Ship’s Library

Books and resources for sailing and cruising.


Getting started / planning

Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever, Rick Page and Jasna Tuta
This Old Boat, Don Casey

Stories / motivation

Following Seas : A Voyage of Discovery, Beth A. Leonard
Sailing Alone Around the World, Joshua Slocum (also: Voyage of the Liberdade)
A World of My Own : The First Ever Non-Stop Solo Round the World Voyage, Robin Knox-Johnston
The Long Way, Bernard Moitessier
Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat, Chris Stewart
Sea Legs: One Family’s Year on the Ocean, Guy Grieve
In Bed with the Atlantic, Kitiara Pascoe
Blown Away, Herb Payson
Dove, Robin Lee Graham
Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening, Liz Clark
The Log from the Sea of Cortez, John Steinbeck
Endless Sea, Amyr Klink
Taking on the World, Ellen MacArthur
Close to the Wind, Pete Goss
80 000 Meilen und Kap Hoorn, Bobby Schenk
Wir schenken uns ein Stückchen Zeit, Gaby Scheurer
Frei wie der Wind, Doris Renolder and Wolfgang Slanec (Die Seenomaden)
1200 Tage Samstag, Sönke Roever

Heavy weather/when things go wrong

Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing, John Rousmaniere
Fatal Storm: The Inside Story of the Tragic Sydney-Hobart Race, Rob Mundle
Total Loss: Dramatic First-Hand Accounts of Yacht Losses at Sea, Paul Gelder
Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea, Steven Callahan

Technical books

Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, Don Casey (including a very good chapter on inspecting/surveying sailboats) – 101 of boat maintenance, we like to consult Casey first, and Nigel second
Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Nigel Calder – in-depth
Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia, Steve & Linda Dashew (available online for free)
The Practical Navigator, Bowman (available online for free)
The Complete Rigger’s Apprentice, Brion Toss
Illustrated Sail & Rig Tuning, Ivar Dedekam
(The Voyager’s Handbook, Beth A. Leonard)

Sailing & Seamanship

Practical Seamanship, Steve & Linda Dashew (available online for free)
Stress-free Sailing: Single and Short-handed Techniques, Duncan Wells
The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, John Rousmaniere
Thoughts, Tips, Techniques and Tactics for Singlehanded Sailing, Andrew Evans – the go-to book for single handers
The Ashley Book of Knots (awesome and fun, available for free online)
Handling Storms at Sea: The 5 Secrets of Heavy Weather Sailing, Hal Roth
Sturm. Taktik und Manöver, Alain Gree

Sailing weather

RYA Weather Handbook, Chris Tibbs
Weather at Sea: A Cruising Skipper’s Guide to the Weather, Simon Rowell


World Cruising Routes, Jimmy Cornell (highly referred to but actually very limited – it was of no use to us)
Ocean Atlas, Jimmy Cornell (more interesting, but one can also download US pilot charts for free)
Pilot guides per region (e.g. RCCPF books in Europe, Chris Doyle books in the Caribbean)


Marine Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide, Eric A Weiss, Michael E Jacobs
The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide, MCA

Life on board

Sailing the Farm, Ken Neumayer

Other well known sailors/authors

Lin and Larry Pardey
Fatty Goodlander
Don Street

Fiction at sea

Hornblower series, C. S. Forester
Aubrey/Maturin series, Patrick O’Brian
Swallows and Amazons series, Arthur Ransome


YBW forum
Attainable Adventure Cruising / Morgan’s Cloud
Many related Facebook pages e.g. Med Sailing, High Latitude Adventure Sailing, Anchoring and anchorages, …


Cruising Association (UK-based, members worldwide)
Royal Yachting Association (UK-based, good for training and certification)
Ocean Cruising Club (UK-based, members worldwide)
Owners’ associations/forums eg Moody Owners Association

Youtube Channels

Follow the Boat


Captain Ron
Master and Commander (based on the Patrick O’Brian books)
Hornblower (TV series based on the C. S. Forester books
Chasing Bubbles
180 Degrees South


NavAtHome, RYA-certified online theory courses
RYA training up to Yachtmaster in tidal waters (UK, Portugal, Canaries) as well as the Med
Rubicon3 sailing holiday/offshore experience and training

Other links