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How Far a Sailboat Can Travel in a Day?

What if you want to go somewhere far with a boat, however, the problem is that you don’t know how far can a ship sail in a day. To get this information, what you have to do is male a calculation to know when are you going to arrive at the place you want. Since the average one-day sailing distance of a boat is significant for planning passages, here is something you can use when it comes to important information that will help you determine how far your sailboat can travel in a day.

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If you ask how many nautical miles can you sail in a day, you should know that on average, sailboats can sail up to 100NM (that is 115 miles or 185km) in one day when they run downwind. If you use the engine, the distance can increase to 130NM if you travel longer. A 60 NM is more typical for shorter passages and the last crucial piece of information is that large boats are faster than small boats.

How far can a ship sail in a day?

How can you sail in a day, depends on a couple of various conditions? However, these are rough numbers, but they will give you a general sense of what you should expect.

– Downwind run: 100 NM
– Long passages: 80 NM
– Short passage: 60 NM
– Engine use: 130 NM
– Large yachts (over 60′) in good conditions: 140 NM

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If you want to know how long does it take to travel 50 miles by boat, you need to know that 1 NM is roughly 1.15 miles. That is 1.85 kilometres.

Passages of multiple days allow you to sail all the time. This increases the average distance per day. Shorter Passages tend to result in lower averages. However, if you use the engine, you can increase your sailing distance by 20%-40%. Larger yachts can cover up to 50% more distance in one day. This is because of their length. So, how far by a boat can you travel and what is the average speed from different vessels?

fastest yachts

The average speed of sailboat (under 32′) cruises at roughly 5 knots.
A knot is the number of NM per hour, so it’s hard to determine the distance.
5 knots equal to 5 nautical miles per hour. If you sail for 24 hours, that means you cover roughly 120 NM and if you use the tides and sail for 8 hours, you cover roughly 40 NM.

The average mid-sized sailboat (32′ – 48′) cruises at roughly 6 knots.
If you sail for 24 hours, you cover on average 144 knots, but if you sail for 8 hours, you cover roughly 50 NM.

The average large yachts (which are over 50’) cruise at about 7.5 knots
You will cover around 180 NM if you sail for 24 hours, yet if you sail for 8 hours, you will cover 60 NM roughly.

Factors That Affect the Average Sailing Distance

Knowing that your average sailing length depends on your pace will help you determine how far you can travel by boat. There are a few most important factors that affect your vessel’s speed you need to take into consideration.

1. Boat’s hull length

The length of the boat is directly related to the cruising speed. So, the longer the boat, the faster it goes. Normally, the following hull length cruise at roughly these speeds:

– 24’ – 5 knots
– 32’ – 5.5 knots
– 40’ – 6.5 knots
– 48’ – 7 knots
– 54’ – 7.5 knots

2. The hull type

Multihulls are faster than monohulls since they displace a lot less water. With high speeds, they lift out of the water and start planing.

3. Conditions of the wind

Sure that un upwind tack is much slower than a downwind run. Picking the right course is important for the good average speed of the sailboat.

4. Motor

If you use the engine every time you find yourself in light air, it will be a lot easier for you to get a 5+ knot speed average. If you use the engine, you will increase the average sailing distance much more.

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