Small Boat Seamanship Manual

Small Boat Seamanship Manual
Edited by Richard N. Aarons
$29.95. 2002
International Marine, Camden, Maine

Richard Aarons and International Marine have taken the U.S. Coast Guard Boatcrew Seamanship Manual and made it available to recreational sailors. Aarons made only small changes in style and organization, so the Small Boat Seamanship Manual reads like a text book, which contributes to its usefulness as a reference. Each chapter begins with an overview and a small breakdown of the information and appendices included in it. The actual copy reads more like an outline than a narrative, making it easy to find a given piece of information. In addition, each chapter contains a number of graphs, charts, and useful checklists.

In the Coast Guard, a “small” boat can range from an RIB Inflatable to a 52-foot motor lifeboat, so this manual is appropriate for nearly all recreational sailors.

While some of the information in the book may seem overly simplistic to the experienced sailor (it’s based on a manual intended for Coast Guard recruits), there are other topics, such as firefighting and crew coordination, that are not found in most sailing manuals. Another benefit is that the Small Boat Seamanship Manual contains information that would usually require several different books: first aid, mechanical- and electrical-system troubleshooting tips, weather, navigation, and so on.

If I were to leave port with only one book on board, this would be it.

Gaelen Phyfe Book Review Editor, SAIL Magazine

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