Captain Gino’s Sailing Book Review Part 1

There’s nothing quite like a good book. They say that the most successful people in the world are readers.

I really love books! I love buying them, holding them and scrolling through them. I prefer buying digital fiction books and the print copies of reference books. Here are some books I’ve been reading in the last year or two that I’d like to share with you.

Nonfiction Titles

The Morrow Guide to Knots: for Sailing, Fishing, Camping, Climbing

Like almost every sailor, I have a real thing for knots. When I got this book, I was actually surprised how thick it was. It doesn’t look like a large book from the front, but there are 256 pages and 647 color photos inside!

This book was originally written in Italian, but I really love it because making knots can be really confusing when you’re trying to learn from a book, but this book makes the process a lot easier.

Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder

Diesel engines are more reliable, provide better fuel economy and efficiency, go on forever and emit less nasty pollutants into the world.

I’m a motorcyclist and I love engines, but I’m not one of those kind of guys that tinkers. I prefer to just get out on the road. However, certain things are necessary to know!

This book is cool to have because it shows you that diesel engines are actually easier to understand and maintain than gasoline engines, explains how to install a new diesel engine into your sailboat and even select one.

This is a serious book for sailors who want to get their head around how diesel engines really work, and learn how to be a master maintenance dude.

Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 68th Edition by Jonathan Eaton

This is the 67th revised edition of the Chapman Piloting and Seamanship. I sold my old one and bought this one. It has some great reviews on Amazon, but I already knew it would be good—this is a boaters’ bible! It’s huge, but it has so much to offer that you wouldn’t want to be without it.

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere

Here is another technical book. It’s beautifully laid out, and explains how boats work, how to sail them, weather, all the gear you need, aspects of safety, plotting and position finding, electronics, anchoring, how to handle emergencies, equipment and maintenance. Everything you need to know as a novice, and a great refresher for us more advanced sailors. People have actually taught themselves to sail using this tome.

Its 416 pages include sections that have been completely rewritten, which is why I think it’s so useful. I just personally don’t like to have things that are out of date. Saying that, other sailors say that this edition is so similar to the third edition that they can’t justify the extra expense.

Although the Chapman guide above is thorough and essential, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship just has a friendlier, stylist feel to it. I like them both.

The Complete Sailing Manual by DK

Though this book has good ratings and people literally rave about it, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the two previous books. It contains a lot of photography, diagrams and drawings. The price, however, is excellent for what lays inside.

The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin

Now here is a readable book. I got the digital format. I love love loved it. It tells the tale of Tim Severin and his friends, who built a boat using the techniques and materials that were available back in the sixth century, when it is thought St. Brendan, an Irish monk, sailed to Newfoundland. Severin is one hell of a captain and a storyteller. It’s hard to believe that they did a transatlantic crossing in a leather boat. This story is all about how they built the boat and then made the crossing. Phenomenal!

The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat by Mark Nicholas

Mark Nicholas is my kinda guy. I like the way he thinks and how he’s set out this book. You won’t make nearly as many mistakes as most people do when they buy their first boat and start to go through the process of moving aboard if you’ve read this book.

I definitely think the $15 is worth it. I was expecting the digital version to cost less, though.

Part 2 includes a review of my favorite fictions books. See you there!

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