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Thread: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

  1. #1
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    Default Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    I am the better part of a year away from being able to save the money and time to start my first sailboat build, but for now I have been having tons of fun doing research, looking at plans, and reading books about small boat cruising. I'm looking for your top book suggestions for stories about cruising, passage making, and learning through story telling.

    So far I've read Jagular Goes Everywhere (LOVED it), Roger Barnes's Dinghy Cruising Companion, Webb Chiles's The Open Boat and Storm Passage, and Tinkerbelle by Robert Manry (thanks interlibrary loan!). I'm working on Swallows and Amazon's but I think that I'm not in it's target demographic.

    What tales do you love to read about small boats? If you were where I am, what would you want to read next?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Tom McGrath's "Voyages of the Damn Foole" for sure--that was a big inspiration for Jagular, as will be glaringly obvious to anyone who has read both books. (I'm glad you liked the Jagular book, by the way; it sure was fun to write!)

    Voyage of the Cormorant by Christian Beamish is a good one about a Baja trip in an Oughtred yawl.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow? I just ordered it myself so I can't comment, but it seems to be well received.

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Ocean Crossing Wayfarer, by the late Frank Dye..
    Frank Dye - Wikipedia

    Good luck with Swallows and Amazons, They got me into sailing 40 years ago.. "The Coot Club" and "The Big Six" are most important to me, as the S&A series got me into moving to Norfolk. I now sail on the rivers mentioned, and our Annual Regatta at Horning 31 July to 6th of August 2021 is within yards of Horning Staithe which plays a part on the books..
    Just an amateur bodging away..

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow? I just ordered it myself so I can't comment, but it seems to be well received.
    Yup, it's an enjoyable and well written tale. It's a great example of what can be achieved with large ambitions and a small boat. Very much recommended.

    There are also a bunch of books that are recommended reads on the Drascombe UK website (A Drascombe Lugger was the boat used by Webb Chiles in The Open Boat). I've not read any of them, nor do I know if they are all still in print, but there's a wide range of tales from local cruising to ocean crossings. It could perhaps be worth a look:

    http://www.drascombe-association.org.uk/books.php
    Last edited by AndanteEd; 07-22-2021 at 03:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    The Riddle of the Sands. Frank
    www.oarandsail.nl

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    The Riddle of the Sands. Frank
    www.oarandsail.nl
    I sure agree with that one!

    You should read Francis Herreshoffs The Complete Cruiser, if you haven't already.

    I quite liked all of Thomas Firth Jones books.

    Some are mostly about building, but he is an excellent writer and they all have nuggets and stories about his cruising experiences.

    His Boats to go tells of his early voyages on a Wharram Hinemoa, and recounts the tale of being caught by a hurricane in this tiny cat on the way back from Bermuda!

    His Multihull Voyaging is all about well, voyaging, and he recounts many incidents, stories and gives what I feel is truly great advice for anyone planning to go voyaging, mulithull or not. And he might just convince you to give up on the "Monomarans"!

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    The Complete Wilderness Paddler, by James West Davidson and John Rugge. It's a canoe book, not a sailing book, but it takes a voyage from the planning stages through to the end of the trip. Lots of generally applicable thoughts about camp cruising, and utterly hilarious.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    with the obvious already having been mentioned i offer

    51bVEuoMHTL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    only 245 pages

    "light" reading

    w/ the finish documented by The Boston Globe

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Maurice Griffiths, boat designer and writer, he wrote extensively about his small boat advetures along the coast of England. Amazon has most of his books in paperback.

    Serrafyn at 24' I believe still qualifies as a small boat so Lin Pardey is an author to look up.

    My best finds have been in the "Nautical" sections of used book stores, sadly Decorah Iowa might not have much for you in that department. Good luck on your armchair journey, be warned though, it is addictive. I have many feet of bookshelf filled with sailing tales and random stacks around the house.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by UCanoe_2 View Post
    The Complete Wilderness Paddler, by James West Davidson and John Rugge. It's a canoe book, not a sailing book, but it takes a voyage from the planning stages through to the end of the trip. Lots of generally applicable thoughts about camp cruising, and utterly hilarious.
    And someone was selling a used one for a buck or two. SOLD!

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    -Neil

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

    Tom from WI got in first (hi from IA just on the other side of the river!) and I ordered the Damn Foole and Cormorant books used from Amazon. The Drascombe society page is where I found out that there's a sequel to Chiles's Pacific book after his wreck and I'm reading that one now electronically while I wait for the other to come in the mail.

    The Compleat Cruiser looks like a great learning type book, but a few of the others that I'm interested in appear hard to come by, like the James Meadows Sunfish book and the Dyes's Open Boat Cruising. I'll keep my eyes open when I travel to places with used book stores though!

    Keep 'em coming and thanks again so much for everyone's suggestions. I'm writing them all down on the web ... right here.

    -Neil

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    I would add Frank Dye's "Sailing to the Edge of Fear" as it details hi voyage up the Eastern seaboard from Florida to the Great Lakes and may American readers might find it interesting to read how their locale is viewed through foreign eyes.If motor boating is added,Jonathan Raban's "Old Glory" relates the tale of a voyage from Minneapolis to Louisiana in a small outboard runabout.Older than both and perhaps a little shocking to American sensibilities there is James Wharram's "Two Girls,Two Catamarans".

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    At the risk of being censured for blowing my own horn (although a friend of mine used to say that if you don’t blow your own horn someone else will use it as a spittoon), you might be interested in my book, Becoming Coastal.
    The second half is about sail and oar journeys on the BC coast. First half is about kayaking there.
    Alex

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
    - Vincent van Gogh

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilMB View Post
    What tales do you love to read about small boats? If you were where I am, what would you want to read next?
    Voyages about small boats you say? You will find no better book than William Longyard's "A Speck on the Sea". It's a collection of short stories detailing the nearly impossible cruises of small boats. For instance, the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic was (drumroll please).... Father's Day, checking in at a whopping 5' 4 1/2"! The book chronicles the aspirations and follies of adventurers, dreamers and madmen. Vastly entertaining.

    It is amazing what people who have more resolve than money can do.

    https://www.amazon.com/Speck-Sea-Wil.../dp/0071440291

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Free downloads from Project Gutenberg:

    Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/308

    William Bligh, A Narrative of the Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty; and the subsequent voyage of part of the crew in the ship's boat https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20337

    Owen Chase, Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/61931

    Nathaniel H. Bishop, Four Months in a Sneak-Box https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5686

    John Gilmore, Storm Warriors; or Life-Boat Work on the Goodwin Sands https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42415

    Erskine Childers, The Riddle of the Sands https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2360

    Homer, The Odyssey https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1727

    Joshua Slocum, Sailing Alone Around the World https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6317

    Annie Brassey, A Voyage in the Sunbeam, Our Home on the Ocean for Eleven Months https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14836

    Ernest Thompson Seton, The Arctic Prairies: A Canoe-Journey of 2000 Miles in Search of the Caribou https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6818

    Mina Hubbard, A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4266


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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    On The Water. It’s about a dude who rows “The Great Loop”.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    On The Water. It’s about a dude who rows “The Great Loop”.
    Looks great. The Amazon blurb compares it to William Least Heat Moon (author of Blue Highways) which was enough to convince me to pick up a used copy.

    Thanks!

    -Neil

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Speaking of William Least Heat Moon, RIVER-HORSE.

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Shrimpy: A Record Round-the-World Voyage in an Eighteen Foot Yacht, by the late Shane Acton
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?



    Another good one, contemporary too.

    Same stretch of coastline, different era:


    Both good enough for me to have re-read a few times.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Another recommendation for "On the Water".
    Anything written by Robb White is great - try "Flotsam and Jetsam" for a compilation of short stories about boats and everything else in life that matters.
    "Voyage of the Cormorant" is a great read about a sail along the California and Baja coast in an Oughtred Ness Yawl ( I think an NY or a similar one).

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Any or all or Roger Taylor’s Ming Ming and Ming Ming II
    Charles Stocks books ….Shoal Waters

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    There is an on-line account of two guys sailing a Drascombe Lugger from UK to Oz. There was also a couple who cruised the Greek Islands in a lugger (Lugworm Chronicals?)

    When Frank Dye was sailing up the Eastern seaboard, he did a turn round the Chesapeake. Uncle Nick recognised the boat as it was passing his place at St Michaels and invited Frank for dinner. Good evening, but Frank insisted on sleeping on his boat.

    Then there is Annie Hill's 'Cruising on a Small Income' Very good 'how too' book.

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Catalan Castaway by Ben Crawshaw. A sail-and-oar story. great book about the authors adventures in a small boat along the Spanish Mediterean, in cluding a trip to Ibiza. You find his video's on youtube
    theinvisibleworkshop.blogspot.com

    Frank

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Cant zackly remember the title but the boat name was Tinkerbelle and a guy crossed the Atlantic in it. it was an Old Town skiff. Fun read.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    TINKERBELLE, by Robert Manry

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    One for Tim...


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Rowing to Lattitude


    Just reading Rowing to Latitude right now. Don't know how I had overlooked it before
    Alex

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    One for Tim...

    That looks promising!
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    1D149B79-29B1-4A33-AABD-68A9BECA712D.jpg

    This guy from NZ finds Frank Dyes Wayfarer in a barn in Ottawa and carts it down to Florida in the back of a U-Haul.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    If you are on Facebook you can go to the Catboat Association site, and there is a fellow who every summer takes his HA18 on an epic trip all over the northeast, and it's definitely worth reading.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    A vintage example of the type is Robert C Leslie's "A Waterbiography." It's been a long time since I last (re)read it. A quick search found this free recorded version - http://www.loyalbooks.com/book/a-wat...obert-c-leslie

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Small boat cruising stories? What next?

    "Sail South ... till the butter melts" by Geoff Stewart - across the Atlantic in a Drascombe Lugger
    "The Lugworm Chronicles" by Ken Duxbury - around the Mediterranean and the coast of Great Britain, also in a Drascombe Lugger
    Last edited by Brian Palmer; 07-27-2021 at 09:32 PM.

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