Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

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Max McCarthy
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Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by Max McCarthy » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:42 pm

Hi all,

I was thinking about doing some reading and I have stumbled across some books, that I am interested in. So I was just wondering of peoples thoughts of them, the books are as follows....

The best of Uffa (two versions - I am unsure of which one to get....one has an intro by the Duke of Edinburgh, and the other is the original) so I was wondering two things about this book...If you have read it, what do you think of it? And which version would you recommend getting, ie are both as good as each other?

Classic classes - has anyone read this, if so, what did you think of it?

Also, I am very interested in actual boat design, so if anyone knows of any good books they have read on this subject, it would be great if you could let me know about them...

Best wishes, and many thanks,

Max
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chris
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by chris » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:46 pm

"Building Classic Small Craft" with complete plans for 47 boats by John Gardner Published by International Marine/McGraw-Hill . ISBN 0-07-142797-X
is a good one for a lot of background information on design and construction. The design aspect is more about why certain boats evolved in the way they did according to purpose and place used rather than a complete course in naval architecture or hull design. The plans within it are in the form of small dimensioned drawings you scale up and lists of offsets for drawing out accurately. There are some very nice craft there.
Lots of info on tools and techniques too. These are traditional boats and techniques but aimed at the amateur builder.

The Stripper's Guide to Canoe Building by David Hazen ISBN 0-917436-00-8 is good for strip plank canoes. How-to, and plans included for several types of canoe.

I have a couple of other books too which are less usefull, but it depends what you are looking for.

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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by JimC » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:47 pm

The best of Uffa is a nice historical document if you're into that sort of thing, but of course thinking has changed on a lot of things since then.
To my mind Bethwaite's books are the definitive modern volumes. Because of the confusing titles they are often thought of as being earlier and later editions (Amazon make this mistake) but this is definitely not the case. Unless you are very interested in weather matters I'd say "Higher" is th one to get first. "High" is very strong on weather and has a lot of 70s/80s Antipdean development, "Higher" has more general historical material plus more on boat handling.
There's a third book due out very soon.

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Max McCarthy
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by Max McCarthy » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:06 pm

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the recommendations, I have already got high performance sailing, and I will have a look at the higher performance sailing.

Hi Chris,

I will look into building small craft, it sounds like a good read! And it sounds useful as I plan to build a Farr 3.7 at some time....

Many thanks,

Max
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by davidh » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:11 pm

Max,

I'm sorry but I read the Uffa Fox book and thought that there was little in the way of value to be had from it. The more I learn of the history of dinghy development, the less I see in the role played by Fox; there are others with a far greater claim to fame as 'influencers' (for example, try Dave Chivers excellent book on Austin Farrar if you're interested in the history of the sport).

If you're looking for guidance, then a quick look on E-Bay/Amazon will take you to the 'sail to win' series (personally I like things that do what it says on the outside cover!!). These are not big books but are full of what you need...there is for instance, one on weather and wind that ought to be read and understood by anyone going afloat - at least on the salty stuff! However, there are three really top class books in the series...... Dinghy Crewing from the incomparable Julian Brooke-Houghton, Dinghy Helming from Lawrie Smith and Tactics from Rodney Pattisson.

The above are all 'nice to have' BUT... if you're serious about your sailing, then make sure that there is space on your bookshelves for 2 very special books.

Paul Elvstrom Speaks........... a wonderful book, well written and with some real insight into the man who is still head and shoulders above the rest - really he was the 'greatest' (even though his Olympic record was surpassed, as Champion, sailmaker, boatbuilder, innovator......the list goes on and on). His thinking is as valid today as ever, be you sailing a classic 14 or foiling moth; if more people "kept the hull under the rig" there would be a lot more people sailing quickly.

The second book would have to be Jim Saltonstalls superb work - the definitive book on race training. If you can manage to 'self analyse' and then now how to bring about the required changes, you're ahead of the game when compared with 66% of the rest of people afloat in dinghies.

These are both books that can be read and understood (or digested might be a better term) - and whilst the bethwaite books are very good reference works, like Stephen Hawkings at the Brief History of Time, they are books that are discussed far more than they are read (I doubt if there is more than a couple of people on here who really understand what he is trying to acheive).

Read what you like in the end Max is the best advice but if you want to progress, at least read things that are both relevaant and will help you in your quest!

HNY

D
David H

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Max McCarthy
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by Max McCarthy » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:41 pm

Hi David,

Happy new year to you to.....

Thanks for the advice, I was given an amazon voucher for christmas, so, I have had a look at the books you recommended, and I think that they look really good...so definitely something to look at.

Many thanks!

Max
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by clibb » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:37 pm

Head and shoulders above all the rest is Eric Twiname "Start to Win". No contest.

Nick - Intl 14 - 839

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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by davidh » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:05 pm

Nick....if it was just a case of identifying a sailing book I think i'd be close to making the same choice as you. But Max will need something broader than just the 'sailing' - given that he wants to go to Southampton Uni - and that is why I suggested the Elvstrom book!

but for anyone who can already sail but wants to crack the competition side of things - the ET book is a must!

D
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by Graham T » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:13 pm

I have three copies of the Twiname book - two of which are on loan at any one time to people wanting to improve their sailing and one which stays firmly at home so I know I haven't lost it.... It is indeed the best racing book I have read (and I have read a lot!). The latest version also gives profits to the Eric Twiname Trust which supports youth sailing so a worthwhile purchase all round.

Graham
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Max McCarthy
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by Max McCarthy » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:44 pm

Speaking of editions, of the ET book, which version would you recommend? As I have seen there are two versions available on amazon, however, I am unsure of the difference between the two...

Many thanks,

Max
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by ent228 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:59 pm

If you are interested in Aerodynamics and hydrodynamics then Marchaj's books are an interesting read but the latter very technical. Sailing Theory and Practice, and The Aero-hydrodynamics of sailing. The first book is much easier to read, both are dated now, but Marchaj used to sail Finns so his books are based upon research on the Finn rig and have some good practical comments.

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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by Pat » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:14 pm

Max - do you have a specific course at Southampton in mind? I know a Lark sailor studying there who may be a useful contact if appropriate.
(Half Cut and What a Lark Removals Ltd)

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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by SoggyBadger » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:56 pm

ent228 wrote:If you are interested in Aerodynamics and hydrodynamics then Marchaj's books are an interesting read but the latter very technical. Sailing Theory and Practice, and The Aero-hydrodynamics of sailing. The first book is much easier to read, both are dated now, but Marchaj used to sail Finns so his books are based upon research on the Finn rig and have some good practical comments.
Sailing Theory and Practice is a bit of a curate's egg. Some of it is completely wrong especially regarding sloop rigs.
Best wishes


SB

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Max McCarthy
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by Max McCarthy » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:33 pm

Pat wrote:Max - do you have a specific course at Southampton in mind? I know a Lark sailor studying there who may be a useful contact if appropriate.
Hi Pat,

I am hoping to study yacht and small craft...

Many thanks,

Max
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Re: Notable books for reading - for the amateur sailor...

Post by ent228 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:05 am

Hi Soggy Badger,

Point me in the direction of the crititicisms of Theory and practice, I know it's dated and would like to know your references.

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