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Jon Sanders completed his eleventh solo circumnavigation of earth in October 2020 at age 81.

Sanders sailed a 39 foot Sparkman and Stevens yacht named Perie Banou II in an eleven month circumnavigation.

Perie Banjou was built in 1971 with a 6.6 draft, round bilges, long overhangs, and had an extremely robust hull.

Perie Banou is not a go fast hull, but it is a go far hull that is strong to last long.

Jon Sanders did all of his circumnavigations in classic traditionally designed yachts that could stand up to the rigors of sailing in the southern ocean.

On two occasions during his circumnavigations he suffered knock downs with the mast in the water, but the heavy ballast on board always righted his yachts.

He sailed in the high southern latitudes where knockdowns were a real possibility, but the design of the yacht and his conservative manner of sailing always allowed him to survive.

Modern go fast racing yachts sailing in the same oceans suffer structural failures sometimes sinking the boat. Racers are built of carbon fiber, and once the carbon structure starts to fail, the boat starts falling apart.

Wide beam flat bottom racing boats sail extremely fast in the southern oceans, but when they take a knockdown and go inverted, the sailboat cannot right itself. It’s just as stable upside down as it is right side up. High speed racers cannot save themselves because their boat is not self-righting. They climb into a life raft and wait for rescue if they happen to survive the capsize.

Sanders sailed around the world eleven times, and never once required a rescue. He sailed singlehanded in a conservative manner in robust structurally sound yachts that could take a knockdown and still keep sailing.

Sanders sailed in a conservative manner with a single reef in the mainsail, and he used smaller headsails keeping several rolls furled on his headsail so his yacht did not get overpowered. He would rather sail under canvassed than over canvassed and get into trouble. Considering that he sailed 11 times around the world without getting dismasted, he must have been doing something right.

Sanders makes the point that lying ahull in the southern oceans is an extremely bad idea in yachts of his size and design. Lying ahull is a good way to get rolled by heavy seas.

Sanders found that his yachts behaved better in storms when he towed drogues, with the simplest drogue being an automobile tire. The drogue kept his yacht properly aligned to the seas, and it controlled his speed so he didn’t broach or pitchpole during major storms.

At other times in storms, he triple reefed his mainsail sheeting it hard to windward, and he slowly forereached in strong wings and high seas.

During his 11th circumnavigation, he collected water samples from the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans, and scientists examined the samples finding microplastics in every ocean in which he sailed.

When he was at sea, he entertained himself by listening to the BBC and Radio Australia. His diet during his circumnavigations was basic if not rather austere. It’s hard to carry enough food and have a fancy menu when you are sailing non-stop around the world.

In 1970, Sanders started his first circumnavigation when he was 36 years old. He sailed in a Sparkmans and Stevens 34 named Perie Banou on that first global adventure. The first circumnavigation was a classical tropical tradewind voyage.

In 1981 to 1982 he turned his sailboat south, and he did a double circumnavigation in the southern ocean sailing west to east.

In 1986 to 1988, he did a triple non-stop circumnavigation in the southern ocean. He got a bigger boat for the triple circumnavigation because he needed to be able to carry enough fuel, food and supplies to sail three times around the world without stopping. He sailed on a 47 foot sailboat that he named Perry Endeavor. The triple circumnavigation went on for 657 days, and he sailed 71,023 nautical miles.

In 1990 he did another circumnavigation in the southern oceans.

In 2010 to 2012 he circumnavigated once again.

In 2013 to 2015 he did his 9th circumnavigation.

Later in 2015, he had heart surgery, and after he recovered, he decided to keep sailing.

In 2016 to 2017, he did his 10th circumnavigation

In 2020 he completed his 11th circumnavigation at 81 years of age.

Sanders says that he is not antisocial, but he doesn’t mind being alone.

Jon Sanders lived an extraordinary life.

He did five non-stop solo circumnavigations. He sailed around Cape Horn five times. He crossed the Indian Oceans 14 times, the Atlantic Ocean 11 times, the Pacific Ocean 12 times, the Cape of Good Hope 11 times, the Panama Canal six times, and the Suez Canal four times.

Jon Sanders is persistence personified, and he continued his adventures because he was not used up.

Captain Dave

Captain Dave - David J. Abbott M.D.





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