Greta Thunberg made waves — both literally and figuratively — when she opted to cross the Atlantic on a catamaran. Her crossing inspired many others to do the same — but such a feat requires a bit of preparation.
Get a Bit of Training
A lot of things can happen in the ocean. Most of the time, you can’t rely on anybody else for help. Learn something about your ship. Gear failure can sometimes be unavoidable, so keep spares and learn how to replace/install them. Sea survival and safety training will also come in handy. A small cut in the mainland can be life-threatening out at sea. Make sure you have your first aid kits ready and know how to use what’s inside. If you have friends going along in the journey, make sure they get basic safety training and teach the importance of safety vests.
Crossing the Atlantic will consume tons of power, and your ship might run dry with just a diesel generator. Stock up on fuel for your generators whenever you can — make sure to store them safely. Fit your ship with solar panels; they don’t add too much weight, and they provide a steady source of power (more or less reliable) to your boat. Deck your ship with the latest and most energy-saving equipment you can find (or afford). Every bit you save means a lot out in the ocean.
Enjoy. It’s not a race (unless it is), so get rid of itineraries. Nature rarely cooperates with written schedules. Make stopovers and enjoy the local culture and delicacies. Just remember that things can get a bit expensive, especially in the Caribbean. Sailing is a fun time. If you’re not enjoying yourself, then the trip is a failure, and your friends won’t likely sail a second time.
Extra hands are always welcome, especially if they’re people you already know. A few extra hands on deck will make your job easier and the trip livelier. Sometimes, you might want to take fresh crew members aboard, but it’s vital that personalities don’t clash, especially when you’re hundreds of miles away from home. Take a few short trips with your designated crew before heading out for the big one.
Keep Your Bases Covered
The ocean is sometimes unforgiving, and even the best skippers can run into unavoidable accidents. Rough waters and bad luck can leave your boat damaged and unusable. Get insurance — one that covers your ship’s hull and most of the onboard machinery. You fit your boat with so many expensive gadgets. The least you can do is get insurance that covers all of them. Get your ship assessed and call on a surveyor with every big purchase.
In the end, it’s nearing winter, which is the best time to cross the Atlantic. You must get your preparations ready, brush up on your skills, prime your crew, and have one of the best sailing adventures you can have in your life.