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

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more

05-TRANSPAC_71417_SG_055268

The Transpac Prepares for No. 50

Because modern yachting is in many ways an invention of the early to mid 20th century, in recent years sailors have been celebrating any number of milestone anniversaries. Now it’s the biennial Transpac’s turn, as it prepares for its 50th race from Southern California (following ...read more