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Books About Boats

The following list of books and magazines represents a small proportion of the material about boats and boating in the Library. The library's call number is provided. This brief list describes only a few titles in the collection. For a more comprehensive list of books in these subject areas, please browse the shelves or consult the catalog.

Books About Boat Construction

American Small Sailing Craft : Their Design, Development and Construction by Howard I. Chapelle contains over 100 plans and illustrations. The dust jacket reads: “Here, enough types are assembled so that any reader can find at least one craft which is appropriate for his locality and pocket book. And for the historically minded reader this is an important contribution or our knowledge of sailing craft in America by the outstanding authority on the subject.” Published by W.W. Norton, New York in 1951 (call number 623.822 C462).

The Book of Boats, written in the days before there was an alternative to wood, this book is a collection of ideas, writing, designs, stories, sketches and practical advice about boats. Reprinted in 1976, edited by William and John Atkin and published by International Marine Publishing Company, Camden Maine (call number 623.812 B724).

Catboats by Stan Grayson tells the history of a boat developed in these very waters. Grayson biographies the great builders of catboats, Manual Schwarts and Nathanael Herreshoft, among others and tells anecdotes of people who restore and sail catboats. The many illustrations capture the essence of the beamy gaff rigged boat, still a common sight in Duxbury Bay. Published by International Marine Publishing Company, Camden Maine (call number 623.822 G784).

The Classic Boat has the best illustrations of boat construction and sails of any of the books listed. In classic Time-Life tradition, the multi-colored diagrams show how classic small wooden boats are constructed. There is also a photo series documenting the transformation of an antique speedboat from rotting hulk to fully restored jewel. Published by Time-Life, New York, in 1977 (call number OVERSIZE 623.82 T583).

Cruising Sailboat Kinetics by Danny Greene was written to demystify the boat design terminology and concepts to allow the non-designer to understand why sailboats act the way they do. Chapter 4 carries the title Speed and Resistance Explained, understanding the limits. Published by Seven Sea Press, Newport, Rhode Island in 1984 (call number OVERSIZE 623.822 G799).

The Handbook of Knots by Des Pawson is a step by step guide to tying and using more than 100 knots. Each page has color full illustrations that clearly show how to make each knot or splice as well as a when to use them. Beginning by discussing ropes, the volume groups knots by type and function and ends with splices and whippings. Published by Dorling Kindersley, New York, in 1998 (call number 623.88 P339).

On The Water : The Romance and Lore of America’s Small Boats by Douglas Alvord focuses on some of the watercraft of the Eastern United States. Traditional craft as the Grand Banks dory and the Adirondack guide boat as well as canoes, dinghies and sloops are described and illustrated by the author. Master boat builders share their thoughts and feelings about their trade, showing works in progress on re-creations of classic styles, or new designs inspired by traditional craft. Published by Yankee Books; Dublin, New Hampshire in 1988 (call number 623.8202 A476).

Sails - the way they work and how to make them by Derek Harvey covers the history of sails, how sails work, rig configurations and sailmaking. Many diagrams and illustrations make complex concepts, such as speed v.s. pressure, easy to understand. Published by International Marine, Camden, Maine in 1974 (call number OVERSIZE 623.822 C967).

Skiff and Schooner by R. D. Culler focuses primarily on the sail, showing that a wide variety of rigs exist and that sloop is not the only type of sail a boat can carry. The author shares his experience on the first boat he helped build, a replica of the Spray. Joshua Slocum’s sloop, the Spray, was the first boat to be sailed single handedly around the world. Published by International Marine, Camden, Maine in 1974 (call number OVERSIZE 623.822 C967).

Books About Sailing

Chapman Piloting Seamanship and Boat Handling is the classic practical guide for sailors in small boats. Chapman is the standard text relied on by boating schools throughout the country as well as Coast Guard classes on boating. First published in 1916, this classic volume is frequently updated to keep the information current. There are more than 1,500 color illustrations and full color charts, plus many exploded views and cutaways. Published by Hearst Corp, New York in 1999 (call number REFERENCE 797.12 CHA 1999)

The Complete Cruiser by L. Francis Herreshoff carries the subtitle The Art, Practice and Enjoyment of Boating. The volume is a 370 page monologue on various aspect of the different boats that this salt water sage has sailed. First published in 1954, reprinted by Sheridan House, New York in 1994 ( 797.1 H565).

The Complete Sailor by David Seidman carries the subtitle: Learning the Art of Sailing. The cover has this excerpt from a review “… this encyclopedic guide does more than just cover the basics. Seidman’s intention is to educate lifetime sailors, not just weekend dabblers.” The book’s unusual final chapter is on trailering the boat and is particularly useful. Published by International Marine, Camden, Maine in 1993 (call number 797.124 S458).

The Craft of Sail by Jan Adkins wonderfully illustrates the elements of sailing. Sailing theory is demonstrated by using many non-sailing examples such as ants and sharks. The clear drawings have few labels resulting in uncluttered easy to understand illustrations. Several examples are given for each concept. Published by Walker and Co, New York in 1972 (call number 797.1 A236).

Learning to sail by Di Goodman and Ian Brodie is the textbook used by the Annapolis Sailing School, the largest sailing school in the world. From the abundant illustrations you will get a clew about the luff and leach and learn much about the effects of the wind in various situations. Published by International Marine, Camden, Maine in 1994 (call number 797.124)

Nautical No-No’s by Elyse and Robert Katz claims that it is a “collection of anecdotes chronicling the development of a sailor. It suggests what NOT to do, and what to do when you have done it! From novice to sailor in seventy-nine easy lessons.” Published by Shayna Limited, Newton, MA, in 1980 (call number 797.124 K20).

Sailing on a Budget by Anne M. Johnson is full of money wise tips and deals on boat purchases, rental, dockage destinations and more. Published by Betterway Books, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1997 (call number 797.124 J66)

Adventure on the High Seas

The Boy, Me and the Cat by Henry M. Plummer is a quaint tale of a father and son sailing their catboat from New Bedford to Miami and back during the eight months from October 1912 to June 1913. Published by Cyrus Chandler Company, New Castle, New Hampshire in 1961 (call number 910.45 P735).

The Delano Sealing Expedition to the South Seas 1803-1808, Franklin K. Hoyt tells an amazing story of Duxbury Captains using excerpts from the nearly 200 year old ship’s log. Published by the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, Duxbury, MA in 1995 (call number 910.45).

Dove by Robin Lee Graham is the true story of a 16-year-old boy who sailed his 24-foot boat around the world to discover adventure and love. Published by Harper and Row, New York [1972] (call number 910.41 GRA).

Outward Leg by Tristan Jones, a world class sailor and author, returns to the sea after losing his leg in car accident and sails the 36 foot trimaran Outward Leg half way around the world. Published by Hearst Marine Books, New York, 1985 (call number 910.45 J79).

The Second Mayflower Adventure by Warwick Charlton is the official story of the Mayflower Project from planning and building of the Mayflower II to the voyage from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Mass. Published in 1959 by Little Brown, Boston, MA (call number 910.45 C481).

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum is the autobiographical account of the first man to circumnavigate the world singlehandedly. Originally published in 1900, this book is a classic narrative of the seas. Published by Penguin Classics, New York in 1998 (call number 910.4 SLO).

The Winds Call: Cruises Near and Far by Carleton Mitchell is a selection of various cruises the author has experienced around the globe. It was to written to “bring pleasure to those who must make their voyages without leaving a chair by the fire.” Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York in 1973 (call number 910.4 M681).

Women at the Helm by Jeannie Talley tells the adventures of two women who quit their jobs, sell everything and sail around the world on a 34 foot sloop, Banshee. Published by Mother Courage Press, Racine, WI in 1990 (call number 910.45 T148)

Magazines About Boats and Sailing

Maritime Life and Traditions, published in part by Wooden Boat magazine, articles explore the traditions of current practices, report on activities of various maritime organizations as well offer historical reports on boats and events.

Offshore: Northeast Boating at its Best. Published by Offshore Communications, this magazine reports on local waters and ports of call. Sail or motor, the articles concern small boat gear, safety and seamanship.

Practical Sail