Books Every Sailor Should Read
Everyone has their list, and this is in no way an exhaustive list, let us know your favorites and we will add it to the list below.
- Chapman Piloting & Seamanship - by Charles Frederic Chapman
Chapman Piloting & Seamanship is the one comprehensive resource boaters at all levels of experience trust for everything they need to know to set out on the water. It addresses the best traditions of seamanship with cutting-edge practices, gear, and technology. Along with 1500 color photos, charts and drawings.
- Heavy Weather Sailing - by Peter Bruce
Heavy Weather Sailing has been regarded as the ultimate international authority on surviving storms at sea aboard sailing and motor vessels. The first edition was compiled by Kaines Adlard Coles himself in 1967. Since then, technology may have improved, but the weather certainly hasn't. This is the seventh updated edition, edited by racing yachtsman Peter Bruce, which ensures that in its fiftieth year, the book remains relevant and essential.
- The Annapolis Book of Seamanship – by John Rousmaniere
“The art of sailing, maneuvering, and preserving a ship or a boat in all positions and under all reasonable circumstances.” With the addition of the words, “and some unreasonable circumstances, too,” this definition of “seamanship” is as valid today as when the first edition of this book was published in 1983. The aim remains to advise you the sailor on essential gear, skills, and behavior that enhance your pleasure and safety.
- Adrift – by Tami Oldham
Young and in love, their lives ahead of them, Tami Oldham and her fiancé Richard Sharp set sail from Tahiti under brilliant blue skies, with Tami’s hometown of San Diego as their ultimate destination. But the two free spirits and avid sailors couldn’t anticipate that less than two weeks into their voyage, they would sail directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. They found themselves battling pounding rain, waves the size of skyscrapers, and 140 knot winds. Richard tethered himself to the boat and sent Tami below to safety, and then all went eerily quiet. Hours later, Tami awakened to find the boat in ruins, and Richard nowhere in sight.
- Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea – by Steven Callahan
Steven Callahan shares his dramatic tale of survival at sea in this undeniable seafaring classic. His engrossing firsthand account reveals how he survived more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft after his small sloop capsized only six days out. “Utterly absorbing” (Newsweek), Adrift is a must-have for any adventure library.
- And The Sea Will Tell - by Vincent Bugliosi
Alone with her new husband on a tiny Pacific atoll, a young woman, combing the beach, finds an odd aluminum container washed up out of the lagoon, and beside it on the sand something glitters: a gold tooth in a scorched human skull. The investigation that follows uncovers an extraordinarily complex and puzzling true-crime story. Only Vincent Bugliosi, who recounted his successful prosecution of mass murderer Charles Manson in the bestseller Helter Skelter, was able to draw together the hundreds of conflicting details of the mystery and reconstruct what really happened when four people found hell in a tropical paradise. And the Sea Will Tell reconstructs the events and subsequent trial of a riveting true murder mystery, and probes into the dark heart of a serpentine scenario of death.
- At One with the Sea: Alone Around the World - by Naomi James
The autobiography chronicles James' solo voyage around the world in 1977-1978, during which she became the first woman to sail single-handedly around the world via the Southern Ocean. She describes her experiences of facing extreme weather conditions, dealing with technical issues, and the psychological challenges of being alone at sea for extended periods of time. She also reflects on her personal journey, including her decision to embark on the voyage, her motivation, and her emotional highs and lows. An inspiring story of determination, resilience, and self-discovery.
- Escape From the Ordinary - by Julie Bradley
Retire early, sell everything, buy a boat 4,000 miles away and sail around the world. What could go wrong? Meet Glen and Julie, sailors who follow their dream and discover that reality can be even bigger than imagined. From Force 10 storms in the North Atlantic to the crystal blue waters and native dancers of French Polynesia, Escape from the Ordinary (book 1 of the Escape Series) opens a window to adventures in extraordinary places not found in travel brochures.
- Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die - by Chris Santella
Landlubbers joke that sailors are always wanting to head off to the ends of the earth, but Chris Santella takes that life-changing desire very seriously. In this, the third installment in his immensely successful Fifty Places series, Santella assembles a crew of the world's greatest championship racers and professional adventurers and persuades them to disclose their favorite destinations around the globe.
- Maiden Voyage - by Tania Aebi
Tania Aebi was an unambitious eighteen-year-old, a bicycle messenger in New York City by day, a Lower East Side barfly at night. In short, she was going nowhere—until her father offered her a challenge: Tania could choose either a college education or a twenty-six-foot sloop. The only catch was that if she chose the sailboat, she’d have to sail around the world—alone. She chose the boat, and for the next two and a half years and 27,000 miles, it was her home. With only her cat as companion, she discovered the wondrous beauties of the Great Barrier Reef and the death-dealing horrors of the Red Sea. She suffered through a terrifying collision with a tanker in the Mediterranean and a lightning storm off the coast of Gibraltar. And, ultimately, what began with the sheer desire for adventure turned into a spiritual quest as Tania came to terms with her troubled family life, fell in love for the first time, and—most of all—confronted her own needs, desires, dreams, and goals...
- Sailing Alone Around the World - by Joshua Slocum
Challenged by an expert who said it couldn't be done, Joshua Slocum, an indomitable New England sea captain, set out in April of 1895 to prove that a man could sail alone around the world. 46,000 miles and a little over 3 years later, the proof was complete: Captain Slocum had performed the epic "first" single-handedly in a trusty 36-foot sloop called the "Spray." This is Slocum's own account of his remarkable adventures during the historic voyage.
- The Perfect Storm - by Sebastian Junger
It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high―a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched. The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that makes us feel like we've been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control.
- The Boaters Cookbook - by Sylvia Williams Dabney
Cooking on a small boat—sail or power—requires special attention few new boaters understand. Sylvia Williams Dabney is a longtime live-aboard sailor with more than sixty thousand offshore miles who understands the necessity of a well-stored pantry and loves collecting recipes from around the world. In The Boater’s Cookbook, Sylvia shares everything anyone needs to know about creating stunning meals in a small boat galley.
- Moby Dick - by Herman Melville
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851) is a novel by Herman Melville considered an outstanding work of Romanticism and the American Renaissance. Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, a white whale which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab's ship and severed his leg at the knee.
- Master and Commander – by Patrick O’Brian
Ardent, gregarious British naval officer Jack Aubrey is elated to be given his first appointment as commander: the fourteen-gun ship HMS Sophie. Meanwhile―after a heated first encounter that nearly comes to a duel―Aubrey and a brilliant but down-on-his-luck physician, Stephen Maturin, strike up an unlikely rapport. On a whim, Aubrey invites Maturin to join his crew as the Sophie’s surgeon. And so begins the legendary friendship that anchors this beloved saga set against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.
- The Old Man and the Sea – by Ernest Hemingway
he Old Man and the Sea, an apparently simple fable, represents the mature Hemingway at his best, and it is still one of his most read books. In 1954 Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style."