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Book Reviews of Nautical, Boating and Marine Based Books | Soundings Online

Sharks: The Animal Answer Guide

All about sharks

There’s been no shortage of analysis or media coverage of sharks since Jaws, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more definitive, engagingly written source than Sharks: The Animal Answer Guide (Johns Hopkins, $50 hardcover, $26.95 paperback). Gene Helfman and George H. Burgess strive to answer every conceivable question about sharks and their critical role in healthy ecosystems, from the massive whale shark to the ferocious great white to the diminutive cookiecutter. The book delivers insight through a blend of science, history, anthropology and gripping photography.

September 2014 issue

 

Ed Cutts: Designer, Boatbuilder, and “Cutts Method”

Designer and icon

The Cutts & Case Shipyard in Oxford, Maryland, is a Chesapeake Bay icon. Ed Cutts: Designer, Boatbuilder, and “Cutts Method” Inventor is a profile of the man who founded the yard with John Case (Leeward Publications, $19.95). An innovative designer and builder, Cutts mentored under L. Francis Herreshoff and earned a reputation for crafting wooden sailboats that were beautiful and fast, light and strong, and built to last — using the patented “Cutts Method.” He never used a computer, carving and working from half-hull models instead.

September 2014 issue


   

The Hidden Coast of Maine

A guided tour of coastal Maine

There’s something universally alluring about the Maine coast, from the lighthouses atop craggy cliffs to the quiet coves. Within the pages of The Hidden Coast of Maine (Tilbury House, $34.95), photographer Joe Devenney and author Ken Textor offer their eye for detail and deep local knowledge to guide the reader on a journey of insight and beauty. The 224-page book includes 215 color photographs taken by Devenney over 37 years. The musings of Textor, a Mainer since the 1970s, collectively portray the uniqueness, history and charm of 86 destinations.

 

September 2014 issue

   

As Long As It’s Fun

Living the dream

When it comes to bluewater cruising, Lin and Larry Pardey are iconic figures for demonstrating that the dream is not only attainable but also can be affordable. As Long As It’s Fun: The Epic Voyages and Extraordinary Times of Lin and Larry Pardey, by marine journalist Herb McCormick, is a biography of the Pardeys documenting their adventures, their 48-year marriage and their cottage industry of sailing books and DVDs (Paradise Cay Publications, $18.95, paracay.com). The story is told through interviews with the couple and their family, friends and critics. After 200,000 voyaging miles, the Pardeys remain true to their mantra:

“Go simple, go small, go now.”

 

August 2014 issue

   

The Essential Knot Book for Boats

Knot know-how

Every mariner worth his or her salt has a few knots committed to memory. The Essential Knot Book for Boats, by Colin Jarman — an avid sailor who’s a professional marine photographer — can be an indispensable tool for those times when the memory fails (International Marine, $14 paperback, www.InternationalMarine.com). Now in its fourth edition, the book stands out with its blend of colorful diagrams and vivid photos of finished knots, bends, hitches, whippings and splices (44 in all). You also get dos and don’ts, information about rope materials and their properties, and suggestions about what’s best for the task.

 

August 2014 issue

   

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