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Book Notes

A portrait of Marblehead, Mass.

The people of Marblehead, Mass., were known for their “peculiar character” in its heyday as the principal cod fishing port in the country.

There were the captain of the clipper ship Flying Cloud and his wife, who set long-standing records for speed under sail. Another Marblehead character was Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who established maritime law for this country.

In “Disasters, Etc.,” (Peter E. Randall Publisher, 2005, $25) author John R. H. Kimball uses the town’s characters to draw a picture of Marblehead in the time between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. This era defined the final rise and fall of the town’s fishing industry, he says.

“The pervasive maritime life of the town created a class of fishermen and shipmasters with unique character, ability and success. The fishermen were more productive than any other town’s,” explains the publisher.

Kimball fleshes out his portrait of the town with appendices like The Number of Vessels Employed in The Codfishery At Marblehead, 1794-1850, Chronological List of Vessels Built in Marblehead, 1800-1858, and the Disasters, Etc. section from the Boston Shipping List, Sept. 26, 1857.

Contact: Peter E. Randall, (603) 431-5667.

An updated guide for the boat buyer

The publishers of the annual “PowerBoat Guide” have released the newest version of the “TrailerBoat Guide,” by Ed McKnew (American Marine Publishing, 2005, $34.95).

The book is aimed at consumers looking to invest in a new or used boat. It offers pictures, floor plans, factory specs, current retail high-low appraisal values, and editorial commentary on more than 1,000 boats produced between 1990 and today. The 2006 edition covers fishing boats, runabouts, cuddies, deck boats, cruisers and bowriders from 18 to 27 feet.

McKnew has worked as a yacht broker in Florida, Michigan and Texas. He has been the editor of “ PowerBoat Guide” since the publication began in 1988.

Contact: American Marine Publishing, (800) 832-0038. www.powerboat

The story of Sinbad the sailor

For the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Flat Hammock Press has re-released “Sinbad of the Coast Guard,” by George F. Foley Jr., and illustrated by George Gray.

The book, originally released in 1945, chronicles the true adventures of the Coast Guard mascot Sinbad, a mixed breed dog who was snuck aboard by one of the crewmembers. The dog went on to become a member of the crew, with his own duties, uniforms and bunk.

Sinbad’s adventures include almost causing an international incident in Greenland and being a guest at a sultan’s palace in Africa.

This new edition includes several photos and the original two-color illustrations.

Some of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to Coast Guard Flags Across America, a volunteer organization that identifies and marks the graves of U.S. Coast Guard veterans, according to the publisher.

Contact: Flat Hammock Press, (860) 572-2722.