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

Nautical New Year

Yachting photographers Alison Langley, Benjamin Mendlowitz and Onne van der Wal have published the 2015 editions of their annual calendars featuring some of their best images.



Voyages: Stories of Ten Sunsail Owner Cruises

Charter tales

Paul Jacobs and his wife, Nancy Kaull, successfully fuse a manual for bareboat chartering with a personal memoir in Voyages: Stories of Ten Sunsail Owner Cruises (Pleiades Publishing, $10). The couple explored 10 destinations aboard their Sunsail 362: the Bahamas, St. Martin, Croatia, the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turkey, Grenada, Greece, French Polynesia and St. Lucia. Jacobs takes readers through the discovery of his passion for sailing, the joys of meeting and falling in love, and the couple’s cruising experience and journey into the Sunsail Ownership program — all in an interesting, informative and inspiring work. Add it to your reading pile  if bareboat chartering is on your bucket list.

December 2014 issue


The Sol e Mar Tragedy Off Martha’s Vineyard

Price of a hoax mayday

The Sol e Mar Tragedy Off Martha’s Vineyard (The History Press, $19.99) details how a hoax mayday received immediately after a legitimate distress call prompted the Coast Guard to refrain from launching a rescue mission, resulting in the death of a father-son commercial fishing crew. The Coast Guard believed Billy Hokanson’s March 1990 distress call was related to the hoax and did not launch a rescue for several days. The deaths prompted a new hoax law and changed search-and-rescue procedures. Retired Coast Guard Capt. W. Russ Webster and journalist Elizabeth B. Webster chronicle the story, exploring the psychology of hoax callers and detailing the Coast Guard’s technological advancements since the tragedy.

December 2014 issue


30 Years of Ultimate Sailing

Fill your sails

World-class yachting photographer Sharon Green has culled 250 from a half-million of her images to showcase them in Sharon Green’s 30 Years of Ultimate Sailing (Windward Productions, $60). This 200-page coffee table book features dramatic racing action from the 1980s through today, including Oracle Team USA’s thrilling America’s Cup comeback victory last year. The book is accented with essays by some of the sport’s top sailors, including John Bertrand, Paul Cayard, Stan Honey, John Kilroy, Buddy Melges, Ken Read and reigning Cup champ Jimmy Spithill. Many of the images have appeared in Green’s annual Ultimate Sailing calendars, but others have never been published.

December 2014 issue


Of Sea and Cloud

Waterman’s way

 A new novel by a Maine waterman turned author tells the story of lobsterman Nicolas Graves, who raised his sons aboard his commercial boat, passing on the rules and rites of the business they love.



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Great Gear,