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Book notes

Aluminum, fiberglass and outboard engines

Tailfins and Two-Tones,” by Peter Hunn (Devereux Books, March 2006, $23.95) explores America’s passion for modern speedboats in the years following World War II.

The author looks at the outboard-powered runabouts of the day — fiberglass and aluminum — and the companies that made them, including still-

familiar names like Glastron, Lund and Boston Whaler.

Hunn presents readers with a historical background of hundreds of companies, plus offers advice on buying a vintage runabout. He tells readers where to look for such a vessel, and what to look for when inspecting it. He also has a chapter on equipping a vintage runabout.

With its listof more than600 builders, “Tail Fins and Two-Tones” is a great resource for vintage-boat enthusiasts.

The 176-page book is decorated throughout with black-and-white photos, vintage ads and diagrams, plus an eight-page glossy section of color photos.

Hunn is also the author of “Beautiful Outboards,” “The Old Outboard Book,” “The Golden Age of the Racing Outboard,” and “The Vintage Culture of outboard Racing.”

Contact: Devereux Books, (781) 631-3055.


A tour through the ThimbleIslands

Captain Bob Milne tours passengers through Connecticut’s ThimbleIslands aboard his Volsunga IV. Now, he offers a book version of the tour with “Thimble Islands StoryBook” (, 2005, $12).

The ThimbleIslands are on Long Island Sound, just off Stony Creek, Conn. The four-mile island chain is made up of about 30 inhabited islands — mostly privately owned — and hundreds of rocky granite outcroppings.

Milne, who was born in the area, offers readers an island-by-island “tour” with information on the names, houses and features of each. He also provides a short history of the area, and a look at the plant and animal life. He also covers the geology, focusing on the area’s stand-out feature, the pink granite mounds.

Milne grew up in Stony Creek, Conn., and has operated the Thimble Island Ferry and sightseeing tours since 1986. He has a 100 Gross-Ton Master Inland Operator license.

Contact: .


From Hong Kong to Vancouver, B.C.

Lot and Adrian Sparham decided to escape from the rat race and try the adventure of liveaboard life. But, turning the usual cruising course on its head, the Sparhams set sail from Hong Kong — where they were both working — en route to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Aboard the 37-foot steel ketch Moonshiner — and with their dog, Fluke — the couple traveled Singapore, the Bay of Bengal and the Red Sea. The Sparhams also put in at ports throughout Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. They also spent three years in Holland, raising funds to continue their voyage to Canada.

Adrian Sparham relates their adventures with storms, mechanical problems, corrupt customs officials, floods and French taxes in “Slow Boat from China” (Sheridan House, March 2006, $23.95).

Contact: .