What is the Fastest Sailing Boat?

As a passionate sailing enthusiast, I often find myself fascinated by the incredible speed and exhilaration that sailing boats can achieve on the water. If you’re like me, you might be wondering, “What is the fastest sailing boat?” In this article, I’ll dive into the world of sailing speed, explore the factors that influence a sailing boat’s velocity, discuss the records held by the fastest sailing boats, and provide you with valuable tips for choosing a fast sailing boat that suits your needs.


Sailing has always been a thrilling sport that combines the beauty of nature with the excitement of harnessing the power of the wind. While many people enjoy leisurely cruises or competitive races, some sailors have pushed the boundaries of speed, seeking to break records and achieve incredible velocities on the water.

Understanding Speed in Sailing

 Before we explore the fastest sailing boats, let’s first understand the factors that contribute to a sailing boat’s speed. Several key elements influence a boat’s ability to glide swiftly through the water, and optimizing these factors can significantly enhance performance.

Factors Affecting Sailing Boat Speed

Hull Design: The shape and design of the hull play a crucial role in reducing drag and maximizing speed.

Sail Plan: The configuration and size of the sails determine how effectively the boat can capture the wind’s power.

Foils and Appendages: Foils such as keels and rudders, along with other appendages, provide stability and lift, enabling the boat to reach higher speeds.

Rigging and Sail Control: Efficient rigging and proper sail control allow sailors to adjust the sails for optimal speed in different wind conditions.

Weight and Ballast: Balancing the boat’s weight and distributing ballast effectively can improve stability and overall performance.

Understanding these factors will help you appreciate the engineering and design considerations that go into creating the fastest sailing boats.

The Fastest Sailing Boat Records

Now, let’s explore some of the records held by the fastest sailing boats in different categories.

1. The Fastest Single-Hulled Sailing Boat

One of the most renowned records is the “Outright World Sailing Speed Record”, which is currently held by the hydrofoil trimaran “Vestas Sailrocket 2”. In 2012, it achieved an astonishing speed of over 65 knots (120 km/h or 75 mph). This impressive accomplishment demonstrates the immense potential of cutting-edge designs and technological advancements in sailing.

2. The Fastest Multihull Sailing Boat

The “World Sailing Speed Record Council” recognizes the IDEC SPORT trimaran as the current holder of the “Jules Verne Trophy” for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by sail. In 2017, IDEC SPORT completed the journey in just 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes, and 30 seconds, setting a remarkable benchmark for speed and endurance.

Tips for Choosing a Fast Sailing Boat

If you’re considering investing in a sailing boat and speed is a priority for you, here are some valuable tips to guide your decision-making process:

Purpose and Intended Use: Determine the primary purpose of your sailing adventures. Are you looking for high-speed racing or comfortable cruising?

Class and Design: Research different boat classes and designs that excel in speed. Consider factors such as length, weight, and aerodynamics.

Speed vs. Comfort: Strike a balance between speed and comfort. High-performance racing boats may sacrifice comfort for pure velocity, while cruising boats prioritize stability and livability.

By considering these factors, you can select a sailing boat that aligns with your goals and aspirations on the water.


The world of sailing offers an incredible array of boats designed to push the limits of speed. Whether you’re a competitive sailor or an adventure-seeking enthusiast, understanding the factors that influence sailing boat velocity and exploring the records set by the fastest sailing boats can ignite your passion for this exhilarating sport. Remember, choosing a fast sailing boat involves a careful evaluation of various factors to ensure it matches your specific needs and preferences.


Can any sailing boat achieve high speeds?

A: While all sailing boats have the potential to reach certain speeds, high-performance racing boats and specially designed speed record breakers are optimized for maximum velocity.

How do hydrofoils contribute to increased speed in sailing boats?

A: Hydrofoils lift the hull out of the water, reducing drag and allowing the boat to achieve higher speeds by minimizing contact with the surface.

Are fast sailing boats more difficult to handle?

A: Generally, fast sailing boats require more skill and experience to handle due to their increased responsiveness and sensitivity to wind and water conditions.

Can I convert a cruising boat into a fast racing boat?

A: Converting a cruising boat into a high-performance racing boat can be challenging and costly. It’s often more practical to choose a boat designed specifically for racing if speed is your primary focus.

Are there any safety considerations when sailing at high speeds?

A: Sailing at high speeds poses additional safety risks. It’s crucial to have appropriate safety equipment, knowledge of sailing techniques, and a thorough understanding of your boat’s capabilities to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Remember, choosing the right sailing boat that aligns with your preferences and aspirations will enable you to enjoy the thrill of speed while sailing the open waters.

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Michael Thompson

Embarking on a lifelong love affair with the sea, I found solace and exhilaration in the art of sailing. From navigating treacherous waters to harnessing the wind's untamed power, my passion has evolved into a mission to inspire others. Join me on a voyage of discovery as we explore the vast horizons of sailing's timeless allure.

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