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Notable New Books

Jan 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.

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If you simply can't get enough Chartroom Chatter, be sure to visit our new web site,, for weekly items of nautical humor and sophistication - boat reviews, current events, book blurbs, and insightful commentary on the quirky world of ocean voyaging.

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