Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the Atlantic crossing take?

Hopefully 30 to 35 days weather depending. John Adam took 32 day on a similar trip in his Leisure 17 from the Canary Islands to Antiqua in 1968/69.

Where will you go to the toilet?

This seems to be a popular question!

The boat is small and does not have a flushing 'sea-toilet' or room to fit a holding tank for 35+ days of waste for two people. There will be no services mid-Atlantic to moor up and use the facilities.
SofaToSailor will be using the 'Bucket and Chuck It' method once the boat is more than three miles offshore inline with MARPOL guidelines for leisure vessels.

How do you resupply your food? / What will you eat?

SofaToSailboat will be making the Atlantic crossing unassisted, that means everything needed will have to be onboard before casting off! Using a small camping stove on a gimbal to boil water, the crew will prepare and eat mostly light weight dehydrated food. In addition, various snack bags will be packed in advance which will be consumed throughout the day.

What will you drink?

The boat will have a desalination unit onboard which, using energy from solar panels and wind generator will produce enough water for the crews daily requirements. Rationed emergency water will be carried onboard and a manually operated emergency water maker.

Will supporters be able to view/track/contact the boat?

A tracker will be installed on the boat with a live location map/app shown on the SofaToSailboat website. Crew will be in regular contact via sat phone and email with a land-based 'shore crew' and family who will assist with weather and any emergencies.

You have said the boat is 'tiny', how tiny?

'Poppet' the Leisure 17 is 17ft (5.2m) long. That is smaller than an average Ford Transit van, and weighs nearly half of a large average family size car!

Why aren't you using a bigger boat?

While a bigger boat with the luxuries of increased storage, bigger bunks, a full sized galley and a flushing sea-toilet would be nice... it would not be as much of a challenge!

How will you wash?

A eco-friendly special saltwater hair and body wash followed by a freshwater rince from a small solar shower bag.

Why is the crossing in December?

I have been monitoring the trade winds, weather patterns, wind speeds, storms etc. in the mid-Atlantic region since 2014. Statistically, the best time to make the east-to-west crossing has been early December to late January. This matches many cruising guides which indicate that November to February as the best time to make the crossing.

Also crossing at this time of year will coincide with the ARC rally and TWAC race so there will be lots of other boats and sailors about in radio contact which will assit in weather routing and comms.

A bonus is this time is also the quietest time for my business (Marine Surveying and Marine Electronics installation. See:

Where will you sleep?

In the cabin below the cockpit. There will be room enough for two to sleep/take shelter during very poor weather. Typically one person will always be at the helm above deck at the tiller.

What will you do if you get into trouble?

Although unsupported there will be different ways to send out a distress call if help is needed.

This includes:

VHF radio with DSC

PLB's (Personal Locating Beacons)

EPIRB's (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon)

Satellite Phone

Personal wearable AIS

Using these devices to initiate a chain of events that will result in the nearest ship to us being asked to divert and come to our aid.

What is a nautical mile?

1 nm = 1.150 mile or 1.852 kilometer

What stops the boat from capsizing?

The boat can’t be stopped from capsizing, but if it does go over it is designed to self-right again. The cabin acts like giant air bubble to help turn the boat back up the right way. All heavy items are to be stored in the bilge to lower the centre of gravity. The two 'bilge keels' keep the weight down low. An external bilge pump will be mounted to empty the cabin if it floods. Floation can be added to the top of the mast to aid self-rigting.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

©2020 by SofaToSailboat.