What are the best sailing and cruising books to have onboard your sailboat? Experience is always the best way to learn, but there is plenty to read up on by experts who spent more time at sea than anyone you know. Below are the sailing books we keep with us at all times.
The International Book of Sailing
by Robby Robinson
A recommendation by our American Sailing Association instructor, Glenn Miner, this book has everything from basics a beginner sailor needs to know to rules and weather guidelines an experienced sailor needs to brush up on from time to time. We used it last to look up sound rules when navigating in fog.
by Lin & Larry Pardey
Storm Tactics is found in almost all sailor's library and for good reason: Lin & Larry Pardey share invaluable experience and methods to survive in a storm. We have used their recommendations and can say that they saved us from worse-than-necessary experience in the biggest storm we've ever traveled in.
Bareboat Cruising Made Easy
by the American Sailing Association
The American Sailing Association's 104 certification textbook is another great resource that shares basics including everything you need to know about boating rules along with technical knowledge about a boat's construction so you know where to start in an emergency or when troubleshooting common problems.
Reef Fish Identification
by Paul Humann & Ned Deloach
The best book around if you are curious about the wonderful ocean creatures you come across when snorkeling or scuba diving in the Caribbean or Bahamas.
Guide to Edible Seaweeds
by Prannie Rhatigan
Not necessarily a must, but we love having this book around when cruising in the higher latitudes where seaweed is abundant and often edible!
First Aid at Sea
by Douglas Justins & Colin Berry
One of the best handy guides we've found when it comes to first aid at sea. We recommend taking a course to know how to treat someone when out of reach of immediate help, but this booklet can be a useful reminder of step-by-step initial treatment.
World Cruising Routes
by Jimmy Cornell
If you have ever thought of sailing around the world, you have surely come across Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes. This is THE guidebook on where to travel and when based on sailing seasons and the like.
The Voyager's Handbook
by Beth A. Leonards
The Voyager's Handbook was the first book we purchased after deciding to become liveaboards and cruise on our catamaran. Beth collected an incredible amount of knowledge that goes into surprising detail on EVERY facet of living and extended travel on a boat - think determining battery capacity to lists for provisioning.
The Art of Seamanship
by Ralph Naranjo
Unlike other books on our list, this book goes past the basic sailing knowledge and shares a real-life experience about sailing in general, whether in storms or otherwise. A great resource for those looking to read about other's experiences and learnings from life on the water.
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