Join Date: Nov 2002
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Read any good books lately?
Calder''s book "Boatowners mechanical and electrical manual" is a very useful book.
Steve Dashews cruising encyclopedia has tons of good ideas in them. Some of his ideas are expensive but a lot are very practical and all but free. He writes well.
I have found Jimmy Cornel''s books to be poorly written and hard to get through. He has a lot of valuable stuff to say but really needs a good editor.
"In the Heart of the Sea" is a great book about the sinking of the Essex by a whale in the south pacific. This true story inspired Melvile to write "Moby Dick", which is another "must read" in my opinion.
I think that all of Eric Hiscocks books are still great reading although some of the technology is dated. He had a charming style. "Cruising Under Sail" is full of good ideas but, more important, I think he teaches how to analyze problems for yourself.
"The Yankee Stargazer" is out of print but I got a copy on the internet. It is the story of Nathaniel Bowditch. Bowditch wrote the original "American Practical Navigator" around the time of the American revolution. He was an incredible intellect who taught himself latin, french, and greek as well as making his fortune in the shipping trade out of Salem, Mass.
"Self Steering for Saling Craft" by John Letcher is a wonderful book that is now out of print. John was a graduate student at Cal Tech when he built a 22 ft plywood boat and sailed it to Hawaii and back. He has a real gift for taking the complex physics of hydrodynamics and aerodynamics and boiling them down to something that is easy for a non-engineer to understand.
The two volume set "The European Discovery of America" by Morrison is an excellent read. His biography of Columbus is also very good. It''s called "Admiral of the Ocean Seas". Morrison had a great enthusiasm for the adventures of the sea and it comes through in everything he wrote. He also wrote a multivolume naval history of WWII. I have not read that.
I have learned things from the Pardey''s books but don''t really agree with their minimalist approach to voyaging. Contrary to their view I have found the electronics on my boat to be among the most reliable of gear and the engine an essential piece of safety gear. I am also not a fan of oak buckets instead of a proper head.
This turned out to be longer than I expected. Once I realized that all my book shelves are in this room I had a lot of suggestions staring at me from the shelves.