Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the Atlantic crossing take?


Hopefully 30 to 35 days weather depending to make the 3000-mile journey. John Adam took 32 days from on his trip from the Canary Islands to Antiqua in 1968/69 in a similar vessel.




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 we need 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/night.




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 rinse 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.

Crossing at this time of year will coincide with the ARC rally and TWAC Ocean Rowing race. 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 www.willmyboatfloat.com)




Where will you sleep?


In the cabin below the cockpit. There will be room enough for two to sleep/take shelter during poor weather. Typically one person will always be at the helm above deck at the tiller steering the boat and keeping an eye out for any hazards.




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

We can use these devices to initiate a chain of events that will result in the nearest ship to us being asked to divert to 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 ceiling if it floods. Floation can be added to the top of the mast to aid self-righting.




Who is taking part/who are the crew?


The Skipper - Mr John-Kenneth D Habbershaw Jnr - 37

First Mate - Mr Courtney W Holloake - 34

We are two friends, and we'll have known each other 20 years when we set off across the Atlantic together. We have been through thick and thin, and we have probably seen the best and worst of each other!

We are both health-retired emergency service volunteers where teamwork, safety, and discipline was essential. For approximately 35 days we will test our friendship whilst also battling storms, seasickness, cramped quarters, dehydrated food rations, and isolation from our home comforts. The expedition will be the ultimate test of our friendship... hopefully, we'll still be talking when we arrive safely in the Caribbean.

John-Kenneth 'JK' is 37 years old, he’s a Marine Surveyor, Marine Electrician, and the director of WillMyBoatFloat Ltd. based in Essex. Since 2014 John-Kenneth has worked with Teams and Solo Ocean Rowers to get them safely across the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, many of them have set new world or race records in the process. He grew up at the seaside and has always been around boats and water, he has been sailing independently for 12 years.

Courtney is 34 years old, he works as a Skills Trainer. He has no sailing experience but is very keen to learn to ‘learn the ropes’, he has started a program of RYA theory, practical and safety training so that he will be a confident and valuable ‘First Mate’. He claims he has been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride several times at Disneyland so considers himself to be a natural-born sailor... we'll see how he gets on!




Which charities are you supporting?


The four mains charities which we are raising funds in aid of are:

Macmillan Cancer Support
Mind - For Better Mental Health
MS-UK - (Multiple Sclerosis UK)
St Helena Hospice - Colchester, Essex, UK

You can donate at: www.sofatosailboat.co.uk/donate




How can I support your charities/you?


You can donate to our charities, or sponsor us at: www.sofatosailboat.co.uk/donate

We also have our online 'swag' shop: www.sofatosailboat.co.uk/shop

Businesses can find further information at: www.sofatosailboat.co.uk/sponsor-information





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