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Old 05-04-2009
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Question Best book for high beginner?

Hi everyone, this is my first post on SailNet. I'm learning how to sail, took UCLA's Sailing I class and California Sailing Academy's level one class as well. What's the best book to have as your "second" sailing book? I own "Start Sailing Right", by Derrick Fries (pretty good, but basic), and "Sailing Fundamentals", by Gary Jobson (more thorough, but poorly written and edited). What would be a good book that covers some topics past the basics?
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The book I've recommended for years is David Seidman's The Complete Sailor, which is about $16 at the local bookstore.

Very well written, with good illustrations and covers a very wide breadth of sailing topics, history and theory in a fairly small book.
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If you plan to do any extended offshore sailing, a good book to read, which will give you an idea of how many things can go wrong - all at the same time - is John Rousmaniere's Fastnet, Force 10, the Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing you can find it on Amazon from $0.84 to $11.
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A very good book, but we're not trying to scare the poor guy off of the sport before he learns to sail...
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Originally Posted by johnshasteen View Post
If you plan to do any extended offshore sailing, a good book to read, which will give you an idea of how many things can go wrong - all at the same time - is John Rousmaniere's Fastnet, Force 10, the Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing you can find it on Amazon from $0.84 to $11.
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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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Thanks, John and Dog. Don't worry, I don't get scared that easily.

I've been seeing "The Complete Sailor" recommended by several people, I think I'll give it a try. Anyone else with suggestions?
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Well, there are other books, but it depends on what your eventual sailing goals are. Are you planning on racing, then there's a set of books geared towards that... are you planning on cruising, then there's a set of books geared towards that.
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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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nolatom will become famous soon enough
The best books in the world (and you have a couple of good ones already) won't teach you to sail as well as you just getting out on the tiller and doing it. Then, the books will make more sense.

I learned to sail without any books. Now, I teach it sometimes, with books. But sailing is more of a physical skill than an academic one. Both are necessary, but the way to learn sailing is to go out and sail. Then look at the book, and you'll realize what the theory is.
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I don't think I'll ever become a competitive racer, but I'd probably want to join some amateur races here and there just for fun. My main interest is cruising.

I'm in L.A., so I'd be going to Catalina Island, Channel Islands, probably up and down the coast some. But I'll also want to charter boats in locations such as the East Coast, Alaska, Caribbean, Mediterranean etc. in the future.

I don't think I'll be doing a lot of long offshore passages, but you never know.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
The best books in the world (and you have a couple of good ones already) won't teach you to sail as well as you just getting out on the tiller and doing it. Then, the books will make more sense.

I learned to sail without any books. Now, I teach it sometimes, with books. But sailing is more of a physical skill than an academic one. Both are necessary, but the way to learn sailing is to go out and sail. Then look at the book, and you'll realize what the theory is.
I agree that you can't learn to sail by reading a book, BUT they certainly do help. When I learned it was through a town course two days a week. I loved it so much that when I wasn't sailing, I would read everything I could about to teach myself more and more. Then when it was ready for the next lesson I could actually feel and see how what I read actually applied and worked. PLUS when you get bitten by the bug all you want to do is imerse yourself in anything sailing you can so a big part of that is laying in bed at night reading about sailing. SO he is right by saying to learn more get out and do it! but also read as much as you can about it.

One of the newer books I actually really liked is the New Complete Sailing Manual

Amazon.com: New Complete Sailing Manual: Steve Sleight: Books

It has a little bit of everything from dingy sailing to basic keelboat to boat maintenance, cruising, nav, etc. I'm pretty young (25) so I liked the fact that the book was newer and also had many photos and diagrams. This got me started but then I basically read everything under the sun about boats and sailing.
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nk235, I was bitten by the bug! Can you see that my posts are about 3 minutes apart from each other? I'm currently reading a beautiful book by the Smithsonian Institute, simply called "Ship", about the history of ships. Incredible pictures!
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