Being a skilled bareboat captain is about more than being a skilled sailor—just ask the folks at the American Sailing Association, who have been massaging the curriculum of their Bareboat Cruising Course for several years.
The ASA says this course is for intermediate sailors aiming to become confident bareboat captains, which is not a simple matriculation. As such, when they created the course’s companion textbook, Bareboat Cruising Made Easy, they knew they had a hefty task ahead of them. They wanted a book that would teach both the hard skills—engine maintenance, rigging checks, navigation—as well as the soft skills—how to prep your crew, what to pack—all in one textbook, all while keeping it entertaining.
Culling from the expertise of several ASA instructors, as well as America’s Cup veteran Peter Isler, the authors manage to achieve all this in just 200 pages. With gorgeous photography by Billy Black and illustrations by Peter Bull, the book is both informative and enjoyable to consume. It’s impressive how much is covered in these seven concise chapters, everything from the charter check-in and –out process, to knot tying, to weather routing. There’s a glossary, an appendix and several review quizzes. To round it out, the entertaining chapter, “When Murphy Makes Mayhem”, provides an overview of sailing crisis management, which runs the gamut from ripped sails to fouled props to steering failure.
This helpful textbook will benefit any bareboat captain as both a learning tool in the beginning and a reference book throughout the years. Bareboat Cruising Made Easy was released in mid-August and is available online at asa.com.