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