The Best Sailing and Boating Books on the Planet

The Best Sailing and Boating Books on the Planet

What are The Best Sailing and Boating Books on the Planet available today that are relevant?  Below you will find the best books in sailing and boating from Navigation and Rules of the Road, How to Sail, Solo and Singlehanded sailing, sailboat cruising, and so much more.  Here are some of the top sailing and boating questions that are answered.  

1. What are the Best Mandatory Sailing and Boating Books You Need To Have Onboard?

2. What are the Best Sailing and Boating Reference Books You Need To Have Onboard?

3. What are the Best Sailing and Boating Books for Beginners and Newbies?

4. What are the Best Sailing and Boating Cruising Books?

5. What are the Best Singlehanded Sailing or Solo Sailing Books?

6. What are the Best Sailing and Boating Books to Read?

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

My Review

What does that buoy in the distance mean?  What kind of ship is running that light configuration?  The Navigation Rules & Regulations Handbook (Nav Rules) contains the essentials of boating protocol and safety. It is the reference manual every boat should carry and every skipper should be intimately familiar with. So valuable in fact, that the US Coast Guard REQUIRES a copy onboard all vessels 12 meters (approximately 36′) or more in length: 34;33 CFR 83.01(g) requires: “The operator of each self-propelled vessel 12 meters or more in length shall carry, onboard and maintain for ready reference, a copy of these Rules.”

Publishers Description

Current edition of Navigation Rules & Regulations Inland and International colregs. This book meets USCG carriage requirements, REQUIRED on-board all vessels over 12 meters, approximately 36 feet in length. Covers Inland Navigation Rules and Current edition of Navigation Rules & Regulations Inland and International colregs. Used for USCG licensing exams, the principles described in this book are critical for safe navigation. Paradise Cay Publications offers Notice to Mariners changes incorporated within the text for the best up-to-date version of this publication. MORE ABOUT NAV RULES: International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. Used for USCG licensing exams, the principles described in this book are critical for safe navigation. Paradise Cay Publications offers Notice to Mariners changes incorporated within the text for the best up-to-date version of this publication. The Navigation Rules & Regulations Handbook (Nav Rules) contains the essentials of boating protocol and safety. This handbook is a compendium produced by the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Standards Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC, of the: International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS); Inland Navigation Rules (33 CFR 83); their respective technical annexes (33 CFR 84-90); COLREGS Demarcation Lines (33 CFR 80); Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Regulations, (33 CFR 26); Vessel Traffic Management Regulations (33 CFR 161); and, various other pertinent provisions of the U.S. Code and Code of Federal Regulations regarding compliance and penalties associated with the Navigation Rules.

Here are its last corrigenda (April 28th, 2020) 

My Review

The “Go-To” book encompasses so much knowledge that you will use it constantly.  You can find this book on almost every boat or sailboat on the water because everyone knows the value of the information inside.  

Publishers Description

For a century, Chapman has been an indispensable, trusted resource for boating under power and sail. It has sold millions of copies, and is a must-have for virtually anyone who puts a craft on water. Featuring 1,500 color photos, this updated edition covers new technologies, maritime laws and regulations, safety tips, and maintenance, as well as complete discussions of weather, tides, currents, and navigation. From anchors and knots to sailing theory and sail-handling systems, Chapman Piloting and Seamanship explains absolutely everything you need to know.

My Review

When we sailed across the Pacific Ocean (twice) we always had paper charts as a backup and we even had two iPads with Navigational software (which was a blessing, since one of the iPads’ navigation software died a thousand miles out at sea – that’s another story).  Knowing how to read a chart on paper or via Navigational software is a skill every mariner should have.  This book give you all the information you need to feel secure at sea or in the inland waterways.  

Publishers Description

The classic How to Read a Nautical Chart explains every aspect of electronic and paper nautical charts: how a chart is assembled, how to gauge the accuracy of chart data, how to read charts created by other governments, how to use information such as scale, projection technique and datum that every chart contains; how not to get fooled or run aground by overzooming. Nigel Calder teaches you how to squeeze every ounce of information out of a nautical chart (on your GPS, chartplotter, or nav station) and understand the limits of accuracy for all charts, paper and electronic, raster and vector.

This much-awaited second edition addresses the changes in the world of electronic charting, integrated onboard navigation systems, as well as radar overlays and AIS and their interfacing with charts. A new chapter on the Wiki Revolution explores the mechanisms allowing you to incorporate user-generated content into navigational products and share this content with others―harnessing a user-base never before possible. Calder also explores how 3D-technology and real-time depth and weather information is creating interactive charting capacities that are fundamentally changing how we navigate. Calder’s unique, practical insights will help you to navigate safely for years to come.

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My Review

We used our Ship’s Log from the moment we purchased our yacht.  You can document all of your yacht’s information as well as log all of your ports of entry and departure.  We also used our log to note a variety of information that we wanted to keep for future reference.   

Publishers Description

  • ⚓ SHIP’S LOG DESIGNED TO BE FLEXIBLE AND DURABLE while OPENING COMPLETELY FLAT to easily Record Information on Vessel Log Book
  • RECORD LOG BOOK SIMPLIFIES REPAIRS BY TRACKING: Manufacturers, Serial and Part #’s of Major Components for EASY REPLACEMENT
  • INCLUDES SHIP’S LOG DIARY PAGES to record each EXCURSION while UNDERWAY with the MOST CRITICAL INFORMATION
  • ️ SHIP’S LOG FEATURES Engine, Generator and Battery specifications, Maintenance and Repair information, Pre-Start and Equipment Check List, etc.
  • GREAT BIRTHDAY PRESENT, BOATING GIFT OR BOAT GIFTS. Record Notes & Events for SPECIAL MEMORIES with FRIENDS & FAMILY

My Review

Not all of us were born with a healthy knowledge of boating mechanical and electrical know-how, so this book is perfect to help you along.  Great for boating and sailing professionals and the newbie.  

Publishers Description

If it’s on a boat and it has screws, wires, or moving parts, it’s covered in Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual. When you leave the dock with this indispensable resource aboard, you have at your fingertips the best and most comprehensive advice on:

    • Battery technologies, including recent developments in lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells
    • 12- and 24-volt DC systems
    • Electric and hybrid propulsion
    • How to radically improve the energy efficiency of most boats
    • Corrosion, bonding, and lightning protection
    • Generators, inverters, battery chargers , wind and water generators, and solar power
    • Electric motors and electric lights
    • Marine electronics, including networking systems, antennas, and RFI
    • Diesel engines
    • Transmissions, shaft brakes, and propellers
    • Refrigeration and air-conditioning
    • Tanks, plumbing, and through-hulls
    • Pumps and watermakers
    • Steering, autopilots, and wind vanes
    • Stoves and heaters
    • Winches, windlasses, and bow thrusters
    • Spars, rigging, and roller reefing

My Review

I learned a lot from this book.  All boaters and sailors need to be self-sufficient and this book helps you do just that, by teaching you the best ways to fix and maintain all aspects of your boat’s diesel engine.  

Publishers Description

Keep your diesel engine going with help from a master mechanic

Marine Diesel Engines has been the bible for do-it-yourself boatowners for more than 15 years. Now updated with information on fuel injection systems, electronic engine controls, and other new diesel technologies, Nigel Calder’s bestseller has everything you need to keep your diesel engine running cleanly and efficiently. Marine Diesel Engines explains how to:

  • Diagnose and repair engine problems
  • Perform routine and annual maintenance
  • Extend the life and improve the efficiency of your engine

My Review

If you’re going to purchase a boat or already have a boat, then you will need to know how to maintain it properly.  This book is packed full of useful information both for the boating newbie and for the skilled yachtsman.  Worth having in your library.  

Publishers Description

Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual combines six core volumes into a single, utterly dependable resource that answers every frequent question, explains every major system, and helps you keep your boat and its components shipshape.

More than 2,500 clear and detailed illustrations guide you step by step through every procedure. Casey’s technical virtuosity, his user-friendly explanations, and Peter Compton’s diesel engine expertise make even the more complicated repairs and improvements easy to understand. This must-have guide saves you time, money, and grief as you learn the fastest, easiest, most effective ways to:

  • Evaluate the condition of your boat or one you’re about to purchase
  • Repair structural damage to your fiberglass sailboat
  • Improve or repair your sailboat’s electrical system
  • Troubleshoot, maintain, and repair your boat’s diesel engine
  • Put a professional-looking finish on your boat’s hull, deck, spars, wood, and trim
  • Make and repair sails, sail covers, dodgers, awnings, sailbags, and bimini tops

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What are the Best Sailing and Boating Books for Beginners and Newbies?

My Review

We all have to learn somehow.  For me, I chose to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard and serving four-plus years to get my sea time, and then my wife and I took all the sailing schools to prepare for our “around the Pacific” sail.  For those just starting out, this book covers all the basics and offers quite a bit of valuable information for sailing.  

Publishers Description

Interested in learning to sail but feel like you’re navigating in murky waters? Sailing for Dummies, Second Edition introduces the basics of sailing, looks at the different types of sailboats and their basic parts, and teaches you everything you need to know before you leave the dock.

In Sailing for Dummies, Second Edition, two U.S. sailing champions show you how to:

  • Find and choose a sailing school
  • Use life jackets correctly
  • Tie ten nautical knots
  • Handle sailing emergencies (such as capsizing and rescuing a man overboard)
  • Launch your boat from a trailer, ramp, or beach
  • Get your boat from point A to point B (and back again)
  • Predict and respond to water and wind conditions
  • Read charts, plot your course, use a compass, and find your position at sea

Sailing for Dummies shows you that getting out on the water is easier than you think. The authors keep the sailor-speak to a minimum where possible, but give you a grasp of the terminology you need to safely and effectively communicate with your crew. A textbook, user’s manual, and reference all in one, this book takes the intimidation out of sailing and gives you the skills and confidence you need to get your feet wet and become the sailing pro you’ve always wanted to be. Anchors away!

My Review

Whether you’re a novice or experienced skipper, everything you need to know about sailing is in this book. From the first page, you will get great insight into sailing and all the intricacies involved in a variety of sailing craft.  

Publishers Description

A market leader in sailing guides, the fourth edition of The Complete Sailing Manual is packed with informative text from former British national champion Steve Sleight, and includes a foreword by Olympic gold medalist Sir Ben Ainslie. Steve Sleight’s expert advice is brought to life with breathtaking action photography and clear illustrations. This invaluable guide offers extensive coverage of sailing practice, including foiling catamarans, apparent wind sailing, long-distance cruising, and electronic navigation.

From tying knots and boat care to vital equipment, learn all you need to know to become a sailor and boat owner. Further your understanding of the sport and develop your technique with information on the science and physics of sailing a boat. The Complete Sailing Manual also shows you how to become a confident competitor with tips on the etiquette, rules, and techniques of racing a course.

Packed with essential information, handy diagrams, and step-by-step artwork, this is only sailing handbook you need when out on the waves.

My Review

Although we went to US Sailing School to gain most of our sailing education, we completely recommend The American Sailing Association’s Sailing Made Easy book, as it is concise, to the point, and gives a new sailor all the critical information needed to begin sailing safely and with skill.  Of course, there is nothing like being taught in real life (we highly recommend a physical sailing school).  

Publishers Description

The book is the most comprehensive education and boating safety learn-to-sail guide to date. Incorporated in the textbook are useful illustrations and exceptional photographs of complex sailing concepts. There are also quizzes at the end of each chapter, and a glossary to help those new to sailing to navigate their way through the extensive nautical terminology.

My Review

With a book name like Sailing Fundamentals, this book has everything you need to begin sailing with confidence and skill.  Sailing a boat comes easy once you know how it all works but the learning curve is steep.  Just knowing sailing technical jargon takes quite a while.  This book with help quite a bit.  

Publishers Description

With over 150 line drawings and photographs, and clear, detailed coursework covering every aspect of beginning sailing—from hoisting sail to docking and anchoring—Sailing Fundamentals is the authoritative text designed to prepare the learning sailor for certification according to international standards.

Written by America’s foremost instructional authority, the new edition of Sailing Fundamentals is the official learn-to-sail manual of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Sailing Fundamentals is also used in the programs of yacht clubs, colleges, and sailing groups around the country. Unlike many sailing books, which can reflect the biases and idiosyncrasies of their authors, this book has been extensively pretested to ensure that it offers the fastest, easiest, most systematic way to learn basic sailing and coastal cruising.

Widely acclaimed author Gary Jobson has won several major races, including the 1977 America’s Cup victory as tactician aboard Courageous. He was head sailing coach at the US Naval Academy, and has conducted sailing clinics across the country.

My Review

If you want to sail with confidence, you will need to know sailing knots.  In this Book of Sailing Knots, you will learn all the fundamentals of sailing knots and why and how they are used.  Trust me, you will want to know all of these knots.  

Publishers Description

In recent years, sailing has undergone some revolutionary changes: Satellites and autopilots are now used for navigation. Artificial-fiber and wire ropes have nearly replaced natural-fiber ropes. But when it comes to decorative knotting, natural fiber is still the favored choice. This book is tops when it comes to learning how to master tying the most common sailing knots. With fully illustrated and step-by-step instructions, the author explains how to correctly tie and use more than fifty knots―including stopper knots, bends, loops, and hitches―and in which situations each one is most useful.

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What are the Best Sailing and Boating Cruising Books?

My Review

This was one of the first books I went to when I purchased my new boat.  I could just look at all the sailing destinations around the world and fantasize.  The information in this book is continuously updated on www.noonsite.com, Jimmy Cornell’s website for cruising sailors.  This website is FULL of great information. 

Publishers Description

World Cruising Handbook is a companion volume to Jimmy Cornell’s internationally best-selling World Cruising Routes and contains invaluable practical information on all aspects of cruising worldwide. The third edition of the World Cruising Handbook has been thoroughly revised to bring it in line with the enormous changes brought about by the Internet revolution. Entries for all 185 maritime nations of the world have been thoroughly revised in order to gather together in a single volume all the practical information anyone would need when planning to sail anywhere in the world.

Section I cover matters of general interest such as cruising formalities, health precautions, and radio and satellite communications.

Section II describes the history, economy, political situation, culture, climate, language, and religion of 185 countries and dependencies, as well as giving an insight into the cruising attractions of each country. Detailed information is provided on:

  • Ports of entry
  • Customs, health, and immigration requirements
  • Clearance procedures, cruising permits, and bonds
  • Ports, marinas and technical facilities
  • Local time, currency, business hours, public holidays, electricity, etc.

Section III contains information on IALA buoyage, U.S. and British chart agents worldwide, and a glossary of useful terms in several languages.

World Cruising Handbook is the indispensable reference guide for long-distance sailors.

My Review

So much information!  The updated World Cruising Routes book will really help with route planning for cruising sailors.  You can plan your sea voyages from basically anywhere in the world.  

Publishers Description

Revised and reprinted 2019. Reprinted October 2019 with updated information on the latest weather phenomena that have occurred since the publication of this edition in 2018. Long established as the bible for long-distance cruisers and a bestseller since its first publication in 1987, World Cruising Routes is a comprehensive guide to over 1,000 routes covering all the oceans of the world from the tropical South Seas to the high-latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctic. The most important changes in the fully revised eighth edition (2018) focus on the effects of climate change, especially on routes that are vulnerable to changing weather conditions. All routes influenced by tropical cyclones have been updated to take into account the risk of less predictable tropical storm seasons. The information on certain routes has also been updated in view of the current global weather data used in the latest edition of Cornells Ocean Atlas. Geared specifically to the needs of cruising sailors, the eighth edition provides over 6,000 waypoints to assist navigators in planning individual passages. It is the perfect one-stop reference for planning a voyage anywhere in the world.

My Review

This book is kind of like the World Cruising Handbook but with some different information and a different take on sailing world cruise destinations.  Definitely worth having in your sailing cruising library.  

Publishers Description

Ocean Passages and Landfalls is a handbook for world cruisers. It provides invaluable passage-planning information for crossing the oceans, with discussions on climates, seasons, oceanography and the merits of different world cruising routes. The heart of the book is an ocean-by-ocean round-up, and at the beginning of each of these sections is a discription of routes, followed by information on the countries relevant to these routes. Details of formalities and regulations are then followed by essential information on key harbours and landfalls. This second edition has been thoroughly revised and enlarged and now features new sections on chosen areas and topics – the Atlantic Circuit or Cruising on Ice, for instance. Here the opportunity has been taken to provide more informal commentary and observations based on first-hand experience. These sections are illustrated by the author’s colour photos, many of which have been taken during the production of this new edition and sent in from far-flung parts of the oceans: Rod Heikell in the South Pacific and the Torres Strait, and Andy O’Grady in Brazil and the high latitudes of Chile. As an up-to-date reference for world cruising this new edition of Ocean Passages and Landfalls sets the benchmark as both practical reference and also as a book for dreamers.

My Review

This cruising book reads like a novel and gives the reader an amazing amount of great advice from someone who has done over 200,000 nautical miles of sailing and cruising.  Thumbs up for sure!

Publishers Description

A new classic from one of the world’s most respected sailing authors

More than 35 years ago, Hal Roth quit his job as a journalist and went sailing. Since then, he’s logged more than 200,000 sea miles. Along the way, Roth also has authored eight voyaging classics, including the 1978 bestseller After 50,000 Miles.

Taking that book as its starting point, this handsome new volume incorporates the new technologies and discoveries of the last quarter-century along with another 150,000 miles of experience.

A compendium of mature, time-tested sea wisdom from one of the world’s most respected sailing writers, How to Sail Around the World will tell the reader:

  • How to choose and equip a sailboat for long-distance cruising, with an emphasis on simplicity and a modest budget
  • How to plan and conduct a voyage anywhere in the world
  • How to master the arts of navigation, anchoring, and daily life aboard in exotic places
  • How to cope with storms at sea–the most complete and authoritative treatise on this critical topic ever published

My Review

Praised by respected magazines and authors, The Voyager’s Handbook is a must to have on your sailing vessel if you plan any extended voyage.  Packed with useful information, you will learn almost all you need to know about sailboat and boating cruising (with the exception of actually doing it).  🙂 

Publishers Description

“Belongs in the bookshelf of every cruising vessel.”―Blue Water Sailing

“If you are serious about that extended voyage, read The Voyager’s Handbook.”―Sailing

“Every now and then a new voice emerges in the world of sailing literature that stands out, a voice that is both clear and of lasting quality. The appearance of such a new voice is something of an event, and that’s what we’d call the publication of The Voyager’s Handbook.”―Blue Water Sailing

This inspirational and comprehensive manual leads you step by step through every aspect of choosing, planning, and following the voyager’s life. Using three example boats representing three cruising lifestyles―SimplicityModeration, and Highlife―Beth Leonard helps make your bluewater dreams come true, whether you’re sailing on a shoestring or a CEO’s pension. Starting with the things you can’t do without―an enthusiastic crew, a seaworthy boat, and, of course, money―Leonard offers sage advice on how to select crewmembers who are truly committed to the voyage, how to choose the right boat for you, and how to find just the right approach to financing your voyage and making the most of every dollar spent.

Managing life from a floating home and keeping that home livable, seaworthy, and safe requires you to become, among other things, the ship’s purser, engineer, doctor, cook, and cruise director. You’ll discover how to prepare for these new roles and put necessary equipment and arrangements in place before you untie your docklines. This exquisitely detailed guide also helps you master the skills you’ll need to handle a boat at sea with a small crew, including

  • Weather forecasting
  • Passage planning
  • Watchkeeping
  • Heavy-weather sailing
  • Emergency management
  • Midocean repairs

Complete with dozens of easy-to-use graphs and tables for quick reference, along with the hard-won wisdom of experienced cruisers, The Voyager’s Handbook is the ultimate resource for anyone who is planning, preparing for, or just dreaming about a great adventure on the high seas.

My Review

While cruising down the Mexican coastline, this book was as good as it gets.  Packed full of incredible information, we referenced it every day.  I could go on and on about how much grief this book saved me, so if you are cruising Mexico at all, you HAVE to get this book.  Capt. Rains also has books on sailing Central American and more.  If you are cruising elsewhere look for these types of guidebooks.  Worth every cent!

Publishers Description

This nautical guidebook for cruising boaters is updated to June 2018, so it’s the most up to date. Contains 398 pages, 185 GPS charts, 450 color photos: written by professional mariners, experienced & active yacht cruisers. Mile by mile, no gaps: Mexico Boating Guide covers the outside of Baja, the entire Sea of Cortez (100s of destinations) to Puerto Vallarta, down the Pacific mainland Gold Coast and Costa del Sur to the new Puerto Chiapas. This nautical guidebook is a Must-have for the Baja Ha Ha and Cubar participants. GPS charts of the tiny cruising anchorages, villages, ports for fuel, provisions, all the marinas, haul-out yards, local services. Rains’ 185 GPS-accurate charts were created on site to show anchoring details for tiny bays that are too small to appear with sufficient accuracy on government charts. Rains’ 450 photos are jaw-dropping beautiful, but show critical approaches by sea, not just pretty sunsets. No fluff. Crew List form, Resource Directory to all the marinas, fuel docks, haul-out yards for repair or dry storage. Made in the USA, the Rains Guide is the most accurate, up to date and thorough authority for cruising recreational boats in Pacific Mexico.

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What are the Best Singlehanded Sailing or Solo Sailing Books?

Publishers Description

“It takes thousands of hours of sailing to get the kind of knowledge contained in this book.” — from the Foreword by Bruce Schwab

The ONLY bible for how to sail your boat fast, safe, and alone

Solo sailing is within any sailor’s grasp with a little forethought–and this essential guide.

Got a 35-foot sailboat? No problem. Is the wind blowing 20 knots? No problem. Are you racing offshore overnight? Even better. Singlehander Andrew Evans learned the hard way how to sail and race alone–with lots of mishaps, including broaches and a near tumbling over a waterfall–and in Singlehanded Sailing he shares the techniques, tips, and tactics he has developed to make his solo sailing adventures safe and enriching.

Learn everything you need to know to meet any solo challenge, including:

  • Managing the power consumption aboard a boat to feed the electric autopilot
  • Setting and gybing a spinnaker
  • Finding time to sleep
  • Dealing with heavy weather

Publishers Description

The vast majority of sailing yacht scenarios comprise a couple sailing the boat together, needing to carry out all maneuvers and activities themselves with no help from a back-up crew. Their boat handling, navigation, sail handling, anchoring, and mooring skills all have to be carried out both efficiently and effectively, preferably with a minimum of physical effort (to conserve energy).

But most sailing technique books assume a crew of three or four, all willing to lend a hand. This book is therefore a first, addressing the most common sailing scenarios that anyone cruising will have to deal with, and providing clever, original, highly effective (and most important, successfully tried and tested by the author) techniques and solutions for dealing with the huge variety of essential operations on a boat–from sail setting and reefing; to picking up mooring buoys in a variety of wind and tide situations; to anchoring, berthing, and leaving a pontoon shorthanded; to picking up a man overboard; to sailing in fog and heavy weather–and even going up the mast.

This book will be a godsend to anyone sailing solo or shorthanded–including couples with young children who need to be supervised by one parent whilst the other runs the boat.

Organized into techniques for different cruising scenarios, the book features step-by-step sequential photos showing exactly how to approach each situation and carry out the task at hand.

Publishers Description

A nice illustrated edition honoring the 125th anniversary of Joshua Slocum’s voyage around the world.

Our version has:

  • A cover based on the first edition dust jacket.
  • 66 original illustrations.
  • The complete, unabridged text.
  • Appendix with plans of the sloop Spray.

Sailing Alone Around the World is a sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum in 1900 about his single-handed global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray. Slocum was the first person to sail around the world alone. The book was an immediate success and highly influential in inspiring later travelers. Slocum rebuilt and refitted the derelict sloop Spray in a seaside pasture at Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Between 24 April 1895 and 27 June 1898, he crossed the Atlantic twice (to Gibraltar and back to South America), negotiated the Strait of Magellan, and crossed the Pacific. He also visited Australia and South Africa before crossing the Atlantic (for the third time) to return to Massachusetts after a journey of 46,000 miles.

Publishers Description

Abby Sutherland grew up sailing.

Her father, Laurence, a shipwright, and her mother, Marianne, wanted their kids to develop responsibility, to see other cultures, to experience the world instead of watching it on TV. So they took them sailing down the coast of Mexico… for three years.
 
When Abby was thirteen, she began helping her father deliver boats and soon was sailing solo. She loved being on the open ocean, the spray in her face, the wind in her hair. She began to dream of sailing the world.  
 
But fewer people have successfully solo-circumnavigated the globe than have traveled into space. It is a challenge so immense that many have died trying, and all have been pushed beyond every physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual limit.
 
In Unsinkable, you will follow Abby into the depths through a gripping and evocative firsthand account that starts prior to her departure, travels through her daring (and sometimes near-death) encounters on the open sea, to her dramatic rescue in the remotest part of the Indian Ocean. Today, when the most productive thing a teenager may do is play video games, Abby’s courage and tenacity show us all what can happen when we choose to challenge our own limits, embrace faith, and aim for what our critics say is impossible.
 
It was pitch-black out and whitewater was crashing over the boat. The wintry wind screamed across the deck, and I could tell it was now holding up near fifty knots. Imagine standing on the roof of a car that’s driving down the freeway.  That’s how hard it was blowing.
 
At that moment, a huge gust hit the mainsail like a train. The boat heeled over to port as if a giant hand had smacked her down, and I tumbled over the top of the mainsail toward the water…
 
On January 23, 2010, sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland set sail from Marina del Rey, California, in an attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop, and unassisted around the world.  Immediately, her trip sparked controversy. What was a girl her age doing undertaking such a voyage? What were her parents thinking?
 
Abby’s critics predicted she’d make it a few weeks at most. But sailing south, she proved them wrong and became the youngest person to solo around Cape Horn, the “Mt. Everest of sailing.” Crossing the Southern and Atlantic oceans, she battled vicious storms and equipment breakdowns? making one critical repair literally with a nail file and some line. Abby bested the wicked waters at the southern tip of Africa and then entered the Indian Ocean? all twenty-seven million square miles of it.
 
Even less than a hundred years ago, having your boat become disabled in the middle of the Indian’s immense rolling reaches was as good as a death sentence. The odds are better now, but not much. It was here that Abby Sutherland encountered the violent storms that would test her mettle and her will to survive? and change her life forever.

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What are the Best Sailing and Boating Books to Read?

My Review

 

One of the most respected couples in the sailing genre.  Lin and Larry Pardey have sailed to more places than most can even dream.  In this book, they share some sage advice and you will learn how it all began.  

Publishers Description

 

To anyone interested in small-boat cruising and voyaging, the names Lin and Larry Pardey need no introduction. As world-girdling sailors who roamed the planet on a pair of small, engineless boats that they built themselves, the Pardeys established their hard-earned reputations by eloquently (and sometimes controversially) telling their stories through a series of best-selling books and manuals, and countless seminars and boat shows. They have been called the first couple of cruising and have remained true to their mantra: Go simple, go small, go now. And after 200,000 miles of cruising under sail, they ve demonstrated that the dream of voyaging over the horizon is not only attainable, it s affordable. The children of modest, middle-class families, their message of accessibility into the world of cruising of taking your own floating home anywhere has proved irresistible to tens of thousands of sailors. Lin and Larry Pardey became cruising royalty not solely due to their impressive deeds but also through their rare ability to share what they d learned across multiple media. Seemingly every offshore cruiser knows who they are and what they represent. Or do they? In As Long as It s Fun, the biography of Lin and Larry Pardey, Herb McCormick recounts their remarkable sailing career from their early days in Southern California to their two circumnavigations to their current life in a quiet cove in New Zealand. Through interviews with their families, friends, and critics, McCormick delves deeply into the couple s often-controversial opinions, sometimes-tenuous marriage, and amazing list of accomplishments. As Long as It s Fun is as much a love story as it is a sea yarn, and, like all such stories, it s not without complications . . . which makes it not only a sailing tale but also a human one.

My Review

You don’t have to be a sailor to appreciate this book.  It was written in 1952 and unless you have heard of this book before, it could still be set in today’s age.  If you appreciate great literature, you will love this book.  Timeless. 

Publishers Description

Ernest Hemingway’s most beloved and popular novel ever, with millions of copies sold—now featuring early drafts and supplementary material as well as a personal foreword by the only living son of the author, Patrick Hemingway, and an introduction by the author’s grandson Seán Hemingway.

The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and the Sea has proved itself to be one of the enduring works of American fiction. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novel confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

My Review

You may have seen the movie and of course, the book is better.  Keeps you on the edge of your seat while reading about survival at sea and ingenuity that helps Tami in time of despair.  

Publishers Description

New York Times Bestseller

The heart-stopping memoir, soon to be a major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, and directed by Baltasar Kormákur (Everest).

“An inspirational and empowering read.”—Shailene Woodley

Young and in love, their lives ahead of them, Tami Oldham and her fiancé Richard Sharp set sail from Tahiti under brilliant blue skies, with Tami’s hometown of San Diego as their ultimate destination. But the two free spirits and avid sailors couldn’t anticipate that less than two weeks into their voyage, they would sail directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. They found themselves battling pounding rain, waves the size of skyscrapers, and 140 knot winds. Richard tethered himself to the boat and sent Tami below to safety, and then all went eerily quiet. Hours later, Tami awakened to find the boat in ruins, and Richard nowhere in sight.

Adrift is the story of Tami’s miraculous forty-one-day journey to safety on a ravaged boat with no motor and no masts, and with little hope for rescue. It’s a tale of love and survival on the high seas– an unforgettable story about resilience of the human spirit, and the transcendent power of love.

My Review

One of the most incredible stories of survival, the will to live and never giving up on your sailing crew you will ever read.  This true story should be in every sailor’s library and will most likely be read over and over again.  A truly remarkable story.  

Publishers Description

Experience one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age: The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole.

In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day’s sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic’s heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.

In Endurance, the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton’s fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.

My Review

This is the first novel of the Dirk Pitt adventures from Clive Cussler.  I have read all of his books and he has so many characters that you will constantly be entertained.  Almost all books are nautically themed in one way or another.  So many books that you will be entertained for weeks or months.  I also listen to all of these books on Audiobooks while sailing, so I can keep a good watch and still be entertained.  

Publishers Description

Dirk Pitt, death-defying adventurer and deep-sea expert, is put to the ultimate test as he plunges into the perilous waters of the Pacific Vortex—a fog-shrouded area where dozens of ships have vanished without a trace. The latest victim is the awesome supersub Starbuck, bearing America’s deep-diving nuclear arsenal. Its loss poses an unthinkable threat to national defense. Pitt’s job is to find it and salvage it before international forces beat him to the prize or the sea explodes in a nuclear blast—whichever comes first. Pitt’s mission also leads him into the arms of Summer Moran, the most stunningly exotic and dangerous woman ever to enter his life. As the countdown heads toward disaster, Pitt has no choice but to descend through the shark-infested depths to an ancient sunken island, from which he may never again emerge to see the light of day.

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