Book Review: After 200,000 Miles

Author:
Publish date:
Cover 200,000 Miles

I think anyone who has sailed more than 200,000 miles has earned the right to reflect, inform, advise, entertain and encourage other sailors, and that is just what Jimmy Cornell does with this lavishly illustrated 400-page book.

Appropriately subtitled “A Life of Adventure,” it’s a combination of travelogue, autobiography, anecdote, reminiscence and how-to manual. Starting with Cornell’s early life in Communist-controlled Romania, the book spans five decades of offshore passagemaking in four different boats, including four circumnavigations.

Along the way, Cornell wrote a series of successful books, founded the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), and became one of the world’s foremost authorities on cruising under sail.

Whether describing the intricacies of anchoring in tropical lagoons, weighing the merits of windvane gears versus electric autopilots, debating downwind sail choices or recounting the sometimes peculiar habits of crew (who “can cause the biggest problems on a voyage”), Cornell’s weighty experience shines through—even hardcore ocean sailors will learn a few tips from this book.

Not only that, it’s a fun read, for Cornell’s tone is never didactic; he knows full well there are many ways of dealing with issues at sea, and shares the methods and workarounds that have worked for him over the last 40 years rather than lecturing the reader on correct procedures. That said, there is no shortage of practical guidelines and hints, usually accompanied by an anecdote or two to drive the lesson home.

I’d recommend After 200,000 Miles to anyone thinking about embarking on an ocean cruise, whether as skipper of your own boat or as crew on someone else’s. SAIL readers can get a 25 percent discount on this book by going to paracaray.com and entering the code “SAIL” at checkout. 

After 200,000 Miles

By Jimmy Cornell

Cornell Sailing, $39.95

Related

arc18-3981

Stories from the Cruisers of the ARC

Each December, the docks at Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia are abuzz as the fleet of the ARC—the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers—arrives to much fanfare. No matter what time of day or night, the staff of the World Cruising Club, organizers of the 33-year-old rally, are there to ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A sign from outside the box  Rev counters on modern engines are driven electronically from a terminal on the alternator. If all is well, as soon as the engine fires up the revs will read true. If, ...read more

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more