Boating Books Review: Anchored in Engineering

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Anchored in Engineering

If you’ve been around boats during the past 20 years, you’ve likely touched one of John Muir’s products. Muir, who started his marine career as a diesel fitter, designed and built some of the world’s most innovative boating gear, including windlasses, drum winches, sheet winches, hydraulic steering systems and more. Muir and Muir Engineering’s story are told in the 416-page Blood, Sweat & the Sea. The book describes not only the products that Muir conceived, but also the people and boat projects that inspired the engineering behind them. Filled with color photographs, the book is an excellent read for any marine gear nerd.

($78, Downstream Publishing)


A Family Afloat

Erik Orton was working in his high-rise New York City cubicle when he realized that life must have more to offer. Watching sailboats gliding up and down the Hudson River, he began to dream. Despite his total lack of sailing  experience, his wife Emily’s fear of deep water, and their struggle to maintain a workable family budget, the Ortons—with their five children— embarked on a 5,000-mile journey to and through much of the Caribbean. The tale unfolds in the 352-page book Seven at Sea, in which the family turns excuses and fears into motivation to live more rewarding lives.

($28, Shadow Mountain)


Right of Way

Let’s say you’re chugging down a shallow, constricted channel and come upon a dredge boat that’s showing two round, black day shapes on one side and two black diamonds on the other. Who has the right of way? If you don’t know, you should brush up on the rules of the road. Updated for 2019, Learn the Nautical Rules of the Road is an essential companion for understanding The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, better known as COLREGs. The  book is aimed at recreational skippers and professional mariners. Author Paul Boissier lays out each rule with real-world circumstances, offering personal anecdotes and mnemonics to increase retention.

($23, Fernhurst Books)

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue.