September 7th, 2010
by Patrick O’Brien
For any reader who has a soft spot for 18th Century historical fiction, the Aubrey-Maturin series, by Patrick O’Brien, are essential. These are written with vivid detail combined with a curiously modern sense of plot: the plots seem to meander in a realistically random way.…
August 4th, 2010
by Alan Villiers
This book was introduced to my childhood home by my uncle Jerry (who lived in the Sausalito hippy houseboat community) and it was read by my parents and myself and my siblings at various times. We all used to quote its slogan “Allah’s winds are free, therefore his faithful use them”. It is a really beautiful book on so many levels: the exquisite photography by the author, the ethnographic details of beduin society, and most of all the accounts of the working of an wooden arab sailing cargo vessel, a dhow.…
July 16th, 2010
by Frank Dye
If you like sailing tales this is a good one. Frank Dye recounts two of his most harrowing voyages: one from Scotland to Iceland, the other from Scotland to Norway. Both were sailed in his 16 foot wooden open boat in the 1970s, and were beset by storms.…
July 15th, 2010
by Howard Chappelle
I am endlessly fascinated by sailboat design. How to drive a boat upwind with sticks and canvas? What makes a boat fast? And, being a 19th Century guy, I like wooden sailboats, not the shiny hi-tech plastic things that race about these days.
Boat design is something America can be uniquely proud of. As the global melting pot all during the 18th and 19th centuries, fishermen, boat builders from the entire world contributed to the variety and excellence of American small sailing craft.…
July 15th, 2010
by Bjorn Landstrom
This is such an amazing book: a tour de force, the result of thoughtful research and great art. This is an illustrated history of shipbuilding spanning most of the global history.