Robin Davie, 67, hadn’t been heard from in six days and concern was growing for the Cornwall-based sailor.
But on Friday evening, the Coastguard said he had reported he was safe, and just off the Isles of Scilly, west of the Cornish coast.
He had visited the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne on Saturday to have his yacht, the Rustler 36 C’est La Vie, refitted with a new mast and rigging.
Friends and family had expected the experienced sailor back at his home port of Falmouth in Cornwall on Tuesday and were left “completely flummoxed” when he didn’t return.
Many feared the worst after Robin appeared to have vanished during the 300-mile journey from western France in calm sea conditions.
“We were concerned for the skipper’s safety and so we’re really pleased”
Dai Jones, Coastguard Controller
Friend and yachting journalist Barry Pickthall said at the time: “We’re just completely flummoxed because the weather has been so benign.
“We just don’t understand what could have happened.”
On Wednesday morning, Robin’s brother Rick reported him as overdue and Falmouth Coastguard issued an alert to all ships in the area.
Late on Friday, the Coastguard said Robin had “just reported that he has heard the broadcast action being made by HM Coastguard and that he is safe and well 25 miles southwest of the Isles of Scilly.
The Coastguard reported Robin had faced difficult conditions and had needed to tack further to the west, making the leg to the Scillies “much longer” than he expected.
Out of radio contact range and without mobile phone signal, it was only when he got close enough to land on Friday that he received the Coastguard’s broadcast.
Coastguard Controller Dai Jones said: “We were concerned for the skipper’s safety and so we’re really pleased that he has been in contact to tell us that he is safe and well.
“Being able to broadcast continuously can pay dividends and in this case, it really helped us to locate him.”
Jones said the Coastguard had worked out he could be “somewhere around the Isles of Scilly” by studying “weather conditions and what passage he would have been likely to take”.
Robin, who has sailed solo around the world three times, is due back in Falmouth this afternoon.
He is entered in the 2022 Golden Globe Race.
On Friday, race organisers said they had “serious concern” about the then-missing yachtsman.