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Old 13-03-2021, 03:26   #1
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What books to take on a cruise?

During construction I have collected all sorts of boating books which have been very useful over the years but now the yacht is virtually finished I want to determine which ones I should take aboard.

Of course I would take
  • Owner's Manuals for all sorts of equipment.
  • Medical/First Aid books
  • Some relevant paper charts.
  • Books A Field Guide of Ocean seabirds, Dangerous marine animals of the Indo Pacific, Mammals of the world.
  • The Complete Book of Boat Maintenance.
  • Yachtsman's A-Z, The Sailor's Handbook.
  • RYA Weather Handbook.
  • International Code of Signals
  • Recipe Books
I can't see any point in takingbooks like:

Circumnavigator's Handbook Dashew
Heavy weather sailing Adlard Coles.
Eric Hiscock's books
Cruising in Comfort Skoog
(Maybe I'm wrong?)

I have very many Lonely Planet type tourist guides but they'd be 20 years out-of-date
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Old 13-03-2021, 03:44   #2
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

The "Reef Creature Identification Guide" is really nice if you do any snorkelling.
The "Audubon Society's Guide to the Night Sky" is great for learning stars.
Recipe books are largely meaningless because availability of ingredients varies so much from place to place. Better to learn how food goes together and then make things up as you go along.
The International Code of Signals is useless if only you know the signals. I've never seen a signal used.
If you built your own boat, you know more about how to build and maintain it than the Complete Book of Boat Maintenance.
You should bring ALL relevant paper charts.
How 'bout something to read for fun? I find that dense works that can't hold my interest ashore are perfect for the long, boring days waiting for weather to change. Russian novels; history; you can get college editions of good literature cheap at used bookshops, printed small in paperbacks, that get all moldy while you're reading them but you don't care 'cause you toss 'em in the drink when they're done.
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Old 13-03-2021, 03:53   #3
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

A copy of Dakin's "Australian SeaShores" if you can find one. A semi academic book on just about everything you will see on the seashore and close offshore. I would never cruise the Oz seashore without one. It can be very hard to find!
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Old 13-03-2021, 04:58   #4
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce K View Post
A copy of Dakin's "Australian SeaShores" if you can find one. A semi academic book on just about everything you will see on the seashore and close offshore. I would never cruise the Oz seashore without one. It can be very hard to find!

There plenty of used Dakin's "Australian SeaShores" on eBay for $30. (I'll look at that)


AND there's plenty of Field Guide to Seabirds of the world too on eBay.


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Old 13-03-2021, 05:02   #5
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The 'Game of Thrones' set of six..
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Old 13-03-2021, 06:02   #6
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

  • A good general cooking book - not necessary for sailors. Best the one you use at home all the time. If you don't cook in way you need a cooking book, start doing it.
  • A song-book and a book with (naughty) poems.
This can be endless fun at anchor or passages, doubly so if you aren't into the stuff.
  • Cruising and harbour guide to whatever region you're in
  • Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes. Get an older version at a swap meet. The boat with the eldest version gets invited to the next round.
These are useful to check things when internet is spotty and might give you a quick overview.
  • A kindle with whatever takes your fancy. They work better in sunlight that any pad, use less power. Combines with software like calibre you can load it with whatever ebooks you find in the wild and never have to shop at amazon. I like the waterproof Oasis.
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Old 13-03-2021, 07:15   #7
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

I like all the old (1900 to mid 1960’s) non-fiction accounts of the mostly singlehanders. The gear and the boats may have changed dramatically but the challenges of sailing and the seas are still relevant. The early British sailors left a treasure trove of detailed accounts of their exploits....it was a gentleman’s game back then, for the most part, so their accounts were well written and thorough.
I also ensure I have some massive non-fiction historical books for offshore so I can read them with no distractions and keep track of the people and events.
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Old 13-03-2021, 07:58   #8
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

As many pilot books as you can find.
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Old 13-03-2021, 08:01   #9
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

Galley
-Le grande livre de la cuisine
-and a dozen of other cooking books

Boat & Navigation
-Bowditch: American Practical Navigator
-D Gerr: Boat Mechanical Systems Handbook
-N Calder: Mechanical and Electrical Manual
-T Cunliffe: The Complete Yachtmaster
-Chapman: Piloting & Seamanship

Other
-Marine life & Invertebrates
-The Cruisers Handbook of Fishing
-World Cruising Destinations/Routes
-Legendary Yachts
-A dozen of handbooks of everything boat related

Dictionaries for
-french, spanish, portuquese, italy, greek, japanese and some more

Travel guides a dozen and some more

And if there room left many more..
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Old 13-03-2021, 08:03   #10
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

Lots of audible books… very entertaining while on watch and your eyes/ hands are free to attend to duties.

E-reader/ kindle loaded with whatever floats your boat … want to learn or explore some new area? Plus lots of your favorite genre of reading.

Learn a new language enroute? At least enough to be polite 😁
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Old 13-03-2021, 08:31   #11
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

For your medical book I can recommend "Where There Is No Doctor" by Hesperian Health Guides. It's written for Peace Corps types who are living waaay off the beaten track and may have to set a broken leg one moment and diagnose a fever the next. Kind of like what sailors do when at sea.

As for pleasure, I also like to attack books I wouldn't have the patience for at the dock. For each long cruise I take one segment of US history (i.e. one president) and read a pretty detailed history. Your country has such an amazing history you might try similar.

Cookbooks? I have a bunch on my E reader but rarely open them while sailing. KISS is my motto. I do have a book identifying fish in different areas of the world and how to clean and cook them. (Having had a deprived childhood, I thought fish always came in the form of fish fingers...sigh)
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Old 13-03-2021, 08:34   #12
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

I do not keep paper books on board. Instead, download manuals, and reading material to my iPad. I keep the iPad backed up, so best that I can, don’t have to worry about loosing the information. The iPad lives in a nice waterproof case, so for the last 5 years, this plan has worked well for me. It also eliminate the question you ask, as an iPad with a reasonable storage capacity will hold all the books you could ever want. I find reading more convenient as well, as iBooks remembers where you were, in every book/PDF you open, and I don’t have to worry about having a light on to read, or the print being too small!
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Old 13-03-2021, 08:39   #13
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

Kathy Parsons' French for Cruisers and Spanish for Cruisers are wonderful and much more useful than a standard phrase book since they contain boat specific terminology and what you need for shopping and the like. Between the Brits, the Spanish, and the French empires their languages cover most of the world.

Where cruising guides exist get them. Where they don't exist you can get accounts from cruisers published by the Seven Seas Cruising Association and Cruising Association (UK) and other organizations.
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Old 13-03-2021, 08:42   #14
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
During construction I have collected all sorts of boating books which have been very useful over the years but now the yacht is virtually finished I want to determine which ones I should take aboard.

Of course I would take
  • Owner's Manuals for all sorts of equipment.
  • Medical/First Aid books
  • Some relevant paper charts.
  • Books A Field Guide of Ocean seabirds, Dangerous marine animals of the Indo Pacific, Mammals of the world.
  • The Complete Book of Boat Maintenance.
  • Yachtsman's A-Z, The Sailor's Handbook.
  • RYA Weather Handbook.
  • International Code of Signals
  • Recipe Books
I can't see any point in takingbooks like:

Circumnavigator's Handbook Dashew
Heavy weather sailing Adlard Coles.
Eric Hiscock's books
Cruising in Comfort Skoog
(Maybe I'm wrong?)

I have very many Lonely Planet type tourist guides but they'd be 20 years out-of-date
Joy of Cooking
Up to date Cruising Guide(s) for the area(s) you will cruising in or to.

Chapman: Piloting & Seamanship

How to Identify Poisonous Plants and Sea Creatures from the Edible by the late Dr. John "Heartburn" Smith

Suggestion For the Name of Your New Boat: Unsinkable#3 (It is a good icebreaker)
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Old 13-03-2021, 08:58   #15
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Re: What books to take on a cruise?

Darwin said his biggest regret on his circumnavigation was not having more books to identify plants. If you are at all interested in the trees and plants you'll see, especially in the tropics, a tree / plant identification guide might be nice. Of course you will see completely different plants in Australia than in the Caribbean, so multiple regional guides are a good idea.
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