I well remember the first time I went to sea on a cruising boat. Uncertain of what would happen next, I always seemed to be in the wrong place. The deck was a mass of ropes, the terminology—which sounded like Greek to me—was all unfamiliar, and I was probably more of a liability than a help. I enjoyed myself tremendously. Reading whatever books I could lay my hands on, I tried to become more familiar with what old square-rigger captains called “working ship.” If I’d had the RYA Manual of Seamanship then, I’m sure I’d have learned a great number of things quickly and efficiently. Experienced sailors may find this volume a bit lightweight, but for a fledgling sailor it’s a fast-track way to becoming a more efficient and knowledgeable crew who will be welcomed aboard almost any boat. This well-written book and its clear illustrations would have been a great asset during my early sailing days.