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Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
triloboats swirl gmail daughter com

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bibliography for a Short Shelf

Readin' the Pages!
I'm often asked what books I'd recommend to get a person started. It's a very short list.

These aren't the only books I enjoy or recommend in general... FAR from it. But from this core one obtains a solid foundation from which to explore in any direction. What's more, I find them extremely readable. If you, like me, tend to bog down in Chapman's, these are for you. [Probably doesn't help that, for two bits, I buy musty old Chapmen from the glorious 50s... not the latest editions.]

The links are all to Amazon, but they are available from many other vendors. Consider buying locally, or from small companies specializing in feeding our maritime appetites. Use 'em or loose 'em.

So here's my recommended Big Three. Between them, is everything you need to bootstrap yourself onto and across the water. The rest is gravy!
  1. Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings by Aldron Watson

    Tool-by-tool elucidation for use and maintenance of your hand tools, right down to sharpening your pencil. Most of these lessons are upwardly compatible to power tools, too. Friendly format, easy to read and reference. Despite being 'old-school', it doesn't have that soporific, text-book feel.

    If you already have these skills, this one's optional. But even if you do, you'll learn something from it.
  2. Beuhler's Backyard Boatbuilding by George Beuhler

    Attitude, exhortation, anecdotes, know-how and plans, all in one book. This is solid, robust boatbuilding that girds the reader against the "there's only one way to do things" gang. DIY from stem to stern, from building a workshed to turning the hull to pouring a keel.

    There are plenty of techniques not covered in this book, but that's why they invented Post-It Notes!
  3. The Complete Sailor by David Seidman, Illustrated by Kelly Mulford

    Once you've got the boat built, you'll want to know how to get along on the water... here's your book! While emphasis is on sailing, the seamanship sections (most of the book) is entirely applicable. Organized in a modular format for easy reference, most topics get a one or two page treatment. It will take you through the novice stage and well into competency before you ever need to read beyond its pages.

    This one's a keeper. Even once you've memorized it, you and your guests will appreciate the clarity of information and quality of presentation. An onboard copy provides a centerpiece for discussion, even among long-term sailing companions, greatly enhancing civil communication.

That's it! With these three, you can build, launch, rig and sail away.


To go with them taters, here's some gravy:


    1. Gotta add some Tristan Jones to really keep the faith fires burning (although Jones has been proven mostly a fiction writer his books STILL enthuse and inspure me). And don't forget the Pardeys, also engineless sailorsm who sailed the globe for years and present good how-to in numerous books. And for the day 2 day fun: the Shantyboat book by Hubbard? Seasteading by Jerome Fitzgerald is fun too but a bit of a rant.

    2. Yes to all (I include Jay F's!). Not to mention:

      Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers
      Shadow in the Sands - Sam Llewellyn
      South Sea Vagabonds - J.W. Wray
      Salt on the Wind - Dan Rubin
      Sailing Back in Time - Maria Coffey
      Shen Ku - Zeek
      Practical Junk Rig - Hassler and McCleod
      A Wizard of EarthSea - Ursula K. LeGuin
      Moonsailors - Buckly Smith
      The Warm, Dry Boat - Roger McAfee
      Everything by Phil Bolger
      Roger Taylor's MingMing adventures
      Swallows and Amazons Series - Arthur Ransome
      Two Girls, Two Catamarans - James Wharram
      Go Build Your Own Boat - Dynamite Payson
      Seaworthy - T.R. Pearson
      All of Rockwell Kent
      All of Bernard Moitessier
      The Venturesome Voyages of Captain Voss by Voss
      The Art of Pilotage - John Mellor


      The list goes on and on! I'd love to see other favorites posted here.

    3. Yacht Cruising - Claud Worth
      Captains Courageous- Rudyard Kipling
      The Biggest Boat - Lee Hughes
      Self Steering for Sailing Craft - John S. Letcher, jr

    4. Commodore Ralph Munroes adventures on the late 19th century south Florida coast, sailing sharpies, are a entertaining read. He really astounded the locals of the time with his sharpie feats of seamanship in the shallow inlets of that coast.

    5. The HandBook for Non-Macho Sailors - Katy Burke
      One Hand for Yourself, One for the Ship
      - Tristan Jones
      The Rigger's Apprentice - Brion Toss
      The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow
      - A.J. MacKinnon
      Everything by Pete Culler
      Captain Blood et al - Raphael Sabbatini
      Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
      Castaway - Lucy Irvine

    6. I dug simply sailing by Connie McBride too also as well.