SailNet Community banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My father has become obsessed with sailing. About a year and a half ago he purchased our first boat. For Christmas I'd like to get him a must read sailing book. He's got a million books already, so I need to find something that he doesn't already have in his collection. A majority of what he has are "how to" books.

Could anyone suggest a must read type of book. I'm looking for more of a story then a "how to" type of book.

Senior Member
19,488 Posts
There are plenty of books written by solo sailors, world cruisers, survivors, etc that make good reading, check any library's nautical section. Some that come to mind are:

Anything written by Myles and Beryl Smeeton

American Promise by Dodge Morgan

Survive the Savage Sea by Dougal Robertson(?)

and there are many others..

In the fiction department, Bernard Cornwall has written several sailing based mystery stories, enjoyable light reading, besides his various other historical novels. One of the greatest sailing stories IMO is still Stirling Hayden's "Voyage", a fictional story of one of the last Clipper ships built to sail round the Horn - very compelling.

Another way to go is to look at Ferenc Mate's series "The World's Best Sailboats" - a gorgeous "coffee table book" with wonderful photos and information on his view of the world's best builders - hours of enjoyable browsing and dreaming there.. there are two volumes.

And perhaps a subscription to a sailing magazine that he may not have, there are some exotic ones,(Superyachts) some British ones (Yachting Monthly) that offer a different perspective, the large format US magazing "Sailing" is another good one... these are not normally at a run-of-the-mill magazine rack.

Good luck, Christmas is fast approaching!

504 Posts
Once Is Enough by Miles Smeeton
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Proving Ground by G. Bruce Knecht
A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols
Heavy Weather Sailing by Adlard Coles
Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum
Voyage of the Liberdade by Joshua Slocum
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana
Gypsy Moth Circles The World by Francis Chichester
The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
Alone Through the Roaring Forties by Victor Dumas
The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier
The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall
Chapman: Piloting and Seamanship by Elbert S. Maloney
Fastnet: Force 10 by John Rousmaniere
In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton
The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
Close to the Wind by Pete Goss
The Biggest Boat I Could Afford by Lee Hughes
The Godforsaken Sea by Derek Lundy
Desperate Voyage by John Caldwell
Ship of Gold by Gary Kinder
Blown Away by Herb Payson
Sea Sense by Richard Henderson
The Magnificent Savages by Fred Mustard Stewart
The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual by Allan Vaitses
Sailboat Refinishing by Don Casey
The Saga of Cimba by Richard Maury
The Finely Fitted Yacht by Ferenc Mate
The Incredible Voyage by Tristan Jones
Isaac's Storm by Eric Larson
Fatal Storm by Rob Mundle
Sails for Racing by John Heyes
Racing Crew by Malcolm McKeag and Bill Edgerton
The Pirates Lafitte: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf by William Davis
Two Against Cape Horn by Hal Roth
40000 Miles In A Canoe by John Voss

17,467 Posts
Just finished reading "Heavy Weather Sailing 6th Edition". Buy it. It's a page turner - and provides an extremely useful perspective and great technical knowledge. I'm just dreading the day I actually make use of it.

Telstar 28
993 Posts
Cruising At Last, by Elliott Merrick,

Catboat Summers, by John E. Conway.

North to the Night, by Alvah Simon

Flirting with Mermaids, by John Kretschmer

1,106 Posts
I really enjoyed Kevin Patterson's "The Water in Between". It's different than most 'sailing' books as it's primarily an introspective travelogue. It has some good sailing parts, though. Very well written. Another great read is Sir Francis Chichester's "The lonely Sea and the Sky" which describes his amazing feats on the sea and in the air. First-rate adventure and well-written. He was an interesting man by any measure. For any Portuguese readers (Giu) try "Aventuras no Mar" by the Brazilian Helio Setti Jr. I'm on the last pages and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. He's quite a character!

Larus Marinus
1,756 Posts
Look up the author Tristan Jones in There's a whole series of them.

Or if he likes something more swashbuckling, the series by Patrick O'Brian makes a good read.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts