Crossing the Atlantic has been an adventure of a lifetime for centuries. Starting in the 15th century with Cristopher Columbus, the idea is still appealing for all those sailing aficionados, Superyacht owners, and ship lovers. Of course, this grand trip has become more achievable nowadays.
Many cruise lines have their transatlantic cruises to introduce the experience of the Atlantic Ocean – witness amazing sunsets in a luxurious environment. They make the crossing for about a week trying to avoid bad weather and severe weather conditions. Sailing yachts can make it by simply using their sails without being wholly dependent on fuel, but what should a motor yacht owner consider when starting such a journey?
Not every motor yacht above 30m can realize a transatlantic trip. First, it should be considered if the vessel has a fuel tank big enough to carry the fuel necessary for a distance of around 4000 miles. Fuel consumption must be calculated precisely, and additional extra burn should be part of the calculations, representing the eventual consumption in bad weather. The consumption also depends on the weight of the vessel and the load. However, the load can play the role of ballast in case of rough weather, so it also has its positive aspect. Crossings are usually done just before Caribbean or Mediterranean season when the weather is expected to be good, but the ocean can be very unpredictable sometimes. Make sure you check your life rafts, tender boats, etc.; and any safety equipment. Never underestimate the ocean! Know where your safety gear is located.
Once, the calculations have been done and it has become clear that the crossing could be completed with the fuel which can be carried on board; a full check must be done on all the machinery and equipment – engines, exhaust system, generators, water maker, propulsion system, electronics, navigation equipment, communications systems and of course, a complete check of the hull for any damage. Engineers should be ready to fix and replace any parts on board in case of failure during the crossing. Spare parts are something engineers should consider before leaving the port.
Another thing to take into account is the expected consumption of water. Loading enough potable water is important; having a working water maker capable of satisfying the needs of the number of people making the trip is essential. Every additional person would need an average of 150L a day. It is a good idea to make a meal plan and work on the preparation and storage of some of the products before the journey. This way excess or lack of food would be prevented, and its preparation would be facilitated when made in advance. This could also decrease energy consumption on board.
Toiletries and medication with a wide range of uses should be taken on board in case of emergency. Remember to get any prescription medications which would save your life!
And here comes the time, when you are about to leave facing a trip of a lifetime! Plan your route and never make plans for exact days of arrival. Ocean waters can be nasty sometimes. Length of trips may vary from 6-7 days to a few weeks.