Recommended reading

Captain Daz

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I have finally broken into the yachting world and know very little about it.

I now have a 28 foot motor sailer and need to learn the wheres and why-fors about yachting.

Can anyone recommend a book that covers sailing , the rules of the sea, etiquette, studying wind and tides and equipment/trip planning?
 

sarabande

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Perhaps a quick sortie to the RYA website might open a few knowledge doors for you. I think that you will not find one book that does everything for you; you will need a small library.

http://www.rya.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx

Visit the shop section.



You could also peruse the PBO website, and perhaps buy a few articles or a magazine subscription from them. At the very least it would put a few pennies into the YBW coffers to keep the forum afloat.
 

johnalison

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When I started cruising in the '70s, I found that my dinghy knowledge didn't cover what I needed, so I read everything. The only book that came near to what I wanted was by Des Sleightholme and I think just called Sailing or some such. The others all concentrated on the breaking strength of ropes and how to reef a 50 footer.
 

prv

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Can anyone recommend a book that covers sailing , the rules of the sea, etiquette, studying wind and tides and equipment/trip planning?

Tom Cunliffe's "Complete Day Skipper" is a good introduction. Although it shares its name with an RYA course, the book seems to have been written for someone who finds themselves in posession of a yacht and wants to teach themselves how to use it without any formal training. So it literally starts with how to climb on board, then has you check the engine, cast off, motor around and moor up again. Next lesson introduces the sails, and so on.

Pete
 

JumbleDuck

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I don't know what the current ones are like, but the RYA Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper (sic) books used to be excellent. The theory courses for which they are (were) written are well worth doing too.
 

Sybarite

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Cantata

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Tom Cunliffe's "Complete Day Skipper" is a good introduction. Although it shares its name with an RYA course, the book seems to have been written for someone who finds themselves in posession of a yacht and wants to teach themselves how to use it without any formal training. So it literally starts with how to climb on board, then has you check the engine, cast off, motor around and moor up again. Next lesson introduces the sails, and so on.
Pete
Tom's books are indeed very good, very readable. As he's actually an RYA Instructor Examiner I'm sure they are written to follow the RYA ways of doing things. I used his 'Complete Yachmaster' when I was working up to that stuff and it's full of straightforward writing and common sense.
 

prv

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As he's actually an RYA Instructor Examiner I'm sure they are written to follow the RYA ways of doing things.

Certainly I doubt they vary dramatically.

But the point I wanted to make was that, despite the name, Complete Day Skipper is not written or laid out as a textbook to accompany the RYA course. It would certainly be useful in that role, but the emphasis was more on introducing things in the order that a self-learning beginner would need them. Hence the suggestion of motoring around and mooring up again before even looking at the sails - anathema to the purists, but pragmatically it's what a new boat-owner would want to do. Similarly he doesn't explain the colregs at that point, but gives just enough pointers ("drive on the right in a channel", etc) for the ignorant beginner to hopefully not inconvenience everyone else too much. The full rules are included, but they're later in the book.

Pete
 

Cloona

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cruising under sail

eric hiscock

everything you need to know ever
 

PhillM

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Reeds skippers handbook. Cheap, helpful and practice.

Then get a day skipper course. Forget the theory, get out on the water with the instructor and learn fast.
 

Binman

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I Started last year, following crewing on a Dragon, some time ago, Some of the books are Specific others general that cover all you need to know, buy Yachting monthly, join a club, do a bit of Dingy sailing first. I now have a small library, some of my books from RYA. Some I have had a little while anyway my library consists of,Knots by Des Pawson, Admiralty book Np5011 5 th edition, Inshore Navigation by Tom Cunliffe, RYA Sail Trim for cruisers Rob Gibson Sail Trim and Rig Tuning by Bill Gladstone. Day Skipper for sail and power by Alison Noice ,VHF Handbook by Tim Bartlett, the one that goes with this is RYA Radio.Short range Certificate. Current tide tables, RYA Day Skipper Course notes, and Competent crew course notes,
I Have a few more but above will be quite enough. Some I bought new, some from EBay, Some from Amason slightly use, Auction house close to me, I was lucky to find a retired RYA instructor, having advertised on our local Street Life web site.
Who took me under his wing every Wednesday afternoon for about 10 weeks, free of charge, His name was Bill Flegg,
Oh nearly forgot RYA Yachtmaster course notes, You will need some local Charts for your Area, some tools for navigation and a compass, if you are a DIYer it can save you pounds. Best of luck, and use this web site frequently, it is amazing, doesn't matter if you get confused sometimes like I do, we will all help. Oh another useful book Boat Words A Dictionary of Nautical words by Denny Desoutter this is an Adlard Coles book from Practial Boat Owener.
 
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I am not going to recommend a book because it really boils down to what style suits you, however the RYA stuff mentioned here (Cunliff and Bartlett) are good resources. A lot of books on sailing now use a style that has a significant amount of sketches and graphics and less text. This is actually a good thing for learning and I have also found it good to prompt the old brain cells faster than plain text, these days for stuff that I am not sure about. The down side of this is that many useful details and background information is lost so the student does not get the breadth of knowledge. A good example is the old style RYA Navigation Manual and the new style RYA Navigation Manual or the old Reeds Coastal Navigation book. I would highly recommend that after reading the modern style graphic based text (sic) books, that one also reads some of the older books as they contain many nuggets of advice that is relevant today.
 

Topcat47

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A must have book would be the Yachtsman's guide to the rule of the Road. I have an old copy that was issued by the RN as a "BR" aka "Book of Regulations". My copy is about 20 years old but I read it every year prior to going afloat. It's basically a short course in the regs in book form.
 

Captain Daz

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A must have book would be the Yachtsman's guide to the rule of the Road. I have an old copy that was issued by the RN as a "BR" aka "Book of Regulations". My copy is about 20 years old but I read it every year prior to going afloat. It's basically a short course in the regs in book form.

Thanks a lot, just bought it for £2.99 delivered off the bay
 

Topcat47

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Thanks a lot, just bought it for £2.99 delivered off the bay

Sorry for my Boob, but the book I was referring to is actually called the "seaman's guide to the rule of the road" and it's a self teaching aid with multiple choice questions at the end of each chapter. You got there before I could put an edit on my post.
 
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