Sailing Books: We Thought You Might be Interested

Published on March 16th, 2016

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
I suspect it was a bunch of twenty-somethings at Amazon headquarters that one day hatched the plan to track my browsing habits, which recently led to an email from Amazon.com that started….

“Based on your recent visit, we thought you might be interested in these items.”

The items were a list of book titles which I found sufficiently interesting … perhaps you will too:

8cThings I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Sailing
By John Vigor
Aimed at sailboat owners of all kinds, this reference book contains 200 entries packed with solid practical advice and valuable tips. Each entry is categorized alphabetically and prefaced by an arresting statement such as “People always lie about how fast their boats are.”

The reference format offers readers the opportunity to open the book at any page and browse endlessly. Cartoons by SAIL Magazine cartoonist Tom Payne enliven the text. A comprehensive appendix covers some 50 technical topics. Details.

3Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea
By John Kretschmer
After sailing 300,000 miles and weathering dozens of storms in all the world’s oceans, John Kretschmer has plenty of stories and advice to share. John’s offshore training passages sell out a year in advance and his entertaining presentations are popular at boat shows and yacht clubs all over the English speaking world. John’s talent for storytelling enchants his audience as it soaks up the lessons he learned during his often challenging voyages. Now you can take a seat next to John–at a lesser cost–and get the knowledge you need to fulfill your own dream of blue-water adventure.

In Sailing a Serious Ocean, John tells you what to expect when sailing the oceans and shows how to sail safely across them. His tales of storm encounters and other examples of extreme seamanship will help you prepare for your journey and give you confidence to handle any situation―even heavy weather. Through his personal stories, John will guide you through the whole process of choosing the right boat, outfitting with the right gear, planning your route, navigating the ocean, and understanding the nuances of life at sea.

Our oceans are beautiful yet unpredictable―water that is at one moment a natural mirror for the glowing sun can turn into a foamy, raging wall of fury. John knows our oceans, and he is one of the best teachers of taming and enjoying them. Before you set off across the big blue, turn to John for his inspirational stories and hard-learned advice and discover the serious sailor in you. Details.

2Winging It: ORACLE TEAM USA’s Incredible Comeback to Defend the America’s Cup
By Diane Swintal, R. Steven Tsuchiya, Robert Kamins
Millions of sailing enthusiasts and casual fans alike watched the America’s Cup in awe as the ORACLE TEAM USA trailing one point to New Zealand’s eight, was first to the finish line in eight consecutive races. This miracle triumph left many wondering “How did they do it?”

The answers come together in Winging It, with insights from naval architects and builders on their radical boat designs, the consequences of racing these untested boats, and explanations of how the foils and wingsails―rarely seen on boats before―work. The book explores the impact of events that led up to the Cup, including how a sudden capsize threw the entire event into doubt before the 2013 America’s Cup ultimately delivered an epic finale. Top sailors share their stories, including the victorious Jimmy Spithill on USA 17 and the shockingly defeated ETNZ skipper Dean Barker.

This is the story of an historic win that goes beyond the emotions of the day to explain how the many months of innovation, research, trials, and failures helped secure the Cup in the final race on September 25. Details.

4A Voyage for Madmen
By Peter Nichols
In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death.

In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death. Details.

1The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the Americas Cup, Twice
By Julian Guthrie
Down eight-to-one in the 34th America’s Cup in September 2013, Oracle Team USA pulled off a comeback for the ages, with eight straight wins against Emirates Team New Zealand. Julian Guthrie’s The Billionaire and the Mechanic tells the incredible story of how a car mechanic and one of the world’s richest men teamed up to win the world’s greatest race. With a lengthy new section on the 34th America’s Cup, Guthrie also shows how they did it again.

The America’s Cup, first awarded in 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sports. In 2000, Larry Ellison, co-founder and billionaire CEO of Oracle Corporation, decided to run for the prize and found an unlikely partner in Norbert Bajurin, a car mechanic and Commodore of the blue-collar Golden Gate Yacht Club. After unsuccessful runs for the Cup in 2003 and 2007, they won for the first time in 2010. With unparalleled access to Ellison and his team, Guthrie takes readers inside the building process of these astonishing boats and the lives of the athletes who race them and throws readers into exhilarating races from Australia to Valencia. Details.

6Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die: Sailing Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations
By Chris Santella
Landlubbers joke that sailors are always wanting to head off to the ends of the earth, but Chris Santella takes that life-changing desire very seriously. In this, the third installment in his immensely successful “Fifty Places” series, Santella assembles a crew of the world’s greatest championship racers and professional adventurers and persuades them to disclose their favorite destinations around the globe.

Interviewees include some of the best-known men and women in the sport: Tom Whidden and Gary Jobson (members of the winning 1987 America’s Cup crew), Jeff Johnstone (of J-Boats), award-winning sailing writer Lin Pardy, and many others. The amazingly diverse places they’ve selected range from clubby East Coast ports (Marblehead, Annapolis), to idyllic tropical refuges (Ilha Grande, Brazil; the Polynesian atoll of Mopelia), to some of the most hair-raisingly treacherous waters on earth (Cape Horn).

Coastlines around the world—even Antarctica and the Arctic—are represented, and the chosen spots include some spectacular inland waters, such as the Bras d’Or Lakes and the North Channel of Lake Huron. For each of the 50 places, the sailor recommending the venue spins an entertaining yarn about his or her experience there, and each description is accompanied by a “make you want to go there now” photograph. Details.

7Sailing on the Edge: America’s Cup
By Bob Fisher, Kimball Livingston, Sharon Green, Roger Vaughan
Sailing on the Edge is a comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at the race that has inspired sports enthusiasts and nations alike for more than 150 years. This ultimate treasury of the America’s Cup explores the sport’s rich history, tracing its evolution to becoming the most riveting race on the water with the most coveted prize. Recent advancements in technology and design have revolutionized the sport like never before, making the 2013 34th America’s Cup the most thrilling race to date.

The 34th America’s Cup brings the international competition back to the United States for the first time in eighteen years, and the stunning San Francisco Bay provides the backdrop the two final stages. Two new classes of boats will debut—the AC45 catamarans and the AC72s, both more powerful and more demanding, resulting in an evermore-spectacular competition. Sailing on the Edge covers it all, from the science behind the shipbuilding to the artistry and strength of the skippers and their teams. Details.

9The Annapolis Book of Seamanship: Fourth Edition
By John Rousmaniere, Mark Smith
Completely revised and updated to address changes in technology and safety standards, this new edition is the definitive guide to the art and science of sailing.

“The art of sailing, maneuvering, and preserving a ship or a boat in all positions and under all reasonable circumstances.” With the addition of the words, “and some unreasonable circumstances, too,” this definition of “seamanship” is as valid today as when the first edition of this book was published in 1983. The aim remains to advise you the sailor on essential gear, skills, and behavior that enhance your pleasure and safety.

This edition of The Annapolis Book of Seamanship is an extensive update. Much of the text is new or revised, and there are many new photos. Throughout, the book stresses the skills and attitudes that comprise what the author calls “The Seamanship Ethos.” The first four chapters cover the boat, basic sailing skills, sail trim, and weather, with the first of many “Hands On” sections with their tips.

The topics of health (including seasickness) and on board safety follow, with lessons learned from on-water tests and studies of boating accidents. We look closely at the elements of piloting, navigation, and electronics, including Digital Selective Calling, the US Coast Guard’s emergency communication system.

Moving on to the arts of traditional seamanship—anchoring, heavy weather, and emergencies—there is much on modern equipment and skills, again based on experience. The book ends with boat maintenance and the traditions that make sailing the beloved pastime it is. Appendixes include best practices for protecting the marine environment and bringing up children under sail. Details.

10Greatest Sailing Stories Ever Told: Twenty-Seven Unforgettable Stories
By Christopher Caswell
For thousands of years, man has sailed into battle, sailed for rumored wealth, and sailed for pure adventure. And for nearly as long, stories about the sea have entertained, intrigued, and inspired readers. The Greatest Sailing Stories Ever Told brings together some of the most compelling writing of the millennium. Here is Peter Goss’s wrenching narrative of incredible courage in the world’s most desolate ocean; Ernest Shackleton’s understated and awesome account of one of the most daring small-boat journeys ever taken, where failure meant certain death for his long-suffering crew. But sailing is much more than headlong dashes into roaring seas. You’ll also find William F. Buckley Jr. on idyllic cruising; James Thurber on the arcane and often impenetrable language of sailors; the legendary Joshua Slocum on sailing alone around the world.

The Greatest Sailing Stories Ever Told is a treasure trove: tears, adrenaline, laughter, and adventure abound. With contributions from:
James Thurber -William F. Buckley Jr. – Ann Davison – Sterling Hayden – Ernest Shackleton – Tristan Jones – Samuel Eliot Morrison – Joshua Slocum – E. B. White – C. S. Forester – Cleveland Amory – Weston Martyr – Peter Goss – David Kasanof. Details.

5The Story of The America’s Cup 1851- 2013
By Ranulf Rayner, Ted Turner
Awe-inspiring and breathtaking, this volume takes sailing beyond its competitive limits; throwing caution to the winds, it is exciting and terrifying at turns, as it highlights some of the world s most technical yachts and the skills of the men who sailed them

The Story of the America’s Cup 1851-2013 tells the chronological history of 150 years of the most exciting and exhilarating yacht race, open the pages and you can almost feel the wind in the sails and the salt spray.

Full page color illustrations bring the yachts alive, set as they are in their natural element, at sea, on the waves; detailed descriptions give an amazing insider’s view of the construction of individual boats, the routes sailed, the crews, the highs and lows of what was undoubtedly, extremely tough and competitive sailing, the victories and the defeats.

Paintings by Tim Thompson, a leading marine artist are an integral part of the book’s appeal; he has captured the pure essence, the spirit of the race and its place in history. Details.

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