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Book Notes

Surviving a shipwreck

and its aftermath

Douglas Robertson reveals the true story of the 18-month voyage of the Lucette and his family’s survival after killer whales caused the ship to sink. In his new book “The Last Voyage of the Lucette” (Sheridan House, March 2005, $23.95) Robertson gives an account of his memories from what he calls a life-changing adventure.

In 1972 the Lucette was holed by killer whales and sank in the Pacific Ocean. Four adults and two children survived for 38 days, first in a rubber life raft, then crammed into a 9-foot fiberglass dinghy. The family was finally rescued by a Japanese fishing vessel.

Robertson begins from his father’s book on the same topic, “Survive the Savage Sea,” and takes information from many other sources, including his own memories, to explain the entire adventure.

The Robertson family set sail from the south of England in January 1971 on a 43-foot schooner, Lucette. They traveled across the Atlantic, around the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific where the Lucette sank. Readers see the excitements, dangers, and the strained relationships resulting from such a dangerous experience, according to the publisher.

Contact: Sheridan House, (914) 693-2410.

Understanding sail trim

in theory and practice

Peter Hahne explains the right way to set your sails for maximum efficiency in his new book “Sail Trim: Theory and Practice” (Sheridan House, July 2005, $19.95).

The author describes sail trim as the art of setting sails in response to the varying wind and wave conditions, as well as boat speed and desired course. Good sail trim can be the difference between winning and losing a race, or reaching the harbor before the tide turns.

With color diagrams and photographs Hahne reveals the secrets behind the skill of good sail trim, enabling both racers and cruisers to get the most efficiency out of their sails, according to the publisher.

Hahne explains aero- and hydrodynamics, rig types, the best way to rig a vessel, sail cloth and cut, the right trim for both the mainsail and smaller sails, and sailing before the wind, while taking into account all types of wind conditions.

Contact: Sheridan House, (914) 693 –2410.