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Ben Starling

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.

How to Sail Around the World, by Hal Roth - Reviewed

How to Sail Around the World : Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail - Hal Roth

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:


  • how to pick a yacht
  • sails and sail management
  • anchoring
  • storm management
  • life aboard (food care, dinghies, schooling, foreign paperwork…)



My favourite things in this book:


  • anchoring
  • storm management – analysed with best practices for each level of storm force. Well explained and documented.



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+.