This article is from the Boats FAQ, by John F. Hughes with numerous contributions by others.
SHRIMPY AND SHRIMPY SAILS AGAIN, Shane Acton, This is an
amazing story of a guy who spent eight years sailing the world in a
caprice class 18ft boat. None of the other books I have read on the
subject come close to this achievment. A none sailor, his own money, very
very limited funds. This guy is my hero.
MAIDEN VOYAGE, Tania Aebi, 1988 Excellent. An 18-year-old
girl/woman circumnavigating westward in a Contessa 26.
117 DAYS ADRIFT, Bailey.
SECOND CHANCE: VOYAGE TO PATAGONIA, Baileys, Interesting
contrast with Slocum's earlier account.
FIRST YOU HAVE TO ROW A LITTLE BOAT: REFLECTIONS ON
LIFE AND LIVING., Richard Bode, It is a zen-like outlook on how
sailing and life are so similar. Friends who have read it say no skipper
should be without it - it's really good.(bt).
GYPSY MOTH CIRCLES THE WORLD, Sir Francis Chichester, 1968
Another classic, of a solo cicumnavigation in a fast but vicious boat, best
read together with The Lonely Sea and the Sky.
THE LONELY SEA AND THE SKY, Sir Francis Chichester, 1964
Excellent auto-biography of the great adventurer. Includes transatlantic
voyages, and his pioneering first flight (NOT non-stop!) across the
TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST, Richard Henry Dana, Harvard boy
goes to sea, and writes eloquently about the details of sea life.
COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, Clare Francis, A very small woman
racing single-handed across the Atlantic.
COME WIND OR WEATHER, Clare Francis, 1979 She skippers a Swan
65 in the Whitbread.
MATE IN SAIL, James Gaby, Reminiscences of a lifetime in square-rigged
sail by an Australian shipmaster. (sm).
MASTER OF THE MOVING SEA, Gladys Gowlland, The memoirs of
Peter Mathieson, ship captain, compiled by his daughter-in-law. (sm).
DOVE, Robin Lee Graham, Graham set off at the age of 16 to sail around
the world alone in a 24 foot Ranger sloop. He returned several years later
as a young married man in a Luders 33. He and his wife then dropped out,
built a lean-to in the mountains somewhere and raised a daughter named
Quimby (no kidding), and later a son called Benjamin. His story was also
chronicled in a series of National Geographic articles in the late 60's that
fueled a good many of my youthful fantasies.(wms, with help from gv).
WANDERER, Sterling Hayden, Hayden's Autobiography. (gm).
THE SEA GETS BLUER, Peter Heaton, 1965 A good survey of cruising
and circumnavigation literature.
CRUISING UNDER SAIL, Eric Hiscock, (3rd edition, including
"Voyaging Under Sail"). Still the "Bible" even though it is now dated.
This book has more useful information on every possible aspect of
cruising and voyaging than any other source. It could also come under
several other categories in this listing as it covers everything from basic
boat design to celestial navigation. A book I wouldn't sail without.
AT ONE WITH THE SEA, Naomi James, 1978 A young woman
single-handing a rather large boat while her husband skippered in the
Whitbread. Naomi James was the first woman to sail single-handed
around the world via Cape Horn. The voyage began from Dartmouth in
September 1977, and ended in June 1978 (after 272 days). Her book of the
voyage is "At One with the Sea", published in NZ by Hutchison (ISBN 0
09 138440 0). The book is a damn good read. I strongly recommend it.
NO PARTICULAR TITLE, Tristan Jones, All his books are good.
ONE HAND FOR YOURSELF, ONE FOR THE SHIP, Tristan Jones,
The best book on singlehanding. Jones is opinionated and eccentric to say
the least, and old fashioned as well. He is a sailor of vast experience,
however, and has many good ideas.
TITLE UNKNOWN, Robin Knox-Johnson.
NO PARTICULAR TITLE, Larry and Lin Pardey, All of their books are
ALL IN THE SAME BOAT AND STILL IN THE SAME BOAT, Paul
Howard Fiona McCall, late 80's Excellent story of family of four
circumnavigating in a 30' steel junk-rigged boat.
SHACKELTON'S BOAT JOURNEY, E.F. Middleton, The most
remarkable small-boat journey you'll ever read about. Understated
writing style emphasizes the enormity of the trip.
THE BOAT WHO WOULDN'T FLOAT, Farley Mowat, Newfoundland
THE-GREY-SEAS-UNDER, Farley Mowat, WWII Tugboats, N.
THE LAST GRAIN RACE, Eric Newby, Story of a Cape Horn passage
aboard the giant four-masted barque Moshulu in 1938. Recently reprinted
by International Marine.(sm).
ONE WATCH AT A TIME, Skip Novack, Novack was the skipper of
Drum during the 1986 Whitbread and this is the whole story from the
time the boat was bought by rock star Simon Le Bon and his managers to
the fitting out, the Fastnet Race disaster in which Drum lost her keel and
capsized, the Whitbread where she began to fall apart during a storm,
and ultimate third overall finish. A good read with lots of color
PASSAGEMAKING HANDBOOK, John Rains and Patricia Miller, The
nuts and bolts of preparing for a long passage. Oriented toward delivery
work but applicable to any kind of offshore cruising, especially that first
trip. Highly recommended.
SURVIVE THE SAVAGE SEA, Dougal Robertson.
CRUISING: A MANUAL FOR SMALL CRUISER SAILING, J.D.
Sleightholme, From the introduction: "A broad look at the techniques
involved in sailing small modern family cruisers of between 20 and 30
SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD, Joshua Slocum, 1899 A
great classic, beautifully written. (Make sure it's the full version).
JOSHUA SLOCUM, Walter Teller, 1956,1971 Biography of Slocum. I
think it illuminates and enriches one's reading of the above.
THE MYSTERIOUS LAST VOYAGE OF DONALD CROWHURST,,
unknown, The style is not particularly riveting, but the story is. It all
starts with the discovery of the "Teignmouth Electron," Crowhurst's
boat, in the Atlantic, with no one aboard. He had set out in the boat
some time earlier in a single-handed round-the-world race. The book
details a reasonable theory about what might have happened, and it
makes a fascinating story.(jh, tl).
BY WAY OF CAPE HORN, Alan Villiers, A tragic voyage from Australia
to England in the fully-rigged ship Grace Harwar in 1929. All of Villiers'
books can be safely recommended, especially his autobiography "The Set
of the Sails". (sm).