Pioneer Passes

The first American to circumnavigate the world solo non-stop passes away.

Dodge Morgan, photographed by Fred Field on Snow Island, Maine, on May 19, 2010
Dodge Morgan, photographed by Fred Field on Snow Island, Maine, on May 19, 2010

Dodge Morgan, the first American solo sailor to circumnavigate the world non-stop lost his battle with cancer at the age of 78 last Tuesday.

Morgan completed the non-stop solo trip around the world in 1986 aboard a 60-foot, Ted Hood designed sloop appropriately named American Promise. Departing from Bermuda the 27,000 mile trip around the world took the adventurer 150 days, surpassing the prior record of 292 days held by British adventurer Chay Bylth. At the time Morgan joined only three other men to have accomplished this feat.

"It takes three things to sail around the world alone; a good boat, an iron will and luck,” said Morgan while eating a cheeseburger and addressing a crowd gathered to welcome him home. “To do so in record time takes a great boat, an iron will and extraordinary luck. And, my friends, here is a great boat.”

Though he faced storms, inclement weather, broken equipment, and 150 days of isolation when asked what he was most scared of during his trip Morgan responded, “when I pulled the second-to-last bottle of beer from the bilge.”

After he completed the highly publicized record breaking event Morgan received a celebrity like homecoming. Through out it all Morgan remained humble about his accomplishments. “Out there on the sea I'm just one little hummer,” said Morgan. Morgan was featured with other intrepid voyagers in Yachting’s “Pioneers of Adventure” feature in our August issue.