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Book Notes September 2007

“Phil said the whole problem is that the ocean is pissed off at man for leaving the sea; we chose to become land creatures, and Neptune just hasn’t gotten over it.”

— World Voyagers

“Phil said the whole problem is that the ocean is pissed off at man for leaving the sea; we chose to become land creatures, and Neptune just hasn’t gotten over it.”

— World Voyagers

Build the boat, sail the world

Artist/veterinarian Amy Wood and her wooden-boat builder husband Philip Shelton spent three years aboard gaff-rigged cutter Iwalani, designed and built by the couple.

Their book “World Voyagers” ($29.95, Book Orchard Press, April 2007) began as a series of weekly blogs on about the journey before being collected into a 432-page hardcover version.

Wood outfitted the boat as a small animal hospital, neutering and spaying animals in areas without vets as well as caring for injured wildlife encountered along the way. Eschewing the typical travel guide style of describing “destination hot spots” in favor of dialogue with locals and her travel companions, Wood engages the reader in her personal accounts through such locations as the Bahamas, Galapagos, Fiji and Capetown. In Port Antonio, she describes a dish typically served at Jamaican weddings: “Apparently, a real head was removed from a real goat, smashed up with a lead pipe and then all the parts were put in a big pot along with some other choice tidbits, including the cloven hooves and intestines.”

The book is illustrated with some of Wood’s paintings and 32 color pages of photos along with original cartoons, maps and poems. At the end is Wood’s glossary of terms found in the book, although she cautions: “Some old salts may disagree with my definitions — tough toerails, I’m not changing anything!”

Contact: Book Orchard Press, Inc.,

High adventure, but low cost

Jerry Cardwell took the title of his book “Sailing Big on a Small Sailboat” ($19.95, Sheridan House, Inc., April 2007) from his first law of sailing big: You can sail big on a small sailboat far more easily and for much less money than you can sail small on a big sailboat.

Buyers and sailors learn to evaluate boats ranging 22 to 26 feet, including Catalina, Hunter and MacGregor, and to select the boat and accessories for the most enjoyment from the smallest investment. The entries are complemented by both black-and-white photos and line drawings. The third edition of the book, revised by Dieter Loibner, has been expanded to include several new models, including the Com-Pac, Etap, Rhodes and the Santana. Also included is a chapter on safe and smart trailering and ramp launching.

Jerry Cardwell sailed for more than 20 years, always in sailboats under 30 feet, and authored several books, including the first two editions of “Sailing Big on a Small Sailboat.” Dieter Loibner is a small-boat sailor, author of “The Folkboat Story,” and Sailing Editor for Soundings.

Contact: The Sheridan House, Inc.

Your boat inside and out

Split into seven sections — Propulsion, Steering and Controls, Standing Rigging, Line Handling, Ground Tackle, Electrical and Plumbing — author Charlie Wing endeavors to guide mariners on a tour “under the hood” of their sail or power boat in “How Boat Things Work” ($18.95, International Marine, June 2007).

Eighty different systems and devices are illustrated with two-color cutaway drawings, alongside explanations of how they work and how they can go wrong. Geared more toward the checkbook boater than the seasoned, self-

reliant mariner, the book offers basic explanations of a boat’s systems. For example, with seawater pumps he notes two caveats: 1. if the pump is run dry, the rubber impeller will be destroyed within a few minutes by friction heat, and 2. The impeller should be replaced every few years or every 1,000 hours, because pieces of the rubber blades could clog cooling passages in the engine or thermostat.

Charlie Wing earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from MIT and also obtained his Coast Guard Captain’s license while living aboard a cruising sailboat for six years. He has written other boating books such as “Get Your Captain’s License” and “The One-Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road.”

Contact: International Marine,

Women in the boating world

“Boating,” claims Margaret Andersen Rosenfeld, “is a world full of men … [they] captain the ships, work in the yards, run the race committees, win most of the awards.” To counteract this, Rosenfeld undertakes to showcase the role of women in the boating world and beyond in “On Land and Sea: A century of women in the Rosenfeld Collection” ($50, Mystic Seaport, 2007).

Glossy black-and-white photos support her interpretative essays, which chronicle the thrill that little girls find on boats to the emergence of women as athletes and sailors. The near-full-page photo of a young girl caulking the seams of a vessel sits opposite the page on which Capt. Laura Smith, who drives ferries in the San Francisco Bay, declares that crewing on a 32-foot sailboat from San Francisco to Costa Rica “confirmed to me that I could do anything I wanted” in Rosenfeld’s essay “In the Yard.”

Rosenfeld is the Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware where she also holds faculty appointments in Women’s Studies and Black American Studies. She is the daughter-in-law of photographer Stanley Rosenfeld.

Contact: Mystic Seaport,