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    • UnderDawg

      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

      Sailing Anarchy is a very lightly moderated site. This is by design, to afford a more free atmosphere for discussion. There are plenty of sailing forums you can go to where swearing isn't allowed, confrontation is squelched and, and you can have a moderator finger-wag at you for your attitude. SA tries to avoid that and allow for more adult behavior without moderators editing your posts and whacking knuckles with rulers. We don't have a long list of published "thou shalt nots" either, and this is by design. Too many absolute rules paints us into too many corners. So check the Terms of Service - there IS language there about certain types of behavior that is not permitted. We interpret that lightly and permit a lot of latitude, but we DO reserve the right to take action when something is too extreme to tolerate (too racist, graphic, violent, misogynistic, etc.). Yes, that is subjective, but it allows us discretion. Avoiding a laundry list of rules allows for freedom; don't abuse it. However there ARE a few basic rules that will earn you a suspension, and apparently a brief refresher is in order. 1) Allegations of pedophilia - there is no tolerance for this. So if you make allegations, jokes, innuendo or suggestions about child molestation, child pornography, abuse or inappropriate behavior with minors etc. about someone on this board you will get a time out. This is pretty much automatic; this behavior can have real world effect and is not acceptable. Obviously the subject is not banned when discussion of it is apropos, e.g. talking about an item in the news for instance. But allegations or references directed at or about another poster is verboten. 2) Outing people - providing real world identifiable information about users on the forums who prefer to remain anonymous. Yes, some of us post with our real names - not a problem to use them. However many do NOT, and if you find out someone's name keep it to yourself, first or last. This also goes for other identifying information too - employer information etc. You don't need too many pieces of data to figure out who someone really is these days. Depending on severity you might get anything from a scolding to a suspension - so don't do it. I know it can be confusing sometimes for newcomers, as SA has been around almost twenty years and there are some people that throw their real names around and their current Display Name may not match the name they have out in the public. But if in doubt, you don't want to accidentally out some one so use caution, even if it's a personal friend of yours in real life. 3) Posting While Suspended - If you've earned a timeout (these are fairly rare and hard to get), please observe the suspension. If you create a new account (a "Sock Puppet") and return to the forums to post with it before your suspension is up you WILL get more time added to your original suspension and lose your Socks. This behavior may result a permanent ban, since it shows you have zero respect for the few rules we have and the moderating team that is tasked with supporting them. Check the Terms of Service you agreed to; they apply to the individual agreeing, not the account you created, so don't try to Sea Lawyer us if you get caught. Just don't do it. Those are the three that will almost certainly get you into some trouble. IF YOU SEE SOMEONE DO ONE OF THESE THINGS, please do the following: Refrain from quoting the offending text, it makes the thread cleanup a pain in the rear Press the Report button; it is by far the best way to notify Admins as we will get e-mails. Calling out for Admins in the middle of threads, sending us PM's, etc. - there is no guarantee we will get those in a timely fashion. There are multiple Moderators in multiple time zones around the world, and anyone one of us can handle the Report and all of us will be notified about it. But if you PM one Mod directly and he's off line, the problem will get dealt with much more slowly. Other behaviors that you might want to think twice before doing include: Intentionally disrupting threads and discussions repeatedly. Off topic/content free trolling in threads to disrupt dialog Stalking users around the forums with the intent to disrupt content and discussion Repeated posting of overly graphic or scatological porn content. There are plenty web sites for you to get your freak on, don't do it here. And a brief note to Newbies... No, we will not ban people or censor them for dropping F-bombs on you, using foul language, etc. so please don't report it when one of our members gives you a greeting you may find shocking. We do our best not to censor content here and playing swearword police is not in our job descriptions. Sailing Anarchy is more like a bar than a classroom, so handle it like you would meeting someone a little coarse - don't look for the teacher. Thanks.
    • B.J. Porter

      Moderation Team Change   06/16/2017

      After fifteen years of volunteer moderation at SA, I will no longer be part of the moderation team. The decision to step aside is mine, and has been some time in the works but we did not wish to announce it in advance for a number of reasons. It's been fun, but I need my time back for other purposes now. The Underdawg admin account will not be monitored until further notice, as I will be relinquishing control of it along with my administrative privileges. Zapata will continue on as a moderator, and any concerns or issues can be directed to that account or to the Editor until further notice. Anyone interested in helping moderate the forums should reach out to Scot by sending a PM to the Editor account. Please note that I am not leaving the community, I am merely stepping aside from Admin responsibilities and privileges on the site.

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shaggybaxter

The best of the best in sailing books

104 posts in this topic

I thought there was a thread for this, but I cannot find it. I haven't read a really good sailing book for ages, and I am starting to get itchy. I tried the powder but...ahem, so I need a good book. A great book. A great sailing book. One of those humbling awe inspiring really great sailing books.

My contribution for one of the best sailing books of all time is one I first read oo, about 14 years ago and by chance stumbled across it the other day on I-books.

( hi-jack of own thread , interject scary thought, I remember 14 yrs ago ordering it from the uk and being blown away when it arrived in under 2 weeks. I was grumbling downloading it the other day cos I think it took a whole minute to download. End hijack)

So without further ado

Title: Close to the WindAuthor: Pete Goss

That one minute was one of my better moments. Simply a great book. Now I am looking for the next great read. Suggestions please?

Min reading level : I'm up to Seahorse sticker books , some only have a picture every page.

Thanks,

 

SB

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"The Strange Last Voyage Of Donald Crowhurst" by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall.

 

Amazing story, amazing that we ever got to hear of it.

 

SRG

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I recently finished The Last Grain Race, solid book. Took some time to get used to the vernacular but all in all it was a good book.

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any of Bernard Mortessiers are great reads. very inspirational.

Along the clipper way is a great compilation book that lead me onto other books

 

The old man an the sea is a must read if you haven't yet. A true maritime classic. Quite short but very moving

 

I think The Master Mariner by Nicolas Monserratt is my all time favorite, sadly he never got to finish the intended series but there is a brief volume 2

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Penthouse

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"Sailing alone around the world" by Slocum wasn't terrible and can be downloaded free from Gutenberg or a similar site.

The illustrations are worth downloading if you go that route.

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Read 'Riddle of the Sands', Erskine Childers. Pre-WW I spy caper on sailboats.

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Anything from Dr. Stuart Walker.....

 

 

Cheers, Winever.

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William F Buckley wrote a couple of decent books about his ocean crossings. Atlantic High and Racing Through Paradise.

 

And as mentioned above, Two Years Before the Mast is a great read.

 

And my wife got me this a few years back, pretty entertaining and great for air travel since it is all short stories or excerpts.

http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Sailing-Stories-Ever-Told/dp/1592283195/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335196426&sr=8-1

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Ok this is not a sailing book but it does involve water.

 

Check out "The Hungry Ocean" by Linda Greenlaw. Linda was the swordboat captain from the Perfect Storm. Great read even if you don't fish.

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Green eggs and Ham

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Anything from Dr. Stuart Walker.....

 

 

Cheers, Winever.

 

Umm, yeah, I'm going to have to stop you right there.

 

Stuart Walker knows his shit no doubt but his books are about as dry as can be. If you're looking for a textbooks on tactics or trim they are great but as a simple read they are abysmal. It's like recommending an organic chemistry text as a nice beach read.

 

That being said, I quite enjoyed "A Full Cup" which was about Sir Thomas Lipton and his constant efforts to win the AC.

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a voyage for madmen by peter nichols. ridiculously readable account of the 1968 golden globe. storyline woven between the voyages of knox-johnston, moitessier, crowhurst, king, tetley, blyth and others.

 

many have raised this topic in the past. try a search for additional threads.

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Sailing for Dummies

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If your into classics, whaling and increadible survival, you have to read Philbrick's 'Heart of the sea'.

 

The early 1800's accounting of the Essex and her voyage into the So Pacific, hit and sunk by a bull sperm whale, then the survival of the men thereafter.

 

You won't put it down!

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If your into classics, whaling and increadible survival, you have to read Philbrick's 'Heart of the sea'.

 

The early 1800's accounting of the Essex and her voyage into the So Pacific, hit and sunk by a bull sperm whale, then the survival of the men thereafter.

 

You won't put it down!

 

I went vegetarian for for 2 weeks after reading that book. Great read, but disturbing.

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Close to the Wind by Peter Goss, first Brit to finish the Vendee, also rescued another sailor in a hurricane, very cool story of a sailor making his life dream happen with little more then desire and will.

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Murderous urges of ordinary women

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a voyage for madmen by peter nichols. ridiculously readable account of the 1968 golden globe. storyline woven between the voyages of knox-johnston, moitessier, crowhurst, king, tetley, blyth and others.

 

many have raised this topic in the past. try a search for additional threads.

 

+1 for this. A great read.

 

Also, "The Shape of Speed", by John Bevan-Smith, about Bruce Farr and Russell Bowler. Great book and very insightful.

 

Longitude, by Dava Sobel. On that note, I highly recommend visiting the Greenwich Maritime Museum to see the Harrison clock collection. Very cool exhibit.

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Read 'Riddle of the Sands', Erskine Childers. Pre-WW I spy caper on sailboats.

 

 

Listening to it as I type... checking maps online as I go. Excellent tale.

 

If in the mood for naval warfare, read "Neptune's Inferno"; WWII Guadalcanal/south Pacific campaign. Holy cow was it exciting, infuriating (slow progression of tactics) and informative. Too bloody by half, probably censored for the public though it may be. Scary how quickly ships and men were destroyed.

 

 

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Murderous urges of ordinary women

 

Thinking you might have saved me the trouble of trying to choose flowers for Mother's Day, I looked up the book an Amazon.

Thankfully, the first review contained these words "I took the afternoon off, settled into bed with my cat and laughed my head off for three solid hours", and I was able to stop reading before the damage got worse.

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I've read most of the books for "real life" adventure books and some not so real life but after reading all Sam Llewellyn fiction novels they are a good summer read if you want:

 

 

Novels for adults

[edit] Sailing thrillers

  • Dead Reckoning, 1987
  • Blood Orange, 1988
  • Death Roll, 1989
  • Dead Eye, 1990
  • Bloodknot, 1991
  • Riptide, 1992
  • Clawhammer, 1993
  • Maelstrom, 1994

He's been there to some degree and entertaining if nothing else.

 

There was a series of fiction books like Horatio Hornblower to but I can't find the author. Not Patrick O'Brian but similar.

 

Again - it's for fun. I've got all the Bethwaite, Marcaji, Curry, Ross until I'm blue in the face so I look for novels for entertainment.

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Ok this is not a sailing book but it does involve water.

 

Check out "The Hungry Ocean" by Linda Greenlaw. Linda was the swordboat captain from the Perfect Storm. Great read even if you don't fish.

 

+1

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Close to the Wind by Peter Goss, first Brit to finish the Vendee, also rescued another sailor in a hurricane, very cool story of a sailor making his life dream happen with little more then desire and will.

 

A very good read and an interesting story, but to be fair he made it around with desire, will, the kindness of strangers, and a shitload of donations.

 

Two Years Before the Mast is great as well. I can't believe no one has mentioned Moby Dick yet or the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009 - 2012. I find that last one gripping.

 

G

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Yacht Racing - The Aerodynamics of Sails and Racing Tactics

 

by Manfred Curry

 

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Two British humorous classics from "way way back in the day." Both excellent additions to the bathroom bookshelf. If there's room alongside the Seahorses and porn, whether sailing or the other sort.

 

Sod's Law of the Sea - Bill Lucas & Andrew Spedding

http://www.amazon.com/Sods-Law-Sea-Bill-Lucas/dp/0540071757

 

The Art of Coarse Sailing - Michael Green

http://www.amazon.com/The-Coarse-Sailing-Michael-Green/dp/B0054RGVO8

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When I need to get to sleep quickly, I turn to Stuart Walker...

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"Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road"

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Heck, I still find Adlard Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing" a great read. Dated, but if you like nostalgia go for it.

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"A Voyage for Madmen" is an absolutely superb read, my English teacher even had it on her shelf (before I skillfully acquired it), also try "One Watch at a Time" a story of Drum during the Whitbread, suprisingly very good read.

 

"Fair Wind and Plenty of it" by Nigel Crockett is a great read about the tall ship Picton Castle.

 

"The Sailing Spirit" and "Sea of Dreams are both about singlehanded sailing, with the former being a book I haven't had time to read yet written about the BOC Challenge by John Hughes. The latter written by Derek Hatfield about his first Around Alone.

 

HW

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Just finished the Fulcrum Files by Mark Chisnell- a good maritime thriller. he has done a few others as well, all good reads.

 

The alltime best "the riddle of the seas" by Erskine Childers

"the Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat, good WW2 book about the Corvette and life aboard

Sam Llewelyn has done quite a few as mentioned earlier.

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The Ship Killer, nearly impossible to find but fantastic novel.

 

A good novel indeed, centering on a most honourable vendetta.

 

A fun and light hearted read would be "The Boat Who Wouldn't Float" by Farley Mowat. Highly entertaining.

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A Hard Chance; Terror under Sail Kim Leighton

The Sydney-Hobart Race Disaster.

 

I couldn't put it down.

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Another good one about '79 Fastnet:

 

Left for Dead, by Nick Ward

 

He was a crew member on the Grimalkin...pretty harrowing tale and it definitely makes you appreciate some of the topics Safety at Sea cover.

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A fun and light hearted read would be "The Boat Who Wouldn't Float" by Farley Mowat. Highly entertaining.

 

Thanks for reminding me - I've got it somewhere but haven't read it yet.

 

Another excellent read by Farley Mowat is "The Grey Seas Under" - the exploits of a deep sea salvage tug in the Halifax, Newfoundland part of the world back in the days of coal. Heroism and seamanship of the highest order, and you can feel the cold in your bones as you read ... and I'm in the tropics!

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the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Voyage by Sterling Hayden, and his autobiography, Wanderer....where he: "He walked out on Hollywood, walked out of a shattered marriage, defied the courts,

broke as an outlaw, set sail with his four children in the schooner Wanderer-bound for the South Seas."

 

as well as any of Sir Francis Chichester's books especialy...."Gipsy Moth Circles the World"

 

Cheers

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Webster's Dictionary

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The Sea Wolf,The voyage of the Snark and Tales of the Pacific are all great reads by Jack London,but the prose is a little dated.

 

The Spice Island Voyage,The Sinbad Voyage,In Search of Moby Dick and Looking for Robinson Crusoe by Tim Severin are all about building and reenacting certain trips or chasing down legends.Really interesting stuff.

 

The Black Ship, and The lost Fleet by Barry Clifford are about finding pirate treasure.Very cool.

 

Clive Cussler has written a few books about finding ship wrecks which are even better reads than his fiction.

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This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson. An novel based on the life of Captain Robert Fitzroy, Commander of HMS Beagle and his voyages with Charles Darwin. Exceptionally well written and a great read. One of the best books I've read.

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British humorous classics from "way way back in the day."

... ...

 

The Art of Coarse Sailing - Michael Green

http://www.amazon.com/The-Coarse-Sailing-Michael-Green/dp/B0054RGVO8

 

He also wrote a book called 'Coarse Cruising' which is even funnier. And if you're tired of sailing books, there is 'Coarse Golf' which I got my father as a present and read it first. Totally hilarious and all too true.

 

FB- Doug

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This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson. An novel based on the life of Captain Robert Fitzroy, Commander of HMS Beagle and his voyages with Charles Darwin. Exceptionally well written and a great read. One of the best books I've read.

 

 

Peter Nichols book Evolutions Captain deals with the same subject.Pretty wacked out story all round .

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I've read most of the books for "real life" adventure books and some not so real life but after reading all Sam Llewellyn fiction novels they are a good summer read if you want:

 

 

Novels for adults

[edit] Sailing thrillers

  • Dead Reckoning, 1987
  • Blood Orange, 1988
  • Death Roll, 1989
  • Dead Eye, 1990
  • Bloodknot, 1991
  • Riptide, 1992
  • Clawhammer, 1993
  • Maelstrom, 1994

He's been there to some degree and entertaining if nothing else.

 

There was a series of fiction books like Horatio Hornblower to but I can't find the author. Not Patrick O'Brian but similar.

 

Again - it's for fun. I've got all the Bethwaite, Marcaji, Curry, Ross until I'm blue in the face so I look for novels for entertainment.

 

 

 

 

Julian stockwin's series of books main characters are Thomas kydd and renzi. Awesome novels, I think they're better than Patrick o'brian's novels

 

 

 

 

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and for a bit of action you can't beat Clive cussler's Oregon files novels

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This is what I love about this place, I think I have only read about 10% of the books mentioned, thanks.

One that doesn't quite fit sailing per se, but is an awe inspiring book is The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monserrat ., Ww2 classic.

Concur with John Bertrand, that was excellent too,

 

I had a UK site recommended called the Book Depository, can recommend it if you're looking for real books ( to our os friends, in Oz Amazon's range is heavily filtered, really sucks logging on to the US site and seeing the range available there..(sigh)

 

SB

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Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series.

 

If you like the `historical fiction' genre, none come better. Historians try to fault him and often fail. The central characters Jack Aubrey and his friend and ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin, are fictional but live their lives in Britain's 19th century naval dominance in an entirely accurate way. Further into the series of books are the battles with the Americans.. and old `Ironsides' amongst others. A great read!!

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the Yellow Pages

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encyclopedia Brittanica

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For adventure, Webb Chiles, "Open Boat,Across the Pacific".

 

For strategy and tactics, Eric Twiname, "Start to Win".

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Close to the Wind by Peter Goss, first Brit to finish the Vendee, also rescued another sailor in a hurricane, very cool story of a sailor making his life dream happen with little more then desire and will.

 

+1

 

If you're looking for some trash fiction, check out Floaters by Joseph Wambaugh. San Diego marine police investigating a murder along the waterfront during the America's Cup. If I recall correctly, some focus is spent on washed-up trustafarians, Americas Cup sailors and the women who love them.

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Moby-Dick.

Seriously. I re-read it last year on a long passage and found it not only informative and engaging, but also frequently hilarious.

Many of those mentioned above (the ones offered by sincere posters) are excellent too, though Airborne is probably WFB's best, followed by Racing Through Paradise. Atlantic High reads a little like he phoned it in. Most all of the many books that touch the Sunday Times challenge (Crowhurst, Moitissier, Knox-Johnston, et al) are fantastic reads. Better yet, they frequently complement each other, so one could easily spend a summer reading books only on that one race alone.

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Worsley, Frank A. Shackleton's Boat Journey.

 

Gold here...

 

 

For adventure, Webb Chiles, "Open Boat,Across the Pacific".

 

For strategy and tactics, Eric Twiname, "Start to Win".

 

If you're a racing sailor, Twiname's 'Start To Win' and Elvstrom's 'Expert Dinghy & Keelboat Sailing' are the two fundamental references you must study. Yeah it's old stuff but the basics don't change, and if you get the basics right consistently IMHO you will be in the upper 1/4 of any racing fleet.

 

I already mentioned Shackleton, his last expedition was truly a fantastic adventure. His own book does not go into such detail about the lifeboat sailing to South Georgia Island from Antarctica, whereas this is the primary focus of Worsley's book... an unbelievable hair-raising story, Worsley was probably the best sailor & navigator of his generation.

 

Actually, I'm think it might be good to re-read Worsley & Chiles in succession... maybe followed up with Bligh's post-mutiny journey in Bounty's launch...

 

{edit} Thank to all for some good suggestions I haven't read, even though I'm not the OP

 

FB- Doug

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So many good books already mentioned, but I'll add a couple:

 

The Cruise of the Cachelot, by Frank T. Bullen, a wonderful memoir of a whaler

 

The Frigates by James Henderson III, great read about the Royal Navy of the Nelson period

 

Six Frigates by Ian Toll, a history of the founding of the US Navy

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the legend of imp

books by Skip Novak about the whitbread round the world race (drum, fazisi, ...)

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The Horatio Hornblower series is excellent. Written by C.S. Forester back in the 1930's. I got "Beat to Quarters" to read during a long passage, and when I got home I grabbed the whole set. The DVD production of the Hornblower saga is quite enjoyable too.

 

Speaking of DVDs, not is Longitude a great book, but the A&E video is one of my favorites. Extremely well done.

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Anything by Tristan Jones

Captain Jones has clamed to have logged 450,000 nautical miles - probably more than any other living person. Mostly aboard small sailboats and mostly alone. He said he sailed the Atlantic at least 20 times, 9 were single-handed and he has circumnavigated the globe 3 1/2 times. We now know he sailed about 75,000 miles, equal to three times the circumference of the earth.

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[

Actually, I'm think it might be good to re-read Worsley & Chiles in succession... maybe followed up with Bligh's post-mutiny journey in Bounty's launch...

 

{edit} Thank to all for some good suggestions I haven't read, even though I'm not the OP

 

FB- Doug

 

Nordhoff and Hall"s Bounty Trilogy is a great read, and has stood up pretty well as historical fiction. The whole Bounty story is now buried in folks reading into it whatever they want, but these books got the basics right and are easier than dry fact.

 

 

 

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The Horatio Hornblower series is excellent. Written by C.S. Forester back in the 1930's. I got "Beat to Quarters" to read during a long passage, and when I got home I grabbed the whole set. The DVD production of the Hornblower saga is quite enjoyable too.

 

We have these memorized.

 

"I am distinguished as the midshipman who was seasick at Spithead. I believe the story is still told."

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The Horatio Hornblower series is excellent. Written by C.S. Forester back in the 1930's. I got "Beat to Quarters" to read during a long passage, and when I got home I grabbed the whole set. The DVD production of the Hornblower saga is quite enjoyable too.

 

We have these memorized.

 

"I am distinguished as the midshipman who was seasick at Spithead. I believe the story is still told."

 

Good reads, but I must say that I prefer O'Brian. "You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother."

 

The Bolitho novels by Alexander Kent are pretty good too.

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First You Have to Row a Little Boat by Richard Bode is a really good book and kinda short which is nice

 

 

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There was a time when you couldn't walk through Oxford Md. without being hit with a copy of "Muskrat: A Surprise Bid for the America's Cup" by Charlotte Meyer.

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The Journal of The Bounty's Launch by Captain William Bligh

 

Amazing seamanship by the deposed Captain of the Bounty. Tells the story of the non-mutinying crew's voyage back to civilization.

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Didn't see it mentioned yet but I liked this one:

 

 

Godforsaken Sea: The True Story of a Race Through the World's Most Dangerous Waters by Derek Lundy

 

 

 

It's the story the 96-97 Vendee with all its carnage

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The Horatio Hornblower series is excellent. Written by C.S. Forester back in the 1930's. I got "Beat to Quarters" to read during a long passage, and when I got home I grabbed the whole set. The DVD production of the Hornblower saga is quite enjoyable too.

 

We have these memorized.

 

"I am distinguished as the midshipman who was seasick at Spithead. I believe the story is still told."

 

Good reads, but I must say that I prefer O'Brian. "You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother."

 

The Bolitho novels by Alexander Kent are pretty good too.

 

In the same style as Kent, O'Brien, and C.S. Forrester; The Nathanial Drinkwater series by Richard Woodman stands out. I have two or three books in the series to finish. It begins during the Revolutionary war with Drinkwater as a midshipman. Woodman uses actual events and ships then adds in his characters.

 

Woodman also wrote several factual books including one that chronicles many of the frigate actions between 1790 and 1815.

 

Blackbeard

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For those of you wanting to check out some of Webb Chiles work, there are some free PDF downloads available on his website - http://inthepresentsea.com/the_actual_site/books.html

 

Moitissier's books keep me pretty captivated. Sort of a nautical version of Antoine de St Exupery.

 

I think some nautical books are enjoyable simply on account of the content. Books like Harry Pidgeon's (may have last name wrong) account of his circumnavigation, the first by an American single hander, is an enjoyable read but not a great piece of literature. Sir Robin Knox Johnston's story of circumnavigating in Suhali falls into that category as well. Both are on my bookshelf.

 

Not too long ago I read some of Brian Hancock's works. First one is free - http://mxspeeddream.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/grabbing-life-by-brian-hancock-also-available-as-an-ebook

Brian is like a drug dealer in that regard. I ended up reading the first one and buying the other two to read on the Nook. His out of print book, Maximum Sail Power is an excellent technical reference that I hope he updates and gets published again.

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The naval reports {Letters} of the US Navy engagements, reports to the Congress of the

United States of America during the War of 1812, Hard bound in a library near you.The letter of the dead air escape of the USS Constitution off the east coast is inspiring!

21 July 1812

Captain Isaac Hull to Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton

U.S. Frigate Constitution

At Sea July 21st 1812

"Sir,

In pursuance of your orders of the 3d inst I left Annapolis on the 5th inst and the Capes on the 12th of which I advised you by the Pilot that brought the Ship to sea....

..At 8 four of the Enemy's Ships nearly within Gun Shot, some of them having six or eight boats ahead towing, with all their oars, and sweeps out to row them up with us, which they were fast doeing. It soon appeared that we must be taken, and that our Escape was impossible, four heavy Ships nearly within Gun Shot, and coming up fast, and not the least hope of a breeze, to give us a chance of getting off by out sailing them. In this Situation finding ourselves in only twenty four fathoms water (by the suggestion of that valuable officer Lieutenant [Charles] Morris) I determined to try and warp the Ship ahead, by carrying out anchors and warp her up to them, Three or four hundred fathoms of rope was instantly got up, and two anchors got ready and sent ahead, by which means we began to gain ahead of the Enemy, They however soon saw our Boats carrying out the anchors, and adopted the same plan, under very advantageous circumstances, as all the Boats, from the Ship furthermost off were sent to Tow, and Warp up those nearest to us, by which means they again came up, So that at 9 the Ship nearest us began firing her bow guns, which we instantly returned by our Stern guns in the cabbin, and on the quarter Deck; All the Shots from the Enemy fell short, but we have reason to believe that some of ours went on board her, as we could not see them strike the Water...."

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For fans of the O'Brian genre, Dewey Lambdin's Alan Lewrie series is great reading.

 

 

In the bumbling adventurer category, John Caldwell's "Desperate Voyage" is a good bet, as is Denton Moore's "Gentlemen Never Sail to Weather."

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Anything by Tristan Jones

Captain Jones has clamed to have logged 450,000 nautical miles - probably more than any other living person. Mostly aboard small sailboats and mostly alone. He said he sailed the Atlantic at least 20 times, 9 were single-handed and he has circumnavigated the globe 3 1/2 times. We now know he sailed about 75,000 miles, equal to three times the circumference of the earth.

To fully appreciate Tristan Jones you had to witness him explaining to a room filled with a breathless audience how he removed his own appendix at sea using a mirror to see the details in his belly!

 

I still occasionally parrot the advice he proffered from the Thames barge skipper he shipped out with as a lad. The barges invariably sailed with one man and a boy. As I recall it, the skipper's name was Tansy Lee. "Remember lad," Tansy would say, "Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder!"

 

 

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a free ebook on post shipwreck survival

 

 

The Castaways of Disappointment Island

- Format: ePub

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For a taste of self-inflicted adventure at sea it's hard to go past any of the works of Dr David Lewis. His first book, "The ship would not travel due west" chronicled his participation in the first Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race in his 25-foot sloop Cardinal Vertue.

 

For some fascinating detail about Lewis -- one tough nut -- check the Daily Telegraph's obituary.

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Perfect Storm by Mundle

 

War novels,

 

Some of the series by Dudley Pope is quite good,

 

If you can find it J.E. Mcdonald is a good Aussie writter

 

Agree with others

 

Love Alexander Kent (Douglas Reeman pen name)

 

O'brien is good Stockwin's Kydd series is better and C.S. Forester are classic's

 

T.B.

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Fiction

 

The Magic of The Swashways by Maurice Griffiths

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe

We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea by Arthur Ransome (A kids book but I still love it)

The Riddle Of The Sands by Childers (already mentioned)

 

Non-Fiction

 

High Performance Sailing by Frank Bethwaite

 

I also like browsing through pilot books at home such as:

 

The Shell Channel Pilot by Tom Cunliffe

West Country Cruising (Mark Fishwick)

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"Fair Wind and Plenty of it" by Nigel Crockett is a great read about the tall ship Picton Castle.

HW

 

+1 A fun read of the Picton Castle in her glory days, good summer reading.

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Anything from Dr. Stuart Walker.....

 

 

Cheers, Winever.

 

Umm, yeah, I'm going to have to stop you right there.

 

Stuart Walker knows his shit no doubt but his books are about as dry as can be. If you're looking for a textbooks on tactics or trim they are great but as a simple read they are abysmal. It's like recommending an organic chemistry text as a nice beach read.

 

That being said, I quite enjoyed "A Full Cup" which was about Sir Thomas Lipton and his constant efforts to win the AC.

 

Thank you for the Lipton recommendation, reading it now - it's a great one.

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read The Wave

Susan Casey

I promise you can't put it down

Seriously

 

All things OCEAN

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Uffa Fox series need i say more?....read and re-read. Bab's is lucky enough to have most of the originals.

 

Got into Machaj once as a teenager. Fucking boring now.

 

Im pissed and trying to think what else warrants a mention....Slocum without doubt. The S&S book Best of the Best comes out at times, Olin Stephens what can one say?

 

Ive stopped buying sailing mags apart from Seahourse and Woodenboat.....didnt your mother teach you lot any style?

 

 

 

If you have gold, any mint will do ill cut you a loan cheap...anyone?

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There was a time when you couldn't walk through Oxford Md. without being hit with a copy of "Muskrat: A Surprise Bid for the America's Cup" by Charlotte Meyer.

 

 

Charlotte Meyer is incorrect. This book was written by Douglas Hanks. I have a signed copy and it's very well traveled. One of my favorites for sure.

 

I've been in tears laughing about the antics in the book and can totally put the faces of my cronies on each character in the story. A true classic.

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There was a time when you couldn't walk through Oxford Md. without being hit with a copy of "Muskrat: A Surprise Bid for the America's Cup" by Charlotte Meyer.

 

 

Charlotte Meyer is incorrect. This book was written by Douglas Hanks. I have a signed copy and it's very well traveled. One of my favorites for sure.

 

I've been in tears laughing about the antics in the book and can totally put the faces of my cronies on each character in the story. A true classic.

 

Our sailing club has a copy, picked it up and started reading on a whim... speaking as a racing sailor, it's wildly improbable to the point of being a bit difficult to keep reading; however as a Southerner, it's a hoot. And yeah, I pretty much know all those guys ;)

 

FB- Doug

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At the same time as Shackleford but in the Northwest Passage-

 

In the Land of White Death : An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic

 

Quick read and to think this journal/diary was buried in the Yale Library for 100 years makes you wonder what else may be hidden.

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The Terror (2007) by Dan Simmons -- fictionalized but fact-based account of Cpt Franklin's 1845 attempt to explore the NW Passage. In it the good captain and his crew deal with scurvy, murder, fire and a maniacal monster (? enormous polar bear) which eventually results in the death of the entire crew of two ships. The story is heart-poundingly exciting, rich with authentic detail, and trippy towards the end. Almost like a nightmare which begins with clarity and ends in a way you can't quite understand, as if you are with the men as they dwindle and die, entering some spirit world.

 

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One I love is The Circumnavigators by Donald Holm...a breif but detailed account of all the great well known and some lesser known circumnavigators. Most are otherwise more fully covered in other books.

 

Bruce Knechts one on the 98 hobart name escapes me is a good read as well. Babs is in there somewhere.

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A Speck on the Sea is another good one.

 

Not a sailing book, but Ship of Gold is a good read

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Nobody's mentioned the great Patrick O'Brien series, beginning with "Master and Commander" -- much better than Hornblower on many levels,and the greatest sea chase of all time in "Desolation Island." But any of the 17 are terrific.

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read The Wave

Susan Casey

I promise you can't put it down

Seriously

 

All things OCEAN

 

I enjoyed that book, well I enjoyed those parts that actually discussed waves and the ocean. Felt like half of the book was written by a teenager infatuated with Laird Hamilton.

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