Book Review: After 200,000 Miles - Sail Magazine

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

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more