best books about sailboat racing

Published on March 21st, 2016 | by Editor

Top Picks: The Best Books for Sailboat Racers

Published on March 21st, 2016 by Editor -->

by Deborah Bennett Elfers I can be a little obsessive when it comes to racing sailboats, having read absolutely every sailboat racing book I could find. I’ve read some truly awful books, which did little more than make me even more confused than I was when I started, some rather good books, which made me realize how much I didn’t yet know, and a mere handful of really terrific books which catapulted my understanding of sailboat racing, and helped me to move up the fleet.

Here’s a list of the better books – most basic appearing first – with a brief review of each…

The Complete Sailor, David Seidman I’ve read this book from cover to cover, several times. There are so many little nuggets in here for the new sailor, but it’s also a handy reference guide for the more experienced. I use this book when teaching sailing, as it’s easily readable, and has some of the best basic sailing explanations I’ve seen anywhere.

Getting Started in Sailboat Racing, Adam Cort & Richard Stearns This book was my bible as I was first learning to race. I can’t tell you how many times I read it through, from cover to cover. I had started off with some other, more advanced books, but much of the information in those books was too complicated for a racing novice. This was the perfect introduction to sailboat racing for a newbie, with great graphics, and an easy-to-read format.

best books about sailboat racing

Winning in One-Designs, Dave Perry I think that this is one of the best guides to sailboat racing there is — it’s eminently readable, and organized so well that you can refer back to the appropriate sections when you’re trying to improve a particular weakness. You can use it like a “workbook”, as I did in my second season of racing, and I improved quite a lot by implementing the suggestions and techniques outlined in the book.

Start to Win, Eric Twiname This is a classic book, so well-regarded among sailboat racers that it was re-published 30 years after the author’s death. It is a clear, concise treatise on how to improve your racing. Easy to use, even for the more novice racer.

Sailing Smart: Winning Techniques, Tactics & Strategy, Buddy Melges & Charles Mason This book abounds with lessons on racing tactics and boat handling, sportsmanship, and is sprinkled liberally with the authors’ tales of races won (and lost). The book is clearly organized, and Melges’s personality shines through the pages. I’ve read this one again and again.

Sail, Race & Win: How to Develop a Winning Attitude – Eric Twiname This book is perhaps my favorite of all the books, in that Twiname teaches us how to self-coach, and explores the winning mindset – mirroring closely my own approach to improving my sailing, one learned from and adapted from many years of training as an opera singer.

Note : A few of these books are “old classics” so you will have to be careful to reference the current version of the Racing Rules of Sailing.

comment banner

Tags: Books , Deborah Bennett Elfers , education

Related Posts

best books about sailboat racing

McKee’s Six Golden Rules →

best books about sailboat racing

People are confused with navigation →

best books about sailboat racing

Jack Bouttell: Repairing a boat mid-ocean →

best books about sailboat racing

Stand up straight! No slouching! →

© 2024 Scuttlebutt Sailing News. Inbox Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. made by VSSL Agency .

  • Privacy Statement
  • Advertise With Us

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Your Name...
  • Your Email... *
  • Name This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

best books about sailboat racing

32 Best Sailing Books For Current and Future Yachtsmen

Heading out on a sailing adventure? Need some inspiration away from the YouTube creators we often featured? Then you’re in the right place.

We have rounded up the best books for sailing enthusiasts. You’ll find highly respected books on racing, cruising and sailboat maintenance for your next adventure on the open seas!

1. Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 69th Edition

One of the best sailing books available, the Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 69th Edition is a comprehensive book with descriptions, illustrations, and pictures for every situation.

Whether the need is a guide for it all or looking for some tips, the book has an easy-to-use index that makes it simple to find information. 

2. The Complete Sailing Manual  

The Complete Sailing Manual by Steve Sleight is a detailed book written by sailors for sailors. 

It delves into the latest advancements in sailing, keeping the reader updated and ready to handle any situation.

3. Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die

Searching for a new, exciting place to sail can be exhausting. Chris Santella has an extensive list of options to bring back that exhilaration.

The handy guide gets inspiration by asking well-known sailors and athletes about their favorite places to sail.

4. The Ultimate Book of Everyday Knots  

Every sailor needs to know how to tie a good knot, and Geoffrey Budworth has a fantastic instruction tool to start.

This book has illustrations of common knots used in sailing and other sports, with directions to ensure every tie is a success.

5. Bargain Boats and Budget Cruising  

Sailing can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. Todd Duff has expert advice to keep the cost down.

This guide goes through the process of finding an economical boat and refitting it, so you can enjoy the water without breaking the bank.

6. Illustrated Sail & Rig Tuning  

Sometimes a picture can be just what’s needed, and Ivar Dedekam has detailed illustrations for everything relating to sailing.

This handy guide explains the necessities of sailing and the theories to get the most out of any boat.

7. The Alaska Cruise Handbook  

The wild waters of Alaska are a worthy goal for any sailor. With insights from Joe Upton, planning a journey through the Alaskan coast is more than practical.

Plan ports and explore the natural beauties of Alaska from the comfort of a personal sailboat.

8. The Sailing Bible

Jeremy Evans, Pat Manley, and Barrie Smith put together an extensive work covering the basics of sailing to niche activities like racing.

Even the most seasoned sailors can find something in one of the best sailing books around to enrich their knowledge, and beginners will feel ready to hit the water.

9. World Cruising Essentials  

Taking on a long voyage can seem like a daunting task. Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Essentials makes the trip doable. This happens to be my favorite book on this list!

Learn about everything to prepare for the cruise and get crucial tips for spending the days at sea.

10. Landfalls of Paradise  

Exploring the Pacific Islands can be a dreamy escape, and Earl R. Hinz’s writing makes it a carefree journey.

This guide has updated charts and descriptions to help make any sailing through the Pacific Islands easy to plan and execute. 

11. The Voyager’s Handbook  

Extended trips are one of the most fulfilling ways to experience life on the open seas, and Beth Leonard has a handbook to achieve it. Another personal favorite!

It not only covers the essentials needed on the boat but explains practical tips for keeping boat life enjoyable.

12. The World’s Best Sailboats: Boxset Vol.1&2  

Ferenc Máté’s The World’s Best Sailboats has detailed pictures, illustrations, and descriptions of the finest boats in the world. Enjoy appreciating the fine craftsmanship while learning what makes certain boats excel.

This volume isn’t only fun to flick through as its information can be invaluable when selecting a boat.

13. The Big Book of Boat Canvas  

Customizing a boat can be a fun way to make the vessel feel like home. One option is canvas, and Karen Lipe is here to explain multiple sewing projects.

From practical objects like sail covers to interior cushions, the options are endless in this handbook.

14. Sailing: The Basics  

Newcomers will appreciate Dave Franzel’s book as it helps people get on the water and become sailors in no time. It follows his fundamental principle that time in the water is key to learning, so it gets through the essentials fast.

Get from the docks to the water in record time, and feel confident doing it.

15. The Blue Book of Sailing  

Adam Cort hopes to take the reader of any experience level and turn them into true sailing experts. Through simple lessons, it explains everything needed to sail.

Some basic knowledge of sailing can be necessary for reading, but anyone will benefit from the tips.

16. BoatSense: Lessons and Yarns from a Marine Writer’s Life Afloat  

Combining narrative and guidebook, the unique BoatSense: Lessons and Yarns from a Marine Writer’s Life Afloat gives realistic tips based on Doug Logan’s experience.

The true tales from this sailor aren’t just for fun, as they pleasantly explain crucial teachings that are usually exclusive to years of sailing.

17. The International Marine Book of Sailing  

The International Marine Book of Sailing by William Robinson is great for beginners looking to learn everything. 

This book has handy illustrations and other valuable insights neatly organized to get the reader ready to sail as soon as possible.

18. The Ashley Book of Knots  

This comprehensive book covers around 3,900 types of knots with brief descriptions, drawn guides, and other information. 

This manual not only covers basic knots but includes complex versions that can be used on the boat or to impress friends.

19. The Handbook Of Sailing  

For visual learners, Bob Bond has thousands of diagrams and color photos to explore the basic techniques of setting sail. 

The guidebook has helpful descriptions to accompany the pictures and assists the reader through any situation.

20. Sailing America  

See the beauties of the United States from coast to coast in this picture collection from Onne van der Wal. Enjoy the views from the sea without even sailing across thousands of miles.

Whether it’s for inspiration or to admire the expert photography, any sailor can appreciate the beautiful landscapes in this book.

21. The Annapolis Book of Seamanship  

Another comprehensive guide that covers everything from the basics to handling extreme conditions. John Rousmaniere is on hand to get the reader for any sailing situation.

This book progresses from the simplest tasks to the most challenging endeavors, with traditional techniques mixed with newer innovations.

22. Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of the Offshore Yachts 

Searching for a sea-worthy vessel can be a challenging task, but Steven L. Davis aims to make it much easier.

This guidebook examines trends and other information to prepare the reader for the boat market. That data will be invaluable to understanding what to look for when choosing their own.

23. Sailing Is Fun!: A Beginners Manual For Young Sailors  

Kids looking to sail can learn the basics from Charles D. Dawson. His book uses only simple terms, making it easy for children to follow.

It stresses water safety to keep youngsters safe, and it’s an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to pass on sailing traditions.

24. The Best Used Boat Notebook  

A cost-effective way to get into sailing is through a used boat, and The Best Used Boat Notebook from John Kretschmer gives every tip needed. 

This detailed guide breaks down the specifics any potential boat owner should know.

25. The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands 

Explore the crystal waters of the Virgin Islands with help from Simon Scott’s experience. 

It also includes a handy chart that folds out to aid your plans for the sailing voyage.

26. Marina’s Best  

A significant portion of sailing is in marinas, and anyone hoping to manage their marina can get the knowledge necessary from Dr. Amos Raviv.

This work guides the reader through everything necessary to run a marina and ensures sailors understand the rules and regulations of marina use.

27. Crewing to Win

Racing sailboats is an intense sport, and it relies on crew teamwork. To build the best team, try reading Crewing to Win by Saskia Clark.

This handbook explains how to form a team, set goals, and keep things running smoothly out on the water.

28. Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes

Outrigger canoes are a unique and traditional form of sailing, often handmade by indigenous Hawaiians .

Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes by Gary Dierking helps explain the best way to create an outrigger canoe with contemporary methods.

29. Reeds Skipper’s Handbook  

Owning a small index of essential knowledge can be invaluable at sea, and Malcolm Pearson’s Reeds Skipper’s Handbook is just that.

This book is an indispensable guide for any experienced sailor, as it’s easy to reference and find exactly what you’re looking for.

30. The Best of Sail Trim  

This volume is a compilation of the best articles from SAIL magazine, collected for ease of access. Explore tips ranging from cruises to racing.

The information in this book is easy and enjoyable to read while giving plenty of priceless tips.

31. Elvstrøm Explains the Racing Rules: 2021-2024 Rules  

Get into racing with this complete guide Elvstrøm Explains the Racing Rules: 2021-2024 Rules. Written by the Olympic sailor Paul Elvstrom, learn all the ins and outs to win first place.

This book has a quick reference guide for racing flags and ways to help plan the best course.

32. Maneuver and Dock Your Sailboat Under Power  

Docking a boat can be one of the most challenging tasks a sailor can undertake. Maneuver and Dock Your Sailboat Under Power by Grant Headifen prepares the reader for docking in any condition.

Feel confident sailing into the marina with one of the best sailing books focused on navigation, and never risk bumping into the docks again.

SailZing.com Sailors Helping Sailors Logo

5 Favorite Sailing Books to Build Racing Skills

Build racing skills with these 5 books.

To build racing skills, it’s always good to refresh your understanding of key concepts and skills, so you can take them up a notch, or least not slip backwards.  Here are five books that have enough solid content to keep me coming back for more.

best books about sailboat racing

Sailors Helping Sailors

Will you share your knowledge with your related Comments below?

Related Posts

Mike Brown SailZing Aha! Insights Zenda University

Zenda U MC Scow Clinic – SailZing Aha! Insights

Improved Racing Results: One Sailor’s Progress

Improved Racing Results: One Sailor’s Progress

Seven Reasons to Keep a Sailing Notebook

Seven Reasons to Keep a Sailing Notebook

Leave a comment cancel reply.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Insert/edit link

Enter the destination URL

Or link to existing content

Waterborne

Home » Blog » Gear » 25 sailing books every sailor should read

25 sailing books every sailor should read

By Author Fiona McGlynn

Posted on Last updated: January 26, 2023

THE BEST SAILING BOOKS INSPIRE YOU TO GET OUT THERE

Whether you’re looking to do some armchair sailing during the off-season or stock up your floating library with sailing stories for summer cruising, these are the best sailing books for adventure and inspiration.

In this list, you’ll find books about sailing around the world, first-hand accounts of daring Antarctic adventures, true crime nautical thrillers, and meditative musings about life at sea. Be sure to let us know your favorite sailing books in the comments below.

If you’re looking for reference books on boat maintenance and how to sail, check out our post on the nautical books we’ll never go to sea without .

A quick note that this post contains affiliate links (so if you purchase through a link we’ll earn a small commission). All the opinions are our own.

Best books about sailing around the world

1. the long way – bernard moitessier.

This is the book that inspired us to buy a boat and go sailing! Bernard Moitessier was a French sailor who raced in the 1968 Golden Globe, the first single-handed around the world race.

He sails from England alone for several months and when it seems he is just about to win…(well, I won’t spoil it for you!). His account is a great adventure story and also a deep meditation on zen philosophy.

2. Sailing Alone Around the World – Joshua Slocum

Joshua Slocum’s  Sailing Alone Around the World  is a really interesting account of the first solo-circumnavigation. It would be an interesting account even if it were written today but is especially so due to the fact that the events he recounts take place prior to the 20th century.

In many ways, Slocum was the first cruiser and the trouble he gets himself into, the people he meets, and the places he goes are things to which we can all relate.

3. A World of My Own – Robin Knox-Johnston

Robin Knox-Johnston’s account of his non-stop solo-circumnavigation of the world. He presents a vivid and  vulnerable portrait of a sailor attempting to accomplish what most thought impossible.

It’s a testament to the ability of the human mind to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and heartening for fellow sailors who will encounter situations that put their own courage to the test. It’s a great read and details one of the most incredible feats of the modern era.

4. Dove – Robin Lee Graham

Dove is a book for those who dream of sailing around the world.

In 1965, 16-year-old Robin Lee Graham set off from California in 24-footer on a solo round-the-world voyage. After 5 years and 33,000 miles, he returns with a wife and daughter. His adventures in between are recounted in this best-selling book.

5. Gipsy Moth Circles The World – Francis Chichester

In August 1966, Francis Chichester set out from Plymouth on his 53-foot ketch “Gypsy Moth VI”. He would become the first person to make a one-stop round the world circumnavigation.

Chichester’s journey set records, earned him a knighthood, and fueled the ambition of the next generation of sailors, to become the first to sail around the world non-stop in the 1968 Golden Globe Race.

6. Maiden Voyage – Tania Aebi with Bernadette Brennan

At 18 years old, Tania Aebi was going nowhere, until her father presented her with an ultimatum: she could go to college or get a boat. She chose the latter and for the next two and a half years and 27,000 miles, she sailed the world with only her cat as a companion.

Sailing adventure books

7. an island to oneself – tom neale.

New Zealander, Tom Neale travels to Suwarrow, a remote South Pacific atoll, and spends 16 years living alone and off the land. If you’ve ever fantasized about living on a remote South Pacific Island, this book is for you.

8. Sailing & Mountain Exploration Books  – H.W. Tilman

Considered one of the greatest adventurers of our time, Tilman has sailed and climbed in some of the world’s most remote and environments. His sailing books are must-reads for those who dream of straying from the beaten path and sailing in high-latitudes.

best books about sailboat racing

9. Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft – Thor Heyerdahl

Kon-Tiki was the first book about sailing that I ever read.  And really it is more about adventuring than sailing. The sheer foolhardiness of building a balsa wood raft and sailing it 4000 miles from Peru to Tahiti is enough to pique the interest of any adventurous soul.

It’s fascinating to read the various ways that the four men on the raft handled the, at times, boring, stressful, exciting, and survival situations in which they were placed.

Sailing thriller books

10. and the sea will tell – vincent bugliosi.

In this terrifying true story, two couples sail to a remote Pacific atoll, but only one couple makes it off the Island alive. As told by the defense lawyer, Vincent Bugliosi (who also prosecuted Charles Manson), the investigation that follows is a riveting true-crime murder mystery.

And the Sea Will Tell reconstructs the events and recounts the trial that follows. The first half of the book is a real page-turner. The second half delves into technical aspects of the court case which makes for a less compelling read (unless perhaps you’re a lawyer!).

11. The Perfect Storm – Sebastian Junger

A real-life thriller, this book is likely to scare you out of ever leaving land, but it will also give you an appreciation of the sheer power of weather in the Atlantic Ocean.

Junger tells the story of the Perfect Storm, a record topping storm that hit the east coast of North America in the fall of 1991. It follows the accounts of the crews of the fishing boat, a sailboat, and the U.S. Coast Guard as they battle to survive the severe conditions.

12. Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea – Steven Callahan

A staggering survival story written by Steven Callahan about 76 days spent in a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean.

Only six days out, Callahan’s small sloop capsizes and he’s left battling for survival in an inflatable raft. “Adrift” was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than thirty-six weeks when it first came out.

13. Godforsaken Sea – Derek Lundy

Godforsaken Sea  recounts the running of the 1996-97 Vendée Globe. On 3 November 1996, sixteen sailors set out to race around the world single-handed. Only six completed the course. The book explores what compels a sailor to go to sea why the Vendée Globe racers were willing to risk everything.

Sailing and cruising stories

14. the curve of time – m. wylie blanchet.

The story of a single mother in the 1920s with 3 children and a dog, exploring Vancouver Island’s inside passage.

In 1926 Muriel “Capi” Wylie Blanchet, a Vancouver Island resident, tragically lost her husband Geoffrey when he took their 25 ft cabin cruiser “Caprice” out on a solo camping trip and never returned. Rather than sell the boat, she took her three young children and dog on summer sojourns, exploring the pristine BC coast with nothing but her wits to rely on.

She documents her many adventures: piloting through whirlpools, run-ins with bears and cougars, climbing thousand-foot cliffs, and exploring abandoned First Nations villages. Her account is both inspiring and a reminder to slow down, appreciate the beauty of nature, and be present with those you love.

One of the few books to make our list of best sailing books that doesn’t take place on a sailboat!

15. Seraffyn’s European Adventure – Lin and Larry Pardey

Lin and Larry Pardey are living proof that you don’t need to be wealthy to see the world. They traveled for 26 years (covering the equivalent of 5 circumnavigations) in their home-built cutters, Seraffyn and Taleisin.

In Seraffyn’s European Adventure the young couple journey in their 24ft boat to the Baltic, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany. Without engine, electronics, or gadgetry these scrappy sailors accomplish remarkable things through sheer endurance and resourcefulness.

Their stories are as salty as it gets and their message is freedom: “Go small, go simple, go now.”

best books about sailboat racing

16. The Log from the Sea of Cortez – John Steinbeck

An account of the six-week scientific expedition made by John Steinbeck in 1940 with marine biologist Ed Ricketts, collecting marine specimens as they travel through the Sea of Cortez.

The book recounts bizarre sea creatures, funny anecdotes about the eccentric crew, and Steinbeck/Ricketts’ life philosophies. A good read if you’re planning to visit Mexico.

17. The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float – Farley Mowat

If you’ve ever cursed your boat, you’ll sympathize with the exasperated (but ever hopeful) Mowat in “The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float”.

Seeking adventure, Mowat hopes to buy a boat , a proud and seaworthy vessel, and roam the seven seas. Instead, he gets the worst boat ever and nearly goes mad trying to keep it from sinking.

best books about sailboat racing

18. Passage to Juneau – Jonathan Raban

Raban sails from Seattle to Juneau in a small boat, deftly describing the history of First Nations, Captain Vancouver, and life at sea as he travels up the coast.

More than just a travelogue, Raban recounts personal challenges: his relationship with his father, and being a good dad to his young daughter Julia. The Pacific Northwest history is absolutely fascinating and Raban is a deep and thoughtful soul who you can’t help but empathize with.

19. The Incredible Voyage – Tristan Jones

With wit and style, Tristan Jones tells the story of his 6-year voyage where he sailed a distance equal to twice the circumference of the world. His adventures include capsizing off the Cape of Good Hope, starving in the Amazon, and dodging snipers on the Red Sea.

best books about sailboat racing

20. Looking for a Ship – John McPhee

John McPhee, considered one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction, recounts a 42-day journey from Charleston down the Pacific coast of South America on one of the last American merchant ships, the S.S. Stella Lykes.

21. My Old Man and the Sea – David Hays, Daniel Hays

An account of an ambitious father-son project: build a boat and take on Cape Horn. With nothing more than a compass, sextant, and pet cat, the father and son duo are tested on an incredible voyage. Told in alternating sections by father and son.

Best Nautical Novels

best books about sailboat racing

22. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

No list of classic sailing novels would be complete without Moby Dick.

The story follows a whaler captain’s quest for revenge against the giant sperm whale, Moby Dick. Written by Herman Melville in 1851, it’s considered one of the “Great American Novels”.

23. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

best books about sailboat racing

24. Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian

Published in 1969, this nautical novel was the start of a 20-book series. Set at the turn of the 19th century, the story follows a young Jack Aubrey, who has recently been promoted to the rank of Master and Commander.

Sailing logbook

best books about sailboat racing

25. Sailing logbook

The best sailing stories are the ones you create!  Pick up one of these hardcover logbooks to record your nautical travels.

Looking for more great sailing stories? Check out our posts on sailing vlogs and sailing podcasts .

Do you have any suggestions for other inspirational sailing books? We’d love to get your recommendations – please leave them in the comment box below.

Fiona McGlynn

Fiona McGlynn is an award-winning boating writer who created Waterborne as a place to learn about living aboard and traveling the world by sailboat. She has written for boating magazines including BoatUS, SAIL, Cruising World, and Good Old Boat. She’s also a contributing editor at Good Old Boat and BoatUS Magazine. In 2017, Fiona and her husband completed a 3-year, 13,000-mile voyage from Vancouver to Mexico to Australia on their 35-foot sailboat.

Monday 1st of April 2019

Hi there! Great post, but my all time favorite is “South Sea Vagabonds” by John Wray!

Niah Vaughan

Saturday 16th of March 2019

The Loneliest Race by Paul Gelder. Is a must read.

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

Thanks Niah. I've been thinking about writing a post on sailing race books - there are some many good ones!

Michael Robertson

Friday 15th of March 2019

Overlooked on this list and many others is the great "The Water in Between" by Kevin Patterson.

Yes indeed - that's a great recommendation.

Jean Baillargeon

Hi Fiona n Robin, Hope you’re not missing the heat of the SP too too much. If I may suggest a few more books for your great list.

Anything by Moitessier of course, specially «Vagabond des mers du Sud» (telling of his learning to sail in Vietnam as a young man), and «Tamata et l’Alliance», (his last book written during his years living in French Polynesia) Quick english titles list here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=moitessier+bernard&crid=DQW3GY4NSYPS&sprefix=Moitessier%2Caps%2C446&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10

Anything about Éric Tabarly, there are one or two bios and he wrote one account of his winning the BOAC. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tabarly&crid=C9Q57RE444SF&sprefix=Tabarly%2Caps%2C872&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_5_5

And my welsh mother in law would be very disappointed in me if I did not recommend Tristan Jones’ books. His are tall tales that sometimes strech believability, but they sure a great read. Typical welsh storyteller with a knack for spinning a good yarn with priceless tongue in cheek humour. Also of interest to handicapped sailors, Jones lost a leg to diabetes on one of his crossings, but kept sailing for many years afterwards. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tristan+jones+books&crid=11M2GS14E6MD4&sprefix=tristan+jones%2Caps%2C1327&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_13

These are great! Thank you Jean. Hope you're finding lots of time for reading on the boat in paradise :)

Darlene Kristi

You did miss a riveting true story, which won the National Outdoor Book Award for best book of the year! Journey of A Hope Merchant - from Apartheid to the Elite World of Solo Yacht Racing. by Neal Petersen

Wow this sounds fascinating! We'll check it out. Thanks Darlene.

Terms and Conditions - Privacy Policy

best books about sailboat racing

SailingEurope Blog - Sailing, Yacht Charter and Beyond

Sailors sailing

Top 12 Sailing Books to Read in 2022

After our list of the best sailing movies , we decided to bring you another one – The top 12 sailing books every sailor should read in 2022.

List of the Top 12 Sailing Books:

12. Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea

Most of you have probably heard of an incredible and extremely life-threatening situation world-famous, experienced sailor, Steve Callahan , endured. It’s no surprise that his story of survival a 76-day-long battle for life on an inflatable raft became a best-selling book and a thrilling movie we, like many others, have already written about. So are you more a book lover or a movie enthusiast? If you haven’t already read a book and/or seen the movie, make sure you do as you won’t regret it.

Author: Steve Callahan

11. red sky in mourning.

Your life can change in a minute so live each day to the fullest! This is what we often think or hear from others when we are faced with a change or a problem in our lives. But can we really be aware of how things can actually go wrong until we experience it first-hand? A 41-year-old, after sailing right into a terrible storm , woke up to find out her fiance was gone and the land was nowhere in sight. This is an incredible story of endurance and her physical and mental strength. Moreover, it is an authentic example of how a paradise can easily turn into a living hell. However, it also serves as a reminder to cherish every single moment and that our life is worth fighting for.

Author: Tami Oldham Ashcraft

Red Sky in Mourning - Sailing Book

10. The Lonely Sea and the Sky

The Lonely Sea and the Sky is the complete autobiography of Sir Francis Chichester, the first and the fastest man to singlehandedly circumnavigate the globe. When he was 18, Chichester emigrated to New Zealand to work as a shepherd, lumberjack, and gold prospector. Soon he qualified as a pilot and started his most famous solo flight from England to Australia. Despite having been diagnosed with cancer, Chichester became the first person to sail around the world solo from west to east via the great capes. Our list of Top 10 sailing books couldn’t be complete without this great book.

Author: Francis Chichester

The Lonely Sea and the Sky - Sailing Book

9. The Annapolis Book of Seamanship

Since the publication of the widely hailed first edition in 1983, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship has set the standard by which a sailing book is measured. Used throughout America as a textbook in sailing schools and Power Squadrons, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship thoroughly and clearly covers the fundamentals and advanced skills of modern sailing. Over half the book has been revised; old topics and features have been updated, and many new ones have been introduced. What’s more, the design has been modernized, and many colour illustrations have been added. As big and detailed as Annapolis is, the wealth of technical information (including dozens of step-by-step instructions) is presented here in a unique way; it’s both useful and easy to read. This is because John Rousmaniere and artist Mark Smith bring to Annapolis decades of experience both as sailors and as professional communicators.

Author: John Rousmaniere

8. Leap of Faith

How many of us have dreamt of selling everything we own and just go sail around the world? Well, this couple did exactly that! This sailing book tells a story about ultimate freedom and can be a really helpful guide if you ever make that decision. The book includes tales from the couple’s travels, places they had visited, rich social commentary and a financial plan that some of you might find useful. If you want to find out what’s it like to live in paradise, this sailing book is for you.

Author: Ed Robinson

Leap of Faith - Sailing Book

7. Left for Dead

When Nick Ward was asked to join the crew of the Grimalkin to sail in the Fastnet Race, he felt like all his dreams came true. This 600-mile course of the UK’s Fastnet Race started with perfect weather, but within two days the deadliest storm in the history of modern sailing had blasted through the Irish Sea. This storm took the lives of fifteen sailors. Nick Ward was left alone on his boat to face down a storm that has become legendary among sailors and racing fans. Left for Dead is one of those stories that deserves to be on our list of best sailing books.

Author: Nick Ward

6. The Curve of Time

This book is a true story of a single mother who became a widow in 1927 and packed her five children onto a sailboat to explore, summer after summer, the coastal waters of British Columbia. Her husband went on a solo camping trip and never returned. She decided not to sell their boat and went on a summer trip with the rest of her family. She was a navigator, skipper and engineer leading her crew/family through some bad storms, tides, and cougars and showing her children how to love and respect nature.

Author: M. Wylie Blanchet

5. Godforsaken Sea

Godforsaken Sea is a book about the 16 solo sailboat racers of The Vendee Globe race . This solo race is famous for taking sailing to another level and it took part across the Southern Ocean. It is pretty obvious that those 16 competitors are not „holiday sailors“ – they have been preparing for this race for months and they even hired some sleep specialists to achieve better results. Godforsaken Sea is a great adventure book that definitely deserves to be on our list of top 10 sailing books.

Author: Derek Lundy

4. Once Is Enough

This timeless classic is an exciting true story of survival against all odds. Miles Smeeton and his wife Beryl sailed their 46-ft Bermuda ketch, Tzu Hang, in the wild seas of Cape Horn, following the tracks of the old sailing clippers through the world’s most notorious waters. This is an exciting true story of survival against all odds, but it is also one of the most thoughtful sailing books which provides hard-learned lessons for other intrepid sailors.

Author: Miles Smeeton

3. The Long Way

The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier ‘s own incredible story of his participation in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. For seven months, the veteran seafarer battled storms, doldrums, gear failures, knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the finish, Moitessier pulled out of the race and sailed on for another three months before ending his 37,455-mile journey in Tahiti. Not once had he touched land and he explains his whole story in one of the most amazing sailing books ever.

Author: Bernard Moitessier

2. Maiden Voyage

Challenged by her German-Swiss father, an 18-year-old New York City bicycle messenger in 1988 became the first American woman, and the youngest person, to sail alone around the world. In this jaunty account of her journey, she veers between the perils of solo sailing, her relationships with her separated parents and the death of her mysterious mother. Aebi, writing with freelancer Brennan, reveals her lack of sailing knowledge and experience, describes the heavy seas and weather she endured, her numerous problems with malfunctioning equipment, the countries, people and cats she encountered and a sympathetic French-Swiss whose boat sometimes accompanied her own. The story is so compelling that sailing enthusiasts will read avidly on to the triumphant finish.

Author: Tania Aebi

1. Sailing Alone Around the World

This sailing memoir was written by a seaman and an adventurer Joshua Slocum, who was the first person to sail around the world alone and documents his epic solo circumnavigation. An international best-seller, the book became a great influence and inspiration to travellers from each corner of the globe. Additionally, Slocum is an example that through determination, courage and hard work any dream can easily become a reality. Apart from being an exceptional mariner, Slocum is an equally talented narrator, as he depicts events which are not only entertaining to read but also hold great historical and cultural significance considering the time of his journey. Well written and engaging to the very last page, Sailing Alone Around the World is one of the best sailing books ever written.

Author: Joshua Slocum

4 thoughts on “Top 12 Sailing Books to Read in 2022”

' src=

Ernest Hemingway “The Old Man and the Sea”

One of the best works about the sea and the search for harmony with the world around. For this small story, the author’s was not only honored the Pulitzer Prize in 1953, but a year later received the Nobel Prize. The story is significantly different from other works of the master – it is philosophical, simple, slow, and at the same time incredibly tense.

Calm and storm, good luck and defeat, happiness and grief – all this old fisherman Santiago saw more than once, but at the end of his days, fate prepared him for a new trial. He faces a grueling battle with a giant fish, from which there are only two outcomes – victory or death.

You can not put a sink to your ear, the smell and sound of the sea will be felt while reading this story.

' src=

Hi, Handykith. We agree. “The Old Man and the Sea” is definitely one of the best works about the sea.

' src=

The old man and the sea is great fiction but not sure it compares with The Long Way or some of the other non fiction books about solo sailing. Not sure Papa Hemingway was much of a solo Sailer, but then I guess Jack London wrote some great stories about adventure in Alaska/ Northwest Territories without ever leaving San Francisco…

' src=

4. Once is enough – Miles Smeeton All of the Smeeton books are fantastic bur that YouTube video of Tzu Jang is not Miles and Beryl’s yacht but a racing yacht of the same name. Here is a picture of the real yacht: https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/cruising-life/beryl-and-miles-smeeton-high-endeavours-81598

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Untitled

My Cruiser Life Magazine

18 of the Best Books on Sailing

I know–we’re all “connected” and glued to YouTube and online forums. But the truth is, you can’t replace a book. That’s right, a real, honest-to-God, turn the pages and read something, book-book!

The best books on sailing can be divided into a few categories. First, the non-fiction, fun-to-read ones make the best books on sailing adventures. Then there are the non-fiction sailing stories–the stories of solo racing, around-the-world travel logs, or survival at sea.

But, as a boater, you will also want to pick up some of the best books on sailing and seamanship. You’ll likely keep these titles as references onboard for when something breaks or you need a quick refresher!

So, without further ado, here’s a list of the best books on sailing stories for the ages.

Table of Contents

Best books on sailing stories – sailing adventure books, best books on the history of sailing – sailing books of the past, best books on solo race sailing, best books on sailing adventures and best books on sailing voyages, best books on sailing for beginners, best books on sailing and seamanship – books that should be on every boat bookshelf, what’s your favorite sailing book.

ImageTitlePricePrimeBuy
Flirting with Mermaids: The Unpredictable Life of a Sailboat Delivery Skipper Prime
An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude PrimeEligible
Float Plan Prime
Swell: A Sailing Surfer's Voyage of Awakening PrimeEligible
Sailing Alone Around the World Prime
The Boat Who Wouldn't Float Prime
The Long Way: Sheridan House Maritime Classic Prime
Maiden Voyage Prime
Bumfuzzle - Just Out Looking For Pirates Prime
Treasure Island Prime
Sailing Made Easy PrimeEligible
Coastal Cruising Made Easy PrimeEligible
Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair, Sailboat Refinishing, Sailbo Prime
The Boat Galley Cookbook: 800 Everyday Recipes and Essential Tips for Cooking Aboard Prime
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems Prime
The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising Prime
World Voyage Planner: 2nd Edition (World Cruising Series) Prime
Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea (CREATIVE MATH SUPPLEMENT) Prime

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Flirting with Mermaids: The Unpredictable Life of a Sailboat Delivery Skipper John Kretschmer

Kretschmer is a celebrity in the sailing circuit, having worked for decades as a delivery skipper and now operating a popular offshore teaching charter on his Kauffman 47 Quetzal . He’s written for many major sailing magazines and has several excellent books about hurricanes and storm sailing.

But this book is a little more informal and a little more intimate. Kretschmer weaves personal anecdotes with sailing know-how to create an engaging tale that’s both fun to read and informative. The result is one of the best entertaining books on sailing that you can find.

best books about sailboat racing

  • Add custom text here

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

An Embarrasement of Mangoes Anne Vanderhoof

This is a real-life tale of a foodie gone cruising. Anne and her husband set out in a 42-foot sailboat from the US east coast, bound for the Caribbean. Each stop in the 16 countries and 47 islands along the way brings the sort of nautical misadventures you’d expect.

But the thing that brings this book home for me is the idea of taking one’s passions with them when traveling. I, too, am a devout foodie. Vanderhoof shares not her cruising dreams but also the culture and the ingredients that make each spot special–and even includes recipes.

From catching shrimp on the ICW to enjoying a Bahamian cracked conch for the first time, this one kept me turning pages the whole way through.

best books about sailboat racing

Float Plan Trish Doller

After facing a devastating loss, Anna decides a sailing trip is just the ticket she needs. She needs her own adventure and to see if salt water is indeed the cure for everything, all while her family questions her plans and worries for her safety at sea.

After an eventful sail to the Bahamas, Anna hires a captain to show her the ropes. The story is a delightful mix of rom-com, adventure, and travel as Anna discovers the highs and lows of the sailing lifestyle.

best books about sailboat racing

Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening Liz Clark

Swell is the modern sailing story of a young surfer from California who sets out on the adventure of a lifetime, cruising through Mexico and, eventually, the South Pacific Ocean. Clark tells her story with enviable honesty, chronicling her journey of personal growth as well as her sailing adventure.

Liz has been sailing her 40-foot Cal Swell for over ten years now, visiting many exotic islands and meeting people that fellow sailors only dream about. Many times she’s alone, or in the company of only her cat. Swell touches on every aspect of her journey, from relationship drama to technical boat problems that had her stuck in Tahiti for more than a year.

best books about sailboat racing

Sailing Alone Around the World Joshua Slocum

I love this book for its historical perspective. Dreaming of casting off the lines and sailing into the sunset isn’t a new thing. Slocum was the first to circumnavigate by himself, setting out from 1893 to 1894 on his small sailboat Spray .

As you might imagine, cruising was a little different back then. One of the best books on the history of shipbuilding sailing, it offers a fascinating glimpse into what it was like in the late 19th century. Most of the spots visited were not set up for yachts, after all, and there was no Panama Canal. Join Slocum as he cruises the Magellan Straights and makes his way, navigating by stars (newsflash: the was no GPS back then, either!)

This classic is a free download on Kindle.

best books about sailboat racing

The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float Farley Mowat

Mowat’s humor will pull you into this story, a perfect read for anyone considering buying a fixer-upper sailboat. His tales of the dangerous hand-crank diesel motor and the leaky wooden boat might seem archaic, but anyone who’s owned a boat will rejoice in understanding that it’s always been this way–it’s just what boats do.

This is also, for a change, a northern adventure that sets out from the shores of Newfoundland. If ever there’s a place where you’d like your boat to float, it’s where the water is that cold!

Unfortunately, this is one of the only books on the list that has yet to make it to a Kindle or ebook version. You can pick up a paperback for under $10, though.

best books about sailboat racing

The Long Way (The Pivitoal Novel of the Golden Globe Race) Bernard Moitessier

Some books have inspired sailors for decades, and many of those sailors point to Moitessier’s The Long Way as one of the most impactful. It’s the story of the first Golden Globe Race–a solo, around-the-world, non-stop route by way of all three Great Capes in the Southern Ocean.

Moitessier’s story is one of surviving solo at sea, with knock-downs, gear failures, storms, and doldrums. In the end, he sailed 37,455 miles before he touched land.

best books about sailboat racing

Maiden Voyage Tania Aebi

At 18, Aebi became the youngest person and the first American woman to sail around the world alone. This book is her story and follows her 1985 journey of two-and-a-half years and 27,000 miles.

best books about sailboat racing

Bumfuzzle Patrick Schulte

Catamarans have made their mark on the world, and their impressive sailing performance and layouts continue to draw in new cruisers. Meet the young couple Ali and Pat, who decide over drinks that they should sail around the world on one.

One year later, they found the boat and set sail. With no sailing background or boating experience, the couple spent four years sailing around the world. They learn what they need along the way, get into trouble, and get out of trouble.

The most interesting thing about the book is that they are not conventional sailors–they aren’t into technicalities. They want to travel, and their catamaran lets them do it. This is a major shift for many sailors, and the couple makes it clear right off the bat that they don’t subscribe to the “norms.”

best books about sailboat racing

Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

If you haven’t read the original pirate yarn Treasure Island since grade school, do yourself a favor and find a Kindle copy to reread. You might find buried treasures in this long-forgotten “kids” story.

And if the OG pirate tale piques your interest, consider hopping over to our ultimate list of best sailing movies and give Black Sails a watch. The show tells the back story of some characters from the book, like Long John Silver and Captain Flint.

best books about sailboat racing

Sailing Made Easy ASA

This is the textbook for ASA 101, the entry-level sailing course from the American Sailing Association. There are plenty of other books like it, but this one is super easy to learn from and designed by experts. It’s full of full-color graphics and diagrams and teaches using the building blocks method. Start with simple sailing terms and sailing knots , and work your way up to sail trim and handling the boat with easy, step-by-step instructions.

If you’re debating about getting into sailing without any experience, this book is a great place to start. So give it a read, and maybe you’ll want to make it interactive by taking the course from your nearest sailing school.

best books about sailboat racing

Coastal Cruising Made Easy ASA

This is the textbook for ASA 102, Coastal Cruising. It takes the introductory information from 101 and expands on it, giving you the confidence to navigate farther from the marina and tackle some longer journeys. You’ll learn more about navigation, planning a big trip, and fine-tuning your sailing skills.

best books about sailboat racing

  • Full color, richly illustrated, 176-pages

best books on sailing for beginners

Related: Best Boat for Beginners

Some books belong on the shelf in every boat, even if you’re tight on space. Of course, digital bookshelves count, but some of these references are invaluable to be able to pick up and flip through.

Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual Don Casey

For beginners contemplating living on a sailboat , you cannot go wrong with this how-to guide that covers every part of boat ownership. Even if you aren’t looking at a fixer-upper, this book will walk you through the hows and whys of boat ownership and maintenance.

This hardcover is a collection of five smaller books, making it the ultimate compendium for your shelf. Here are the five titles included to give you an idea of the wide-ranging topics.

  • Inspecting the Aging Sailboat
  • Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair
  • Sailboat Refinishing
  • Sailboat Electrics Simplified
  • Troubleshooting Marine Diesels
  • Canvaswork and Sail Repair

The great thing about this text is that it grows with the reader. Section one teaches you how to perform your own survey on a vessel, an invaluable step to consider before making an offer and hiring a professional surveyor.

best books about sailboat racing

The Boat Galley Cookbook: 800 Everyday Recipes and Essential Tips for Cooking Aboard Carolyn Shearlock and Jan Irons

Before you even get to the great recipes, this book contains great information you should have on hand in a cruising boat. Substitutions, how to store things without a refrigerator (or with a tiny one!), and what to look for in foreign markets are just a few examples.

The recipes are practical for the boater, with one-pan dishes and lots of potluck favorites. But there are also helpful tips on how to do things landlubbers may never have thought about, like baking bread in a tiny galley or cleaning a fresh-caught lobster.

best books about sailboat racing

Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual Nigel Calder

Calder’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual is the bible of boat maintenance for DIY and cruising owners. It provides the theory and the basics, industry-standard how-to guides, and basic troubleshooting steps.

The importance of this book cannot be overstated. While many things on boats seem straightforward, particularly to folks already DIY savvy, there is still much to learn. Calder provides a baseline of how things should be done and a good summary of the regulations and ABYC standards for things like electrical wiring and plumbing.

best books about sailboat racing

The Voyager’s Handbook Beth A. Leonard

If you’re wondering over the how-tos of making the splash into the cruising world, Leonard’s Voyager’s Handbook is an excellent resource. The book considers some of the important topics that few people discuss openly. For example, exactly how much does it cost to sail around the world? What sort of boat do you need, and how should it be outfitted?

Of course, these are hard questions to answer because everyone does it differently. Leonard tackles these difficult issues by dividing the cruising world into sectors–the budget cruisers, the middle-of-the-road folks, and the luxurious living large set.

No matter which group you put yourself in, this book helps you plan for the adventure. Whether you need help finding the right boat and outfitting it, weather forecasting and heavy-weather sailing, and managing emergencies, Leonard’s is a resource you should keep close at hand.

best books about sailboat racing

World Voyage Planner Jimmy Cornell

If you dream of crossing oceans, this book is for you. This is the original how-to guide for sailing around the world. Or around the Atlantic, or Pacific, or where ever you want to go. It includes the basics and the most popular routes, including things you need to think about along the way and an overview of how it’s done. If you’ve ever wondered things like “ how long does it take to sail across the Atlantic ,” then this is the book where you’ll find your answers.

This book is part of Cornell’s World Cruising Series of textbooks. Each book looks similar but has a slightly different purpose.

  • World Cruising Routes — Details over 1,000 sailing routes for every major passage around the globe, including climate, storms, and ocean current considerations
  • World Voyage Planner — Overview of the most common voyages and how to plan them in the most favorable conditions with background information on global climate and cruising destinations
  • World Cruising Destinations — Descriptions and histories for 184 countries, including legal formalities for sailors, climate, and facilities

best books about sailboat racing

Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories, and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea John Kretschmer

The title sums this great read up well. Kretschmer has made his living for years as a delivery skipper (read his yarns in the above-mentioned Flirting with Mermaids ). But he also teaches wannabe voyagers and gives lectures on what makes a great bluewater boat. After all, he’s sailed a lot of them first-hand.

Sailing a Serious Ocean recounts some of his biggest lessons to students, including what makes a sound, bluewater boat, and how to deal with storms at sea.

best books about sailboat racing

Whether you like a good adventure yarn, some historical drama, or a how-to reference that will be used daily, there are many great options.

One parting thought–the helpfulness of a Kindle onboard cannot be overstated. The basic Kindle Paperwhite is worth a look if you’re an avid reader, and it will always be one of the best gifts for boaters . It’s waterproof (!!!), and its battery lasts weeks without a recharge. In short, it’s the perfect travel companion and allows you to free up space on your shelf–something every boater needs.

best books about sailboat racing

  • Kindle Paperwhite – Now with a 6.8” display and thinner borders, adjustable warm light, up to 10 weeks of battery life, and 20% faster page turns.

best books about sailboat racing

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

best books about sailboat racing

Yachting Monthly

  • Digital edition

Yachting Monthly cover

Books for sailors: our pick of the best new releases

  • Julia Jones
  • April 21, 2022

Yachting Monthly literary contributor Julia Jones reviews all the latest new releases to pick the best books for sailors this summer

Books for sailors - a sailor reading a kindle on the deck of a boat

Credit: Getty

Looking for inspiration for your holiday reading list?

From solo sailing adventures to practical seamanship , here are the best books for sailors to read over the summer.

The Temptress Voyages

The Temptress Voyages - new releases

Edward Allcard’s first two books Single-Handed Voyage (1950) and Temptress Returns (1951) chronicle his pioneering voyages both ways across the Atlantic .

He bought the elderly 34’ yawl Temptress as an antidote to postwar malaise, then set out to put himself and his yacht to the test.

He began his 81-day single-handed crossing to New York in May 1949, spending hours at the tiller or hove-to.

This arduous existence represented freedom.

He felt regret as well as triumph when he reached America, then regret when he was eventually obliged to leave.

The return voyage almost cost his life but later, when he was joined by Otilia the stowaway, he also discovered friendship.

These two volumes of struggle and self-discovery are classics of their time.

The Temptress Voyages by Edward Allcard, Lodestar, £12

Buy The Temptress Voyages at Amazon (UK)

Buy The Temptress Voyages at Foyles (UK)

Old Man Sailing

Old Man Sailing Book JAcket

Old Man Sailing has become a word-of-mouth bestseller among sailing titles.

In March 2020 John Passmore was content on his Rival 32 Samsara , the wrong side of the Lowestoft Harbour bridge.

Three months lockdown was imminent. He shifted his berth within the hour.

Then, after some careful provisioning he moved to the Walton Backwaters to complete preparations, observe quarantine and pick a weather window before leaving for the Azores northabout Shetland.

When he returned, six weeks and 3,629 miles later, his action had caught the public imagination.

Passmore, a former journalist, is an accomplished writer able to shape his anecdotes and remain wryly entertaining as well as thought-provoking throughout.

These qualities will ensure Old Man Sailing continues to be read long after lockdown has faded from memory.

Old Man Sailing by John Passmore, Samsara Press, £10.24

Buy Old Man Sailing at Amazon (UK)

Buy Old Man Sailing at Amazon (US)

Buy Old Man Sailing at Audible

Addicted to More Adventure

Addicted to more adventure by Bob Shepton Book Jacket

A new collection of Bob Shepton’s adventures is an immediate pleasure.

Perhaps, as he’s a chaplain by trade, it’s not surprising that there is also a message: ‘Risk is good, enjoy it’.

Ellen Massey Leonard’s afterword spells out the essential connection between risk and joy. ‘Bob has found joy throughout his life in climbing unclimbed cliffs […] and in reaching some of the world’s most remote wildernesses under sail.’

In many of the voyages described here his role is to help others achieve similar experiences.

As well as leading a west-east return through the North-West passage, he acts as a delivery skipper and a sailing master and conveys other, younger, mountaineers to make those thrilling first ascents that are now beyond his reach.

Addicted to More Adventure by Bob Shepton, Amazon, £15

Buy Addicted to More Adventure at Amazon (UK)

Buy Addicted to More Adventure at Amazon (US)

Buy Addicted to More Adventure at Waterstones (UK)

A River in Borneo

A River in Borneo book jacket

Richard Woodman insists that this is his last novel and it’s one of his best, which is why it has been included in our books for sailors list.

A River in Borneo is set in the Malaysian and Indonesian waters he explored as a junior officer in the 1960s Merchant Navy.

The sailing scenes are pure delight as Captain Harry Kirton handles his elderly brigantine as if she were a yacht.

The central action is set in the mid 19th century and Kirton must learn to navigate the sensitivities of different ethnic groups within his crew with the same skill that he negotiates the intricate island passages between the Sulu and Celebes Seas.

Moulded by pain, Kirton is one of Woodman’s most psychologically interesting characters. If this is Woodman’s swansong, it’s a good way to go.

A River in Borneo by Richard Woodman, McBooks Press, £21.95

Buy A River in Borneo at Amazon (UK)

Buy A River in Borneo at Amazon (US)

Buy A River in Borneo at Waterstones (UK)

The Sea is not made of Water

The Sea is not made of water book jacket

This is a book with the wow factor.

It’s an astonishingly wide-ranging tour-de-force which finally reaches the assertion that the sea ‘is a world to come alongside, to be-with in ways that go beyond the predatory’.

Whilst most sailors will have little trouble with this concept, Nicolson works his way towards it from a coast-based perspective.

Although he does sail out towards Lismore Lighthouse in the Sound of Mull, in a 16ft wooden lugger, his interest is in observation of the inter-tidal rocks, weeds, creatures and legends.

Writing on tides he highlights the Newtonian theory that what we experience is not the sea being pulled about the surface of the earth, but the turning of the earth under the surface covering of the sea – a concept both awe-inspiring and giddying.

The Sea is not made of Water by Adam Nicolson, Harper Collins, £20

Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Amazon (UK)

Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Amazon (US)

Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Waterstones (UK)

Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Audible

Continues below…

Sailing thrillers to enjoy

Sailing thrillers to escape with this holiday

The escapism of sailing thrillers can be a real draw, especially over the holiday period. Julia Jones reviews some of…

best books about sailboat racing

The best sailing books & cruising guides of 2021

The best sailing books of 2021? Julia Jones reviews the latest maritime reading

Best children's books

Best children’s books for youngsters who sail

Struggling to find the perfect gift for your sailing mad youngster? Yachting Monthly literary reviewer Julia Jones picks the best…

The Five Year Voyage: Exploring Latin American Coasts and Rivers

Book jacket for the Five Year Voyage

When the wanderlust returned he had a partner, Ginny, equally eager for adventure, so adapted a slightly larger boat.

Thurston was an adapted Sea Pearl 21, a two-masted trailersailer , drawing only 9 inches.

They added a cabin top, drinking water ballast, stowage and a sliding seat rowing system.

Two years later, having travelled from Florida to Panama, they added a Honda 2hp outboard.

This enabled them to spend a further three years exploring the coastline and great rivers of South America as far as Buenos Aires.

On the way they married and had a baby.

This is an intensely impressive small boat voyage. It’s also grippingly readable.

The Five-Year Voyage : Exploring Latin American Coasts and Rivers by Stephen Ladd, Seekers Press, £15.99

Buy The Five Year Voyage at Amazon (UK)

Buy The Five Year Voyage at Amazon (US)

Essential Boat Electronics

Book jacket fro Essential Boat Electronics

Electrics are the ‘number 1 problem on any boat’ states the blurb.

While some may wish to challenge this, the fact remains that recent decades have seen an unprecedented increase in the complexity of systems on even the most modest cruising yacht.

Often these systems have been overlaid on one another as new needs have been identified or earlier installations found inadequate.

This useful guide avoids too much theory but encourages better organisation and an understanding of personal priorities.

Even those of us who are privately determined to use professionals wherever possible, it would be well advised to read this book and keep it on board, for the moments when self-reliance is unavoidable.

This is not a problem that’s set to go away.

Essential Boat Electronics 3rd edition by Oliver Ballam and Pat Manley, Fernhurst Books, £16.99

Buy Essential Boat Electronics at Amazon (UK)

Buy Essential Boat Electronics at Amazon (US)

The Shetland Sea Murders

Sailing thriller - the Shetland Sea Murders book jacket

The Shetland Sea Murders is the 9th book in an established series featuring sailor Cas Lynch, but can be read as a standalone thriller.

The story starts will Lynch running her last charter of the season, which is disrupted by a VHF radio call from the Shetland coastguard.

What follows is two apparently unrelated murders, and soon Lynch herself is under threat.

Fans of Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series will throughly enjoy the plot’s twists and turns.

It will certainly keep you entertained!

Buy The Shetland Sea Murders at Amazon (UK )

Buy The Shetland Sea Murders at Amazon (US)

Buy The Shetland Sea Murders at Waterstones

Buy The Shetland Sea Murders at Audible

The Dinghy Cruising Companion

The Dinghy Cruising Companion (2nd edition) book jacket

This is the second edition of an important book, and deserves inclusion in our list of books for sailors.

Roger Barnes’s writing recalls Maurice Griffiths’s titles of the 1930s – Magic of the Swatchways and Ten Small Yachts – where the romance of solitude and the challenge of self-reliance took people and their boats to unexpected anchorages, as well as into the warmth of the pub at the end of the day.

Like Griffiths, Barnes writes beautifully but also offers sound, experience-based advice and discusses the qualities of different types of vessel as well as rigs, equipment and modifications.

It’s arguable we would all be better sailors if we reminded ourselves more often of the interplay of wind and waves experienced from inside the hull of a dinghy .

The Dinghy Cruising Companion (2nd edition) by Roger Barnes, Adlard Coles, £16.99

Buy The Dinghy Cruising Companion at Amazon (UK)

Buy The Dinghy Cruising Companion at Amazon (US)

Buy The Dinghy Cruising Companion at Waterstones (UK)

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.

Visit the Yachting Monthly Book Club for more of the best sailing books released this year.

If you have recommendations for books for sailors – get in touch at [email protected]

Enjoyed reading Books for sailors: our pick of the best new releases?

A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price .

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals .

YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.

  • Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
  • Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
  • Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations

Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

The Home That Roams logo

35 Best Books for Sailors: Adventures, Sailing Stories, and Guides

pin of boat winches and lines

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We also earn from other affiliate websites. See our full disclaimer .

If you’re a sailor, you know that there’s nothing quite like the open sea. The sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and the waves crashing against your boat’s hull – it’s a feeling that can’t be captured anywhere else.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite sailing books that inspire that passion and some of the best sailing guides to get you out on the water.

girl reading books on sailboat bow

From sailing adventure novels to non-fiction books about sailing around the world, there’s something for every sailor and armchair adventurer on this list. We’ve also included sailing books for cruisers and liveaboard sailors that share information and stories about the sailing lifestyle.

So whether you’re looking for a new book to read on your next sailing trip or just curious about life on the ocean, be sure to check out our picks for the best books for sailors.

Sailing Adventure Books – Non-Fiction

Non-fiction sailing books offer sailors a glimpse into the actual dangers and excitement of life at sea. Some of the most fantastic adventure stories are about life on the open ocean. These books of survival, exploration, and determination will leave a lasting impression and a feeling of respect for the sea.

1. Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea

By Steven Callahan

Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea

Adrift is a non-fiction book by Steven Callahan that tells the story of his 1982 sailing expedition, during which he was stranded in a lifeboat for 76 days.

The book chronicles his story as he fights for survival against all odds. This is an original, true adventure story that should be on every sailor’s reading list.

2. The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst

By Nicholas Tomalin

The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst: Now Filmed As The Mercy

The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst is a non-fiction book by Nicholas Tomalin that tells the story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst, a man who attempted the Golden Globe Race around the world in 1968.

The book follows Crowhurst’s journey, revealing this solo race’s mental toll on a sailor.

3. The Proving Ground

By Bruce Knecht

The Proving Ground

The Proving Ground is about the 1998 world-renowned Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. A distance of only 630 nautical miles, it is considered one of the most challenging races in the world, but it would also become fatal in this particular year.

A massive storm with 80-knot gusts and enormous waves tore apart the racing yachts killing six sailors and stranding 55 others. The book follows the stories of three of the yachts fighting for survival and showcases how those people of different backgrounds reacted in the face of disaster.

This story of courage, determination, and tragedy has been described as the ‘Perfect Storm’ version of a sailing race. Even if you know nothing about yacht racing or sailing, you can still find this book interesting and entertaining to read.

4. The Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

By Alfred Lansing

Endurance

The Endurance is a non-fiction book by Alfred Lansing that tells the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition to Antarctica. The book follows the journey of the Endurance, a ship that was caught in pack ice and eventually destroyed.

This book is one of the most remarkable survival stories ever told. It is made even more interesting since the wreckage of the Endurance was just recently found in March of 2022 over 10,000 feet below the Weddell Sea.

5. In the Heart of the Sea

The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

In the Heart of the Sea is a non-fiction book by Nathaniel Philbrick that reveals the true story of the whaleship Essex – the ship that was the inspiration for the timeless classic Moby-Dick.

In 1820, the Essex was attacked by a giant sperm whale, and the crew was forced to abandon ship. They sailed for over 90 days in small boats before finally being rescued. This is a sailing book of true survival and the unforgivable nature of the sea.

6. The Perfect Storm

A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

The Perfect Storm is a non-fiction book by Sebastian Junger that tells the story of the 1991 Perfect Storm, a hurricane that caused massive damage along the East Coast of the United States.

The book follows the lives of the fishermen who were caught in the storm, and it paints a vivid picture of how perilous a storm at sea can be.

A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea by Tami Oldham Ashcraft

Adrift [Movie tie-in]: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea

Adrift is an autobiography by Tami Oldham Ashcraft about two adventurous souls and their sailing passage from Tahiti to California. During this trip, Tami and her fiancé encounter a cataphoric hurricane that severely damages the sailboat.

This book is a true sailing survival story of a woman dealing with loss while struggling against impossible odds.

8. The Silent World

By Jacques Cousteau

The Silent World: The International Bestseller by the Father of Underwater Exploration (National Geographic Adventure Classics)

The father of scuba diving first introduced us to the mysteries of the underwater world in his book The Silent World. This book was published before Cousteau’s TV series and literally dived into the beginning of scuba and underwater adventure.

This book will delight sailors who are also divers and interested in exploring and discovering the deep sea as it was first explored through scuba in the 1950s.

9. Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft

By Thor Heyerdahl

Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft

The Kon-Tiki expedition was a famous 1947 voyage from South America to Polynesia on a raft built from balsa wood and bamboo. The team consisted of six men. The voyage was designed to test Heyerdahl’s theory that the ancient Polynesians could have settled in South America, and it proved to be a success.

This book is another fascinating true story of sailing expeditions and exploration in the 20th century.

Sailing Adventure Books – Fiction

Sailing adventure books are a great way to get lost in a story while enjoying the open seas. These novels often follow the journey of a sailing vessel or crew fighting for survival on the sea or a dangerous voyage in uncharted waters. They’re perfect for anyone who loves adventure and suspense or wants to escape from the real world.

These are some of our favorite fictional books on sailing adventures.

10. The Old Man and the Sea

By Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea: The Hemingway Library Edition

The Old Man and the Sea is a classic novel by Ernest Hemingway, first published in 1952. The novella tells the story of an aged Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin fish for three days and nights in the Gulf Stream before finally killing it. He sets himself against both his own past, represented by his young brother, and the present, in the form of the marlin.

It’s a simple (and relatively short) story, but with a closer look, you can see why this book earned Hemingway the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953.

11. Moby-Dick

By Herman Melville

Moby-Dick (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels)

One of our favorite sailing novels is also a classic by anyone’s standards. Moby-Dick tells the story of a sailor’s quest to hunt down a giant white whale.

The book captures the essence of life on the open ocean and, in turn, captures who sailors are as people, both adventurous and determined. This is one of the great sailing stories that should be on your must-read list.

12. Master and Commander

The Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian

Master and Commander (Vol. Book 1) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)

Master and Commander is the first book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, a series of historical fiction novels set during the Napoleonic Wars. The book follows the life of Captain Jack Aubrey, a British naval officer, and his friend Dr. Stephen Maturin, a ship’s surgeon.

The Aubrey-Maturin series offers a glimpse into the life of a naval officer during the Age of Sail. It’s a story of friendship and adventure, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads it.

You can also check out the movie of the same name, which made our Top 15 Sailing Movies list .

13. The Life of Pi

By Yann Martel

Life Of Pi

The Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel that tells the story of a young boy who is stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger in the Pacific Ocean.

The story follows Pi as he attempts to survive for 227 days on the lifeboat, using his wits and animal instincts to keep himself alive. It’s an intense and harrowing story, but one that ultimately speaks to the human spirit and the will to survive.

14. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

By C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia Book 5)

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the fifth novel by C.S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia series that tells the story of King Caspian’s voyage to find the seven lost lords of Narnia. The book follows the journey of the Dawn Treader, a ship that King Caspian captains.

Lewis’s ability to create interesting characters and settings makes this book a joy to read. If you are looking for a story with a fun sailing adventure, this is a good book to get lost in!

Books About Sailing Around the World

These books are true stories about sailors who circumnavigated the globe. From the first solo sail around the world to sailing around the world in a 12-foot boat – these books are packed with some of the best sailing stories of all time!

15. Sailing Alone Around the World

By Joshua Slocum

Sailing Alone Around the World

Sailing Alone Around the World is a sailing classic written by Joshua Slocum. The memoir recounts Slocum’s journey as the first person to solo sail around the world.

This book follows Captain Slocum’s three-year, 46,000-mile journey beginning in 1895 as he encounters an exciting number of challenges, including dangerous coral reefs, pirates, and even Indians. This book is the original true-story sailing adventure novel!

16. Maiden Voyage

By Tania Aebi

Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage is an autobiography that tells the story of an 18-year-old whose father gives her a choice between college and circumnavigating the globe solo in a 26-foot sailboat.

The book chronicles her remarkable journey around the world and provides a story of inner strength and determination that is sure to inspire anyone who reads it.

17. Gipsy Moth Circles the World

By Francis Chichester

Gipsy Moth Circles the World

Gipsy Moth Circles the World is a book about the author’s solo circumnavigation in 1966 on his 53-foot ketch via Cape Horn. At the time, he was one of only nine boats to sail around the world on this route and set a new record for speed on his 226-day journey.

This book is an authentic mariner’s sailing story, providing all the details of what it was like sailing solo on this voyage – from constant sail changes to weather and day-to-day activities. The fact that the author was 65-years-old on the journey makes the feat even more impressive.

By Robin Lee Graham

Dove

Dove is a sailing autobiography by Robin Lee Graham that tells how at 16-years-old he began an around-the-world sailing exhibition in 1965. During this trip on a 24-foot sloop, he became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo.

The book chronicles his 33,000-mile journey, from exploring gorgeous tropical islands to finding his wife.

19. 500 Days: Around the World on a 12 Foot Yacht

By Serge Testa

500 Days: Around the World on a 12 Foot Yacht

Follow along with Testa as he sets the world record for the smallest boat to circumnavigate. During his 500 days sailing on an incredibly tiny yacht built by the author himself, he recounts his sailing stories with humor sprinkled throughout.

There’s no doubt Testa is a very self-sufficient and determined sailor, and he might even convenience you to start your sailing journey on a smaller sailboat!

20. The Long Way

By Bernard Moitessier

The Long Way: Sheridan House Maritime Classic (Sheridan House Maritime Classics)

The Long Way is a book by Bernard Moitessier that tells the story of his 1969 participation in the first Golden Globe Race. This race is a non-stop circumnavigation during which Moitessier sails around three capes, including Cape Horn. Follow along with the author and the many challenges he faces, including terrible weather, loneliness, fatigue, and maintenance issues.

The Long Way exploits the struggles of solo sailing passages and shows the rewards behind such a challenging feat.

Best Books on Sailing for Beginners

If you’re new to sailing or living on a boat, you might wonder where to start. These books will teach you how to sail, maintain a sailboat, and live on a sailboat. We’ve also listed excellent guides to cruising on a sailboat, including what boat to buy and how to outfit it.

Here are some of the best books for beginner sailors and liveaboards.

21. Sailing Made Easy

By The American Sailing Association

Sailing Made Easy

Sailing Made Easy is a book by the American Sailing Association that provides a comprehensive guide to sailing for beginners. The book covers everything from the basics of sailing to more advanced topics, and it includes many helpful illustrations and photos.

Sailing Made Easy is the guidebook for sailing school with the American Sailing Association and its ASA1 course. It’s an essential resource for anyone who wants to learn how to sail!

22. Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual

By Don Casey

Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair, Sailboat Refinishing, Sailbo

Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual is the ultimate guide to sailboat maintenance. Casey is considered the ‘go-to’ expert for answers about repair and maintenance in the sailboat community.

With six full sections on sailboat maintenance, this book includes everything from how to repair sails and other sailboat fabrics, to how to repair fiberglass. Casey includes many helpful illustrations and photographs along the way to make it easy to understand each step of the project.

Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual is an essential resource for anyone who owns or plans to own a sailboat. Not only will it help you keep your boat in top condition, but it will save you money in the long run.

23. The Boat Galley Cookbook

By Carolyn Shearlock & Jan Irons

The Boat Galley Cookbook

The Boat Galley Cookbook is a cookbook that was written specifically for sailors cooking in a sailboat galley.

The author, Carolyn, is well known in the cruising community for her blog The Boat Galley, and is considered an authority on cooking onboard.

The book includes over 800 recipes for all kinds of meals, snacks, and desserts, and it provides instructions on how to prepare them while sailing. The authors have also included helpful tips on food storage and preparation and advice on how to make things like yogurt and bread aboard.

The Boat Galley Cookbook is an essential resource for anyone who loves to sail and wants to enjoy delicious food while doing so. It’s also an excellent gift for any sailor in your life!

24. The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat

By Mark Nicholas

The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat

This book is chock-full of realistic and useful information for anyone who wants to learn how to live on a boat. Nicholas covers everything from the basics of living aboard to more advanced topics, such as insurance and liveaboard marinas. He also goes in-depth on boat buying and budgeting.

This is truly an excellent resource for the new boat owner who has a goal to liveaboard.

25. Get Real, Get Gone

How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever by Rick Page

Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever

Rick Page’s book, Get Real, Get Gone, is about escaping the rat race by sailing away on a boat – and not needing to be a millionaire to do it.

Page provides helpful tips, from choosing the right boat and preparing for departure to dealing with challenging weather conditions and staying safe at sea.

Rick Page’s philosophy is to keep things simple so you can get out on the water as soon as possible. The author focuses on simplicity onboard, frugal sailing, and sustainable traveling. This book is an incredible resource for anyone looking to make their dream of sailing away into the sunset a reality.

26. Capable Cruiser

By Lin & Larry Pardey

Capable Cruiser 3rd Edition

This book is an updated extension of the Pardeys’ book ‘The Self-Sufficient Sailor.’ This comprehensive cruising guide is even more jam-packed with information on all aspects of cruising, from boat selection and outfitting to weather forecasting and provisioning.

The authors have over 50 years of combined cruising experience and are somewhat legends in the cruising community. Their motto of “go small, go now” is a well-known sailing quote and has gotten many sailors out on the water sooner with a simple setup that allows them to live their cruising dreams!

27. Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual

By Nigel Calder

Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4/E

The Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual is a book that covers in detail the mechanical and electrical systems of a boat.

The author, Nigel Calder, has included information on everything from maintaining your diesel engine, wiring your boat, servicing your winches, troubleshooting your batteries, and much more.

Nigel is so good at answering your mechanical and electrical issues we took to just saying “let’s see what Nigel says” whenever we had a problem on our sailboat.

This book is an essential resource for boat owners and sailors.

28. The Annapolis Book of Seamanship

By John Rousmaniere

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship: Fourth Edition

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship is considered the bible of sailing. It is a comprehensive guide covering topics such as sailing basics, sail trim, navigation, weather, boat maintenance, safety, anchoring, and more.

This guide is updated regularly and is an essential book to have onboard your sailing vessel.

Best Blue Water Sailing Guides

If your goal is blue water sailing, these three books are some of the most highly acclaimed and respected resources available today. They get you started with what sailboat to buy, the gear you need, route and passage planning, and more. Don’t leave shore without them!

29. World Cruising Routes

By Jimmy Cornell

World Cruising Routes, 9th Edition

This book is the most comprehensive guide on sailing routes around the world. Often referred to as the blue water cruising bible, it includes detailed information on weather conditions and currents around the world and the best times to make passages. You’ll even find details on where to provision, have repair work done, and other essential information.

World Cruising Routes is a must-have resource for any sailor interested in blue water sailing.

30. The Voyager’s Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising

By Beth Leonard

The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising

The Voyager’s Handbook is a book that covers everything you need to know about long-distance cruising. From buying the right blue water vessel to weather forecasting, passage planning, safety and emergency preparation, etc. This book presents a guide to cruising on either a shoestring budget or a larger allotment.

The author, Beth Leonard, has sailed around the world herself, and she provides detailed information on every topic and skill needed to successfully complete a long voyage on a sailboat.

31. How to Sail Around the World

By Hal Roth

How to Sail Around the World: Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail

Hal Roth has been sailing for more than 50 years and has logged more than 200,000 nautical miles. In his book, he shares his vast knowledge of sailing and very detailed information on blue water sailboats, passage planning, single-handing a small boat, and more.

He also covers topics such as:

  • How to buy a boat
  • How to learn navigation skills
  • What you need in order to sail around the world safely

If you are planning to circumnavigate or sail around part of the world, this is a great sailing blook to have at your disposal.

Best Sailing Books About Cruising

These books are written by cruisers living aboard and contain many sailing adventure stories to inspire your own liveaboard adventure! If you are looking for an accurate and sometimes humorous description of what it’s like living on a sailboat, these books are an excellent place to start.

32. A Sail of Two Idiots

100+ Lessons and Laughs from a Non-Sailor Who Quit the Rat Race, Took the Helm, and Sailed to a New Life in the Caribbean by Renee Petrillo

A Sail of Two Idiots: 100+ Lessons and Laughs from a Non-Sailor Who Quit the Rat Race, Took the Helm, and Sailed to a New Life in the Caribbean

A Sail of Two Idiots is a book written by Renee Petrillo that tells the story of her journey with her husband to go from zero experience as sailors to living on a boat in the Caribbean.

Renee shares her sailing adventures and lessons learned with humor, intelligence, and insight. Her book will make you laugh, cringe, and want to set sail on your own adventure. This book is recommended for beginner sailors or anyone who aspires to go cruising.

33. An Embarrassment of Mangoes

A Caribbean Interlude by Ann Vanderhoof

An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude

Ann Vanderhoof’s book, An Embarrassment of Mangoes, is a delightful account of her time spent living on a boat in the Caribbean.

Vanderhoof provides readers with a charming and humorous look at the people, culture, and food of the Caribbean. With stories that focus on their adjustments to life on a sailboat, intertwined with recipes and cooking tips around local ingredients in the islands.

An Embarrassment of Mangoes is a must-read for any foodies dreaming of living the cruising lifestyle!

34. Escape from the Ordinary

By Julie Bradley

Escape from the Ordinary (Escape Series Book 1)

Julie Bradley’s book, Escape from the Ordinary, tells the story of her and her husband’s decision to leave their life in the U.S. behind and sail around the world.

Bradley provides readers with an inspiring and honest look at the highs and lows of living a life of adventure as they travel to exotic places all over the globe.

35. Plunge: One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary

By Liesbet Collaert

Plunge: One Woman's Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary

If you’re looking for an inspiring and honest account of one woman’s journey to find a life less ordinary onboard a sailboat, you need to read Plunge.

Collaert provides readers with a compelling and candid look at the challenges and rewards of living a cruising lifestyle. From working remotely on a sailboat to the challenges of a relationship on a boat – Liesbet covers everything from a realistic perspective.

If you are considering diving into the world of sailboat living, Plunge will give you an accurate depiction of the lifestyle’s high highs and low lows.

The Best Books About Sailing

The best books for sailors provide readers with an inspiring and honest look at the challenges and rewards of a life of adventure.

Whether you want an inspiring account of one woman’s journey around the world or a humorous look at going off the grid and living aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean, these books will give you the inspiration you need to take the plunge.

RELATED ARTICLES

  • 11 Best Sailing Instagram Accounts to Inspire You to Sail Away
  • 17 Best Sailing Movies & Documentaries
  • 25 Epic Sailing Songs for Sailors & Modern-Day Pirates
  • 15 Best Sailing YouTube Channels and Popular Sailing Vlogs

Want to find more articles for sailing inspiration?

Check out our lists of sailing movies, quotes, music, and more that inspire this lifestyle.

Like this post? Save it on Pinterest for later.

Pinterest image for Best Sailing Books

Morgan, the founder of The Home That Roams, has been living nomadically for over five years. She began her journey traveling across the U.S. in a motorhome and cruising on a liveaboard sailing catamaran. Currently, she lives full-time in a travel trailer, sharing resources on RV living and boat life to help others downsize their lives and thrive in an alternative lifestyle.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Me Up!

Learn how to live on a boat.

Get weekly tips on how to start traveling full-time on a boat.

View our privacy policy .

Privacy Overview

Cookie Duration Description
cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics 11 months This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional 11 months The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary 11 months This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
cookielawinfo-checkbox-others 11 months This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance 11 months This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
viewed_cookie_policy 11 months The cookie is set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and is used to store whether or not user has consented to the use of cookies. It does not store any personal data.

best books about sailboat racing

Boat Reviews

  • Boats Specs
  • Marine Pros
  • Boat Insurance
  • Boat Warranties
  • Boat Transport
  • Boat Towing
  • Marine Forecasts

BoatingWorld

Your Ultimate Boating Resource

BoatingWorld

What are the best books on competitive sailing?

Competitive sailing, also known as sailboat racing, is a thrilling and challenging watersport that requires a great deal of skill and strategy. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or just starting out, there are several books that can help you improve your sailing abilities and take your competitive racing to the next level. Here are some of the best books on competitive sailing:

1. “Sailing Smart” by Buddy Melges – This book covers everything from boat handling and sail trim to tactical racing strategies. Buddy Melges is a legendary sailor who has won numerous championships, including the America’s Cup and Olympic gold medal. The insights provided in this book are based on his decades of experience and can be applied to all types of sailboats.

2. “Winning in One-Designs” by Dave Perry – This book is a must-read for anyone who sails in one-design fleets, which are sailboat classes that are identical or very similar in design. Dave Perry is a renowned sailing coach and author, and his book provides practical advice on how to master one-design racing. It covers everything from boat preparation and tuning to race tactics and rules interpretation.

3. “Championship Tactics” by Gary Jobson – Gary Jobson is a veteran sailor who has competed at the highest level of sailboat racing. In this book, he shares his insights on how to win races through smart tactics and strategic decision-making. The book covers everything from starting strategies and wind shifts to fleet management and protest procedures.

4. “The Art of Racing in Sailing” by Bill Gladstone – Bill Gladstone is a world-renowned sailing coach and author who has trained some of the top sailors in the world. In this book, he provides a comprehensive guide to the art of sailboat racing, including boat handling, sail trim, and racing tactics. The book is full of practical tips and advice that are applicable to sailors of all levels.

5. “Fast Handling Techniques” by Frank Bethwaite – Frank Bethwaite was an Olympic sailor and boat designer who revolutionized the sport of sailing with his innovative high-performance boats. In this book, he shares his techniques for fast boat handling, including sail trim, steering, and crew coordination. The book is full of diagrams and photos that make it easy to understand and apply the techniques.

These books are all excellent resources for competitive sailors who want to improve their skills and tactics. Whether you’re just starting out or have been racing for years, you’re sure to find valuable insights and strategies in these pages. With the help of these books, you can take your sailing to the next level and become a true champion on the water.

Related Questions

What type of wood is used for pier pilings, what is the difference between a dock and a floating pier, what is the proper technique for pulling a beginner wakeboarder, what does ‘no wake’ mean on a lake, what is the difference between wash and wake, is wakesurfing possible in the sea, why don’t wooden piers rot, what size wakeboard is needed, how to achieve more pop on a wakeboard, does wake surfing translate to ocean surfing, latest posts, 2024 pursuit os 445: an overview, dock your boat smoothly this summer with these tips, the billionaire’s playground: where to spot superyachts around the world, summertime snack ideas for your boating adventure, don't miss, our newsletter.

Get the latest boating tips, fishing resources and featured products in your email from BoatingWorld.com!

De-Winterize Your Boat the Right Way with These Professional Tips

10 essential tips for fishing near private property, the benefits of using a drift sock: guidance for anglers, lure fishing: secrets for imitating live bait and attracting fish, explore the untapped depths of america’s best bass fishing spots, tackle your catch-and-release adventures with these 6 tips, outboard motor maintenance: tips for keeping your engine in top shape, the essential boat tool kit: tools every boater needs, diy boat building: 8 tips and tricks for building your own vessel, the art of miniature maritime craftsmanship: ship in a bottle, antifouling paints: a guide to keeping your boat shipshape, beginner’s guide to standup paddle boarding: tips and techniques, boating for fitness: how to stay active on the water, kayak safety: how to stay safe on the water, anchoring in a kayak or canoe: how to secure your small boat, 2024 aquila 47 molokai review, 2024 sea-doo switch 13 sport review, 2024 aspen c120 review, 2024 yamaha 222xd review, 2024 sailfish 316 dc review, 2023 seavee 340z review, 2023 centurion fi23 review, gear reviews, megabass oneten max lbo jerkbait review, fortress anchors fx-7 anchoring system review, fortress anchors fx-11 anchoring system review, fortress anchors commando anchor kit review, fortress anchors aluminum anchors review, stay in touch.

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

  • Privacy Policy

The Best Books for Learning About Sailing History

Explore the rich and captivating history of sailing through these top books, from the brave pioneers of old to modern-day adventurers, and discover the lessons and inspiration that lie within.

Ahoy, fellow sailing enthusiasts! As you embark on your own sailing adventures, it’s essential to learn about the rich history of sailing and the brave souls who have navigated the open seas before us. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best books that delve into sailing history, from the early explorers to modern-day adventurers. These books will not only entertain and inspire you but also provide valuable insights and lessons that you can apply to your own sailing journey.

Early Explorers and Navigators

1. the age of exploration: a brief history with documents by bedford/st. martin’s.

This comprehensive book provides an overview of the Age of Exploration, a period from the 15th to the 17th century when European explorers set sail to discover new lands and trade routes. The book includes primary source documents, such as letters, journals, and maps, which provide a firsthand account of the explorers’ experiences. This is an excellent resource for understanding the motivations, challenges, and achievements of these early sailors.

2. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel

Longitude tells the fascinating story of John Harrison, an 18th-century clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer, a device that enabled sailors to accurately determine their longitude at sea. This invention revolutionized navigation and greatly improved the safety of long-distance sailing. The book is a captivating blend of history, science, and biography, making it an engaging read for anyone interested in sailing history.

3. The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself by Daniel J. Boorstin

This sweeping history of human discovery covers a wide range of topics, including the early navigators who charted the oceans. The book delves into the lives and accomplishments of famous explorers like Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and James Cook, as well as lesser-known figures who made significant contributions to our understanding of the world. The Discoverers is a fascinating and informative read that will inspire you to continue exploring the world around you.

Classic Sailing Adventures

4. sailing alone around the world by joshua slocum.

In 1895, Joshua Slocum set out on a solo voyage around the world aboard his sloop, the Spray. His incredible journey took him over 46,000 miles and three years to complete, making him the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone. Slocum’s memoir is a captivating account of his adventures, from battling storms and pirates to encountering friendly natives and fellow sailors. This classic tale of courage and determination is a must-read for anyone with a passion for sailing.

5. Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea by Richard Henry Dana Jr.

This memoir by Richard Henry Dana Jr. recounts his two-year voyage from Boston to California as a common sailor aboard a merchant ship in the 1830s. The book provides a vivid and detailed account of life at sea during this time, including the hardships, camaraderie, and daily routines of sailors. Two Years Before the Mast is an engaging and informative read that offers a unique glimpse into the world of 19th-century sailing.

6. The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

Before he became famous for his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin was a young naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle on a five-year voyage around the world. The Voyage of the Beagle is Darwin’s journal of his experiences and observations during this journey, which took him to places like the Galapagos Islands, Australia, and South America. This book is not only an important piece of scientific history but also a fascinating account of adventure and discovery at sea.

Modern Sailing Stories

7. a world of my own: the first ever non-stop solo round the world voyage by robin knox-johnston.

In 1969, Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world. His incredible journey aboard his 32-foot yacht, Suhaili, took him 312 days to complete and earned him a place in sailing history. A World of My Own is Knox-Johnston’s account of his voyage, filled with thrilling moments, personal reflections, and insights into the challenges of solo sailing. This inspiring book is a testament to the human spirit and the allure of the open sea.

8. Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi

At the age of 18, Tania Aebi set out to sail around the world alone aboard her 26-foot sloop, Varuna. Her two-and-a-half-year journey took her across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and into the Pacific, where she faced storms, equipment failures, and loneliness. Maiden Voyage is Aebi’s memoir of her incredible adventure, which made her the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo. This inspiring and empowering book is a must-read for aspiring sailors and adventurers.

9. The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier

The Long Way is the memoir of legendary French sailor Bernard Moitessier, who participated in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first-ever solo, non-stop, round-the-world sailing race. Instead of completing the race and claiming victory, Moitessier decided to continue sailing around the world, eventually covering 37,455 miles in a single voyage. His book is a philosophical and poetic account of his journey, exploring the beauty of the sea and the challenges of solitude.

These books offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for anyone interested in sailing history. From the early explorers who charted the oceans to the modern-day adventurers who have pushed the boundaries of solo sailing, these stories will captivate and inspire you as you embark on your own sailing journey. So, hoist the sails, grab a good book, and set a course for adventure!

Atlas & Boots

The UK's most popular outdoor travel blog

another montage of eight sailing books

Best sailing books: 25 tales inspired by the sea

A list of the best sailing books including memoirs, novels and biographies, constituting the most fascinating nautical tales ever penned

After recently compiling a list of the best sailing movies we’ve seen, I was prompted into some related reading. Fresh from a delivery of sailing bestsellers (and less-sellers), I’ve put together a list of the best sailing books.

The list covers everything from epic voyages, tales of survival, investigative biographies and sailing manuals – with a few coffee table reference books thrown in.

Best sailing books

The below list is in no particular order. If you have any suggestions that you feel deserve a place on this list of best sailing books, please add them in the comments below.

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

In 1895, Joshua Slocum set out to prove that a man could sail alone around the world. Some 46,000 miles and three years later, he completed the first single-handed circumnavigation of the globe in his 34ft sloop, the Spray.

A Voyage For Madmen by Peter Nichols

In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe non-stop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line.

The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall

One of the best sailing books I’ve ever read. Donald Crowhurst was a contestant in the above round the world race. Hopelessly out of depth, he attempted to pull off one of the greatest hoaxes of our time.

The Last Grain Race by Eric Newby

This was one of the first sailing books I ever read and it got me hooked. In 1939, a young Newby set sail aboard Moshulu, the largest sailing ship still employed in the transportation of grain from Australia to Europe as part of what was known as ‘the grain race’. His story of the passage has become a classic.

Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft by Thor Heyerdahl

The adventure of Thor Heyerdahl and his companions on their raft across the Pacific has gone down in legend as a feat of endurance and courage. This is that story in Heyerdahl’s own words.

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere

Since the publication of the widely hailed first edition in 1983, this book has set the standard. Used throughout the world as a textbook in sailing schools, the Annapolis Book of Seamanship thoroughly and clearly covers the fundamental and advanced skills of modern sailing.

montage of best sailing books

A Race Too Far by Chris Eakin

Chris Eakin recreates the drama of the epic inaugural Golden Globe race. He talks to all those touched by the event: the survivors, the widows and the children of those who died.

Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan

I’m currently halfway through this gripping tale and it is already one of the best sailing books I’ve read. Steven Callahan’s dramatic account was on the NYT bestseller list for 36 weeks. In many ways, it’s the model for the new wave of adventure books. At the time, he was the only man known to have survived more than a month at sea alone.

438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea by Jonathan Franklin

In 2012, Salvador Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. After 14 months, he washed ashore having drifted over 9,000 miles.

Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian

The first of Patrick O’Brian’s famous Aubrey/Maturin novels, regarded by many as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. There were 20 completed – and one unfinished – in the series set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Gipsy Moth Circles the World by Francis Chichester

First published in 1967, just months after the completion of Chichester’s historic journey, the book was an instant international best-seller. It inspired the first solo around-the-world race and remains a timeless testament to the spirit of adventure.

Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi

Tania Aebi was an unambitious 18-year-old in New York City. She was going nowhere until her father offered her a challenge: choose college or a 26ft sloop. The only catch was that if she chose the sailboat, she’d have to sail around the world alone. Off she went.

another montage of best sailing books

DK Complete Sailing Manual by Steve Sleight

DK are renowned for producing beautiful reference books and this sailing manual does not disappoint. Now in its fourth edition, the book covers the basics of sailing, mastering navigation and maintaining your boat.

The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford W. Ashley

First published in 1944 and reprinted many times since, this magnificent, fully illustrated book of knots is collated by Geoffrey Budworth with the help of other members of the  International Guild of Knot Tyers .

Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening by Liz Clar

Clar chronicles her 2006 solo voyage across the South Pacific in search of great surf. She recounts her story in gripping detail, telling tales of self-awareness, solitude, connection to the earth and surfing.

Once is Enough by Miles Smeeton

This timeless classic is an exciting true story of survival against all odds. Smeeton and his wife sailed their 46ft ketch, Tzu Hang, in the wild seas of Cape Horn, following the tracks of the old sailing clippers through the world’s most notorious waters.

Last Man Off: A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Antarctic Seas by Matt K. Lewis

The waters of Antarctica, 1998. A 23-year-old Lewis has just started his dream job aboard a deep sea fishing boat. A storm hits. With the captain missing and the crew forced to abandon ship, Lewis leads the escape onto three life rafts, where the battle for survival begins.

A World of My Own: The First Ever Non-stop Solo Round the World Voyage by Robin Knox-Johnston

In1968, a tiny ketch called Suhaili slipped almost unnoticed out of Falmouth. Ten and a half months later, Suhaili came romping joyously back to Falmouth to a fantastic reception for Robin Knox-Johnston who’d become the first man to sail single-handedly around the world non-stop.

The Proving Ground by Bruce Knecht

This is the story of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart boat race, the most dramatic in yacht racing history. Of the 115 boats that started, just 43 would finish. Knecht recreates those dramatic hours and the gut-wrenching fear of those caught in the eye of the storm, battling for their lives.

The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2017-2020 by Royal Yachting Association

The essential manual includes the updated International Code and Race Signal flags. Water-proof editions are also available.

The Long Way (La Longue Route) by Bernard Moitessier

The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier’s own incredible story of his participation in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn.

Left for Dead: 30 Years On – The Race is Finally Over: The Untold Story of the Tragic 1979 Fastnet Race by Nick Ward & Sinead O’Brien

The second edition is updated with a new chapter describing Nick’s eventual completion of the Fastnet Race 30 years after his first, ill-fated attempt.

Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

This sometimes hilarious, often harrowing, and always poignant memoir is set against a backdrop of the world’s most beautiful and remote destinations. Equal parts love story and travel memoir, the book is witty, charming, and proof that some risks are worth taking.

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.

A memoir first published in 1840, written shortly after a two-year sea voyage starting in 1834. To this day, the book is regarded as a valuable historical resource describing 1830s California.

Godforsaken Sea: Racing the World’s Most Dangerous Waters by Derek Lundy

In 1996, 16 sailors set out from the Bay of Biscay to embark on the Vendee Globe – a single-handed yacht race through the world’s most treacherous and isolated seas. Only six completed the course, six others withdrew, three were plucked from sinking boats and one disappeared without a trace.

Enjoyed this post? pin it for later…

best books about sailboat racing

Lead image: Dreamstime

You might also like:.

a couple using a sailing app on a device while sailing

ASA / American Sailing

  • Find A School
  • Certifications
  • North U Sail Trim
  • Inside Sailing with Peter Isler
  • Docking Made Easy
  • Study Quizzes
  • Bite-sized Lessons
  • Fun Quizzes
  • Sailing Challenge

best books about sailboat racing

Mastering Sailboat Racing Tactics: A Winning Approach

By: Zeke Quezada, ASA Sailing Races

Sailboat racing demands a unique blend of skills and expertise. The dynamic nature of racing, with its ever-changing winds and currents, requires sailors to excel in various aspects to secure victory. One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the fluid playing field upon which we play.  At North U, experts understand that sailboat racing success is built on a pyramid comprising Boat Handling, Boat Speed, and Tactics, with Tactics reigning supreme at the pinnacle.

Building the Foundation: Boat Handling and Boat Speed

Before delving into the intricacies of racing tactics, it’s crucial to lay a solid foundation. Boat Handling forms the base of the pyramid, emphasizing the importance of mastering the art of sailing. Without proficient boat handling skills, even the best tactics would falter. Next in line is Boat Speed, a universal requirement across all forms of racing. Whether it’s bicycles, bobsleds, or sailboats, speed is the essence of victory in any race.

best books about sailboat racing

Reaching the Summit: Racing Tactics

Atop the Racing Pyramid stands Tactics, the ultimate decider in the world of sailboat racing. Once you’ve honed your boat handling and achieved exceptional speed, mastering tactics becomes the key to clinching victories. Tactics, in its broadest sense, encompasses Strategy and Tactical execution, each playing a pivotal role in the race.

Understanding Strategy and Tactics

Strategy is the overarching plan that revolves around wind, wind shifts, and current. It is an overall gameplan detailing how a sailor would navigate the course independently while factoring in the complex interplay of natural elements. On the other hand, Tactics involve the practical implementation of the strategy and the adept handling of other boats in the race. Understanding and adhering to Racing Rules are part of Tactics, as the rules dictate your rights and obligations as you deal with other boats.

General Tactical Tips: 

  • Craft a Comprehensive Strategy: Formulate a game plan based on your expectations of the wind’s behavior. A well-thought-out strategy provides a roadmap for your race.
  • Get a Good Start: While a perfect start is ideal, it’s not mandatory for victory. Focus on launching at full speed from the starting line, ensuring you have clear air near the favored end. A strong start sets the tone for the race.
  • Chase the Wind: Seek out areas with more wind and navigate your boat towards these pockets. Sailing in favorable wind conditions gives you a significant advantage over competitors.
  • Embrace Speed: Sailing at maximum speed is a game-changer. Position your boat in a way that allows you to maintain top speed throughout the race. Sometimes, the simplest strategy is the most effective.
  • Master the Shifts: Tacking and jibing strategically based on wind shifts is crucial. Upwind, tack when you’re headed away from the mark and sail on the lifts that push you towards it. Downwind, jibe when lifted away from the mark and sail on the headers, guiding you in the right direction.

Sailboat racing tactics are the culmination of strategic planning, meticulous execution, and adaptability to the ever-changing elements. By mastering the art of strategy and tactical maneuvers, sailors can elevate their racing performance. 

Ready to Become a Master?

Choose from among American Sailing’s many resources to help you improve your racing — from online courses, to textbooks, to week-long events, you can choose one or all to upgrade your sailing racing skills.

Online Classes

Learn more about how to form winning racing strategies at the Racing Strategy, Tactics and Rules Online Class. This 4-session series hosted by Bill Gladstone starts October 17, 2023.

best books about sailboat racing

The most complete books on modern racing tactics and trim, North U takes you all the way around the course. These textbooks are an essential part of any racing sailors library.

best books about sailboat racing

Performance Race Week

At American Sailing Performance Race Weeks powered by North U, we spend five days exploring every facet of racing success through an enriching blend of practical on-water training and races complemented by shoreside seminars and insightful video reviews. With a coach on every boat, you’ll receive close personal attention to build on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. Join us for this unique opportunity to become a better, more versatile, and more accomplished sailor.

best books about sailboat racing

Related Posts:

2024-07-online-class-winning-tactics-around-the-race-course-main01-800×800

  • Learn To Sail
  • Mobile Apps
  • Online Courses
  • Upcoming Courses
  • Sailor Resources
  • ASA Log Book
  • Bite Sized Lessons
  • Knots Made Easy
  • Catamaran Challenge
  • Sailing Vacations
  • Sailing Cruises
  • Charter Resources
  • International Proficiency Certificate
  • Find A Charter
  • All Articles
  • Sailing Tips
  • Sailing Terms
  • Destinations
  • Environmental
  • Initiatives
  • Instructor Resources
  • Become An Instructor
  • Become An ASA School
  • Member / Instructor Login
  • Affiliate Login
  • BOAT OF THE YEAR
  • Newsletters
  • Sailboat Reviews
  • Boating Safety
  • Sails and Rigging
  • Maintenance
  • Sailing Totem
  • Sailor & Galley
  • Living Aboard
  • Destinations
  • Gear & Electronics
  • Charter Resources

Cruising World Logo

Books for Your Boat

  • By Cruising World Staff
  • Updated: December 11, 2012

With the publication of Cornell’s Ocean Atlas, that’s no longer the case. By employing the latest technology and weather information compiled via satellite over the last two decades and by quadrupling the number of roses on their clearly illustrated collection of transoceanic charts, the Cornells have not only updated a valuable resource but also substantially broadened it. For more background info, visit their website . -Herb McCormick

best books about sailboat racing

Understanding, Installing, and Operating HF Marine Radio Transceivers by Martin Dunsmuir (2011; $30; White Squall Consulting ). Setting up a reliable high-frequency system can be daunting for those of us unfamiliar with the various products and the specific cabling, antennas, modems, and software required. In this self-published manual, the author takes the mystery out of the process. Dunsmuir is an expert, and he provides regular seminars to such groups as the Blue Water Cruising Association.

This work fills in all the blanks. It begins with a section on high-frequency radio theory and quickly moves on to hardware choices, licensing, antennas, grounding, and troubleshooting. The last section is invaluable advice for solving problems offshore. The style is direct, up-to-date, and written specifically for cruisers. -Peter A. Robson

If you like your nautical literature penned by the light of a swaying kerosene cabin lamp, this is the book for you. What’s amazing isn’t that Don was my favorite guidebook writer when I was a teenager, but that he continues to be today, when I’m in my 60s. They don’t make ’em like Don anymore. Five stars. -Cap’n Fatty Goodlander

best books about sailboat racing

“I believe,” he says, “that 50 years from now, historians will place GPS on the short list of inventions, alongside the clock, electricity, and the Internet, that are truly indispensible.” The same could be said for this well-focused and eminently readable nugget of a book. -Lynda Morris Childress

Situated on the U.S. East Coast, the fleet, known as the Hooligan Navy, reported year-round on the presence of submarines, picked up victims of ships attacked by U-boats, and engaged U-boats in unevenly matched fights.

Narrator Spencer King capably delivers the tale, in which the author employs a style of framed narration by having a grandfather recount his experiences in the fleet to his granddaughter.

It’s a perfect way to contrast the youth of that era with the youth of today, and sailors particularly will appreciate Miller’s accuracy and attention to detail, undoubtedly a byproduct of his decades as an engineer in the aerospace industry. -Rick Martell

best books about sailboat racing

Optimizing the Trailerable Sailboat by Paul Esterle ($28; 2010; available from www.lulu.com ). Owners of small, trailerable sailboat for daysailing or camp-cruising will find here a compendium of simple-to-implement, ingenious yet practical ideas for maximizing enjoyment, functionality, and creature comforts on small boats. Virtually every topic from ballast to the trailer stand is covered in this work, and it’s all spiral-bound for quick, frequent reference. -Lynda Morris Childress

His best recommendation? Focus on the essentials, then go sailing. -Mark Pillsbury

Written from the refreshing perspective of someone who chose the cruising life not as a retiree but as someone who decided to break away from the workaday world, this gorgeous book is a step-by-step guide for anyone, but especially 30-somethings and 40-somethings, thinking about taking the leap. -Jen Brett

Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region by Donald and Lillian Stokes ($12; 1996; Little, Brown and Company ). When the first frigate bird soars above your boat or a brown booby lands on your wind generator, you’ll wish you had a bird book aboard. We prefer books with full color photos and information about habitat and range all in one place, and this one fills that bill. -Jan S. Irons

best books about sailboat racing

_ Usborne Spotter’s Guide: Flags of the World _by William Crampton ($8; 2003; Usborne Books ). Before leaving U.S. waters, we rarely had the opportunity to puzzle over the national identity of boats we encountered. Now we seem to consult our flag book daily to identify neighbors in our anchorages.

-Jan S. Irons

Backyard Stars: A Guide for Home and the Road ($5; 1998; Klutz ). This book answers such general questions as “What is that bright star?” Skies in the tropics are so dazzling that you’ll want to know where and when to spot planets, stars, meteor showers, and comets so you can relax on deck and take in the heavenly show.

Spanish for Cruisers: The Boater’s Complete Language Guide for Spanish-Speaking Destinations by Kathy Parsons ($32; 2nd ed., 2008; Aventuras Publishing Company). Parsons not only provides the words and easy pronunciations but also accompanying pictures. If all else fails and no one understands your Spanish, you can simply point at what you need!

-Lynda Morris Childress

-Herb McCormick

As well, the adventures of the crew of Moon Wind, a 26-foot Chris-Craft Pawnee exploring the shores of southeastern New England in search of the mystical land of Mass, where they speak a different language, will keep you turning the pages. -Rick Martell

-Elaine Lembo

Looking for more good books? Find them here.

  • More: apparel , books & videos , DIY Sailboat Projects , entertainment , Living Aboard , seamanship , voyaging
  • More How To

Excess 14 catamaran on the water

When the Wind Goes Light

Boat anchored in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico

How We Built Our Own Bulwarks

Windlass electrical terminal

How to Keep Your Windlass Working For You

Sailing yacht in Lefkada Greece

Southern Comfort: Tactical Tips for Sailing South

Vision 444

Sailboat Review: Vision 444

Excess 14 catamaran on the water

Sailboat Preview: Lagoon 43

Ice cream with chocolate sauce on a dish

Sailor & Galley: Ice Cream, Anytime

  • Digital Edition
  • Customer Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Email Newsletters
  • Cruising World
  • Sailing World
  • Salt Water Sportsman
  • Sport Fishing
  • Wakeboarding

Yachting World

  • Digital Edition

Yachting World cover

54-knot winds severely deplete 2024 Round the Island Race fleet

Helen Fretter

  • Helen Fretter
  • June 15, 2024

Extreme conditions severely depleted the fleet of the 2024 Round the Island Race, with hundreds of boats opting not to compete or retiring in 50-knot winds

best books about sailboat racing

Competitors in today’s 2024 Round the Island Race , an annual 50-mile circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight, faced one of the most severe conditions in years with gusts of over 50 knots recorded at The Needles, the westernmost point of the course.

The Round the Island Race traditionally attracts one of the largest fleets of any yacht race, and this year saw 939 boats originally entered.

However, today’s extreme conditions have severely depleted both the number of starters and finishers, and just 153 yachts completed the race with 418 retiring.

First to complete the course was Irvine Laidlaw’s Gunboat 80 Highland Fling , which posted an impressive elapsed time of 3h 39m 5s.

best books about sailboat racing

The Gunboat 80 Highland Fling was first multihull in the 2024 Round the Island Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RTIR

Owner Irvine Laidlaw said: “It was the first event for us in 2024 and we’ve travelled over 3,000 miles from Palma to be here but it’s worth it! I thoroughly enjoyed the race – I like the fact we go around an island with the start and finish in the same place, it’s rather satisfying.”

Boat captain Xavier Mecoy added: “[The] Boat is only a year old and it’s the first time we’ve sailed her in a big breeze, we’ve never had 2 reefs in the main before, so that was pretty exciting and we spent quite a bit of time sailing bare-headed as it was safer. 

“We were charging around the course doing 30 knots of boat speed at times.”

First monohull around was the Cowes based TP52 Notorious , owned by Peter Morton, who finished more than 40 minutes ahead of the nearest monohull yacht in 4h 21m 20s.

Notorious also finished 1st overall in IRC on correcrted time, winning the coveted Gold Roman Bowl.

Peter Morton, owner and skipper of Notorious, said: “I’ve not had the boat that long but I’ve competed in Round the Island Race many times over the last 50 years in various boats I’ve owned.

“It’s one of the most famous yacht races in the World and we went out to try and win. It’s 40 years ago since I won it on a little 25ft boat called Odd Job , so today was very special for me.”

best books about sailboat racing

Peter Morton’s TP52 Notorious took monohull line honours and 1st overall under IRC in the severe conditions of the 2024 Round the Island Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RTIR

54 knots at the Needles

Despite a deceptively sunny start as the first fleets set off from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 0600, conditions quickly deteriorated to become even more extreme than many forecasts had suggested. The Needles Battery wind station (above the famous rock formation) recorded gusts of 54 knots from 0700 and a steady wind of 39-45 knots from the south-west. Competitors reported 35-40 knots going through Hurst Narrows.

This led to a severe sea state on the south of the island which saw many boats which had started choosing to turn back before the Needles. Fewer than 100 boats in the IRC and ISCRS fleets (the majority of monohulls) were recorded as rounding the Needles. 

Many of those retiring have reported sail damage, particularly torn mainsails. There was a collision off Yarmouth, and at least one man overboard incident, which was recovered swiftly. However, organisers report that there were just nine other incidents – fewer than in previous years. Local RNLI and Independent Lifeboat crews were on the water across the Solent and on the south of the island supporting the fleet throughout the day.

David Rolfe, skipper of the Sigma 33 Shadowfax was one boat whose race ended by the Needles. Shadowfax  was welcoming her new part owners aboard for their very first race on the boat.

“We started with a reef and our Number 2 [jib],” explained Rolfe. “It was, I would say deceptively – not calm, but quieter than forecast. When we came off the line, and if anything, it then dropped a little bit. As we headed down the Solent we even had a little bit of a talk about how we might set the spinnaker lines for when we’re on the south side of the island.

“Then a weather band that came in, a whole load of rain squalls, and that just changed mode completely. Suddenly we were in full on, probably 30-odd knots, gusting high 30s. It was a bit on and off through those squalls, some heavy rain, maybe even a little bit of hail in amongst it.

“The sea state was a bit rough, but not crazy. And then as we got towards Hurst, it went up another level. We could see it coming down the track towards us, and a few boats were really on their ear. One boat was definitely 45 degrees or more over, out of control, just pushed on its side by the wind. So we were battened down and gearing up for that.

“Then we got pushed right on our ear. We’d trimmed the main out. We’re trying to control it, but we were right on our side and going slowly, and almost sideways! I don’t know the wind strength, probably gusting into the 40s. And the sea was getting bigger and rougher with wind over tide really driving it pretty hard. So we decided we needed to go for a second reef, put that in. And after putting that in [we] tacked off to go into the full [tidal] stream through Hurst.

“That’s when we saw, unfortunately, we’d ripped our main, probably as we were reefing it. That was the end of the race for us. We bore away and hurtled back, surfing down these waves on our way back to Cowes.”

best books about sailboat racing

The Needles recorded winds of 54 knots as the 2024 Round the Island Race fleet passed the landmark. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RTIR

2024 Round the Island fleets cancelled

The race typically attracts a large cohort of family and amateur crews, for many of whom this is the only race they may compete in all year. A building forecast over the preceding week had led many competitors to withdraw ahead of the race. 

The day before, organisers had also announced that eight classes would not start . Racing was cancelled for the Classic Racing Yacht (ISCRS), Diam 2 class, Gaffers under 23ft, J/70s, both divisions of Bridgedeck Multihulls, the smaller Grand Prix and MOCRA Multihulls, and the Sportsboat division.

Race safety officer Mark Southwell said on Friday 14 June, when making the announcement: “We will only cancel fleets where there is a significant chance that the majority of the fleet could get into difficulties and risk injury to the crew, a situation that could quickly overwhelm the support services. 

“For other fleets, with a wide range of crew experience and boat types, it is each skipper’s sole responsibility to evaluate the capability of their crew and the suitability of their boat to handle the expected conditions (including wind and sea state) and make the decision as to whether their boat should take part.”

Race Director, Dave Atkinson said in a statement from the organisers after the race: “This race was a challenge for both the competitors and the Race Team at the Island Sailing Club, with the safety and well-being of the crews being the main priority.”

“We would like to thank the RNLI, independent lifeboats and coastguard teams for their assistance and co-operation before and during the race on Saturday. Despite the challenging conditions we only had nine incidents connected to the race which is less than previous years, this shows the seamanship of the crews and the correct decision making that went into undertaking of the race.”

best books about sailboat racing

a group of people in a boat

How Sailing Became Stirring, Stylish—and Straight-Up Sexy

After years of being a bit of a snooze, America’s Cup racing now offers great-looking gear, adrenaline-spiking speed, and exhilarating entertainment.

Thirty-odd years ago, British Esquire compared America’s Cup sailing to Formula 1 racing. According to our counterparts across the pond, it wasn’t only water that separated the two sports; it was also sailing’s lack of speed, excitement, and sex appeal. That was not entirely wrong. Back then, much of sail racing involved waiting for small puffs of wind to move multimillion-dollar boats above walking pace. As an exclusive sport, it left many cold. But just over a decade ago, something nearly miraculous happened.

With the advent of foiling in 2012, racing yachts gained the seemingly gravity-defying ability to rise above the surface of the water and into the air. The boats ride on thin struts called foiling arms that create lift in the water, much like an airplane wing does in the sky. Instead of chugging through the waves, these boats could suddenly fly over them. The drag of the water on the hull was reduced to almost nothing, and boat speeds rose exponentially. Sailing teams harnessed this new technology to find the perfect balance of wind and machine. Nowhere was the new technology more advanced than in the hotly contested—and hugely well-funded—America’s Cup, the oldest competitive trophy in sport.

americas cup

When all is in harmony, it’s quite spectacular to watch; top speeds regularly reach nearly 60 miles per hour. This may not seem fast relative to other sports, but imagine an eight-story building passing you doing 60.

When the balance is off, the results can be even more spectacular—and occasionally disastrous. This knife-edge, thrills-and-spills combination makes for great TV. Think of it as being like Formula 1 (there’s that comparison again), with all the excitement but now the added risk of drowning. Even Ferrari announced in January its intention to get into competitive yacht racing. And for the next iteration of the America’s Cup, the 37th, big fashion is in on the game, too.

Following a seven-year-long hiatus, the biggest fashion brand in the world, Louis Vuitton, is reentering the sport. As with any successful sporting event these days, there’s plenty of top-notch merch. The maison has created a Louis Vuitton Cup capsule collection, a high-fashion take on nautical style, set to hit stores in mid-July.

a group of people in helmets and running on a street

Then there’s Prada, which has been connected to the America’s Cup since the ’90s. The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli crew are kitted out in a silver-gray collaboration with Woolmark that matches the colors of their yacht, AC75, which none other than Miuccia Prada christened recently. The gear looks suitably high-tech but is, in fact, made largely from merino wool, known for its water resistance, breathability, and natural stretch. A commercial interpretation of these technical garments will be available down the line.

Belstaff, which celebrates its centenary this year, is a sponsor of Sir Ben Ainslie’s INEOS Britannia team. Ainslie is the most successful sailor in Olympic history. To mark the occasion, the British brand has created a futuristic, performance-heavy capsule­, the Belstaff Challenger Collection, available in stores in mid-June.

Timing is everything in the America’s Cup, and watches have long been closely involved with the competition as both team and overall sponsors. Omega is the official timekeeper of the America’s Cup in 2024 and also sponsors the Emirates Team New Zealand. Tudor is on board with Alinghi Red Bull Racing, the Swiss challenger, which has won the cup twice, in 2003 and 2007. The Italian maker Panerai is, logically enough, the watch sponsor of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and in April launched a whole family of watches inspired by the team as part of its beefy Submersible line.

e

The America’s Cup has been the graveyard of personal fortunes and national pride since the first race in 1851. That year, 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron raced against a single adversary, the New York Yacht Club’s 93-foot schooner America, around the Isle of Wight in the English Channel with Queen Victoria looking on. America won. Ever since, the trophy has been known as the America’s Cup, the word America denoting the ship rather than the country. It has been won by other countries just seven times. From 1851 to 1980, the United States fended off all comers.

Speed? Check. Excitement? Check. Sex appeal? Check.

Story by Nick Sullivan Photos: Louis Vuitton, Prada, Panerai, Tudor, Omega.

preview for HDM All sections playlist - Esquire

@media(max-width: 73.75rem){.css-1ktbcds:before{margin-right:0.4375rem;color:#FF3A30;content:'_';display:inline-block;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-1ktbcds:before{margin-right:0.5625rem;color:#FF3A30;content:'_';display:inline-block;}} Big Black Book: Summer 2024

a man wearing a suit and tie

A Luxurious Journey from Cape Town to Cairo

a collage of a person

11 Americans with Style We Love

a man wearing a coat and glasses

Jian DeLeon

e

Eugene Tong

a man in a suit

Albert Muzquiz

e

Rōze Traore

e

Julie Ragolia

e

Lawrence & James

e

Jake Mueser

e

7 Summer Shoes From Around the World

  • Competitions
  • British Yachting Awards
  • Print Subscription
  • Digital Subscription
  • Single Issues
  • Advertise with us

Your special offer

Subscribe to Sailing Today with Yachts & Yachting today!

Save 32% on the shop price when to subscribe for a year at just £39.95

Subscribe to Sailing Today with Yachts & Yachting!

Save 32% on the shop price when you subscribe for a year at just £39.95

best books about sailboat racing

Round The Island Race 2024 results: Notorious wins amid wet and wild conditions

round-the-island-race-2024-results-02_RIR_Notorious_Paul-Wyeth

Boisterous conditions during the 2024 Round The Island Race made for a thrilling race which provided challenges for both competitors and race organisers…

Some years the annual Round the Island Race is a gentle stroll around the Isle of Wight in gentle summer sunshine. 2024 was anything but…

This is the UK’s biggest mixed fleet race on the calendar but Saturday’s race saw strong winds, with gusts of up to lash the south coast meaning that a number of smaller classes were withdrawn before the race and many others retired.

The most extreme conditions were experienced in the pinch point that is the Needles Channel. Gusts of 50kn were recorded and wind over tide conditions at times made for truly intimidating conditions. In the end just 153 yachts completed the course with a remarkable 418 retiring.

round-the-island-race-2024-results-01_RIR_Firebrand-IRC-Div2C_Paul-Wyeth

In such conditions it was no surprise that big boats came to the fore and it was to be Irvine Laidlaw’s 80’ Gunboat Highland Fling that took line honours, making the circuit in an impressive 3h 39m.

Meanwhile the TP52 Notorious , owned and skippered by Peter Morton took monohull line honours and won IRC on corrected time, scooping the much coveted Gold Roman Bowl in the process.

Peter Morton, owner and skipper of Notorious said: “This is one of the world’s greatest races and every year I look forward to it. I’ve not had the boat that long but I’ve competed in Round the Island Race many times over the last 50 years in various boats I’ve owned.

round-the-island-race-2024-results-04_RIR_NotoriousGoldRomanBowl_JoBowden

“Yesterday was special and the toughest one I’ve done. It’s 40 years ago since I won the Gold Roman Bowl on a little 25ft boat called ‘Odd Job’ which was the smallest boat in the fleet, so this year was very special for me.”

An unsettled early summer in the British Isles provided a real headache for the organisers of the annual Round the Island Race, who woke up to the reality on Saturday of extreme conditions, Race Director, Dave Atkinson said: “This race was a challenge for both the competitors and the Race Team at the Island Sailing Club, with the safety and well-being of the crews being the main priority.

“We would like to thank the RNLI, independent lifeboats and coastguard teams for their assistance and co-operation before and during the race on Saturday. Despite the challenging conditions we only had nine incidents connected to the race which is less than previous years, this shows the seamanship of the crews and the correct decision making that went into undertaking of the race.”

For more information and full results, visit the official Round The Island Race website .

RELATED ARTICLES MORE FROM AUTHOR

sailing-safety-equipment-crs9,4,14-1399

Sailing safety equipment: Your essential guide to staying safe at sea

cooking-on-a-yacht-chef-Good-sized-wahoo-that-is-excellent-eating-with-nice-white-flesh-once-bled

Cooking on a yacht: Top tips from blue water sailors

best-lifejackets-DECKVEST-6D---2

14 of the best lifejackets

Sailing Today cover

Offering a wealth of practical advice and a dynamic mix of in-depth boat, gear and equipment news, Sailing Today is written cover to cover by sailors, for sailors. Since its launch in 1997, the magazine has sealed its reputation for essential sailing information and advice.

  • British Yachting Awards 2022
  • Telegraph.co.uk

Sailing Today Logo

ADVERTISING

Chelsea Magazine Company logo

© 2024 Chelsea Magazine Company , part of the Telegraph Media Group . | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy

best books about sailboat racing

MORE SECTIONS

  • Dear Deidre

MORE FROM THE SUN

  • Newsletters
  • Deliver my newspaper
  • Sun Vouchers
  • The Sun Digital Newspaper
  • Racing Members Enclosure

best books about sailboat racing

  • Horse Racing

Package bookings now open for Royal Ascot 2025 – includes exclusive event with Frankie Dettori

  • Published : 9:27, 20 Jun 2023
  • Updated : 16:36, 19 Jun 2024

ROYAL Ascot is a racing event that everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime - but booking early is essential to get the best price.

If you want to make it to next year’s race, book through Racing Breaks: you'll save 40% by booking in advance.

Packages include race tickets, free drinks, transfers, a hotel stay with breakfast and best of all, an exclusive preview event with founder Frankie Dettori.

We've partnered with Racing Breaks to bring you an all-in-one Royal Ascot 2025 package that includes an exclusive event with Frankie Dettori

Royal Ascot Exclusive: £149pp (pay 10% now) from Racing Breaks

The racing maestro has been with the Racing Breaks company since its beginnings - and here’s an incredible chance to join Frankie at next year’s Royal Ascot.

In 2025, the annual race will be from Tuesday 17th June to Saturday 21st June - so get those dates in your diary now!

In terms of sheer pomp and circumstance, Ascot cannot be matched: there’s simply no other racing event like it.

Every June, the Berkshire racecourse takes centre-stage in the racing world as thousands of spectators gather to watch jockeys and horses from across the world compete. 

From the prestige of the Royal Procession to the adrenaline-charged Gold Cup finale, Royal Ascot is a true bucket-list occasion. 

Despite all the class and pageantry, part of its huge appeal is that it’s not an elitist event purely for hardcore racing fans. 

Most read in Horse Racing

Racing fans fume at 'terrible decision' by ITV as Royal Ascot replaced by Euros

Racing fans fume at 'terrible decision' by ITV as Royal Ascot replaced by Euros

Royal Ascot guests turn heads in eye-popping dresses & hats at day 2 of racing

Royal Ascot guests turn heads in eye-popping dresses & hats at day 2 of racing

Free bets, bonus offers and sign-up deals for iconic Royal Ascot meeting

Free bets, bonus offers and sign-up deals for iconic Royal Ascot meeting

My 9-1 NAP on day two of Royal Ascot is miles ahead of the handicapper

My 9-1 NAP on day two of Royal Ascot is miles ahead of the handicapper

Half of the fun at Royal Ascot is dressing up in your finest, enjoying a glass of bubbles, soaking up the atmosphere… and, of course, having a cheeky flutter.

It’s well worth considering if you’re in charge of organising a stag or hen party, or just celebrations with friends and family. 

Those who are put off at the thought of costs should keep this in mind: Ascot doesn’t have to be expensive, providing you book in advance.

Ticket and transport costs only start to rack up if you book at the last minute - which is why the best thing to do is book an all-in-one package from Racing Breaks.

Across 20 different countries and over 100,000 customers, the travel company delivers all-in-one packages for major racing events, bringing accommodation, transfers and race entry into one lower fixed cost, which you can pay in flexible amounts throughout the year.

So if you’re keen to get Royal Ascot 2025 nailed down now, all you’ll need to do is pay a deposit of 10% per person.

But what makes our offer with Racing Breaks so special is that we’re offering readers of The Sun exclusive access to a tipping preview event with legendary champion jockey Frankie Dettori .

Read on to find out more about our exclusive Royal Ascot package with Racing Breaks.

Sun Exclusive: Book Royal Ascot 2025 with Racing Breaks 

Racing legend Frankie Dettori is a founder and ambassador of Racing Breaks

Our partnership with Racing Breaks sets you up with an exclusive package that includes race tickets, plus everything else you need for a fabulous day at the races.

Our packages start at £149 per person . They include the following:

  • Tickets to Royal Ascot on your day of choice
  • One or more nights accommodation at a choice of hotels with breakfast
  • Return transfer to Ascot Racecourse

Exclusive Early Bird Offer:

  • Complimentary drink at your hotel on arrival
  • Complimentary drink and race card at Ascot racecourse
  • Complimentary Sun Newspaper
  • Invite to Exclusive Royal Ascot Celebrity Tipping Preview with Frankie Dettori

Book now, and pay a deposit from just £15 per person - you won’t find prices better anywhere else.

MORE FROM ROYAL ASCOT

Carole Middleton’s subtle nod to her daughter as Kate stays away from Ascot

Carole Middleton’s subtle nod to her daughter as Kate stays away from Ascot

6.15 Royal Ascot result - day 2: Who won the Windsor Castle Stakes?

6.15 Royal Ascot result - day 2: Who won the Windsor Castle Stakes?

How to watch 6.15 Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot 2024 on TV and stream

How to watch 6.15 Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot 2024 on TV and stream

No surprise to see shrewd connections strike at Ascot with this 11-1 tip

No surprise to see shrewd connections strike at Ascot with this 11-1 tip

Head to our Royal Ascot hub for all the latest news and tips from racing event of the year.

READ MORE SUN STORIES

best books about sailboat racing

'False sighting' wastes hours in Jay hunt as mum fears 'he's been taken'

best books about sailboat racing

UK's fastest & tallest rollercoaster forced to close again indefinitely

Visit our horse racing hub for more news, tips and results.

For all the latest news across football, rugby, boxing, golf and more, head to our sport section.

  • Horse racing
  • Royal Ascot
  • Frankie Dettori

best books about sailboat racing

  • Children's Books
  • Sports & Outdoors

Amazon prime logo

Enjoy fast, free delivery, exclusive deals, and award-winning movies & TV shows with Prime Try Prime and start saving today with fast, free delivery

Amazon Prime includes:

Fast, FREE Delivery is available to Prime members. To join, select "Try Amazon Prime and start saving today with Fast, FREE Delivery" below the Add to Cart button.

  • Cardmembers earn 5% Back at Amazon.com with a Prime Credit Card.
  • Unlimited Free Two-Day Delivery
  • Streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with limited ads on Prime Video.
  • A Kindle book to borrow for free each month - with no due dates
  • Listen to over 2 million songs and hundreds of playlists
  • Unlimited photo storage with anywhere access

Important:  Your credit card will NOT be charged when you start your free trial or if you cancel during the trial period. If you're happy with Amazon Prime, do nothing. At the end of the free trial, your membership will automatically upgrade to a monthly membership.

Buy new: .savingPriceOverride { color:#CC0C39!important; font-weight: 300!important; } .reinventMobileHeaderPrice { font-weight: 400; } #apex_offerDisplay_mobile_feature_div .reinventPriceSavingsPercentageMargin, #apex_offerDisplay_mobile_feature_div .reinventPricePriceToPayMargin { margin-right: 4px; } $22.00 $ 22 . 00 FREE delivery Tuesday, June 25 on orders shipped by Amazon over $35 Ships from: Amazon.com Sold by: Amazon.com

Return this item for free.

Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges

  • Go to your orders and start the return
  • Select your preferred free shipping option
  • Drop off and leave!
Returnable Yes
Resolutions Eligible for refund or replacement
Return Window 30 days from delivery
Refund Timelines Typically, an advance refund will be issued within 24 hours of a drop-off or pick-up. For returns that require physical verification, refund issuance may take up to 30 days after drop-off or pick up. Where an advance refund is issued, we will re-charge your payment method if we do not receive the correct item in original condition. See details .
Late fee A late fee of 20% of the item price will apply if you complete the drop off or pick up after the ‘Return By Date’.
Restocking fee A restocking fee may apply if the item is not returned in original condition and original packaging, or is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to Amazon or seller error. See details .

Return instructions

Item must be in original condition and packaging along with tag, accessories, manuals, and inserts. Unlock any electronic device, delete your account and remove all personal information.

Save with Used - Like New .savingPriceOverride { color:#CC0C39!important; font-weight: 300!important; } .reinventMobileHeaderPrice { font-weight: 400; } #apex_offerDisplay_mobile_feature_div .reinventPriceSavingsPercentageMargin, #apex_offerDisplay_mobile_feature_div .reinventPricePriceToPayMargin { margin-right: 4px; } $15.99 $ 15 . 99 FREE delivery Tuesday, June 25 on orders shipped by Amazon over $35 Ships from: Amazon Sold by: Flip's Books

Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required .

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Image Unavailable

The Winner's Guide to Optimist Sailing

  • To view this video download Flash Player

best books about sailboat racing

Follow the author

Gary Jobson

The Winner's Guide to Optimist Sailing Paperback – March 9, 2004

Purchase options and add-ons.

Written by one of the best-known figures in all of sailing and a leading authority on Optimist sailing and racing, The Winner's Guide to Optimist Sailing is the ideal training manual for young skippers, their parents, and their coaches. The most comprehensive sailing guide to the International Optimist dinghy class features:

  • Step-by-step instructions on every aspect of beginning sailing
  • More than 100 stunning photographs and helpful illustrations
  • Useful tips and winning tactics for competitive racing
  • Special advice sections for parents and coaches
  • Reading age 8 - 12 years
  • Print length 176 pages
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 7 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Publisher International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
  • Publication date March 9, 2004
  • ISBN-10 0071434674
  • ISBN-13 978-0071434676
  • See all details

Frequently bought together

The Winner's Guide to Optimist Sailing

Similar items that may deliver to you quickly

Optimist Racing: A Manual for sailors, parents & coaches (Sail to Win)

Editorial Reviews

From the publisher.

Gary Jobson has won ten national one-design sailing titles, the America's Cup, and many ocean races. In 1999, he received the U.S. Sailing Association's most prestigious award, the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy. In 2003 Gary was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame. He is an editor at large for Cruising World and Sailing World and has been ESPN's sailing commentator since 1985. Jay Kehoe has coached six U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association international racing teams and has served on the coaching staff of the U.S. Optimist National Team. Formerly head sailing coach at Yale University and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, he is now head sailing coach at Stanford University.

From the Back Cover

  • Equipment, lines, and useful knots
  • Basic sailing tips, including where to sit, how to launch and land, tacking, jibing, and Rules of the Road
  • Weather awareness
  • More advanced sailing skills--going faster!
  • Racing, including starts, upwind tactics, finishes, and dealing with protests
  • Practicing alone or in groups
  • Opti events, including tips for parents, plus scholastic and collegiate sailing, and the Olympics

"A comprehensive guide for kids learning to sail and race in Optis."-- Sailing World

About the Author

Product details.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1st edition (March 9, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0071434674
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0071434676
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 12 years
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • #175 in Children's Water Sports Books (Books)
  • #271 in Sports Reference (Books)
  • #366 in Sports Encyclopedias

About the author

Gary jobson.

Discover more of the author’s books, see similar authors, read author blogs and more

Customer reviews

1 star 0%

Our goal is to make sure every review is trustworthy and useful. That's why we use both technology and human investigators to block fake reviews before customers ever see them.  Learn more

We block Amazon accounts that violate our community guidelines. We also block sellers who buy reviews and take legal actions against parties who provide these reviews.  Learn how to report

  • Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews

Top reviews from the United States

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. please try again later..

best books about sailboat racing

Top reviews from other countries

best books about sailboat racing

  • Amazon Newsletter
  • About Amazon
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Press Center
  • Investor Relations
  • Amazon Devices
  • Amazon Science
  • Sell on Amazon
  • Sell apps on Amazon
  • Supply to Amazon
  • Protect & Build Your Brand
  • Become an Affiliate
  • Become a Delivery Driver
  • Start a Package Delivery Business
  • Advertise Your Products
  • Self-Publish with Us
  • Become an Amazon Hub Partner
  • › See More Ways to Make Money
  • Amazon Visa
  • Amazon Store Card
  • Amazon Secured Card
  • Amazon Business Card
  • Shop with Points
  • Credit Card Marketplace
  • Reload Your Balance
  • Amazon Currency Converter
  • Your Account
  • Your Orders
  • Shipping Rates & Policies
  • Amazon Prime
  • Returns & Replacements
  • Manage Your Content and Devices
  • Recalls and Product Safety Alerts
 
 
 
 
       
  • Conditions of Use
  • Privacy Notice
  • Consumer Health Data Privacy Disclosure
  • Your Ads Privacy Choices

IMAGES

  1. Review

    best books about sailboat racing

  2. Reviews of classic and modern sailing books

    best books about sailboat racing

  3. 8 Great Sailing Books

    best books about sailboat racing

  4. Invitation to Sailboat Racing: A Programmed Series of Lessons on

    best books about sailboat racing

  5. Reviews of classic and modern sailing books

    best books about sailboat racing

  6. Lot of 10 Yacht/Sailboat Sailing Design Books: Very Good

    best books about sailboat racing

VIDEO

  1. Sailboat Racing Tips: Long Course, Short Course

  2. Did Sailing Become Easy as Riding a Bike?

  3. Challenging Conditions Test The Sailors

  4. J24 2024 Midwinters Race 4, with onboard crew discussion and tactic

  5. Exciting Sailing Footage

  6. Sailboat Racing Tips: Second-Beat Strategy

COMMENTS

  1. Top Picks: The Best Books for Sailboat Racers >> Scuttlebutt Sailing

    This book abounds with lessons on racing tactics and boat handling, sportsmanship, and is sprinkled liberally with the authors' tales of races won (and lost).

  2. 32 Best Sailing Books For Current and Future Yachtsmen

    You'll find highly respected books on racing, cruising and sailboat maintenance for your next adventure on the open seas! 1. Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 69th Edition. One of the best sailing books available, the Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 69th Edition is a comprehensive book with descriptions, illustrations, and pictures for every situation.

  3. 5 Favorite Sailing Books to Build Racing Skills

    Maybe one of these stories will stick with you and help you during a race this season. Sailboat Racing with Greg Fisher. A Manual of Sail Trim. Positioning: The Logic of Sailboat Racing. Fast Handling Technique by Frank Bethwaite (2013-02-01) Winning in One-Designs.

  4. 25 sailing books every sailor should read

    It's a great read and details one of the most incredible feats of the modern era. 4. Dove - Robin Lee Graham. Dove is a book for those who dream of sailing around the world. In 1965, 16-year-old Robin Lee Graham set off from California in 24-footer on a solo round-the-world voyage.

  5. 9 Best Sailing Books for Every Level of Experience

    If you already have a solid foundation of sailing knowledge and skills, it is time to take your sailing to the next level. The Racing Rules of Sailing: International Sailing Federation 2017-2020 Rules Book by International Sailing Federation is an important book for intermediate sailors who want to learn about racing tactics and strategies.. The book covers everything from starting tactics to ...

  6. The Best Sailing Books: 21 Top Picks

    7 - 'The Annapolis Book of Seamanship' by John Rousmaniere. This book, hailed as a "sailing bible" among the sailing community, covers all aspects of seamanship, including navigation, gear maintenance, electronic, pleasure cruising, and heavy-weather sailing. It is straightforward and is a valuable book to keep on board.

  7. Positioning: The Logic of Sailboat Racing

    5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST book about the logic of sailboat racing. Reviewed in Canada on March 6, 2018. Verified Purchase. THE BEST book about the logic of sailboat racing. It's well structured, messages are clear, and every point made is backed by examples from Walker's logs. Even though it's written in very complex sentences, it's a piece ...

  8. Getting Started in Sailboat Racing, 2nd Edition

    Getting Started in Sailboat Racing, 2nd Edition [Cort, Adam, Stearns, Richard] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Getting Started in Sailboat Racing, 2nd Edition ... Amazon Book Clubs Children's Books Textbooks Textbook Rentals Best Books of the Month Best Books of 2023 Your Company Bookshelf Books › Reference ...

  9. The Tactics of Small Boat Racing (Norton Nautical Books) Paperback

    5.0 out of 5 stars but still one of the best books written about sailboat racing. Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2017. Verified Purchase. A little out dated, but still one of the best books written about sailboat racing. Read more. Helpful. Report. Tony.

  10. The best sailing books & cruising guides of 2021

    The Backside of Normal: a sailing life of adventure, written aged 80 gives an account of what he experienced and discovered. Buy The Backside of Normal: a sailing life of adventure from Amazon. Best sailing skills books The Practical Guide to Celestial Navigation. The word 'Practical' in this book's title is a good one.

  11. Top 12 Sailing Books to Read in 2022

    After our list of the best sailing movies, we decided to bring you another one - The top 12 sailing books every sailor should read in 2022. List of the Top 12 Sailing Books: Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea. Red Sky in Mourning. The Lonely Sea and the Sky. The Annapolis Book of Seamanship.

  12. 18 of the Best Books on Sailing

    Best Books on Sailing Stories - Sailing Adventure Books Flirting with Mermaids: The Unpredictable Life of a Sailboat Delivery Skipper John Kretschmer. Kretschmer is a celebrity in the sailing circuit, having worked for decades as a delivery skipper and now operating a popular offshore teaching charter on his Kauffman 47 Quetzal.He's written for many major sailing magazines and has several ...

  13. Books for sailors: our pick of the best new releases

    The Sea is not made of Water by Adam Nicolson, Harper Collins, £20. Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Amazon (UK) Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Amazon (US) Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Waterstones (UK) Buy The Sea is not made of Water at Audible. Continues below…. Sailing thrillers to escape with this holiday.

  14. 35 Best Sailing Books: Adventures, Sailing Stories, and Guides

    From the first solo sail around the world to sailing around the world in a 12-foot boat - these books are packed with some of the best sailing stories of all time! 15. Sailing Alone Around the World. By Joshua Slocum. Sailing Alone Around the World is a sailing classic written by Joshua Slocum.

  15. What are the best books on competitive sailing?

    Here are some of the best books on competitive sailing: 1. "Sailing Smart" by Buddy Melges - This book covers everything from boat handling and sail trim to tactical racing strategies. Buddy Melges is a legendary sailor who has won numerous championships, including the America's Cup and Olympic gold medal.

  16. The Best Books for Learning About Sailing History

    This inspiring and empowering book is a must-read for aspiring sailors and adventurers. 9. The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier. The Long Way is the memoir of legendary French sailor Bernard Moitessier, who participated in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first-ever solo, non-stop, round-the-world sailing race.

  17. Best sailing books: 25 tales inspired by the sea

    Once is Enough. by Miles Smeeton. This timeless classic is an exciting true story of survival against all odds. Smeeton and his wife sailed their 46ft ketch, Tzu Hang, in the wild seas of Cape Horn, following the tracks of the old sailing clippers through the world's most notorious waters.

  18. Mastering Sailboat Racing Tactics: A Winning Approach

    Downwind, jibe when lifted away from the mark and sail on the headers, guiding you in the right direction. Sailboat racing tactics are the culmination of strategic planning, meticulous execution, and adaptability to the ever-changing elements. By mastering the art of strategy and tactical maneuvers, sailors can elevate their racing performance.

  19. The 14 Best Sailing Adventure Books on my Shelf

    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. Some of the best sailing adventure books are from the 1800s, and the Essex is one of the best known of all time. This book is about the whaleship Essex, which was struck and damaged by a very large sperm whale. Not only will you learn about whaling, but about how the sailors survived ...

  20. Sailboat Racing with Greg Fisher

    Sailboat Racing with Greg Fisher. Perfect Paperback - December 1, 2000. by Tom Hubbell (Author) 12. See all formats and editions. This book reveals the winning ways of a major sailing champion, Greg Fisher. Greg's overall message: boat speed is paramount. Boat speed comes from getting the boat in balance. Tactically he favors the conservative ...

  21. Best Books for Sailors, Sailing, and Cruising

    Take a look at Cruising World 's 2012 roundup of books to bring aboard. _ Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates _ by Paul and Rachel Chandler with Sarah Edworthy (2011; $16; Mainstream Publishing Co. ). Liveaboards Paul and Rachel Chandler, who sail a 38-footer, Lynn Rival, might as well be that cruising couple a few docks over.

  22. A Racing Rockstar Meets a Cruising Legend

    SAIL Magazine and Hanse Yachts are excited to present a unique conversation with Cole Brauer and Lin Pardey during the Annapolis Sailboat Show in October.Encompassing 50 years of sailing, the racing rockstar and cruising legend will explore common threads in their unprecedented careers—the spirit of passagemaking, the impact of self-reliance, and the power of storytelling.

  23. 54-knot winds severely deplete 2024 Round the Island Race fleet

    Racing was cancelled for the Classic Racing Yacht (ISCRS), Diam 2 class, Gaffers under 23ft, J/70s, both divisions of Bridgedeck Multihulls, the smaller Grand Prix and MOCRA Multihulls, and the ...

  24. Review: HH44-SC, SAIL Top 10 Best Boats 2024 Winner

    For more multihull reviews and stories, subscribe for free to Multihull Power & Sail Good things come to those who wait, and sailing the HH44-SC confirmed the adage. Even under delivery sails—and only a main and genoa, at that—we fairly flew across the Chesapeake Bay on a breezy fall day after the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, where hull No. 2 had missed a debut on the docks by just days.

  25. How America's Cup Sailing Became a Men's Fashion Destination

    The America's Cup has been the graveyard of personal fortunes and national pride since the first race in 1851. That year, 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron raced against a single adversary ...

  26. Round The Island Race 2024 results: Notorious wins amid wet and wild

    An unsettled early summer in the British Isles provided a real headache for the organisers of the annual Round the Island Race, who woke up to the reality on Saturday of extreme conditions, Race Director, Dave Atkinson said: "This race was a challenge for both the competitors and the Race Team at the Island Sailing Club, with the safety and ...

  27. Sailing to Win!: A Complete Introduction to Model Yacht

    Nick Weall writes the definitive book on sail and boat tuning for the racing r/c yachtsman, with much information on race tactics and current rules to help you become a better skipper and race winner at all levels from club racing to world championships. Essential reading for the r/c yacht sailor.

  28. Package bookings now open for Royal Ascot 2025

    ROYAL Ascot is a racing event that everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime - but booking early is essential to get the best price. If you want to make it to next year's ra…

  29. The Winner's Guide to Optimist Sailing

    Written by one of the best-known figures in all of sailing and a leading authority on Optimist sailing and racing, The Winner's Guide to Optimist Sailing is the ideal training manual for young skippers, their parents, and their coaches. The most comprehensive sailing guide to the International Optimist dinghy class features: