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Old 22-06-2015, 03:01   #1
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Post Best books for total beginners

Hi all

My wife and I are living in South Africa and we are planning on living on a sail boat and cruising up the African coastline to start off. We will most likely be living on the Mozambique waters. We are planning on doing this in 5 years time which will give us enough time to get educated and trained.

Now being absolutely beginners to this I'd like to know what books you would recommend that would give us info on all aspects of sailing and living aboard and all other aspects of this life. Preferably not stories but factual things we would need to know about.

I have seen some other book threads but not sure which is best for us.

Thanks
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Old 22-06-2015, 03:34   #2
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Welcome aboard, JacquesLize,

Please could you tell a little about your sailing experience, whether you now sail, what kind of vessel? It will help us to tailor our responses.

As a side note, we had friends from Mozambique who emigrated to South Africa, bought a Sri Lanka vessel, and went cruising.

Books for Total beginners, eh, well anything written by Beth Leonard and/or Evans Starzinger, Pardey's Storm TActics and also Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew; Letcher's Self Steering for Small Sailing Vessels (or something like that); any of the Hiscock's books, no longer accurate for sailing destinations, but reflective of the early days of cruising on small boat. Peg Hall's book about marine toilets. "The 12 Volt Doctor". That'll keep you busy for a week or so.

Best wishes for your and your wife achieving your goals.

Ann
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Old 22-06-2015, 03:41   #3
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Hi Ann

Thanks for your reply.

We are totally new to this so have no experience at all. we have never sailed. I've done some deep sea motor boating with my father when I was very young but that's about it. We are planning on getting a 30-35 foot monohull sail boat.

So basically we are babies and need to get any and all info.
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Old 22-06-2015, 06:22   #4
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Re: Best books for total beginners

I've done some research and came up with the following titles:

Buy, Outfit and Sail - Chap n Fatty
Storm Tactics - Lin Parday
Capable Cruiser - Lin Parday
Essentials of Living Aboard a boat - Mark Nicholas
Boatowners Mechanical & Electrical Manual - Nigel Calder
The Voyagers Handbook - Beth Leonard
Cruising Handbook - Nigel Calder
Complere Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual - Don Casey

Any comments on these will be of great help as well.

Thanks
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Old 22-06-2015, 08:49   #5
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Great lists so far.

Read this book first, The Voyagers Handbook - Beth Leonard., Amazon.com: The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising eBook: Beth Leonard: Kindle Store. This is the single best book on cruising.

"Seaworthiness The forgotten factor" by C. A. Marchaj., http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/188...rch_detailpage. A bit slow at first, and there are some sections that might make your eyes glaze over with detail, but it is well worth reading. The slow section up front turned out be be very interesting as you read deeper in the book.

"Heavy Weather Avoidance" by Ma - Li Chen and Lee Chesneau, Heavy Weather Avoidance and Route Design: Concepts and Applications of 500 Mb Charts: Ma-Li Chen, Lee S. Chesneau: 9780939837786: Amazon.com: Books. This book is about understanding the 500 MB chart.

After reading "Heavy Weather Avoidance", read both of the books that the Dashews are giving away for free, http://www.setsail.com/free-books/.

I recommend reading the "Heavy Weather Avoidance" first, followed by the Dashew's "Marine Weather Handbook" before reading their "Surviving the Storm" book. Why? In the storm book they discuss the weather that leads up to certain events and it is best if you have some understanding of what they discuss.

Read the previous books first, then go for,

There are also reports online for free that cover the Fasnet and Hobart races/storms.

The "Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia" by the Dashew would be good to get as well. You can get this off the Set Sail website mentioned above.

It might be a good idea to read these books, along with the Pardy storm book recommended in a previous post before reading about the Hobart and Fastnet storms.

Amazon.com: HANDLING STORMS AT SEA: The 5 Secrets of Heavy Weather Sailing eBook: Hal Roth: Kindle Store

Amazon.com: Adlard Coles' Heavy Weather Sailing, Sixth Edition eBook: Peter Bruce: Kindle Store

While I am recommending reading the books in a certain order, I did not do so because I started with the storm management books and then worked my way around from subject to subject. Some of the books I have read more than once. I wish I had read the books in a certain order in hind sight.

This is just a start on reading though.

Have Fun,
Dan
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Old 22-06-2015, 09:31   #6
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Re: Best books for total beginners

"Piloting and Dead Recknoing" by HHSchufeldt et al 3rd or 4th edition.
"The One-Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road" by Charlie Wing
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Old 22-06-2015, 09:50   #7
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquesLize View Post
Hi Ann



Thanks for your reply.



We are totally new to this so have no experience at all. we have never sailed. I've done some deep sea motor boating with my father when I was very young but that's about it. We are planning on getting a 30-35 foot monohull sail boat.



So basically we are babies and need to get any and all info.

I am a big believer in getting blown onto a lee shore, experiencing unplanned gybes and turning turtle before you spend much time reading.

Get out and sail a punt on a pond before dreaming of big water.

My starter book?

http://www.bookfeeder.com/pdfbook/th...ing-manual.pdf


------------------------------
Looking for another pretty place to work on the boat.
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:07   #8
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Re: Best books for total beginners

A couple of good starter books.
Sailing - the basics by Dave Franzel
The Complete Sailer by David Seidman

Start simple, take some classes, go sailing on boats than tackle the advanced topics..
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:15   #9
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Re: Best books for total beginners

No selection of books can replace the experience of actually sailing.

Some options

1) Take lessons from an experienced instructor
2) Join a local yacht club and go racing
3) While at yacht club befriend folks who might take you cruising
4) Try some flotilla sailing; the Med is a great place for that
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:17   #10
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Read any of the Liza Copeland's books.

LIZA & ANDY COPELAND: World travellers, Cruising Authors and Speakers
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:58   #11
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Re: Best books for total beginners

The problem with a few if not a lot of the books suggested, they have the potential to brainwash new comers into believing that need a boat that may be totally unnecessary for the type of cruising the person aspires to.

It's a bit like saying "there is something missing in my life" and then people suggesting you should read "the book of Mormon" or "Dianetics"

If you are going to start your dream with book, start with the basics, how to sail books, navigation and totally skip books about equipping boats, heavy weather tactics etc...

I think the best thing to do is to book yourself on to courses. As you are in SA, I guess there will be RYA accredited schools, so book yourself into courses like competent crew and day skipper and buy the books for them. Even if you never do the yachtmaster course, buy books related to it.

Once you have finish these types of books, go for the books that inspire the dream and continue to totally skip books about equipping boats, heavy weather tactics etc... You can get those books once you have an idea what boat you want and have started thinking about how it should be prepared.
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Old 22-06-2015, 11:21   #12
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Since no one else has mentioned it:

Sailing for Dummies - http://www.amazon.com/Sailing-Dummie...ng+for+dummies
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Old 22-06-2015, 11:29   #13
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquesLize View Post
Hi all

I have seen some other book threads but not sure which is best for us.
Not much has changed in books since the last 203 book posts have been written.

And we have no idea what possibly could be "best" for you.

In fact, what you'll learn is that in boating there is no "best" because boats are compromises. THAT is the beauty of boating.

Most of us have read hundreds if not more books about boating, from Sailing for Dummies to heavier tomes, as well as fiction (which sometimes can be quite enlightening).

The most consistent recommendations that have been proven to work for most people:

1. Read about basic sailing

2. Learn on a small boat, it will give you a much faster appreciation of wind direction and speed which will be useful for the rest of your sailing career

3. Read some more

4. Sail some more, then a lot more

5. Repeat

Good luck.
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Old 22-06-2015, 18:29   #14
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Re: Best books for total beginners

No one mentioned Bumfuzzle yet?
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Old 23-06-2015, 01:59   #15
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Re: Best books for total beginners

Thanks to you all who replied. It's very helpful.

We are going to do sailing classes and just sail sail sail. I am very interested in the Cruising for Cowards as a good start read as the index seemed very simple and straight forward.

After that we will tackle all others mentioned.

Another quick 2 question: What is the smallest boat we can think of getting that will accommodate the two of us? What is the biggest we will be able to handle?

Thank you again
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