Safety at sea never goes out of style. "The Elements of Seamanship: Third Edition" ($12.95, Flat Hammock Press, 2009) was first written by Roger C. Taylor more than 25 years ago and has been updated to be more relevant to the boaters of today.
The firsthand detail and advice found in the "Atlantic Cruising Club's Guide To Mid-Atlantic/ICW Marinas" ($39.95, Jerawyn Publishing, 2010) by Beth Adams-Smith is invaluable. The full-color oversized seventh edition covers the coast from Hampton, Va., to St. Marys, Ga., and features 216 marina reports with more than 5,000 photos that detail what's on site, what's nearby and what it will cost to dock.
On Oct. 20, 2002, Capt. Dave Shoemaker headed out onto the Bering Sea at the helm of the 190-foot longliner Galaxy and was soon fighting for his life and those of his crew. Intended as (and priced as) a safety training DVD for the commercial marine industry, "Lessons from the Galaxy: Tragedy and Courage on the Bering Sea" ($295, John Sabella & Associates, 2010) tells the story of Shoemaker's struggles when an on-board fire threatens the lives of everyone aboard and reinforces the importance of regular safety training, no matter how much boating experience one might have.
The Sewall family of Bath, Maine, built and managed a fleet of more than 100 merchant deepwater square-rigged vessels in the late 1800s and dealt with everything from mutiny to shipwrecks during their voyages.
Nautical knowledge from how to make a paddle to fending off a shark can be found in "The Anti-Pirate Potato Cannon: And 101 Other Things for Young Mariners to Build, Try and Do on the Water" ($24.95, McGraw Hill, 2010) by David Seidman and Jeff Hemmel. The sturdy maroon hardcover provides indoor and outdoor activities that allow children (and adults, too) to get the most out of their experiences near and on the water.
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