Boating-Related Books

By Mark Corke

Five books to inspire.

Crossing The Wake

Crossing The Wake book cover

Every year boaters are drawn to the Great Loop, that sinuous journey of about 5,000 miles along the eastern seaboard of the United States, across the Great Lakes, before making the trip south on the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and back to the starting point. Crossing The Wake is Tanya Binford's story of that same trip. By no means an experienced boater when she set off, this book takes the reader through the trials, tribulations, and joy as she completes the trip alone on her 25-foot Ranger tug. A good bedtime read and a font of information for those contemplating undertaking the Great Loop for themselves.

Unsinkable: The History Of The Boston Whaler

Unsinkable: The History Of The Boston Whaler book cover

It's doubtful there are many boaters out there who've never heard of, let alone been on, a Boston Whaler. The classic designs from the '60s and '70s are almost instantly recognizable with their white cathedral hulls and blue interiors. Apart from the shape, what was revolutionary about the boat was the expanded foam that's poured into the void between the inner and outer skins rendering it unsinkable, even when swamped. It's a technique still used in the company's manufacturing process.

This book is a history of the company from its beginnings until present day. It's an informative read, not only for owners and enthusiasts of the Whaler brand but also as a piece of social history from the very beginnings of fiberglass boat construction.

The Sea Is Not Full

The Sea Is Not Full book cover

Charles Doane is a yachting journalist with lots bluewater miles under his keel, and he is a man of many opinions. This book is a series of essays on various subjects from celestial navigation to wanderings on the many kinds of craft with which he's had experience. Want to read about being plucked from a foundering catamaran by the U.S. Coast Guard after needing a rescue at sea, in winter? Check. Sailing across the ocean on a 30-year-old yawl, or sighting a hippo on an African river? Check and check. It's an entertaining read, and his easygoing style lends itself to dipping into a chapter or two at bedtime.

Marine Diesel Basics

Marine Diesel Basics book cover

If you have a boat with a diesel engine it's a good idea to learn about taking care of the beast in the bilge. Author Dennison Berwick takes readers through all the basics and explains in simple terms and clear drawings all you need to know. A handy reference, this is a book you'll consult again and again when you want to understand how something works and how to fix it. Although titled Marine Diesel Basics, there are also sections on winterizing, batteries, and the fuel system — in fact everything to keep the entire mechanical section of your boat in tip-top working condition.

The Cape Horners Club

The Cape Horners Club book cover

Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America, has always had a special place in the hearts of sailors. It has a deservedly wild reputation as the graveyard of ships, so it takes a special kind of person to willingly head down there in a small craft and try to round that great cape. In an area of frequent storms and frigid temperatures, the sea is often a maelstrom, and only the very lucky or those with well-found boats make the trip. Author Adrian Flanagan chronicles just some of the many small-boat sailors who've made the trip — a fabulous read. Read an excerpt from the book here. 

— Published: April/May 2018

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