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Old 12-23-2015, 12:02 PM   #1
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Cruising/Passagemaking/Trawler reading material

Given that I am on winter break (the last one ever!) and am down to only a few hours of studying a day I find myself with the rare downtime that could be filled with reading/vicarious living. Looking for your favorite books/magazines/blogs related to cruising, boats generally, etc.

Happy Holidays,


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Old 12-23-2015, 12:28 PM   #2
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Well, if you are interested in passage making, the classic is Voyaging Under Power by Bebe, revised by Leish. Somewhat technical, but practical as well.

Tom Neale's books (he wrote several) cover all aspects of live aboard cruising- on a sailboat, but it really doesn't matter. His writing is humorous but authoritative- he lived the dream and raised two children on board.

The magazines only seem to cover the mega yachts.


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Old 12-23-2015, 12:30 PM   #3
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I get several boating mags, some of them free. Here's the list....
Sea (I pay)
Power & Motor Yachts (free)
Passage Maker (I pay)
Show Boats (free)

Most of my reading is done on my Kindle Fire. I download free books on a website called Overdrive. I get to that through my library's site. Overdrive has thousands of books you can "check out"/download. The books come from Amazon and you get to keep them for up to 18 days, at which time they are removed from the Kindle.

I probably read a book on my Kindle about every 4-5 days.
Mike and Tina
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:46 PM   #4
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I find blogs to be the most useful. Nearly all are written with one objective - to share the boater's experience. So you get the honest truth. Magazines are just fluff, and advertising, both in the ads and in the copy. I almost never read them anymore because they contain almost no actual information. I agree that Voyaging Under Power is good, but be sure to get the latest edition. It was getting pretty dated until the latest rev.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:04 PM   #5
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There have been many threads on this exact topic over the years. If you take the time to search the archives using the kind of keywords that will lead you to these topics you will find threads and posts with all sorts of great recommendations and lists of books ranging from boat systems to navigation to cruising adventures to novels related to boating and the sea, and everything in between.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:16 AM   #6
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"Nautical" book list I keep adding to and post from time to time:


Dreadnought (19th cent. lead-up to WW I, development of battleships)
and: Castles of Steel (WW I battleships and battles) Robert Massie

The Caine Mutiny Herman Wouk

The Hunt for Red October Tom Clancy

The Riddle of the Sands (cruisers discover German pre WW I buildup) Erskine Childers

The Cruel Sea (escorting convoys during WW II) Nicholas Monsarrat

Sea of Thunder Evan Thomas

Sea of Glory Nathaniel Philbrick

Alaska James Michener
also: Tales of the South Pacific

Empire of Blue Water (reality of Carribean pirates and buccaneers) Stephen Talty

Jack Aubrey series (Master and Commander, etc) Patrick O’Brian
also: The Golden Ocean & The Unknown Shore (prior to Aubrey series)

Cochrane (the real captain who was the model for Jack Aubrey) Robert Harvey


The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

The Sea Wolf Jack London

Alaska Blues, and others (travel and fishing in SE Alaska) Joe Upton

As the Sailor Loves the Sea (commercial fishing SE Alaska) Ballard Hadman

The Curve of Time (early small boat cruising on the BC coast) Wylie Blanchet

My Old Man and the Sea (Sailing around South America and Cape Horn) Hays & Hays

In the Heart of the Sea (Moby Dick was based on this true story) Nathaniel Philbrick

Over the Edge of the World (Magellan's Circumnavigation) Laurence Bergreen

Mutiny on the Bounty Charles Nordhoff

Endurance true story - Ernest Shackleton’s Incredible Antarctic Voyage Alfred Lansing

South: Memoir of the Endurance Voyage Ernest Shackleton

The Perfect Storm (sinking of the sword fishing boat Andrea Gail) Sebastian Junger

The Hungry Ocean (and others) Linda Greenlaw
(stories by the real female sword boat captain involved in The Perfect Storm)

Blues John Hersey

River Horse William Least Heat Moon

Grey Seas Under (Remarkable rescues on high seas of the north Atlantic) Farley Mowat
also: The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float

Adrift (True story of survival raft crossing the Atlantic) Steven Callahan

Cape Horn (scary true adventure, sailing the southern ocean) Hemingway-Douglass

Cod (the fish that helped inspire discovery and exploration of N. America) Mark Kurlansky

Longitude (revolutionary improvement in navigation - invention of Chronometer) Dava Sobel

Where the Sea Breaks its Back (discovery of Alaska by Bering and Stellar) Corey Ford

Working on the Edge, & others (King Crab fishing in the Bering Sea) Spike Walker

Sailing Alone Around the World Joshua Slocum

Travels in Alaska John Muir

Heart of the Raincoast (life on the BC Coast) Morton & Proctor

Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson

Sitka (historically-based Alaska adventure) Louis L’Amour

The Blue Bear Lynn Schooler

The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown
Richard Cook
Dream Catcher (Nordic Tug 37-065)
"Cruising in a Big Way"
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:22 PM   #7
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You have listed some of my favourites here as well as giving me
some more to look for.

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Old 12-25-2015, 05:45 PM   #8
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Great list! I would add "The Captain," by Jan de Hartog.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:35 PM   #9
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Has anyone read my Dictionary of Nautical Terms kindle e-book (except me)?

I highly recommend it...
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:40 AM   #10
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I would add, "Fishing with John" by Edith Iglauer. Beautiful book about a commercial troller and the North Coast of BC. We saw their house and dock,in Pender Harbour last summer. She was still alive.

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Old 12-26-2015, 11:56 AM   #11
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For a very real look at the tough world of commercial salmon trolling in BC the book Fisher Queen by Sylvia Taylor is excellent.
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:22 PM   #12
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I'll add a couple.
just finished reading 438 Days. It was about the Mexican fellow who drifted from Mexico to the Marshall islands. 6000 miles!
Another great read is Blue water gold rush. It's about urchin diving back in the day.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:15 PM   #13
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Wow some great books there Richard and some of my favorites as well. I'd add "The Serpents Coil" by Farley Mowat and "Hungry as the Sea" by Wilbur Smith. Also if you like WW2 sea fiction J E MacDonnell has a couple of hundred great short novels and Douglass Reaman writes a good sea war story as well many of which can be found on Amazon and Amazon UK.

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