I read David Seidman's The Complete Sailor cover to cover half a dozen times, and crewed on a 3 day offshore trip with an experienced sailor/racer. After that, I had no problems sailing my C22.
I still look at the book at least once on every sailing trip to look at a knot, etc- it's an amazingly good book! It's very visual- lot's of really detailed pencil sketches which illustrate points far better than the glossy photos most books use.
That's why I recommend this book over every other one out there...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.