Practical Sailor’s Picks for Fireside Reading

This year, Practical Sailor’s Winter Reading List offers a roundup of books to boost your navigation, weather, and knot-tying know-how as you while away the winter hours hearthside. We’ve also reviewed a few picks for the young adults in your crew; these reads will surely stoke their sailing daydreams as they too long for spring’s return. Featured titles include “The AMS Weather Book: The Ultimate Guide to America's Weather” by Jack Williams, “Emergency Navigation” by David Burch, “Oliver's Surprise” by former Olympic sailor Carol Newman Cronin, and “True Spirit” by 16-year-old solo circumnavigator Jessica Watson.

Reads for Summertime Relaxing

Summer arrives this month, and hopefully, the long, sunny days will include some time for summer reading. Practical Sailor editors have compiled our biannual list of worthwhile marine titles for just that purpose. This years summer reading list starts with a scientific look at something all sailors know-being on or in the water enhances life-but the book answers how and why. An entertaining new release on curious nautical knowledge and the strange history of nautical terms also grabbed a spot on our list, as did long-time sailing writer and editor Herb McCormicks book on the lives of Lin and Larry Pardey. The other titles range from a history of sailing warfare to a Scotland cruising guide; two distinctly different memoirs; a Matinicus, Maine-based fiction mystery; and a book on teamwork derived from lessons learned in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race tragedy.

Where to Steer, Eat, Anchor on the ICW

Most sailors find entering a new anchorage or harbor after a long day on the ICW an adventure. However exciting it may be, most of us also find that it carries a considerable amount of stress, particularly if entering in fading daylight or deteriorating weather. Not only do you have to contend with navigational issues, but there are other burning questions like wheres the best place to anchor; where can I get supplies or fuel; is tonight all you can eat ribs at Hawg Heaven Restaurant; or is there a dinghy dock nearby? To help you navigate all these questions and concerns-not to mention the unknown waterway-you need a good ICW guide that has all the facts, figures, and the right array of local knowledge.

Summer Sailor Reading List

The question were often asked as we set out on our summer cruise is, What do you do with all that free time you have? There is a general misconception that cruising sailors do little more than sit around all summer watching ripples on the water and enjoying the spoils of slackerdom. Truth is, there is almost always some work to be done, but theres still time for a good book. If youre still searching for summer reading material, heres Practical Sailors semiannual list for 2017.

Sailing Books for 2019

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the bookstore, three of Practical Sailors highly regarded contributors (past and present) have published works to warm your heart through winter.

Doin the Ditch, Frank style

The key to safe, stress-free ICW cruising (or less-stress at least) is proper planning. Get the most up-to-date ICW guidebooks and charts, and study them well in advance. When planning the field-test trip down the ICW for this article, PS tester Capt. Frank Lanier came up with a general timeline and lists of major stops he wanted to make along the way, but he let his day-to-day progress drive his schedule. He always planned out the next days run prior to heading out (typically the night before), which also gave him a chance to review the latest weather forecasts and its potential effect on travel plans.

Boating Books for Female Sailors

Sailing how-to and have-done books abound. But only in the last decade or so has the world of sailing literature taken an interest in women-specific resources and travel stories. Grateful to have our very own how-tos and have-dones that extend beyond the galley, the women of Practical Sailor picked up some new reads for summer. From tips on relationships aboard to tales of a White House aide turned cruiser, these books have much to offer the reader, be she the captain or the mate.

New Marine Reads for a Salty Summer

From the roster of recent new releases, Practical Sailor editors have compiled a list of books fit for summer reading, whether youre relaxing in the cockpit, hanging in a hammock, or parked on the beach. The list includes several how-to books, a cookbook, and travel narratives, along with new titles in historical fiction, high-seas thrillers, and adventure.

Stocking Stuffers for Sailors: December 2016

The holidays are upon us, and if youve waited until the last minute to get your gift shopping done, fear not; weve got you covered. Here are some great stocking-stuffer ideas that any sailor would love to unwrap.

The Cruise of Mascot

Ninety-nine years ago last month, Henry M. Plummer, his adult son, Henry Jr., and a cat named Scotty set out from Massachusetts, bound for South Florida in a 24-foot catboat. Mascots waterline was 23 feet; the beam was 10 feet; and draft was 3 feet, 6 inches. The Marshall 22 reviewed in this months issue offers a pretty good example of Mascots traits. Mascot was engineless. In calms, father and son pushed it with a 15-foot dory equipped with a 3-horsepower engine. Accommodations were rough. They shot or caught most of their meat.

Stay Warm, Stay Safe

About this time of year, sailors creeping southward are either accelerating their migration or looking for inexpensive ways to warm the cabin. You don't have to install an expensive, built-in heating system just to get you south of the Mason-Dixon line, but when opting for one of the less-expensive options, you do have to use commonsense.