Matt Kent, 4,000 miles inside a meter-long aluminum sail box. Crazy? No, engineer


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to the print + digital Journal of Sailing and for only 69 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

mattThere is one man who, since Jan. 3, 2018, has been waiting to sail from the Canary Islands to Florida, a 4,000-mile crossing. A “crazy” crossing. Matt Kent wants to give it a try on a boat 1.06 m long. You got it right, 1.06 m: we present Undaunted (in English, “undaunted”) this sort of aluminum “box” with square sail, designed by the 35-year-old American. Just so you understand the oddity of the boat: the draft (1.5 m) is greater than the overall length!

Matt is ready to leave from Gran Canaria; if he can make the transatlantic, it will be a record.

No one has ever attempted this on such a small boat (in 1993, Hugo Vihlen had crossed the ocean from America to Falmouth in 105 days on a 1.6-meter boat). The estimated sailing time is 2-3 months.

He started drawing it in 2012. We don’t know if Matt has an engineering degree, but to us he is “engineer.” rather than the epic sense of the crossing (“the Atlantic has been crossed for centuries,” he says) Matt Kent was drawn to the “logistical” challenges. How to investigate solutions for food stowage and exercise aboard a 1-meter microboat in an estimated 3,500-mile sail?

Given that for the crossing Undaunted will be equipped with. with AIS, GPS, raft, emergency wetsuit, satellite phone, standard safety equipment, dual manual desalinators, a 105 A/h battery, solar panels, a manual mechanical generator, 40 gallons of emergency fresh water, and food to provide 1,500 calories per day for up to 130 days. The boat was literally “molded” around Matt, who after testing it for a long time said he had no trouble sleeping, sitting up. “I’m not claustrophobic,” he said.

What stopped Matt, for now, were the laws and the Coast Guard in La Gomeira, Canary Islands: they demanded an insurance certificate on the boat worth at least 300 thousand euros and a letter from the U.S. Coast Guard stating that the boat has been declared and is expected at the end of the crossing. The way things have turned out, it seems that the experiment is set to be postponed for a few more months.

The challenge will be used to raise funds for the Bioreserve environmental education program. Go Matt! And let’s hope your last name bodes well for you to turn into the “Superman” of the seas, you will need it!




They call it the “microcruising phenomenon,” and it encapsulates that strange urge to take on the ocean with boats, often self-built, that at most reach 18 feet, but much more often do not exceed 10.

Sven Yrvind
Sven Yrvind

To wit, Alessandro Di Benedetto, who solo circumnavigated the globe non-stop on a Mini 6.50 (learn more), o Serge Testa (around the world in a 10-foot boat), are already borderline cases… One historical name is Sven Yrvind, who of the “microsoldiers” is the veteran: he was the first, back in 1980, to pass Cape Horn on Bris II, a 5.90-meter he built. HERE His Story.

Length: 1.06 m
Draft: 1.5 m
Full load displacement: 815 kg
Speed: 2.5 kts

To learn more and follow Matt: Facebook page, website



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check out the latest issue

Are you already a subscriber?

Ultimi annunci
Our social

Sign up for our Newsletter

We give you a gift

Sailing, its stories, all boats, accessories. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the Sailing Newspaper editorial staff each week. Plus we give you one month of GdV digitally on PC, Tablet, Smartphone. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button. You will receive a code to activate your month of GdV for free!

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.


Sign in