I've been sailing single
and short handed for a bit of time and many thousands of miles. Initially it was reading Moitessier's Cape Horn
and The Long Way
that forced me to make me an ocean passage
. Found Moistessier's description of life at sea to be captivating and much to the way it really was in real life. Just reread Cape Horn
and still found it fascinating though the world in which he sailed is no longer there. Also liked Robin Knox-Johnston's A World of My Own
description of the real life experience of sailing a small wood boat around the world and marvelled at the ingenuity and grit that got him around. Found Chichester to be whiney and self serving. More interested in the record
than the sail.
Everybody has reccomended Henderson so I took it along and tried to get through on my solo TransPac this summer. Enjoyed the history
of Single Handed Sailors but didn't find the rest of the book to be all that useful. That might have been because having built and/or rebuilt three boats for single handed sailing and sailed thousands of miles, his information was old hat and some of it not consistant with my real life experience.
Since my sailing knowledge is almost exclusively self taught. Can't emphasize enought the value of real life experience. Highly reccomend a lot of time sailing a small boat without an engine
. That is the best teacher of how to actually sail a boat well in a variety of conditions. Sailing larger boats, more than about 20', divorces you from the immediacy of the boat, wind and waves that are so invaluable in the art of sailing. Spent almost every waking hour of two summers sailing a Sailfish around our lake when in High School
. When I bought my first real boat, a Columbia
26, was able to sail it from the start without a problem. I crossed the Molokai Channel going to Maui the third time out on the boat in conditions that forced a number of other boats to turn back. Sailing that boat all over the Islands taught me a lot about open ocean sailing and what I didn't want in the 'next' boat. Have covered 10's of thousands of miles of ocean since then and still find a day sailing
is a new learning