classe mini

Costs Mini Transat Campaign

The Mini Transat is one of the most exciting and challenging races you can take part in. The big question is: How much money do you need to sail over the finish line? What are the costs for a Mini Transat campaign?

Before going into monetary details, a couple of important assumptions need to be made:
– this is amateur’s talk (i.e. not a professional, fulltime campaign)
– for a production (series) boat
– for simply getting there (i.e. finishing)
– and with a very, very conservative budget calculation.

From a sailor’s point of view…

the Mini Transat is one of the ultimate challenges and adventures. Single handed racing across the Atlantic. In a boat just 6,5 metres long. And anyone can participate as long as qualification has been passed (and that is achievable when concentrating on it). In addition to that, it has been the “cradle” and starting point for many successful ocean racing professionals.

Also, the costs for a Mini Transat campaign are (were…) supposed to be rather low compared to other racing event budgets. “Low” is, of course, always something depending on where you’re coming from, money-wise.

From anyone else’s point of view…

the Mini Transat is a near crazy event with boats way too small for an Atlantic crossing, and everyone taking part is more or less on his way to finish his days amongst the living.

Well, yes, you need to look at both sides of the story. I will not start a discussion here on chances versus risks, but would simply like to have a look at the potential costs for a Mini Transat campaign. How come I would like to know how much it is? Nope – I won’t answer that question here…

Costs for a Mini Transat campaign – my guesses and estimates

conservatively estimated costs of a Mini Transat campaign with a production (series) boat

The list on the right is something I have put together after some web-research in January 2015. It was not that easy to get final and definite figures online. I suppose this is mainly due to the fact that each campaign is so very different. Plus, not really too many people like to talk about the money spent on it, I guess. Hence my assumptions listed above, and I do hope this is all kind of clear and sensible.

Basis for my calculation

The calculation was based on my personal sailing status and situation. If I were to start a campaign, the main objective would be to finish the Mini Transat. Get a boat where spare parts are still available, nothing too fancy, but rather reliable and proven. Ideally not too many repairs should be looming – but you never know. Update electronics parts, safety equipment and sails. Insurance, entry fees, flight tickets and more of that are also included. I do hope I have covered the most important parts.

Just one request: if you find that an essential item is missing, or believe that the figures are completely rubbish, please get in touch with me and let me know (or post a comment at the bottom of this page).

If we were talking about boat and race items only it looks like for less than EUR 100.000,- (I am sure if you try hard it could be a lot less) a Mini Transat campaign could be run. This would mean, however, that all qualifications, trainings and time on the boat – including the Mini Transat race time – would need to be made in your spare time. No additional costs would occur, and I am pretty sure the total sum could be decreased by quite a bit if really looked at it tightly. It can be done – but it is tough indeed.

Living expenses for a full-time campaign

This is why I have included the second block, i.e. EUR 48.000,-, to cater for living expenses over a two year period. It would enable (almost) anyone to sail, train, qualify and get into race mode for the Mini Transat. And this would definitely be more than the initially stated “simply getting there”, that’s getting close to professional.

The good news – it can be done

You could very well get to the other side of the Atlantic and finish the Mini Transat with a lot less money than stated here. The reason for my very conservative approach when estimating the costs for a Mini Transat campaign: Everything usually gets more expensive than initially thought.

Instead of production line boats we could also be talking about prototypes. What about those costs? Take the figure above and start with multiplying by two, three or five (at least for new ones).

Would I go if I had the chance?

There is just one question left for me to answer: What would I do if a sponsor or a friend came along and said “here is your budget, take your time, and go for it”? I’d love it, and I’d hate it. I’d smile insanely and I’d cry out loud. And I would, after all, very likely say Yes. What about you, what would you do??

Update January 2016: I have contacted the participants of the Mini Transat 2015 and asked them a couple of simple questions on budget and some other items. The very interesting summary you can find in this article here, Budget Mini Transat 2015 – Plus Some Other Insights.

Have a wonderful day!

4 thoughts on “Costs Mini Transat Campaign

  1. Hi Hubert,
    Completelly agree with you and I’m well aware of those funds limitations (experienced by, I would say, 95% of all the sportsmen all over the world).
    Regarding you question ““how much better would your sailing get if marketing+management were taken off of your shoulders and you could spend the time available on your boat?”, I would add “how much better would your budget get if the communication with the media, the fans, your sponsors and the prospective sponsors were conducted by some marketing professionals?”


    1. Hi Miguel,
      also a very valid point, thanks. It looks like this is coming down to the very big question about the chicken and the egg… 😉
      Still, I think it might be a very interesting setup to include marketing and media professionals right from the start. I’ll keep this in mind…
      Many thanks for your lines and thoughts,

  2. Very interesting your article on the Mini Transat costs. I believe there are some costs missing, like management, coaching and marketing, right?
    Thank you.
    Miguel Silvano

    1. Hi Miguel,
      in general I would certainly agree with you. For the Classe Mini and especially most of the Mini Transat campaigns I believe that the items you have mentioned (management, coaching, marketing) are definitely topics that need to be done – but due to the mostly limited funds available to those sailors they do it themselves. Some have great support from their families, some top sailors get professional support, and some are all alone… If I start looking at those figures again some time in the future I will certainly include your three topics and check them as well.
      I guess it is a valid question to ask “how much better would your sailing get if marketing+management were taken off of your shoulders and you could spend the time available on your boat?” -> better sailing would mean more/larger sponsorship, but when would a sailor reach the break-even here?
      Thanks for your thoughts and comment,

Leave a Reply

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