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Book Notes - October 2006

Tips for surviving weather’s wrath

Before heading out to potentially troubled waters, check out “Rough Weather Seamanship for Sail and Power” (McGraw Hill Books, 2006, $29.95).

Authored by the U.S. editor for The Yacht Report, Roger Marshall, this guide to navigating all types of weather hazards will provide practical information for beginners and useful tips for experts, according to the publisher.

Marshall takes the reader from Weather 101 and wave anatomy, to preparing a boat for worst-case scenarios. He also addresses how to keep your crew calm in panic situations and safe from imminent harm. Marshall offers this advice when encountering life-threatening situations: “Do not abandon ship unless the boat is actually sinking. In fact, there is a well-known axiom that you should only step up into a lifeboat.” He also puts stock in pop psychology instructing those in peril to, “Think positively. Tell yourself that you will get out of this.” While such tips are good reminders, Marshall also offers sound advice on research involving mast inertia and best estimates for storm jib dimensions.

While no amount of advice or skill can prepare for something like a Perfect Storm-type scenario, Marshall’s years of experience and insight should give sailors enough confidence to handle everything from sudden squalls and tropical storms, to equipment failure and emergency planning.

Marshall spent a decade as technical editor for Soundings. He is also the author of 11 boating books, an accomplished bluewater sailor and a veteran of such prestigious races as the World Cup championships, The Admiral’s Cup and Fastnet. Marshall also spent more than five years as a yacht designer with Sparkman & Stephens before opening his own design office in Jamestown, R.I.

Contact: International Marine, (800) 262-4729.

New Chapman guide covers boat handling

The latest addition to the Chapman library of books on boating is “Chapman Practical Boat Handling — For Every Situation” (HearstBooks/Sterling, 2006, $27.95) an all-purpose manual-sized book designed for both sailors and powerboaters.

Written by Greg Jones and Dave Kelly, editors of Blue Water Sailing and Boating World magazines, respectively, the book lays out the basics of boating as well as the underlying theory. The guide also attempts to warn boaters of common mistakes both on and off the water.

Living up to its name, the book covers a wide range of topics including launching and retrieving, docking and mooring, maneuvering, rough conditions and dangerous areas, and emergency situations.

Anecdotes from real-life situations are offered throughout to demonstrate what can go wrong, why it went wrong and how readers can avoid making the same errors. A VHF radio operations and protocol guide is included, as is a chapter on crew-overboard procedures.

Contact: Sterling Publishing, (212) 532-7160.

New edition of Young’s Keys guide

As the author of six comprehensive cruising guidebooks, Claiborne S. Young’s manuals are considered by many to be the standard for cruising guides. His latest book, co-authored with Morgan Stinemetz, is the second edition of his now 14-year-old guide to the Florida Keys. “Cruising the Florida Keys: Second Edition” (Pelican, 2006, $34) is the completely updated guide to traveling from the Port of Miami all the way to the Dry Tortugas.

The book includes instruction and commentary on both routes to the Keys, the inside route through the Intracoastal Waterway or the offshore option through Hawk Channel. Also included is information on local anchorages, marinas, fuel supplies and route obstructions. “Cruising the Florida Keys” also contains first-hand evaluations of restaurants, cultural attractions and historical sites as well as maps, photographs and chart references.

Young, when not cruising, edits the online cruising newsletter, Salty Southeast. Stinemetz’s work appears in several boating magazines and he writes a weekly newspaper column.

Contact: Pelican Publishing, (800) 843-1724.