President Carter wound up his Caribbean vacation today aboard a sailboat and then left this French island for the return trip to Washington.

Carter and his daughter, Amy, boarded a 60-foot racing trimaran this morning and spent several hours gliding across the placid waters near here. They returned to Washington this evening. Rosalynn Carter remained at the villa where the Carters have been staying.

In contrast to the warm sunny weather and long hours of leisure time that Carter has enjoyed here, winter cold and a heavy work load awaited him in Washington.

By the end of January, the president is scheduled to make public his fiscal 1980 budget proposals, deliver his State of the Union address to Congress and host the first visit to the United States of a ranking official of the People's Republic of China, Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-ping.

Carter worked on some domestic economic matters while here, but White House officials made no announcement about whatever decisions he made.

The president has been on Guadeloupe since Thursday. He met for two days with the leaders of France, Britain and West Germany and has devoted most of the last few days to vacation activities such as swimming, sailing and scuba diving.