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Book Notes – August 2006

Rousmaniere brings Bolero’s story to life

John Rousmaniere’s latest title explores the rich story of an American icon, the 73-foot wooden yawl Bolero. “In a Class by Herself: The Yawl Bolero and the Passion for Caftsmanship” (Mystic Seaport, 2006, $50) is a history of the design, construction, handling and restoration of the famed yacht.

Bolero is admired for her craftsmanship and elegance, and the author considers the community of people around her as a vital part of the story. Rousmaniere looks at his subject through the lenses of the owners, John Nicholas and Anne Kinsolving Brown, the designer Olin Stephens II and his brother, and the builders at the Henry B. Nevins shipyard, as well as others touched by her magic. In 1990 two more people, Ed Kane and Marty Wallace, undertook the restoration of Bolero as she rotted in a Florida canal.

In the introduction Rousmaniere writes, “[I]f this boat seems larger than life, it is because so much life has gone into building, sailing and restoring her.” First launched in 1949, Bolero still turns heads after decades. With this heavily illustrated volume, readers will likely see why.

This is John Rousmaniere’s 10th book on the history of yachting. He has sailed more than 35,000 miles.



New photos update Chesapeake guide

Dramatic new aerial photography updates the second edition of “The Chesapeake Bay Ports of Call & Anchorages,” by Thomas A. Henschel (Ports of Call, 2006, $29.95).

This guide to Chesapeake Bay’s most popular ports of call and anchorages features full-page photos on each right-hand page. On the left-hand page are smaller photos with graphics pointing to anchorages, attractions and marinas, with navigational information, and entrance and exit routes.

Accompanying text for each port describes marinas and resorts, available services, restaurants, shops and points of interest on both the Eastern and Western shores. More than 40 ports of call are covered, from the northern boundary of Chesapeake City to Norfolk at the south. The book is designed to be used in combination with other guides available for cruising the Bay, as well as with navigation charts.

Contact: Ports of Call Publishing, (828) 627-9104.


The inside scoop for boat buyers

International Marine introduces a new series of Boat Buyer’s Guides. Three new titles, all by Ed McKnew, include: “The Boat Buyer’s Guide to Trailerable Cruisers and Runabouts,” “The Boat Buyer’s Guide to Trailerable Fishing Boats” and “The Boat Buyer’s Guide to Sportfishing Boats” (International Marine/McGraw-Hill, 2006, $24.95 each). Compiled and edited by an experienced broker, these guides give readers access to the same inside information brokers and dealers depend on, according to the publisher.

The cruisers and runabouts guide covers bowriders, cuddy cabins, deckboats, express cruisers and sportboats, 18 to 27 feet. The fishing boat guide covers center consoles, walkarounds, express fishermen, bay and flat boats, and dual consoles, 18 to 27 feet. The sportfishing guide covers convertibles, express fishermen, center consoles, walkarounds and hardtops, 27 to 80 feet.

Each of the three guides includes more than 600 new and used models. Each boat model has a photo, specs, floor plan, retail high-low appraisal values and a concise review.

Additional material includes such sections as Frequently Asked Questions, Launch Ramp Etiquette, 2006 State Tow Laws and Useful Terms. Two previous titles in the series, also written by McKnew, are “Motor Yachts and Trawlers” and “Express and Sedan Cruisers.” McKnew’s 1989 “PowerBoat Guide” is still known as the yacht broker’s bible, according to the publisher.

Contact: International Marine/McGraw-Hill.


Have you heard the one about…?

The Lyons Press offers readers a new compilation of little-known and unusual events in maritime history. Author J. Gregory Dill culled the stories in “Myth, Fact, and Navigators’ Secrets: Incredible Tales of the Sea and Sailors” (2006, $15.95) from nautical books he amassed perusing out-of-the-way bookstores.

Some tales are quirky and humorous, such as one about a king of Sweden whose order to build a great warship led to a replay of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Some tales are ironic and tragic like the bloody duel between the U.S. frigate Chesapeake and His Britannic Majesty’s Ship Shannon that had no strategic significance. In 64 short tales, Dill entertains and informs even the sailing aficionado who thought he had heard them all.

J. Gregory Dill is a former writer and columnist for Ocean Navigator magazine. He lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Contact: The Lyons Press, (800) 962-0973.