with a floating or submerged object.

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Criteria to take into account when choosing a round-the-world yacht

Several criteria are essential when choosing a sailboat for a round-the-world trip. Here are the main elements to consider:

The budget

First of all, it is crucial to evaluate your budget. The costs associated with the purchase and maintenance of a sailboat can be high, not to mention the costs of sailing (ports, insurance, etc.). Don’t forget to budget for equipment, safety and contingencies.

Comfort and living space

A round-the-world sailing trip can last several years and therefore requires an adapted living space. Take into account the number of people who will be on board and their specific needs (cabins, sanitary facilities, kitchen, storage space). Opt for a yacht that offers good light and ventilation in the living spaces, which will greatly contribute to the well-being on board.

Performance and safety

It is important to choose a high-performance, safe yacht that can withstand the various weather conditions you may encounter. Choose a yacht with a strong and resistant hull, as well as a good steering and rudder system. Also check the quality of the safety equipment (life jackets, liferaft, EPIRB, etc.) and make sure that it complies with current standards.


To complete a round-the-world voyage, it is essential to have sufficient autonomy in terms of water, food and energy. Opt for a sailing boat with large water and fuel reserves, as well as efficient and reliable energy production systems (solar panels, wind turbines, hydro-generators).

The essential equipment for a round-the-world sailing trip

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the equipment you need to sail around the world in complete peace of mind:

  • An efficient and robust automatic pilot.
  • Navigation instruments (GPS, radar, sounder, VHF).
  • A satellite communication device (Iridium or Inmarsat) to keep in touch with the rescue services and the family.
  • A light motorised dinghy to facilitate travel between the boat and the land.
  • Quality sails adapted to the different types of wind (genoa, mainsail, staysail, asymmetric spinnaker).
  • Solid and reliable rigging (forestay, shrouds, pulleys).
  • Efficient anchoring systems (electric windlass, anchor adapted to the size of the yacht).
  • An energy production system, such as solar panels.
  • A desalination system to produce fresh water from sea water.
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Choosing the right yacht for a round-the-world trip may seem complex, just look at the advertisements on specialist websites, but by taking into account the essential criteria and making sure your boat is well equipped, you will have the best chance of having an unforgettable adventure. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from professionals and people who have already been around the world, their experience and recommendations can be invaluable in preparing your trip.