Stand by - I will be adding great sailing books as time permits. I have included my comments on what I really think of each one - you can take them or leave them but they are there. Sailors are opinionated people!

Practical Yacht Handling by Eric Tabarly

Eric Tabarly is the worlds most famous yachtsman, as widely respected as a seaman as for his racing successes in singlehanded, crewed and multi-hulled boats. He has sailed his various Pen Duicks and now the trimaran  Paul Richard all over the world- in trans Atlantic, trans Pacific and round the world races as well as more conventional events in Europe, the USA and Australia and New Zealand.

This book is a distillation of his experience with many boats and recommendations for practical yacht seamanship-the handling of today's yachts, large and small with modern rigs, sails and hull types.

When reviewing advice from others on sailing and seamanship its very important that the person giving the advice know what he or she is talking about. Eric does. Its a much better idea learning the hard lessons this way so that you can apply them onboard your yacht. Eric has presented his ideas not in the form of theory but instead in the form of practical ideas with illustrations

Illustrations by Antoine Lamazou and they are excellent! Stanford Maritime . London Published 1980 ( English translation) 186 pages   ISBN 054007191 9 With dust jacket all in very good conditionSOLD


Edward Heath


A Course of My Life

184 pages hardcover with dust jacket,second reprint 1975, ISBN 0 283 98225X London


"This book will appeal to all those who sail, to beginners and to experts, to small boat owners and ocean racers." the dust jacket claims! Mr. Heath was elected as Prime Minister in 1970 and so was a pretty interesting fellow. I enjoy the writing style for example the way in which Mr. Heath introduces the famous yacht designer Olin Stephens.  The photos are excellent both colour and black and white and I agree with the dust jacket that claims the book is ... lavishly and superbly illustrated.." The photographs and printing are of particularly high quality making it a joy to read. Also the book introduces us to a world that few of us may aspire to but nearly all of us would find interesting to know about! The book is in very good condition. 

 $18 US


John De Graff Inc, New York. first published 1967, 1972 reprint, hard cover 7/12X10 illustrated, 304 pages, index.  Condition- this copy came from a blue water sailing yacht. The dust cover is is a bit ratty but it took up most of the wear. The book is in good condition with no loose or damaged pages. 

This is a classic. When you think of heavy weather sailing you think of Adlard Coles. Anyone that contemplates going offshore would be wise to read this book. I remember being out in a full Atlantic gale in my Navy days. At the time I was on a 565 fleet replenishment ship and the bridge was 65 feet above the deck. The entire 30,000 ton ship was being tossed around like a big cork and we were getting water from the waves smashing into the bridge. In Adlard Coles book there is a picture of a 65 foot wave and I can tell you from personal experience that even on a large ship the ocean can make you feel very small. I can only guess what it might be like on a 30 footer in extreme storm conditions. 

There are excellent pictures of waves in this book. If you have never seen "Spindrift" before there is a picture of it there. Again I can say that it looks exactly like the spindrift I have seen. Coles provides details on several storms and the effects it had on vessels and follows it all up with conclusions. 

I don't think its all that difficult to sale in light winds. But it is really difficult to sail a small vessel in bad weather and its time to apply all the knowledge you can get to help ensure the safety of your vessel and crew. 

I have no hesitation in recommending this classic to you! It would be wise to read it over occasionally and if space permits keep it on board.




ADRIFT -SEVENTY SIX DAYS LOST AT SEA by Steven Callahan 1986 and SURVIVAL by the US Airforce 1959

condition - both books are soft cover with wear the cover on Adrift is curling a bit which is sort of fitting given the title.  One book gives the official government doctrine on survival which is both useful and practical and the other gives a story of survival in a life raft after the sailboat sank! We don't like to think about it much but the Ocean is not hospitable to human life. Once you leave your vessel and basically go overboard you have a long list of problems to solve and quickly. In some waters you only have a few minutes before hyperthermia sets in. I decided to combine these two books because it seemed like a good idea to offer two views of how to survive and then let you choose.  Good Luck!!!

$15 for both


DONALD M STREET JR  First edition 1973

This is a classic for the cruising sailor. 703 pages, about twenty loose pages at the end. Dust jacket included and showing some wear, cover in good condition hardbound in blue cloth. The book being large and detailed with excellent illustrations covers most of what you should know when considering a cruising boat. This is a good reference book to have on board. 

If the book has any problems one might be that it is just too big and consequently trys to cover too much. 703 pages represents a lot of reading. There is an index and so the smart thing to do is use it and read what you need when you need to know it! There are a lot of good ideas. On page 560-561 Street recommends using British Seagull engines and gives solid reasons which still apply today. Mind you he does get his gear ratios wrong. ( the big seagulls have a 1:4 reduction gear not a 1:2 gear. And you still need to be a good mechanic to get the dependability out of them that they are capable of. A bad mechanic will ruin any outboard seagulls included. Nevertheless his heart is in the right space! 

There is also a useful glossary at the end of the book. There are so many parts on a boat that one's mind goes blank at times and you need to call it a "boat part" 

In his treatment of hull construction types I do not agree with everything Street has said. The book is now over 32 years old and some of the construction methods have proven themselves while others haven't. As an example Balsa cored boats have there problems but Street seemed to like them. If the book has any weakness this is one area where I suggest much more emphasis should have been placed. The hull IS the boat- its the main component. If the hull breaks or leaks the boat sinks. When fiberglass boats were first made they were make like tanks with huge thickness in the hull. Then, after the oil shortage in 1973 and the ever increasing prices builders started to skimp on hull thickness. In fact I saw one late 1980's 53 foot power boat holed at the bow region that had a shockingly thin hull. In any event Street has not seen fit to write much about the yachts hull construction material and little of the information he presents is useful as its pretty much common knowledge. 

The best parts of the book are on sailing and sailing equipment and area where I know little and could learn a lot from reading this book. 

Yes I do recommend this book. With a qualification that the reader should keep an open mind and test the ideas as they are presented. And that they should go to other books for guidance on hull construction material. There are a lot of really good ideas there and some not so good ones - you decide!

$35 US