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This is a book about boats and the sea by a long-time sailor who has spent more than a quarter-century as a research oceanographer. It explains in practical terms what the ocean is really like, why boats behave as they do, and what measures are open to the average skipper to make his voyages safer and more comfortable.

Dealing first with oceanography, the author discusses the origin and nature of the oceans, meteorology, ocean circulation, principles of wave motion, and ocean waves. Then turning to the boats that sail the seas, he provides information about their dynamics with comments on stability, resistance. and propulsion, as well as ship motions in a seaway. He closes with chapters on practical seamanship and emergency procedures. Illustrated with nearly 200 drawings and 30 photographs, this magnificent book is a rare instance where the long tradition of seamanship, that tends to resist change, is examined in the light of the new and rapidly growing science of oceanography.

* * * Please disregard the unfortunate cover design of this second edition. The photo of a wave from the beaches of Maui superimposed onto a mid-ocean scene under a star-filled clear sky is beyond meaningless and should not distract from this otherwise very professional text. This is clearly the work of the publisher and not the author.


  • 453 pages
  • Cornell Maritime Press; 2 Sub edition (February 1993)
  • Illustrations by Richard Van Dorn

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