I'm passionate about books, marine conservation and boxing. I love anything book, but especially contemporary, adventure, mystery, thriller and of course, a good love story.
This is yet another classic in the required sailor's reading list.
Very clearly written, tackling topics in extreme detail. Hence very dense. It took me forever to get through it. It covers all the key topics I’ve seen before in other texts like this.
And that’s a good thing because:
1) It is good to hear the same topics described in different ways. Each time it all sinks in a little deeper into the old cranium.
2) It gives me hope that the number of cruising topics I need to cover is finite. Sometimes, the more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know yet. A bit overwhelming at times. Seeing the same basic topics coming up again and again in cruising how-to books gives me hope.
The key areas this book covers are:
My favourite things in this book:
One thing I would have wished for? Hmm. Maybe a few more illustrative anecdotes. I had to push myself to get through a few sections that were really dense.
But the excruciating detail is what I liked about it. It was challenging to power through at times though.
Overall: I’ll be coming back to this one and reading it again cover to cover. I’ll get more out if it next time after getting more sea miles in to give perspective.
I bought this book because it’s consistently highly recommended. It did not disappoint. A+.
How do you move from dreaming about cruising to actually doing it - and what's it really like to live aboard a yacht?
Best Part: The authors' dry delivery style is quite engaging. You get a strong impression of what having drinks at the taverna with them would be like - a lot of fun!
Though it does discuss repairs and some technical topics, really the focus of the book is on the stuff of 'life aboard'. With a palatable ratio of info-to-anecdotes that makes it an enjoyable read.
Wishes: The book I borrowed is copyright 2001. It looks like there is a 2005 edition on Amazon. Still, I wish there was a more recent edition. A more up to date and comprehensive tome to invest in (a real biceps builder) would be The Voyager's Handbook, by Beth Leonard. It's got the soft stuff as well as a ton of technical detail too.
Conclusion: Sell Up & Sail gives a feel for what cruising was like 10 and 20 years ago - and how things have changed. Apparently it's a lot more crowded and harder to find isolated spots in the Med these days. Since I won't know what I'm missing, I guess I won't be too devastated.
But things have changed and up to date info is pretty crucial to get - for instance, the Gulf of Aden is listed in this book as a perfectly fine route to sail. Of course, this just ain't currently so. Don't leave home without getting up to date info on crucial safety topics like this!
And the sections on communications equipment and electronics really speak of a bygone age. Technology and brand names have moved on, everything's changed.
So while it was a fun historical romp and I'm glad I borrowed it to read, it's probably not the first investment to choose for an up to date cruising library. I'd look forward to looking at an updated edition of this in the future, however.
How do you provision and collect inventory to prepare a yacht to cruise - and what's the cruising life really like?
secrets of successful cruises
the cost of cruising
cooking at sea
Best Part: This book is not set up as an inflexible 'to do' list, but rather as an 'adapt it to you' list. The Shard's realise (for ex.) that everyone eats differently and simply using someone else's shopping list is unlikely to leave you happy.
So they describe in very useful detail how they tracked their own preferences ashore, and how they created systems to adapt those preferences to life on a boat. Then they teach methods to create your own systems that are geared to suit you best. Makes sense. I like it!
Wishes: While reading this, I wished I could have copies of the Shard's lists anyways as a good point to start from. Then I would adapt those lists for myself. And lo! They made that possible. There's info in the Appendix on how to order disks with their lists on it/them... but booo! They meant floppy disks.
It seems this book has not been updated since 1998. A quick check at the publisher's website does not list this book. So it doesn't look like you can still buy these disks, floppy or otherwise.
The book itself, however, is still available on Amazon, and it's info is timeless.
Conclusion: This was the first cruising 'text' I ever bought. It's still one of my favourites.
Just for fun: A moment from my brief but very enjoyable acting career at Oxford long ago. (I'm the boxer on the left.)