Boating-Related Book Reviews

By Mark Corke

Books on romance, restoration and repairs.

Uncharted Waters: Romance, Adventure, and Advocacy on the Great Lakes

Uncharted Waters book cover

The title for this book precisely outlines its contents. The author, a former executive at a Fortune 500 healthcare company, loves boating on Lake Michigan. Captivated by the spell of water, she falls in love first with kayaking and sailing, and then with Rubin, her future husband. There's adventure aplenty between the covers of this book, and the author's descriptive writing makes the reader believe that you're right alongside as she battles frozen streams on a winter kayaking trip or stares down a surly gun-toting immigration official at a South African airport.

But this book is much more than just another travel narrative. Author Mary McKSchmidt begins to realize that the estimated 22 million pounds of plastic that flows into the Great Lakes each year are damaging the waters that she so loves, possibly irrevocably. The book is a call to arms for the waters she holds dear.

Read an excerpt from Uncharted Waters: Romance, Adventure, and Advocacy on the Great Lakes.

Finding Pax

Finding Pax book cover

Denmark, that smallest of Scandinavian countries, has a long-held tradition of boatbuilding. Surrounded on three sides by water, it has relied heavily on the sea for fishing and commerce, and like each seafaring nation, has developed its own unique designs. One such model is the "spidsgatter," which means "two pointy ends." Pax, built in 1936, is one such boat that somehow found its way to the West Coast of the United States, served as a liveaboard in Sausalito, California, and almost burned to the waterline when she caught fire one night.

Boats have a way of capturing the heart and soul, and when author Kaci Cronkhite fell under Pax's spell, she set to work restoring the boat and finding out all she could about her. It's clear she loves the boat and has spent countless hours — and not a few dollars — on restoring the boat and researching its heritage. Cronkhite has made many friends along the way; by the time I closed the last page of this book, I felt like I knew them, too.

Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual

Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual book cover

Continuously in print since 1989, Nigel Calder's book is the "go-to" volume for anything to do with onboard mechanical and electrical systems. This fourth edition, expanded and revised, is crammed with useful information about troubleshooting and repairing almost anything you might come across on most any boat. Not only is this an indispensable guide for making repairs, but also a handy reference that explains in helpful detail how things work. For instance, if you want to understand the difference between battery types or need to grasp the basics of bonding systems, you'll find the answers here. Got a problem with the water system, or wonder what white smoke from the exhaust means, or how many anodes you need on the boat? This book has you covered with practical advice and clear diagrams. 

— Published: April/May 2019

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