The Ultimate Guide to Sailing La Vagabonde

Here's Everything You Wanted To Know

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Founder and Editor at Cruising Freedom

This is the definitive guide to Sailing La Vagabonde for 2022.

Over the last 6 years, my Youtube stats tell me that I have spent 172 hours watching and researching everything I could about La Vagabonde so you don’t have to.

(Yes, I really am *that* obsessed with Riley and Elayna’s journey 😃 I’ve honestly watched EVERY episode to date!)

If you wanted to know:

➔ How Sailing La Vagabonde afforded their boat

➔ How they make their money today

➔ What boat they have and its upgrades

➔ How you can start crossing oceans

Then you’ve definitely come to the right place.

Think of this like a wiki for Sailing La Vagabonde.

Before we start, a quick introduction from me…

The Cruising Freedom Author

Ahoy, Matey! I’m Joshua from Australia. 🇦🇺

I’ve built the perfect business to sail the world.

A business model which can allow me to:

➔ Own a catamaran debt-free

➔ Go for weeks without WIFI

➔ Create semi-passive income

➔ Inspire others to dream big

But more on that later…. 🙂

Sailing La Vagabonde FAQs (October 2022)

Boat Name

La Vagabonde

Crew Members

Riley Whitelum (age 36) from Kimba, South Australia.

Elayna Carausu (age 32) from Perth, Western Australia.

Lenny Whitelum (age 3) who is now actively talking and swimming all by himself.

Elayna gave birth to their 2nd child, Darwin, in 2021, who is now almost 1 year old and almost walking.

Riley and Elayna are NOT married, nor has Riley ever proposed to Elayna. They remain in a de facto relationship.

The Boat

Sailing La Vagabonde’s current catamaran is a 2022 Rapido Trimaran 60 with an owner’s cabin in the starboard hull.

This is designed for serious performance and sailing beyond the wind speed.

Some say this boat isn’t ideal for family cruising with very young children, and I tend to agree.

Sailing La Vagabonde’s previous catamaran was a 2017 Outremer 45 with an owner’s cabin in the starboard hull.

Previously to this, they owned a monohull which was a 2007 Beneteau Cyclades 43. This is the original ‘La Vagabonde’, a yacht that was designed for the charter market without a dedicated owner’s cabin.

They had planned to sell the Outremer but decided against it:

In short: They’re creating Vagabonde Adventures which will become a boat charter company where you can learn to sail on their very own catamaran.

Their friend Jack, a sailing instructor, will run the business so Riley and Elayna can continue sailing as a family.

More info at: VagabondeAdventures.com

A very wise choice I must say! They will still buy the Rapido 60 for themselves.

Upgrades

Before taking ownership, Outremer had spec’d the 45 at the factory in France with:

➔ Code D and Code Zero lightwind sails (the code D is Elayna’s favorite sail)

➔ Two upright 12v fridges in the galley

➔ Retractable daggerboards (a rather expensive optional upgrade, yet highly recommended)

➔ Twin 215hp diesel inboard motors

Meanwhile, Riley and Elayna have added:

➔ Fortress Spade Anchor (they use it as a spare)

➔ 560watts of solar panels on the bimini

➔ Dessalator Freedom Cruise Water Maker

➔ Watt And Sea Hydro Generator

➔ Inflatable tender called Cunningham II with 15hp Honda outboard. Their first tender mysteriously disappeared 5 years ago as it was being towed while sailing. (Whoops!)

Location

Sailing La Vagabonde returned to Australia in 2021 despite border closures and travel restrictions.

After all, their son Darwin was just born.

Their current location is Cuba (the Ragged Islands) reflected on both their YouTube and Instagram accounts but they are heading towards the Bahamas.

This shows they are currently up to date on video production.

Past Cruising

Riley and Elayna have sailed extensively to:

➔ The Mediterranean

➔ The Bahamas

➔ United States of America

➔ The Azores

➔ Cape Verde

➔ Antigua

➔ Australia (Riley sailed as a crew of a racing team)

➔ Dominica

➔ Grenada

➔ British Virgin Islands

➔ St Lucia

➔ Venezuela

➔ Panama Canal

➔ French Polynesia

➔ Tonga

➔ New Zealand (friends boat)

➔ Mallorca

➔ Morocco

➔ Gibraltar

Affording It

Riley worked for 4 years in the mining industry in South Australia and saved $100,000, earning *just* enough to purchase his monohull before meeting Elayna.

The purchase of La Vagabonde II, however, didn’t not require spending $1,200,000 USD (the retail price of La Vagabonde’s Outremer 45), and instead, was based off their audience size and Outremer’s potential for marketing reach similar to a sponsorship deal.

(And if you’re wondering, I’ll be buying either a Seawind or an Outremer)

The La Vagabonde II catamaran itself, just like the original monohull, is legally owned by Riley and Elayna.

Outremer assisted with the loan on the catamaran, however, Outremer did NOT give a free boat to Riley and Elayna. This is the biggest false rumour on the internet which continues to haunt the couple.

Making Loot

In 2022, Sailing La Vagabonde makes money through:

➔ YouTube advertising revenue

➔ Amazon affiliate links

➔ Official La Vagabonde merch

➔ Elayna’s songs and CDs

➔ Their thousands of Patreons

➔ Brand sponsorship with Audible

With multiple streams of income, this brings the estimated net worth of Sailing La Vagabonde to $1,700,000 and they possibly could purchase their next boat, a Rapido Trimaran 60, for cash.

However, this is likely a sponsorship deal similar to Outremer’s previous offer.

It’s estimated that Riley and Elayna make $27,000 per month in US dollars, or $8,200 per episode published. However, earning that much money requires 30 to 50 hours of editing to publish one polished YouTube video.

Elayna recently created Vaga Bella Swim™︎ – a 100% recycled swimwear company which is definitely worth checking out.

Collaborations

Sailing La Vagabonde has collaborated with the following YouTubers:

➔ Adam Stern from Free Diving Family who held the Australian record for freediving

➔ Yosha, a previous crewmate of SV Delos, also stayed on board several years ago

Eamon & Bec who usually do Van Life.

Lost Leblanc who is a very popular travel vlogger

After all these years, we’re still waiting for a collaboration with SV Delos. 😃

Big Moments

Memorable moments in the Sailing La Vagabonde journey include:

➔ Being chased by a powerboat late at night during a potential pirate attack. This was on the original Beneteau. While Elayna hid in the aft cabin, Riley avoided the attack by throwing cans of tin food. Surprisingly (and fortunately) the strategy worked.

➔ Lenny having stopped breathing and being rushed to hospital.

➔ Sailing 22 knots in high winds without putting a reef in the main, causing Elayna to panic and the YouTube community to voice their concerns.

➔ Sailing Greta Thunberg across the North Atlantic with Lenny in tow.

➔ Freediving in the deepest hole in the world where Adam was featured.

In recent episodes, both Riley and Elayna have really struggled to manage 2 young children AND all the work that’s necessary on a boat.

Future Plans

With their Outremer 45 being listed for sale, Riley and Elayna are now working on building their 3rd boat, a Rapido 60, announced in June, 2021. It should be ready in a few months.

Interestingly, despite the growing family, they have chosen a boat with orientation for speed over comfort.

As mentioned previously, I disagree that this is the right boat for their growing family and many within the cruising community agree with my stance.

Key Takeaways

We can learn from Riley and Elayna that:

➔ Cruising isn’t always moonshine and sunsets

➔ Men and women play an equal role on board

➔ Much of the world is actually a safe place

➔ Raising children on sailboards is trending

➔ Always speak the truth, even when it’s hard

➔ You only live once, so make life happen

Conclussion

Riley and Elayna are the epitome of the authentic yet polished influencers of the sailing world. Some would say modern-day sea-gypsies.

They even have their own Subreddit!

We see Riley and Elayna’s epic lifestyle today but we don’t see the consistent work over multiple years prior.

Getting here and finally living #boatlife certainly wasn’t an easy process, but through their commitment, but we can clearly see it’s been well worth it.

Creating Your Own Cruising Freedom

Hey! 😃 It’s Joshua again….

Clearly I’ve been very inspired by Sailing La Vagabonde and their travels…

Some say I’m obsessed, but sailing the world is my childhood dream.

They’re living the dream, but that dream isn’t hard to achieve today.

Earlier I mentioned about finding the perfect cruising business model.

With this exciting opportunity, I’ll be able to:

➔ Generate a sustainable full-time income remotely (yes, seriously!)

➔ Fund the purchase of my first sailing catamaran without any loans

➔ Do it without selling to friends & family (’cause that’s icky, am I right?!)

➔ Share my lifetime passion for sailing, cruising and global adventures

Curious to learn more? Jump on the free training right now. 🔥

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