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The Dinghy Cruising Companion

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ISBN:
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Status:
17946
Barnes, Roger
Paperback
978-1-4081-7916-1
Bloomsbury
2014
256
K3
In Stock
Unfortunately this book is not available for loan. For more details please contact the Librarian.

 


Review Date: 
22/04/2014

A niche market book aimed at the fit and adventurous among us. This is a comprehensive guide to anyone interested in cruising in a small dinghy.

Yachting sailors will be familiar with the statement, ’venture just two miles offshore and the land will start slipping away into the sea’. However, the author is talking about doing this in a small, open boat, sometimes in quite poor conditions.

Log extracts and commentary sit alongside useful information and tips. It is generously illustrated with excellent colour photographs of every conceivable dinghy and associated kit, with diagrams and clear explanations. In parts, this book reads much like a yacht manual.

The advantages of sailing a small dinghy are presented in an attractive way, finding un-crowded places, following minor channels in the depths of the countryside, discovering quiet anchorages and getting close to nature.

However, the good and the bad are presented here. There is an account of his dinghy being swept broadside up a wooded gorge ‘like a spider in a pot’. There are also are some serious warnings, ‘preparations for a rough passage inevitably become a solemn ritual’. He goes on to say that should a large wave crest break over the boat it would be overwhelmed! The author does acknowledge that not every dinghy sailor wants to cross the wide sea in their small craft and describes the use of trailers and car ferries to get the boat to distant locations.

Heading out to sea in a small dinghy is not going to appeal to everybody; we shall be sticking to the relative comfort of our little yacht.

 

Reviewed by Sue & David Long

Skipper’s Cockpit Racing Guide

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17947
Davison, Tim
Paperback
978-1-4729-0031-9
Adlard Coles Nautical
35
K3
In Stock
Unfortunately this book is not available for loan. For more details please contact the Librarian.

 


Review Date: 
22/04/2014

Wire-bound cockpit guides need to be robust enough to survive repeated, possibly anxious, study and this one certainly meets that requirement. Each glossy, water-resistant card page gives flat and stiff fold-back opening and thus predictable handling. Despite the sub-title ‘Keelboats and Yachts’ the photographic illustrations feature dinghies exclusively, but of course, much of the text is relevant to all racing sail boats.

However there may be too much information, in quite small print on ‘busy’ pages, for easy aide-memoire reference in the hurly-burly of a high-tech racing dinghy. It is probably best as a simple-to-consult short primer rather than an in-cockpit guide. Use as a last-minute reminder which helm and crew might study before launching (or between races) with the aim, perhaps, of ‘let’s try and get that bit right next time’. The themes, or chapters, have colour-coded page edges that cross-refer to the contents listed on the back page while ‘Golden Rules’, good illustrations and clear tactical diagrams abound.

The penultimate ‘rule’ – ‘Stay out of trouble [when racing]. Once in the protest room, anything can happen!’ – may invoke in older readers rueful memories of youthful dinghy misdemeanours.

I found the ‘Introduction and Goals’ on Page 1 a little earnest in tone, but then I was never a committed racing sailor. The author did, however, include a motivating table of SMART goals to be achieved where it was a good to read ‘To have fun’ as a possible objective. All in all, good value for money.

Edward Cartner

Up the Gangway and Over the Waves

Displayed below are the details for this Library Item. Use the classification to find the item on the Library Shelves.
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17950
Francis, Sarah E
Paperback
978-0-7223-4401-9
Stockwell
2014
78
M22
In Stock
Unfortunately this book is not available for loan. For more details please contact the Librarian.

 


Review Date: 
22/04/2014

A compilation from the author’s diaries kept during over thirty years travelling on cruise ships.  Accounts about the places and people she and her husband (always referred to as ‘himself’) met during their travels. Compact and with just 78 pages it is an easy read; we both read it in one session. Each of the nine chapters describe a particular voyage or journey, with a small colour photograph of a ship or view to set the scene. It is not clear to us who this book is aimed at and we wondered whether it might be better suited to a series of magazine articles.

This couple are seasoned cruisers who have sailed the seven seas in style. The author describes life and etiquette on a cruise ship; such as the need for formal dress and endless tipping of stewards and crew. Some of our favourite snippets include, ‘the menus bore little relation to the food on the plate’ and ‘the soups were of three colours - green, brown and khaki’. I suspect none of this will do anything to encourage yachties to abandon their independence. The author also reflects on the changes over the years from the early cruise liners to the massive cruise ships of the present day.

There is a rather sad ending, she tells of her declining health aboard the Aurora, the couple had taken a three month world tour during which she developed a profound physical disability. The stories end with a moral learned from an old lady she had met some years before, “at my age” she recounts “one must have something to which one can look forward”, we would all agree with that.

 

Reviewed by Sue & David Long