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Old 10-02-2008, 23:25   #1
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Essential Books for the Cruiser's Library?

So, here's the list of books I bought for my winter-reading list, and to have as references on-board for when I finally cast-off, but does anyone have any other recommendations of books you would consider essential reading/references?

"The Complete Sailor: Learning the Art of Sailing" David Seidman

"How to Read a Nautical Chart : A Complete Guide to the Symbols, Abbreviations, and Data Displayed on Nautical Charts" Nigel Calder

"The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating" John Vigor

"The Annapolis Book of Seamanship: Third Edition, Completely Revised, Expanded and Updated" John Rousmaniere

"Navigation Rules" U. S. Coast Guard

"World Cruising Routes" Jimmy Cornell

"How to Sail Around the World : Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail" Hal Roth

Thanks!
Brian
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Old 10-02-2008, 23:48   #2
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"Bowditch", The American Practical Navigator. It is THE navigators Bible. It has more information about navigation, oceanography, weather and other related things than any one human brain could possibly ever absorb. Its almost the size of a phone book but amazingly inexpensive for what you get at 33 bucks. Its hundreds of hours of interesting stuff just browsing through it. There is more to life than GPS.

Bowditch's American Practical Navigator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Merchant Marine Officers Handbook..although not a necessity, is densely populated with all kinds of knowledge...some very relevant to cruisers and some not so relevant.

Chart Number 1...actually a book, so it qualifies. Contains all the chart symbols and other related stuff.

The Nautical Almanac. It not just for celestial navigation.

The Coast Pilot for your area of operation. Its almost mandatory to have this book on board it is so filled with good safety and other information.

There are a slew of 12 volt electronics books out there...pick up one or two of them.

Playboy....If your a solo male cruiser.

Cruising World.....for people like me to drool over who wish they were out there....better than Playboy.
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Old 11-02-2008, 00:20   #3
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One more: The Ships Medicine Chest and Medical Aid at Sea. Its very relevant to yachts as well.
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Old 11-02-2008, 00:49   #4
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Thank you VERY much David...I actually downloaded every single NOAA vector and raster chart, as well as all of the pilots on their site. I had a whole lot of time on my hands that night, hehe.
Though, I think I'll pass on the Playboys. I hear there are a number of countries that will toss you in the can if they find that on-board...though I do have a nice electronic collection on an encrypted drive...hehe.
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Old 11-02-2008, 04:20   #5
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any Beth Leonard books
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:17   #6
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Quote:
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"Bowditch", The American Practical Navigator. It is THE navigators Bible. It has more information about navigation, oceanography, weather and other related things than any one human brain could possibly ever absorb...
Chart Number 1...actually a book, so it qualifies. Contains all the chart symbols and other related stuff...
“Bowditch” is available (free) online at:
Maritime Safety Information
or
Bowditch Online

Chart #1 is available (free) online at:
Maritime Safety Information

The Ships Medicine Chest and Medical Aid at Sea
http://www.uscg.mil/hr/g-wk/wkh/smc/...003edition.pdf

NGA Publications
menue:
Maritime Safety Information
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:26   #7
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A bit obvious but travel books about your destination if going foreign (Lonely Planet etc...
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:04   #8
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Nigel Calders "cruising handbook" and "boat owners mechanical and electrical handbook" (I like his books). Also I have all the shop manual for my diesel, a couple of weather and oceanography books.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:19   #9
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Certainly download the .PDF files for the sake of convenience, but I would also buy hard copies of all these books. Books don't have hard drives that crash or power supplies that go bad. You can also kick back in the v-berth with a book.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:02   #10
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I myself read anything, and everything about vessels being lost, turtled, or stranded. The reason being that these people survived, and they have actually found remedies to serious problems.

Also anything about people cruising. Along the way they have repaired, or survived some calamity. The names are endless in this category.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:04   #11
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It is also important to read about those who died and what they could have done to prevent such tragedy. I believe there is some truth that when bad things happen it is the third thing that does you in. It always seems to be a succession of bad events that does people in. Its usually not one bad thing...the third thing usually breaks the camels back. I know this sounds a little superstitious but this is what I have seen when reading about maritime accidents.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:19   #12
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Brian Toss

I can't believe that no one has mentioned this Brian Toss book, Amazon.com: The Complete Rigger's Apprentice: Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging: Books: Brion Toss

While you're at it , get his splicing wands. You'll never look at a splicing fid the same...
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:26   #13
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It is also important to read about those who died and what they could have done to prevent such tragedy. I believe there is some truth that when bad things happen it is the third thing that does you in. It always seems to be a succession of bad events that does people in. Its usually not one bad thing...the third thing usually breaks the camels back. I know this sounds a little superstitious but this is what I have seen when reading about maritime accidents.
Learning from past successes and failures is essential. For that purpose I would recommend THE DRAG DEVICE DATABASE (DDDB) by Victor Shane
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:41   #14
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Wow, looks like I'm going to have a lot of reading to do.
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Old 11-02-2008, 13:48   #15
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I would say to add to the list:

Other "general purpose" seamanship texts:
"Chapman's Seamanship: Piloting and Small Boat Handling"
"The Annapolis Book of Seamanship", John Rousmaniere

Others I like:
"How Boat Things Work," Charlie Wing
"Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook," Charlie Wing
"The 12-Volt Doctor's Practical Handbook," Edgar J. Beyn

I second the nod to Nigel Calder's books already listed and add his "Marine Diesel Engines" to the list, as well as the shop service manual - not the "owner's manual" - for your engine.

If you're really into the technical/design side of things, "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts" , Edited by John Rousmaniere, "Seaworthiness: The Forgotten Factor," by C.A. Marchaj, and "The Elements of Boat Strength," Dave Gerr, simply can't be beat.

I would strongly encourage you to (and everyone else!) to read "Seaworthy: Essential Lessons from Boat/U.S.'s 20-Year Case File of Things Gone Wrong." This is by Robert A. Adriance, a person whom I've known and worked with for nearly all of those twenty years.

Last, I would agree on finding some good, first hand cruising yarns. For me, the modern sailing/cruising authors (someone mentioned Beth Leonard) are significantly lacking when compared to those that went before (Hiscock's, Roth's, Smeetons, Johnson's, et.al.) and those that are still going. (Only my personal and humble opinion!) What they have to say is, however, still important.

A good source for some honest and roughly written tales is through the Seven Seas Cruising Association (Welcome to the Seven Seas Cruising Association) monthly publication called The Bulletin.

Good reading!
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