How Long Can a Yacht Stay at Sea? All You Need to Know

how long can a yacht stay at sea

With amenities that allow overnight use, it’s no wonder why yachts have become such a popular choice for boaters who want to extend their time on the water. Designed with durable hulls, powerful engines, and spacious interiors, yachts make it possible for boaters to enjoy life on the waves in comfort and style. But for how long exactly?

The idea of staying out at sea for weeks or months can definitely be enticing. But before you prepare for that extended excursion, make sure your boat can actually accommodate the activity. So how long can a yacht stay at sea? Here’s what you need to know.

Types of Yachts - Categories

There’s a lot more to determining the length of time a yacht can stay at sea than just the size of its fuel tank. That said, it’s important to consider the different kinds of yachts available to determine how long each one can muscle it out against the waves.


Considered the most powerful, durable, and resilient yachts around, category A yachts are explorer vessels that can endure long-term expeditions in rough waters. For the most part, category A yachts have been known to survive upwards of 200 days on sea without much of a fuss.

They’re designed with ultra strong hulls that can sustain waves of up to 23 feet, give or take, making them great for traversing challenging conditions out far into the sea. These ships can also easily sustain strong, high-speed winds over 47 nautical miles per hour without losing its bearings.

They offer large, spacious interiors, supersized fuel tanks, and large crew capacities. They’re also designed to be much easier to steer and maneuver so captains won’t have to exhaust too much energy against the challenging conditions.


While they’re not as powerful as Category A yachts, they’re definitely a formidable choice. Category B yachts can easily navigate temperate waters and offshore conditions. But since they’re not as powerful, they’re more ideal for cruising rather than the kind of high-demand performance that Category A ships do.

They can sustain waves up to 13 feet high and strong winds. But keep in mind that they’re not built for stormy conditions, so it’s best not to explore dangerous territory aboard one of these vessels. While they’re not self-sustaining, Category B boats can last several months on the water with ease.


Designed for use near shore, these boats were not developed for long-term excursions. Instead, they’re ideal for inshore activities where you might not experience a lot of wind or waves. Nonetheless, you should be able to enjoy her performance for a few days or a week before you need to head back home.

Capable of sustaining waves up to eight feet in height, they’re not really that great against strong winds. Nonetheless, they should be able to safely traverse the water on a relatively calm day.


Now, these boats were not intended for long-term excursions at all. Category D boats are the simplest and least durable of any, and they don’t have the stuff to take on high waves and strong winds. That said, they’re intended for lake activities where waters tend to stay calm.

Ideal for an overnight boat camping trip, Category D ships can’t really sustain for more than a few days. But since most of those who use Category D boats typically stay nearby a dock, you can always just head back, get supplies and gas, and resume your mid-lake camping trip.

Tips for Preparing for a Long Yacht Trip

tips on long haul yacht stays

If you’re planning to go on a long yacht trip, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions and make preparations to fully enjoy your trip. That said, here are a few tips to guide your prep before you head out on your expedition:

Sail Preparations

The beauty of the sail is that it lets you harness the power of strong winds to propel your boat forward. If you don’t have any, then you’re going to depend solely on the power of your motor and the capacity of your fuel tank to get you through.

If you really want to go the distance, you might want to consider setting up your sails. This also makes a great plan B in case anything goes wrong with your engine, motor, or electrical components that could keep you from heading back to shore.

Maintenance, Repairs, and Upgrades

There’s a lot of demand on a ship that’s going out for an expedition. And if you’ve already been regularly using your boat prior, then it might not be performing at its hundred percent anymore. That said, you’re going to want to bring that baby to your local boat mechanic to make sure it’s sea-worthy.

Anything that hinders optimal performance could demand extra from your engine and cause your boat to use more fuel than it should. Other than that, investing in a few upgrades should help streamline your yacht’s performance, letting you sail for longer and safer.

Sufficient Crew

A big boat calls for a big crew. If you’re not confident that you can do it yourself (and you probably shouldn’t anyway) make sure you have a qualified, capable crew by your side to complete the trip. There’s a lot that goes on on a yacht, and a single pair of hands might not be enough to do it all.

If it’s your first time sailing such a far distance, it also helps to make sure you practice with your crew before you actually head out. Do a little inland boating, and then coastline boating to familiarize yourself with your boat. Consider doing a few overnight trips, and extend to a few weeks to see how things might pan out.

Bon Voyage!

How long can a yacht stay at sea? Well, the answer is that it depends. Not all yachts are designed for long expeditions. But if your vessel just has what it takes to stretch those days out on the sea, then you best make the proper preparations. Make sure you practice, find a capable crew, consider your supplies, and keep your boat in top shape to guarantee a safe excursion.

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