Can You Do the Great Loop in a Sailboat? Latest News

Imagine this: You’re on your sailboat, gliding around a huge loop of water that wraps around the eastern United States and Canada. This loop takes you through oceans, lakes, and rivers, and it’s a big adventure called the Great Loop. People use all kinds of boats to go on this trip, and they’re known as “Loopers.” We’re here to share if your sailboat can make it too. We’ll look at how a sailboat works for this journey, the good parts and the tricky bits. So, hop on board with us as we explore the Great Loop by sailboat!

Must-know Information

Imagine sailing around a big circle of rivers and seas in the eastern part of North America. That’s the Great Loop, a huge water path more than 6,000 miles long. Most folks start this trip in the warm waters of the Gulf Coast and make their way around, hitting spots like the Atlantic coast, beautiful lakes, and cool canals, before ending up back where they started.

Now, what kind of boat would you take on such a long trip? Lots of people pick big comfy boats with room for food and stuff you need to live. You might see motor yachts that go fast and feel fancy, trawlers that save gas and can go far, or cruisers that are just right for living and driving on the water.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. You’ve got to watch out for shallow spots where your boat could get stuck, and low bridges that might not let tall boats pass under. Plus, there are locks, like water elevators for boats, that can be tricky to move through. Don’t forget about the weather! You wouldn’t want to sail into a hurricane or get caught in icy waters, so picking the right time to go is super important.

Can a Sailboat Do the Great Loop?

Setting sail on the Great Loop is a dream for many adventurers, and the short answer is an enthusiastic ‘yes’—a sailboat can absolutely conquer this epic journey! Yet, beneath the surface of this resounding affirm lie a series of crucial considerations and navigational challenges that every aspiring sailor must reckon with.”

Sailboat Features for the Great Loop

If you’re thinking about sailing the Great Loop, remember a few key things about your boat. The height of your sailboat’s mast is super important because it has to fit under bridges. The bottom part of your boat, called the draft, can’t be too deep or you’ll get stuck in shallow spots. We know all about these details and we’ll make sure you’re good to go.

What’s Tough for Sailboats on the Great Loop

Sailboats can run into some tricky stuff on the Loop. Those bridges we mentioned? If your mast is too tall, you might have to take it down to get under some of them. This can be a big job, but don’t worry – we’ve got the know-how to help you plan it out.

Good and Bad of Looping in a Sailboat

Using a sailboat for the Great Loop has its ups and downs.

  • The ups: Sailing is a blast and can save you a bunch on gas since you’re using wind power.
  • The downs: Sailboats are slower and can be tough to steer, which might make your trip longer and a bit harder.

To gain a deeper understanding of whether you can successfully complete the Great Loop in a sailboat, I highly recommend reading the captivating account of a catamaran’s journey along this iconic waterway:

The Rhodes 22 Sailboat and the Great Loop

The Rhodes 22 sailboat is small, but don’t let that fool you. It’s got a keel that moves up and down, which is pretty cool because it means you can sail in shallow water without getting stuck. Plus, it’s cozy inside and easy to steer, making it a fun boat for your big adventure around the Great Loop.

Guess what? Some sailors have taken their Rhodes 22 all the way around the Great Loop. They’ve shown that even though it’s not the most common boat for the trip, it can still do the job. We’ve seen stories online of people who’ve made it, proving that with the right know-how, you can too.

Before you set sail on the Great Loop with your Rhodes 22, you’ll need to tweak a few things. A mast that goes up and down will help you get under low bridges. Think smart with your space to store all your stuff for the trip. And don’t forget to check your sailing gear and maps to keep you safe and on track while you’re out there on the water.

How Long to Do Great Loop Sailing?

Think of sailing the Great Loop as a giant adventure that takes a good chunk of time – usually about half a year to a full year. Why so long? Well, it depends on how fast your sailboat goes, where you decide to stop and chill, and the path you take. Sailboats aren’t super speedy, so if you’re in no rush and want to soak in the sights, plan for the longer side of that time range.

Your sailboat’s pace, the weather, and your own timetable all play a part in how long you’ll be looping. If the wind’s in your favor, you’ll zip along faster. But if it’s not, or storms are brewing, you might have to hang tight. And, if you’re like, “I want to see everything!” and stop a lot, you’ll be out there longer. It’s your trip, so you call the shots.

Preparing for the Great Loop in a Sailboat

Necessary Modifications for Sailboats

Before you set sail on the Great Loop, your boat needs a few tweaks to make sure it’s ready for the long trip. Think of it like prepping your car for a road trip, but with a few more bells and whistles. You’ll want to beef up your sailboat’s ropes and sails so they can take on all kinds of weather. Also, it’s smart to upgrade your maps and gadgets to help you find your way and stay in touch with the world. And don’t forget about power – adding things like solar panels can keep your lights on and batteries charged without needing a plug.

Skillset and Knowledge Required for Sailors

When you’re the captain of your own sailboat on the Great Loop, you’ve got to know your stuff. You need to be a wizard at reading maps and using your GPS to not get lost. Sailing skills are a must—you should be able to handle your sails like a pro, no matter which way the wind blows. Plus, if something on your boat breaks, you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and fix it. The better you are at these things, the smoother your adventure will be.

Provisioning and Logistical Preparations

Before you wave goodbye, there’s a lot of planning to do. You need to pack up enough food, drinks, and supplies since you won’t always be near a shop. Managing your fuel is key too – you don’t want to run out in the middle of your journey. And let’s talk about your route. You’ve got to map it out, thinking about where you can stop, sleep, and avoid bad weather. With a good plan, you’re all set for an awesome time on the water.


Our journey through the Great Loop in a sailboat comes to an end. We’ve looked at every angle, from the sailboat’s design to the skills you need. It’s clear that sailboats can make the trip, but it takes careful planning and the right boat.

The Rhodes 22 stands out as a small but mighty sailboat for the Great Loop. We’ve seen that with some tweaks, it can go the distance. This gives sailors with a Rhodes 22 hope that they too can take on this adventure.

We want to cheer on all sailors thinking about the Great Loop. Yes, it’s a challenge, but it’s also a chance to make memories that last a lifetime. If you’re dreaming of this trip, we say go for it! The water is calling, and with the right prep, you can answer that call.