Captain Bill Pinkney

Captain Bill Pinkney


Lessons from Bill Pinkney's historic solo sail around the world

Bill Pinkney chronicled his solo sail around the world as the first African American to do it the hard way  — around the great Southern Capes — in his 1992 video diary and documentary.  Special correspondent Mike Cerre has his story, and the life lessons his journey imparts, from Puerto Rico..

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2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Bill Pinkney

Bill Pinkney  at the Induction Dinner held in Newport, RI at The Sailing Museum onspeaks Saturday, October 16th, 2021.

Captain Bill Pinkney Promotes Chicago Maritime Museum

Captain Bill Pinkney, the first Black person to solo-circumnavigate the world via Cape Horn, promotes the Chicago Maritime Museum. Captain Pinkney will be co-hosting the virtual CMM Festival, Waterways for All, on October 21st at 6:30PM.

©2021Captain Bill Pinkney



Full and By

By Bill Schanen

The first man to sail around the world with thousands of kids


Bill Pinkney Talks Solo Circumnavigation

Almost three decades after his record-setting circumnavigation, Bill Pinkney still finds joy and adventure on blue water

By Wendy Mitman Clarke

July 7, 2021

The View

Enter In honor of Black History Month, "The View" salutes Captain Bill Pinkney, who’s the first Black man and the fourth person in history to make a solo boat voyage around the world!

PBS News Hour

February 20, 2022

Cruising World Magazine

March 2022

The Amistad (1839) sailed from Cuba with a shipment of 53 captive Africans from Sierra Leone to the North America mainland. During the journey intended for delivery to a Caribbean plantation, the captives revolted, seized the schooner, killed the captain and the cook, and ordered the Cuban plantation owners to sail to Africa. The owners and crew steered the ship north instead, where it was seized by the U.S. brig Washington and taken to New London, CT. After a two-year trial, the case was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the captives who were judged to have been free men prior to captivity. They were returned to Sierra Leone.

Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project

Yachting World Magazine

"Commitment around the World":

Book Review


Sailing Museum Store

in Newport

Book Launch

Maritime Museum

December 22. 2022

Reading With Your Kids PODCAST

Captain Bill Pinkney is on the #ReadingWithYourKids #Podcast to celebrate his inspiring book Sailing Commitment. Captain Bill is one of less than 100 people, and the first Black man, who have circumnavigated the World in a sailboat. And he did the hard way, traveling around the treacherous Cape Horn. Captain Bill tells us of his adventure, what inspired it, how he found the courage, and funding, to undertake such a journey. He also tells us of spending 65 days sailing in the Pacific from South America to South Africa, seeing nothing but ocean, sky and an occasional bird. He explains that it was reading that helped him survive that incredibly lonely stretch.