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Kent The Yachtsman's Guide

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Status:
17952
Crane. Robert
Paperback
New Waves Press
2014
158
Q GBE
In Stock
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Review Date: 
02/07/2014

Published by the author, in its final form to be supported by local advertising, this pilot and guide takes the user from Rye (not strictly Kent but usefully included) via East Channel ports and North Foreland to the Southern Thames Estuary and up as far as Dartford on this London river.

There is considerable detail, particularly when the creeks and rivers of north Kent are reached, with good charts which regrettably lack latitude and longitude scales and there are also useful aerial views. 

This review copy, issued in a draft form, has something of the flavour of a work still in progress.  Though liberally illustrated (156 pages in colour throughout) some of the photographs are poorly reproduced and the text could do with a further edit to clear some gremlins and minor inconsistencies.  The author also has an inordinate fondness for long sentences with multiple semi colons.  If whilst editing these are split up into more manageable chunks the reader experience will be enhanced.

No price is supplied with the review copy but for a reasonably modest outlay this, perhaps given a further polish, should provide a useful tool for those exploring these waters.  

 

Mike Ferro

 

 

Roving Commissions 54

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17948
Langdon, John (ed)
Book
978-0-901916-34-1
Royal Cruising Club
2013
367
54
J53
In Stock
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Review Date: 
15/05/2014


An interesting journal collection of voyage logs from all over the world, written by members of the Royal Cruising Club. There is something for everyone here from an historic account of a channel crossing in 1947 to the distant shores of Australia and New Zealand, from the heat of the Amazon to Arctic Norway. The vessels include a narrow boat in the heart of England, a sixteen foot sailing Sharpie and a large range of yachts from twenty-six to fifty footers.

Each chapter is self-contained and describes one voyage and features a description of the boat with accompanying maps and generously illustrated with good quality colour photographs. We were particularly impressed with a photograph of a dolphin leaping in the fog. Experiences both good and bad are shared; on one trip the skipper was challenged by gremlins, which resulted in a heavy infestation of diesel bug, goose barnacles covering the hull, bilge pump failure, propeller anode dropping off, broken alternator and more, finally being relieved of command due to heat stroke. Despite this, the author of this particular log was upbeat and put it all down to ‘an adventure’. Another of the logs was from a family, with a pregnant wife and three year old daughter on board, who witnessed the sinking of the ‘Astrid’ off Oysterhaven in Southern Ireland.

We thoroughly enjoyed reading about people’s adventures at sea.

Reviewed by Sue & David Long

 

The Dinghy Cruising Companion

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17946
Barnes, Roger
Paperback
978-1-4081-7916-1
Bloomsbury
2014
256
K3
In Stock
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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