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Books are one of our weaknesses - we have lots of them.  Here are the ones we have found most useful.  Information on all sources is at the bottom of this page.


Book/Author Subject Coverage Source
Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia by Steve and Linda Dashew An excellent collection of information on all aspects of cruising - well organized. West Marine, Amazon
The Voyager's Handbook - The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising by Beth A. Leonard One of our favorite new guides that spans topics from maintenance to sail configurations - tightly written by recent circumnavigators. Amazon, or

Managing Your Bluewater Cruise by Rory Burke & Sandra Buchanan Good, general purpose reference when preparing to go cruising. Amazon, or
Chapman Piloting -  Seamanship and Small Boat Handling by Elbert S. Maloney Good reference to have on-board, not used often but nice to know it is there. West Marine, Defender Industries, Amazon
Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts by John Rousmaniere Captures the lessons of the '79 Fastnet disaster - can help you narrow down your choices of yachts to consider for cruising. Amazon
The Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring by Earl Hinz Title says it all: the bible for selecting and using your ground tackle. West Marine
Heavy Weather using Sea Anchors and Drogues by Earl R. Hinz Good source of information on some heavy weather techniques. Amazon
Boat Data Book by Ian Nicholson Do you know how much shoulder space you need in a bunk, or how many feet of anchor fit in a cubic foot?  This book tells you this and much more. Amazon
MetService Yacht Pack by Bob Mcavitt and NZ Met Service Handy source of South Pacific weather pattern information - order it before crossing the Pacific, not really necessary after you reach NZ. Boat Books - New Zealand, or email:

Advanced First Aid Afloat by Peter F. Eastman Good little book when serious injuries strike. West Marine, Amazon
Passport to World Band Radio by International Broadcasting Services  Handy if you want to find BBC or Voice of America in the middle of an ocean. (Published annually - but the frequencies do not change that often, so no need to have the latest issue.) Amazon
Flags of The World by DK Publishing This, or one of many similar books is handy when you see an unusual flag in the marina. Amazon
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Book/Author Subject coverage Source
Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder Useful supplement to your engine manual. West Marine, Amazon
Understanding Rigs and Rigging by Richard Henderson Helpful for tuning your rig. Defender Industries, Amazon
The Complete Canvas Worker's Guide by Jim Grant We have found this very helpful as we made sail covers, sun awnings and other canvas items. Defender Industries, Amazon
The Splicing Handbook - Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rope by Barbara Merry Necessary for many splices, including wire-to-rope splices and new high-tech lines. West Marine, Defender Industries, Amazon
The 12 Volt Doctor's Alternator Book by Edgar J. Beyn Helps to identify and fix most alternators. Defender Industries
The 12 Volt Doctor's Practical Handbook for the Boat's Electric System by Edgar J. Beyn Handy for planning or troubleshooting electrical problems. West Marine, Defender Industries, Amazon
Fiberglass Boat Repair and Maintenance by West System Shows how to make most common repairs and build small items.  West Marine
Brightwork - The Art of Finishing Wood by Rebecca J. Wittman Beautiful examples of brightwork and how to get the same finish on your boat. West Marine, Amazon
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Book/Author Subject coverage Source
Quick and Healthy Recipes and Ideas by Brenda J. Ponichtera Healthy and tasty low calorie recipes using common provisions. Amazon
Quick and Heathy Volume II by Brenda J. Ponichtera More of the same. Amazon
Betty Crocker's New Cookbook (paperback) One of the standard cookbooks, easy to use and stow. Amazon
Nicole Parton's Galley Gourmet by Nicole Parton Geared towards cruisers using items normally available in your galley.  Identifies several substitute ingredients when possible.   
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Cruising Guides

Book/Author Subject coverage Source
World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell Describes ocean weather patterns, identifies cyclone seasons and areas, describes times to travel between all cruising areas world-wide. West Marine, Defender Industries, Amazon
Atlantic Crossing Guide by RCC Pilotage Foundation Useful for crossing the Atlantic as well as reaching Bermuda - reported to be out of print. Unknown
Cruising the Chesapeake - Gunkholer's Guide by William Shellenberger A great guide to this wonderful cruising ground (we may be a little prejudiced since it is our home). Defender Industries, Amazon
Guide to Cruising The Leeward Islands by Chris Doyle One of the 'bibles' in the Caribbean. Defender Industries, Amazon
Sailor's Guide to The Windward Islands by Chris Doyle The other one. Defender Industries,
Landfalls of Paradise by Earl Hinz The original guide to the South Pacific, with high level information about all of the islands and the weather patterns. Amazon
Charlie's Charts of Polynesia by Charles E. and Margot Wood We found this to very handy as we sailed from the Marquesas to Bora Bora. West Marine, Amazon
Sailing Guide to Tonga by Moorings Yacht Charters Available from Moorings in Tonga, it has sketch charts and sailing instructions suitable for bareboat charter crews - thus it is quite adequate for the rest of us. Moorings Charters in Tonga
Yachtsmen Guide to Fiji by Michael Calder Good aerial photos of many anchorages in Fiji.  

Royal Akarana Cruising Guide

A guide to cruising the North Island of New Zealand, short on good sketch charts and long on wordy descriptions. Useful if you are going to some out-of-the-way places. Boat Books - New Zealand
Cruising The Coral Coast by Alan Lucas The definitive guide for cruising from Brisbane to the Torres Straits, including the Great Barrier Reef with lots of sketch charts and detailed information on each town, river, and anchorage. Boat Books - Australia
100 Magic Miles of The Great Barrier Reef - The Whitsunday Islands by David Colfelt, Windward Publications Beautifully done book for the Whitsunday Islands (in the Great Barrier Reef). Aerial photos, good sketch charts and beautiful pictures - somewhat expensive for only 100 miles of coast but it may save you the trouble of taking pictures along the way. Boat Books - Australia, Amazon
Cruising Guide to Southeast Asia, Volume II by Stephan Davies and Elaine Morgan Good guide for Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore published by Imray Laurie Norie and Wilson Boat Books - Australia
Red Sea Pilot by Stephan Davies and Elaine Morgan The standard reference for those going up or down the Red Sea. Boat Books - Australia
Lonely Planet Guides  We have found the Lonely Planet guides to be helpful everywhere we have gone, from their South Pacific Handbook to Trekking in Nepal - although oriented towards backpacker's, much of the information is pertinent to cruisers since we are also traveling on our own, without vehicles or guides and are on limited budgets for extended periods.
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Sea Stories

Book/Author Subject coverage Source
Sailing Alone Around The World by Joshua Slocum Just a good yarn. Amazon
The Voyage of American Promise by Dodge Morgan  Good story, and useful info on preparing a yacht for offshore passages.  
Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi Shows the tenacity of a 16-year old girl on a circumnavigation. Amazon
Longitude by Dava Sobel Fascinating history of trying to measure this important component of a ship's position. Amazon
Darwin and The Beagle by Alan Moorehead   Amazon
After 50,000 Miles by Hal Roth Good information on what it takes to travel long distances in a modest-sized yacht - a little dated but still pertinent.  
Maiden by Tracy Edwards Good story about a women's crew in a Whitbred race.  
Northern Light by Rolf Bjeke and Debra Shapiro Rolf and Debra have traveled far and wide in their 40' steel yacht - this provides good insight into preparing a yacht for traveling in high latitudes.  
Survive The Savage Sea by Dougal Robertson A classic survival story - handy to have in a ditch bag in the event of the unthinkable. Amazon
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Source Information/Address Internet
Amazon The ultimate source for books, they can also locate some that are used or out of print.
Boat Books - Australia 109 Albert St
Brisbane, Qld 4000
tel 61-7-3229 6427
fax 61-7- 3221 991
Boat Books - NZ 23b Westhaven Drive,
Auckland, New Zealand
tel 64-9-358 5691
fax 64-9 358 5817
West Marine PO Box 50050
Watsonville, CA 95077-5050
tel 800-262-8464 or 831-761-4650
fax 831-761-4421
Defender Industries 42 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385
tel 800-628 8225 or 860-701-3400
fax 800-654-1616 or 860-701-3424,
Armchair Sailor Boston
Bluewater Books Florida  
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