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Old 20-11-2006, 15:49   #1
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Old books...

I've been searching for older books, those written when there was still a commercial sail industry. I've found they have details more oriented toward the sailing vessel and low-power steam vessels. For example my 1908 H.O. 100 Sailing Directions for the Gulf and St. Lawrence is nearly excessively detailed.

Quote:
Arisaig point extends a short distance westward from the mainland about 3/4 mile westard of Frenchmans barn. A pier, which has a dept of 10 feet at low water springs at its outer end, runs off the point, and affords shelter to boats and shallops in easter winds, but none in winds between north and west; it has, however, recently been lengthened.
Arisaig village is situated in rear of the point.
Light.-A square white lighthouse, 30 feet high, about 40 yards in rear of Arisaig poin, exhibits at 40 feet above high water a fixed red light that should be seen in clear weather a distance of 7 miles.
Rock.-A pinnacle rock, with 7 feet water over it and 25 to 30 feet around, lies 259° 400 yards from Arisaig lighthouse.
The latest acquisition is a 1950 British Admiralty Ocean Passages for the World. I couldn't locate a 1927 edition which was both complete and a reasonable price, unfortunately. The sailing courses are only half the size of the steamship courses, but the information is invaluable. Not surprising, Cornell correlates very exactly, even using the same words in some cases.

Anyone else collecting old texts?
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Old 20-11-2006, 19:46   #2
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Hi Amgine:

Been thinking of buying OCEAN PASSAGES FOR THE WORLD as a Christmas present for myself. I'm not a book collector but would like to start. Do you have the latets edition of the book. I plan on using it both as a collector's item and to help me plan trips as well. Would you recommend getting two different copies? I see a very used copy in Seattle for $40 and am thinkign of buying it just for a look see.
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Old 20-11-2006, 21:56   #3
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Ocean Passages for the World

OPW is a good book, but I would probably suggest Jimmy Cornell's book World Cruising Routes. That's without having seen the latest edition, however. I don't know if the Admiralty has revisited the sailing routes with current data for sailing routes.

And that's the primary problem; much of the information currently in use is distilled from commercial sail in the late 19th and early 20th century. The data is still important, but the primary route for sail at the time was to get into the great southern ocean, move from west to east until you reached a favourable point for getting off the merry-go-'round of lows and actually getting to your destination. The world passages were originally developed by the admiralty based on what routes were most popularly used. You need a strong boat and be in a hurry to use that route, but you can get most anywhere in the world pretty quick.

Cornell is sort of in the process of compiling a new "best routes" by getting the logs of all the rallies he's involved with. But his "best routes" are those used by rallies, not necessarily the best routes for all sailboats.

What I'd like to see is cruisers to load logs of their passages someplace online. It'd be really great if skippers would post logs with date/times, position, course, and any notes about weather or current they have. Then we could plot out routes which really are used and have some real-life data to work with.
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Old 20-11-2006, 22:06   #4
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Thanks Amgine:

I have Cornell's book but it is limited in that it doesn't really cover the West Coast or Mexico except as jumping off points. I like the idea of boats sharing their logs.
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Old 30-12-2006, 17:08   #5
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ocean passages for cruisers

Amgine,
I have been thinking of such an idea for the past several months! I gather no such thing exists at present. I know there are all sorts of "check in" services etc, but I thought that there could be so much more. I would love to hear any ideas you might have or if others think this would be a valuable service. Maybe in conjunction with SailMail or something.

~john
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Old 30-12-2006, 18:29   #6
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Collecting course data

It would be great if people could collect them at one location, but I don't have any delusions that this will happen anytime soon.

On the other hand, I have a few servers lying about.

I'd be happy to set up something so people can upload course data on sailwiki... Probably need to move it to a real server and domain first though.


The question becomes what is a good way to store courses? I believe there are a couple of standards, including a google earth one. There are a couple of people on these forums who know more about that subject than I do. They could be saved even in something so simple as a table of date/time and position.
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Old 03-03-2008, 15:39   #7
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I would like to find a copy of the Sailing Info that was done by.....the man who founded the Naval Observatory in D.C.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:50   #8
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James Melville Gilliss was a U.S. Navy officer, and founded the U.S. Naval Observatory. Gilliss made an astronomical research journey under Captain Charles Wilkes in 1837.

Which book are you seeking?

* The United States Astronomical Expedition to the Southern Hemispheres in 1849-'52 (2 vols., Washington, 1855 et seq.)
Goto:
The U.S. Naval Astronomical ... - Google Book Search

* An Account of the Total Eclipse of the Sun on September 7, 1858 (Washington, 1859)
Goto:
Solar Eclipse: Expedition of 1858

* Astronomical Observations [1838-1842] Made at the Naval Observatory
Goto: Astronomical Observations [1838-1842 ... - Google Book Search
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Old 04-03-2008, 21:09   #9
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It came to me, Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, the Father of Oceanography.

The Book, Tracks in the Sea is an awesome read.
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Old 05-03-2008, 00:30   #10
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My favourite old book at the moment is "Yacht Cruising" by Claud worth. I have a third edition, printed in 1926. It has some excellent information about how the gaff rig evolved between the late 1800's and early 1900's, a time of rapid evolution! Not to mention most other aspects of sailing and seamanship.

And as Phil Bolger has said about Claud Worth, he is rarely dated and never wrong.

Stuart.
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