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There is already an extensive list on this going back several years somewhere round here.

"A Voyage for Madmen."

"The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst."
 

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the complete sailor, learning the art of sailing by David Seidman ..... this is the book all new sailors should rea, if they read no others
low resistance boats by Thomas Firth Jones
dove by Robin Lee Graham
 

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A Sail of Two Idiots, Renee Petrillo

an adventure, humor, how to... and one of the most recent I've read. Not sure if the fact it was written by a woman --- who did most of the navigation and helm work of the sailing --- had anything to do with it.

Should point out there is an excellent book thread here: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/apps-authors/18184-recommended-reading.html

also --- a small thread, but large lists: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/65865-recommended-book-lists.html

_____
Titus Tiger

Rock the rogers
 

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Any or all of Bernard Moitessier's books; he's one of the few who writes more about the sailing, than the places he visits.
"Deep Water and Shoal" by William Albert Robinson. A true classic, up there w/ Slocum's marvelous tale.
 
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I really enjoyed To The Great Southern Sea by William A. Robinson and Return To The Sea.My favorite all time book is Saga Of Cimba by Richard Maury followed closely by The Long Way by Moitessier.
 

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Fiction: "Voyage" by Sterling Hayden

Non Fiction: Probably Miles Smeeton's "Once is not Enough"
 
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Not so much a book, but a log of a voyage.

Check out "Log of the Ithaka"...it was on a couple different sites (boatus and cruising world I think). But very good log of a voyage to the caribbean and back.
 

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Fiction: "Voyage" by Sterling Hayden

Non Fiction: Probably Miles Smeeton's "Once is not Enough"
I'd forgotten, thanks. "Once is Enough" is probably the only reason we survived multiple capsizes in a hurricane off Fiji. It is more a survival manual than a sailing story. Indeed a must for anyone's library, if they wish to venture offshore.
I have to add, "The Boat that Wouldn't Float" by Farley Mowat, a most humorous tale of sailing the Canadian Maritimes.
 

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Captain J, have you built your own boat?
glad you asked that, sir. not completely....yet. my first sailboat, bought after reading the afore mentioned book on sailing, and as many other old books on sailing and sailboat design i could find at the local used book store, was a 9' fiberglass dinghy. it had a boomed lateen ( like a sunfish ) but that wasn't it's original sail. the daggerboard was a poorly designed home made job from the PO, as was the rudder blade. it needed a bit of fiberglass repair. in fact, you had to beach every hour, take out the rubber cork i use for a drain plug, and tip it up to drain out the water. by an hour, she'd be sitting pretty low.

well, after reading that particular book, i designed and built a sprit rig for it. i made the sail out of an old head sail ( from a sizeable cutter ) i got for free at a yard sale. just this year, i sent a drawing of my sail to duckworks and had one professionally made. great work and a great price, i might add.

i used to aluminum mast, it came with, for the new mast. but, where they had a piece of exhaust pipe adapter screwed to the base to make it fit the hole for the mast ( the mast is thinner than the hole ) i created two pvc spacers that allow the mast to turn freely but don't have the play the mast used to have. i used the boom, from the original sail, and two skinnier pieces of Al tubing to fabricate the sprit. i welded them together. i used a piece of 1" Al tubing for the boom. i designed the tackle for the stanliff and built a boom vang. all the blocks are, now, harken blocks. i re -figured all of the rigging, of course.

i added oar locks to her, after a decade of sailing her. then i decided, a year ago, that i wanted to see how she'd sail with a long shallow keel. see, the cockpit is really small and i have to sit aft of the trunk. i sit in it, not on the rail. it would capsize if i tried to sit on the rail, like on a laser. anyhow, that seating position takes my weight a bit too far aft and leaves me with only 2" of freeboard at the transom. rather unnearving for a non-swimmer when you are sailing on the bay or through big wakes. especially in the winter, although not swimming doesn't really affect the danger level in the winter.

without a daggerboard trunk, i could sit at the point of maximum buoyancy. so, i started an experiment. i used an old daggerboard i had made to replace the original ( sorry. i forgot to mention, i'd used the shape of the DB slot to design a new DB, years ago. and i made a new rudder out of the rudder of a hobie cat. lot of shaping and fabricating but it made a great rudder ). anyhow, i cut that DB flush with the hull, screwed some aluminum plates on each side, and used it as a mounting point for my experimental keels. i used a few 90 degree ( approximately 90 degree ) brackets i made from sheet aluminum and duct tape to secure the rest of the keel to the hull. you'd be amazed at how long duct tape...good duct tape....will hold up under water.

anyhow, i started with a fin keel, like on a Star class, and gradually lengthened and....ummm....can't find a word....bloody rum....made shallower the keel. finally i ended up with a design that was similar to what you see on a grand banks schooner and it was only 6" deep at it's deepest.

and what i found was very interesting. the dinghy is a bit classic moth shaped. very modern hull shape. fine entry. beam isn't extremely wide for it's length. planing hull. was always great to wind.

with the long shallow keel, instead of the deep skinny DB, she sailed to wind just as good. no difference at all. but there were improvements in quality of sailing. the boat was always pretty tender, but the new keel reduced that by a lot. the sudden violent heeling in a high gust was really mellowed out, dramatically. got caught in a 30kt squall, earlier this year. it had it's test and it did very well. anyhow, it wasn't as nervous, either. it tracks steadily, now, even in heavy chop and big wakes. it tackswith grace, now, but isn't terribly slow to tack and i never miss a tack unless i get hit with a header, in mid tack. the new sailing performance is awesome. i wish it was like this when i bought it and taught myself how to sail on it. there'd have been a lot fewer nervous moments( for me not the boat:D )

so, i cut off the DB trunk and glassed over the hole in the sole. i tested in with me fully in the new position. previously, i sailed leaning as far over the trunk as i could get. then i made a few fine adjustments to the temporary keel, for balance, and re-tested it. waiting for warm weather so i can construct a new permanent keel ( fiberglass pvc board sandwich construction ) and glass it on the hull.

yes, i am still sailing it with the temporary wooden keel duct taped to the hull. there is still a stb of the DB bracket, i fabricated, in the former DB slot, to help keep it perpendicular to the hull. when i cut the trunk off, i fabricated a plug and glassed it in the szlot, before i glassed in a piece of FG as a backing to the hole and glassed over the hole. that left me with a partial slot to secure the temporary keel. the last time i got to sail her was new years day. duct tape is great stuff, as long as you don't buy cheap tape.

nice and long rambling post. lol. i hope, eventually, to lift the lines of this dinghy and build a wooden version with this design....but with a lot more freeboard....scaled up to about 15 feet. but time will tell.
 

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but, to answer the thought behind your query, i read that book because, while i was reading about how to sail, i was also reading about sailboat desgn. i am a bit obsessivde in my pursuits. i wanted to KNOW sailing and not just know the basics of how to sail. it was one of the best boat design books i have ever read. it is fun reading and full of real world knowledge. it is what influenced me to go from a boomed lateen to a sprit sail....best thing i ever did. sprit sails rock!
 
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Without a doubt, the most amazing book on sailing/survival/adventure:

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing

It is a true account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's voyage to the Antarctica in 1915. Trust me, if you haven't read this book, you are truly missing out.

The final voyage to Elephant Island...a better job of navigation you will not find elsewhere...

Do yourself a favor and read this book. I just finished it again for the second time, and it still gives me goosebumps.

Mike
 

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Before revealing my favorites, I will comment on two I have read (one partially) recently.

While Joshua Slocum's "Alone Around the World" was a quick read that I for the most part enjoyed, I don't think I would recommend it as a book to go out of your way to read. It is the kind of book referred to earlier in this thread as one that describes the destinations more than the sailing. Once you get half way through you find the repetition of the following theme: "I anchored in the harbor, was greeted by (fill in the blank dignitary) was invited to their home for a fabulous meal, met great people and left."

And he seems to gloss over the sailing that I love reading about, in this general fashion: "I saw a storm brewing, after going through a series of gales, I saw land." Slocum was a phenomenal sailor and I wanted to read in detail how he managed those gales. But he speaks of them only offhandedly.

I was only able to suffer through 4 or 5 chapters of the second book: “Once Upon a Gypsy Moon.” In those chapters, I found his explanation of what makes Cape Hatteras a dangerous area to sail interesting. But beyond that it was the musings of a crisis-ing middle aged man waxing philosophical about life in general. The adjective I would use to describe it is somewhere between “yawn” and “puke.” But that’s just me. And if there were more stories about sailing – not “how sailing is like life (blah)” – I might have read more. But if anyone has read the book and tells me it gets better, I am willing to dig in again.

NOW my favorite book has already been mentioned : A Voyage of Madmen. This is an incredibly dramatic story, with a diverse and interesting cast of characters, all woven into a gripping sailing story. A must read.

After reading A Voyage of Madmen, I had to read Bernard Moitessier: The Long Way, which is another incredible sailing story, and he is a truly amazing man. I didn't mind when he became pholosopical.

And I read an excerpt or abridged version of Shackleton’s book which was a great read (it was in a book of short stories that I think was just the last part of his adventure. It began when they left Endeavor on foot).

A more contemporary book that I enjoyed was Richard Wilson: France to France, Leave Antarctica to Starboard. The title is his apt description of the Vendee Globe, which he completed in 09. It is a riveting, in the cockpit account of his adventures sailing around the world.
 

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** ** snip } }
yes, i am still sailing it with the temporary wooden keel duct taped to the hull. there is still a stb of the DB bracket, i fabricated, in the former DB slot, to help keep it perpendicular to the hull. when i cut the trunk off, i fabricated a plug and glassed it in the szlot, before i glassed in a piece of FG as a backing to the hole and glassed over the hole. that left me with a partial slot to secure the temporary keel. the last time i got to sail her was new years day. duct tape is great stuff, as long as you don't buy cheap tape.

nice and long rambling post. lol. i hope, eventually, to lift the lines of this dinghy and build a wooden version with this design....but with a lot more freeboard....scaled up to about 15 feet. but time will tell.
Can I assume the name of the boat is FrankenSail
 

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Lots of good titles, but quite old, or dealing with history. More current, and with an interesting perspective, is Atlantic Circle, by Kathryn Lasky Knight. She is an accomplished writer under her maiden name, so she knows how to keep the story of her two transatlantic voyages moving along smartly, with tales of pleasant European canals in-between. Kathryn provides a woman's point of view quite different from Lyn Pardey's. Great reading.
 
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