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post #28 of Old 02-09-2008
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Yes, I agree. Leonard's no amateur, but she retains enough humility or at least honesty about her mistakes and foul-ups to make the materials seem approachable. This is combined with budget breakdowns and various "degrees of complexity" to which one, or one's line of credit, can aspire. There's also a fair degree of realism about how much money you can make in transit: not much, so start saving now...

I love those older, crustier guys like Hiscock and Roth, because they have such a high degree of internalized seamanship (they had to, as nobody was going to save their asses when they were out there, and facilities were slim to none). Unfortunately, this means for the general reader that a lot of stuff doesn't make sense. I remember reading the otherwise excellent Roth book "How to Sail Around the World", when Roth decides around 1990 (he's already pretty old at this point) to buy a Santa Cruz 50 and solo circumnavigate. What follows are what he's learned...but not how he could afford to buy a 50 footer with enough gadgets and mechanical aids for an old salt to consider going around the world in it! Some of the practicalities, admittedly the less glamorous stuff, is missing. Later, Roth decides that a 35 foot Pretorian is ideal, and he and his wife move aboard...I guess he got a nice pile of cash for the SC50!

It's not as ridiculously stiff upper lip as the Smeatons' prose:

"Beryl's arm was broken, our cabin was torn off and the rudder stock was bent. 100 miles east was the lee shore of rock-fanged Chile. 'Never mind, dear,' said Beryl, 'tea's up!' After the obliging 50 knot gale had cooled it, I downed my trusty mug, and three pitchpoles later, we had a new deck. Forty hours of bucket work cleared the bilges AND put out the fire. Jolly good! That night, we deserved our extra Hovis biscuit, which unfortunately stank of kerosene."
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