Notable New BooksJan 1, 2003
Nigel Calder'sCruising Handbook
The Essential Guide for Choosing, Equipping, and Sailing Coastal or Offshore Cruising Boats
By Nigel Calder
Nigel Calder makes no tall claims to having sailed all the world's oceans. In fact, he admits right up front to having limited experience beyond the Atlantic and Caribbean. But his brilliance is his ability to absorb, mull over, and ultimately create reference material for the nautically curious that is thorough and accessible. His first major contribution was The Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual - a tome that mariners everywhere have been refering to, and greasing the pages of, for years.
His latest book reaches higher, examining not just a boat's systems but also design features and rig variables. He also details every conceivable technology, from electronic charts to HF radio for email, from bilge pumps to ground tackle. Some of the most valuable content is the material dedicated to skills like sail handling, anchoring and heavy weather strategy, since - coupled with the equipment he discusses - one develops a sense of Calder's judgment as a sailor. Having this book aboard, and actually using it regularly, would be like keeping Calder aboard. (But you wouldn't have to feed him.)
International Marine/McGraw Hill, Camden, Maine; 588 pages; $49.95.
Weekly 'Chatter' now online
If you simply can't get enough Chartroom Chatter, be sure to visit our new web site, www.OceanNavigator.com, for weekly items of nautical humor and sophistication - boat reviews, current events, book blurbs, and insightful commentary on the quirky world of ocean voyaging.