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Book Notes

Trading adversity for adventure

Author Capt. Jim Sharp believes that, in addition to keeping him out of a foxhole in Korea, his childhood bout with polio gave him a stubborn recklessness that enabled him to pursue his sea-faring adventures. “With Reckless Abandon” ($18.95, Devereux Books, April 2007) is his story — told in a breezy, conversational tone — through some three dozen boats and three marriages, of those adventures afloat and the characters he encountered from Maine’s foggy coast to the Great Lakes and Europe.

The book details his diverse experiences: his passion for boats led him to spend two decades taking vacationers on weekly Maine cruises aboard the 122-foot Adventure, which he purchased in 1966; and to convert a 125-foot tugboat into a restaurant in Camden (serving the likes of Walter Cronkite and others). Capt. Jim even had a brush with Hollywood when a studio came to Camden in 1977 to film the remake of Kipling’s “Captains Courageous.” Local lobsterman Phil Raynes said of the movie-making fuss, “With all the jeezly weather we git here, you wouldn’t suppose they would need to come in here with all that machinery ter make a little rain and a little breeze!”

He ends his book with a four-page appendix of vessels he’s owned, along with remarks about them, such as Spodie Odie, a 26-foot twin-screw powercat. This particular vessel, he writes, is for “fishing and goin’ like hell.”

Contact: Devereux Books,

The lighter side of boating

His experience as a liveaboard navigating Canadian and U.S. waters lends cartoonist Sacha Warunkiw insider knowledge in poking fun at boaters and the boating lifestyle in his compilation of boating comics, “UnderWay: Volume 1” ($14.95, Longdog Publishing, April 2007). Examples of his humor include a scene featuring a man admonishing his female companion, “I told you not to wear heels” behind a spurt of water aboard an inflatable; and a child pointing to a turtle and exclaiming to her grandfather, “He moves faster than your trawler.” Warunkiw’s comics have been featured in such publications as PassageMaker and DIY Boat Owner magazines; the booklet has full-color illustrations by the author.

Born in Western Canada, he began an advertising career in Montreal that progressed to a multimedia business, which he then sold off to his employees. It was while tied up at Falls at Marina Bay in Fort Lauderdale that he was encouraged by fellow boaters to sell his customized boating greeting cards, which would later became published cartoons.

Contact: Longdog Publishing,

Virtues and vices of cruising cats

Charles “Chuck” Kanter began sailing in the 1960s in Chesapeake Bay, and by 1980 grew tired of his executive day job and quit to work full-time at his passion: sailing. This passion continues today, as “Cruising Catamaran Communiqué” ($29.95, SAILco Press, April 2007) details his experiences with new market offerings in addition to defining“cruising” a catamaran.

Kanter gets into specs for catamarans such as the Endeavourcat 30 and the Gemini 105M. For example, about a 2003 Lagoon 410 S2, he discusses the mechanics — powered by two ST-74 Solomon electric motors running off eight 8D glass-mat batteries and an HFL Powergen 4-cycle, 7.5-kW Kubota-powered generator — and writes, “That it was sandwiched between two huge catamarans and a few odd pilings made little difference; the ease of maneuvering this 41x23 vessel was amazing … seemingly effortless.”

Chuck Kanter is a SAMS-accredited marine surveyor, member of The Society of Marine Architects and Marine Engineers and also holds a Coast Guard 100-ton license.

Contact: SAILco Press,