When you think about sailing, your mind probably takes you to smooth waters with a light breeze, just enough to peacefully float along on a warm summer day. While that is certainly some of the appeal of sailing, many are surprised by how fast a sailboat can travel with an experienced sailor under the right conditions.

You might be surprised to know that the fastest recorded sailboat speed was 68 knots, which translates to approximately 78 miles per hour. That record speed was recorded in 2012 by Paul Larsen and his Vestas Sailrocket 2. The record still stands today, however, there are new challengers who are attempting to break that long-standing record.

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Recently, rival French and Swiss teams have both set out to claim the title of fastest recorded sailboat speed.

How fast does a normal sailboat travel?

While setting out to break the record for fastest recorded sailboat speed is one thing, understanding how fast an average sailboat travels is an entirely different conversation. When discussing average sailboat speed, there are factors to consider such as size, hull shape, currents, wind, body of water, and more. With that said, determining average speed is extremely difficult, but we can provide some approximate ranges that will help you get a feel for how fast you can travel in a sailboat.

A monohull sailboat can typically travel somewhere between six and eight knots while catamarans and trimarans regularly travel between nine and 10 knots because they sit on top of the water and displace less water.

There are a few simple things you can do to sail faster, such as removing any seaweed or other debris, ensuring hull condition and tension is pristine, and removing unnecessary weight will all make a difference.

To see a full selection of sailboats for sale in Florida, take a look at our top-notch inventory online or in our monthly publication available at marinas all over the state.