bluedrag (bluedrag) wrote,

Sailing Books

I am asked from time to time to recommend a sailing book, so here is a short list of books on my shelf (to be expanded later). I am not including specialized topics (such as celestial navigation), history books and travelogues (with one important exception below).

Know other good books? Post them in the comments!

Learn To Sail

Sailing Made Easy

There are a lot of “Learn To Sail” books out there, and at the end of the day they all have similar material. This is a new textbook by American Sailing Association (I haven’t used it when I was getting my first ASA certification, it came out after that), and it looks to me well told and neatly illustrated.

Dave Franzel. Sailing: The Basics

This book is written by the founder of Boston Sailing Center. It is sometimes very dense, and I certainly would not recommend it as your first or only sailing book, but it’s a thought-provoking reading in addition to some other books listed here.

Comprehensive Sailing Books

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship

This is just it, a comprehensive sailing book covering a lot of different topics (sail trim, sailing in light and heavy weather, trip planning, navigation, etc etc). Well written.

Chapman Piloting & Seamanship

This book is invariably described as a “Boating Bible”. While I don’t condone this use of the word Bible, it is is indeed a very comprehensive (and thick!) volume treating all aspects of boating (not just sailing). Unavoidably, somewhat dull written, but still a good addition to your bookshelf.

Trip Planning

Embassy Cruising Guide: New England Coast

A very comprehensive description of most harbors and anchorage in our parts. This is not a cheap book. I happen to have one extra, will gladly pass it into good hands.

James Bildner. A Visual Cruising Guide to the Southern New England Coast

Much thinner volume. The author is a sailor and a helicopter pilot, and the book features a lot of aerial photos of New England harbors, with corresponding charts and text description.

Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book

This is a reference on tides and other navigation stuff for the entire East Coast. Published every year, because the tide times change every year. I’d say you can find 99% of it in the internet these days, but I still like to pack it with me when I go on muti-day trips.


Anthony Bailey. The Coast of Summer: Sailing New England Waters from Shelter Island to Cape Cod

Just a good book by a British journalist sailing in (almost) our waters. I reviewed it in English and in Russian. Recommended.


Only useful for the obsessive documentation readers like me. These books are freely available online, and also summarized in any good sailing/boating book. But still, it feels good to have them!

The official Coast Guard “rules of the road”

Chart Number One — the legend to all US official charts.
Tags: book, english, sail
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