The final leg of the journey took them wide out across the Atlantic and a mere 965 kilometers off the coast of Florida. It was here Beale got his inspiration for the journey to the U.S.
"Archeologists have found Egyptian mummies with traces of tobacco and cocaine which could only have come from the New World," Beale said. "It indicates there was something going on across the Atlantic."
Dr Mark McMenamin, professor of geology at Holyoke College, also points to evidence of Phoenician coins bearing maps of the Old and New World. He said copper coins with Phoenician iconography have also also been discovered in North America.
"The available evidence suggests that the Carthaginians (the western tribe of the Phoenicians) had the ability to cross the Atlantic at will," he said.
Many historians however, remain doubtful. "If the Phoenicians got to England -- which we think they did -- I wouldn't be surprised if the boat could get to America physically. But whether they could have done it without running out of food is a different matter," maritime historian Sam Willis said.
"If you're circumnavigating Africa you can always stop along the way. But you can't when you're going to America -- it's a massive stretch of sea and that's the difference."
Setting off from Tunisia, the modern-day Phoenician vessel is expected to take two to three months to reach America -- granted Beale can raise £100,000 ($156,000) for the expedition.
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has already invited him to display the boat as part of their upcoming exhibition on the Phoenicians, opening in September 2014.
"The conventional wisdom is that Christopher Columbus discovered America. But anyone who looks a little closer will see the Vikings were there around 900AD. They've found Viking settlements in Newfoundland, it's undisputed," Beale said.
"So Columbus was definitely second -- at best. I put forward the theory that the Phoenicians could have been first and I hope to prove that was the case."