How To Sail From Scotland To Jamaica

How To Sail From Scotland To Jamaica | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

September 27, 2022

Sailing adventures are some of the most exciting experiences. However, trying to figure out how to sail from Scotland to Jamaica is only part of the equation.

There are tons of planning and prep work you need to accomplish before you set sail. So how do you sail from Scotland to Jamaica?

The sailing distance separating Aberdeen in Scotland and Port Royal, Jamaica is 5,007 nautical miles. If you begin your journey in Aberdeen, there are stops along the way in the North Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and then the Caribbean Sea. There will be times where you need to anchor for the night.

A handful of important decisions must be executed before you attempt a trip like this, such as having a passport. This takes time to obtain, especially if you need a new one.

Plenty of experts in the sailing realm will tell you to plan to the best of your ability for any situation. This means navigation routes, contacting marinas for stays, and checking your boat’s condition is only the start.


Table of contents

How to Travel from Scotland to Jamaica

Depending on where you begin your journey in Scotland and where you want to end up in Jamaica will affect how long it takes you to travel. In addition, there are stops along the way that could take longer depending on where you want to visit.

For this illustration, you are sailing around 5,007 nautical miles, which is estimated to take 21 to 30 days. This estimate assumes you have perfect conditions and are traveling about 10 knots. The trip could potentially be longer if you encounter bad weather or other situations.

Aberdeen to Ports in Outer Hebrides

While leaving Aberdeen, there are some ports to consider. You could head to Stornoway, which is part of the Outer Hebrides. It is arguably the best harbour in Northwest Scotland.

While taking the day to relax or refuel, you could try visiting parts of the Outer Hebrides. These have beautiful landscapes by the coast, a few museums, various wildlife spotting tours, and other accommodations you could try.

Outer Hebrides to North Atlantic Ocean

This is where a good anchoring system comes in hand, as this is the largest sailing stretch you will have without a port. If you want to make a stop, you will need to check out southern Greenland in Nasraq, but some ports are only open from May to October.

Depending on the size of your boat will determine what anchor best suits your situation. A claw or galvanized anchor is best for sailboats over 20 feet and are considered heavy-duty.

North Atlantic Ocean to Port in Island of Newfoundland

The Island of Newfoundland is a great stop after spending the night out at sea. If you have been itching to explore, this area is worth several days to check it all out.

The area boasts sailboat racing events, the Cape Spear Lighthouse, and the beautiful Signal Hill landmark. With an abundance of things to see and do, it’s arguably a great place to relax before getting back on your sailing journey.

Island of Newfoundland to Port in Boston, Massachusetts

A drive from the Island of Newfoundland to Boston, Massachusetts is roughly 27 hours. While sailing, you can cut some of that out but it would still be a good idea to make a stop if you get the chance.

This is a perfect opportunity to refuel, stock up on food, and scope out the area. The area is known for some of the best seafood and you can explore the downtown area by using a trolley.

Boston to Ports Along the East Coast

As you leave Boston, you will need to continue traveling south towards Jamaica. At this point, it is up to you on where you would like to stop.

There are plenty of locations along the east coast of the US that you can spend a night at a marina or to stop for essentials. It is recommended that you stop at least one more time before leaving the US to check out your boat and restock essentials.

East Coast to Port in Turks and Caicos

When you leave the US, your next stop will be in Turks and Caicos. This area has some of the most beautiful waters to explore, which are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can also go fishing, check out the beaches, or even go parasailing if time allows.

Turks and Caicos to Port in Jamaica

While you could make another stop along the way, the distance between Turks and Caicos to Jamaica is around 440 miles. It is recommended that you have extra fuel on board in case you choose not to stop between these two ports.

Now that you have made it to your destination, you can relax and check out the area. Jamaica is home to the Bob Marley Museum, various beautiful beaches, and great food downtown.

Tips for Sailing from Scotland to Jamaica

Sailing anywhere long term requires tons of planning to ensure you arrive safely. This means you need to research ports to stop along the way, checking out your boat, and buying the essential supplies.

While planning a trip is fun, you need to allow yourself time to mark things off of your checklist. Rushing any point of this process will put you at risk of missing something important or not taking the right gear with you.

Best Time to Sail

The best time to sail around Scotland is May and June, with some debate for parts of July and August. As for the Atlantic coast, May through September are ideal times. Since there is some leeway in what times of the year you can travel to both sites, you can coordinate this travel plan easier.

Type of Boat and Condition

You should have a boat that is over 25 feet and has the capability of living on board for long periods of time. Since this is a long distance journey, you will need a boat to withstand potentially tough conditions and have the room to store essentials.

A trawler, catamaran, or your preference on a monohull should do the trick. Make sure the sails are good, no cracks along the hull, and have completed an oil change on the engine. As long as you have done your research and the condition of the boat is in good shape, then your mind can be at ease.


Since you are bouncing around different parts of the world, you need to make sure you have all of the right paperwork. A passport is required, so check that it is still valid or obtain one in advance.

Essential Gear

The climate in Scotland will differ from Jamaica, so be ready to change out of your rain gear to warm weather gear. A stop in Greenland or Boston during the later months of the year means you will need cold weather gear.

A quality anchoring system should be considered if you do not want to stop for the night at some marinas. In addition, you need proper navigation systems and a heavy-duty VHF radio for emergency communication.

Food, Fuel, and Water

Storing enough food to last a month is a good idea if you want to limit your time in certain areas. When given the opportunity, check out local food from your stopping points to stock up on nutritional value.

Refueling will be key along this trip to make it to certain areas. If you want to bypass certain areas, having extra fuel on board might be worth the investment.

As for water, you could look into a desalination device to help turn saltwater into drinkable water. You can only carry so much bottled water with you, as this adds weight and takes up a lot of space.

How To Sail From Scotland To Jamaica
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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