I love and read all the classics from a young age book like, The Totorore voyage, Ice bird, South Seas Vagabond, Northern Light. All the golden globe entrants books, Chichester... These are the history
of ocean voyaging and I think they set a very useful background. The sea hasn't changed.
My grandparents and parents shelves were filled with great books, and the likes of the Hiscocks voyaging and wandering under sail were always ready to hand... Yep the making of a boat nerd!
As I got older I sought out the likes of Motessier, Hal Roth, Pardeys, Bob Griffiths... I guess every book I could get my hands on. I am not sure if those books helped shape me into the sailor I am today or if I sought and enjoyed those books because I had a natural tendency towards the simplicity they described?
At some point you start to develop your own opinions, and maybe some of them contrast or even oppose the ideas of your favorite books. I don't think it invalidates the books, I am not even sure the outdatedness of some of them now invalidates them.
The Books encapsulates one experienced and successful person's views and philosophy in a way that is hard to get from a forum or casual meeting. In that they are all extremely valuable.
There are so many different ways to sail and voyage, that the forums
often become a confusing hodgepodge of competing ideas without the complete picture of seeing how each of the posters ideas fit into there unique sailing style.
Thats not to say forums aren't a good source of excellent info, I just don't think it's a great way to get the complete picture, more of a details thing. The books give the whole picture.
To me the Books that always stands out, and I still consider very valid in completely different ways are all the Bernard Moitessier ones, particularly "Cape Horn the logical route" and "The Long Way" and Both of Deborah Shapiro and Rolf Bjelke books "Time on ice" and "Northern Light". They both sail sisterships in very different ways.
Bernard teaches how to be at one with the sea, Probably the most important lesson for a budding voyager, and how simple and crude can work just fine if tempered with good sense and seamanship.
Rolf and Deborah teach us how to run a ship with exceptional efficiency as a couple, how to manage risk, sleep and prepare meticulously for the worst. and they do it as part of a great read.
Other Books of Note are Annie Hills Voyaging on a small income
. A great antidote to todays consumerism.
I definitely recommend Sir Robin Knox Johnsons "A world of my own" for a very understated tale of what I think is the most remarkable and amazing voyage in a small boat ever made. It is only as I have gathered experience over the years have I come back to that book, reread it carefully reading between the lines and really appreciated the scale of his courage and determination.
how I have ended up with an old IOR Two tonner with hydraulics and rod rigging!
I am very interested in hearing what books the rest of you recommend, and were influenced by in some way.