• UPDATED INFORMATION & ADVICE - PLEASE READ NOW

    'I didn't know/I wasn't told' will not be a valid defence if you fail to comply and lose your access to the off-topic area, core topic areas, or the entire YBW forum as a result. Full details can be found here, please read before you proceed.

Beta readers wanted - Gaff rigged Ketch in a wartime story.

AlanJeans

New member
Joined
20 Mar 2009
Messages
21
Location
Girvan, UK
Hi, I have a slightly unusual request. I've written a wartime trilogy in which sailing plays a large part. I'm looking for one or more readers who would be willing to read the books and give me their opinion on them, specifically from the sailing perspective. The books are based mainly in Kiel, the home of German sailing, and include both racing and cruising in the years leading up to the war, but here is a long sea journey involved during the war, dodging minefields and the German navy. The catch is, the boat involved is a traditional wooden gaff-rigged ketch, and she's a cutter to boot. It would be great to have a reader with experience of a similar boat give me their opinion on it. The trilogy is called Der Sturmtaucher (The Shearwater), the name of the boat in question. It is the story of two German families with close ties, one a respected military family, the other a Jewish family who work for them. The books tell the story of how the Nazi party, the war, and the holocaust affected both families. They are long books, so it would suit an avid reader more than one who dips their toes in literary waters, but those beta readers who've read it already (all non-sailors) loved it.

Let me know if you are interested. It is only available in digital format, so a kindle, or iPad or similar is needed, although you could read it on a computer, using an app.

I sail a Maxi 84 on the west coast of Scotland and the Irish sea. I'm also 3rd Coxswain at my local RNLI station.

Any beta-reader's contribution would obviously be acknowledged when the book is published.

Thanks, Alan.
 

Euphonyx

Well-known member
Joined
29 May 2010
Messages
3,375
Location
Dublin
Sounds like a great series. Plenty of old gaffers around to critique. I have no experience of gaff rigged cutters so I cant offer that kind of advice. Are you publishing? It would be great if you found success with your project... best of luck!
 

Laminar Flow

Well-known member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
1,580
Location
West Coast
Yes, I'd be happy to read your work.
While I have not sailed on a Baltic Trader specifically, I have visited and inspected several. Apart from this I have owned and sailed on a few ketch rigged boats and our current boat is a cutter rigged ketch as well. Apart from this, my sailing experience includes a number of gaff rigged vessel from a 14' sloop over a wooden schooner and a gaff cutter. I have also restored, built and designed a variety of boats.
In my time, I have made several ocean passages while voyaging, as well as extensive coastal cruising. This includes the Baltic, the Kieler Bucht and the Danish Isles where you story, I presume, begins.
For what its worth and if it helps, I also read, write and speak idiomatically correct German and I am a writer of historical fiction myself (in English). Currently on my third novel, which takes place in Brittany at the end of the Napoleonic era and also involves much seafaring , smuggling, daring-do, and sailing, of course (as they seem to have been, for some reason or another, a bit short on mechanical propulsion at the time).

Feel free to PM me.
 

Slowtack

Well-known member
Joined
27 Feb 2007
Messages
2,214
I'm neither a gaffer or a geezer, I sail a 33 foot sloop but am an avid historical fact and fiction reader.................let me know if you still need a reader.
Whether you do or not, best of luck with the book and please post here when it is published.
 

Gary Fox

Well-known member
Joined
31 Oct 2020
Messages
2,011
Lovely boat, Mr. Fox. You must be proud of her and her impeccable ocean going pedigree.
Thanks for recognising her. I'm probably one of the few who never dreams of upgrading, and never casts an envious eye on other yachts. She's looking folorn on the hard standing at the moment, I'm not allowed access, but at least she's safe.
 

AlanJeans

New member
Joined
20 Mar 2009
Messages
21
Location
Girvan, UK
Deepest apologies for not getting back to everyone on this. I checked back on my post for the first week or so but there were no replies, and I thought that if anyone posted after that, I would have received a notification. I just chanced on my post when I was going through my internet history to find a site I'd 'lost' and came across my original post, to find that there were quite a few replies. :)

Wansworth, webcraft, Laminar Flow, Slowtack, CapPugwash, the project had moved on a little. I managed to get a beta reader with many years experience of sailing a Cutter-rigged gaff ketch commercially on the West Coast of Scotland. The technical side of the story turned out to be more or less on the mark, according to him, although he did provide me with a few nice details that I thought added to the story.

The books are now with the proofreader and I hope to get book 1 back within a month, and all of them back by mid May for the final tidy up, with a view to publishing in mid to late summer.

Although I'm not looking for any more beta readers, I will be looking for readers within the sailing fraternity who like historical fiction to read ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) of the books, so if any of you are still interested, feel free to comment or, better still, with my track record, email me at alanjonesbooks (at) gmail (dot) com. (Alan Jones is my pen name)

All I ask is that if you read the books and like them, that you leave a review on Amazon once they are published, and spread the word about the books in any way you can, be it by word of mouth, social media or on forums like this.

All the best and, once again, apologies for not replying much sooner.

Alan
 

AlanJeans

New member
Joined
20 Mar 2009
Messages
21
Location
Girvan, UK
Sounds like a great series. Plenty of old gaffers around to critique. I have no experience of gaff rigged cutters so I cant offer that kind of advice. Are you publishing? It would be great if you found success with your project... best of luck!
Thanks. Sorry about not getting back sooner. Hopefully publishing mid to late summer. Alan
 
Top