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Osmosis & Glassfibre Yacht Construction

by Tony Staton-Bevan
 

This book, prior to updating, was known under the title “Osmosis: the Care and Repair of Glassfibre Yachts.” It has become a standard work on the subject, read by yacht surveyors, boatyard managers and boat owners around the globe.

For many years osmosis has struck fear into the hearts of fiberglass boat owners. Staton-Bevan’s common-sense advice, prevention and cure of problems with hulls, decks and fittings, cracks & blistering, stress crazing, fading gelcoats and collision damage has been valued and relied upon.

This edition includes the latest techniques in building & repairing fiberglass yachts, and particularly the most successful ways of preventing and treating osmosis.
 

#160 Softcover, 6” x  9 1/4”, 118 pp, over 100 photos & illustrations (color & b&w) …Eur 24,95

 

 

 

 


 

Pelinta

by Francis and Joan Smith
 

This is a story of a lifetime-interest in sailing, culminating in the author building himself a cruising yacht – a trimaran – in his back garden and then sailing it with his wife Joan off the West Australian coast as well as exploring some of the inland waters.

A wide variety of sailing conditions are encountered, occasionally there is not enough wind, or from the wrong direction, and there are tales of gales and passing cyclones which present challenges in seamanship.

Hauling out and launching again, after annual maintenance, provides interesting problems. After many years of cruising, the infirmities of advancing years catch up with the skipper and crew, and sailing has to be abandoned.

Numerous technical aspects are discussed: suitable protection for wooden boats, proofing against dry rot, rudder design in lobster-pot infested waters, controlling leeway, quick-release and tensioning gear for the forestay, and arrangements for lowering the mast for going under bridges, roller-reefing boom for the mainsail, propellers for outboard auxiliaries, concerns about capsizing, restrictive legislation, usefulness of radios, anchors and anchoring, moorings and marina slips.

A few of the chapters outlined:

4) Dreamtime – Living in the heart of Africa, reading about and studying the designs of the various cruising yachts de­scribed by Heaton, Griffiths, and Eric Hiscock; drawing the lines of my ideal yacht and discovering a name for it.

6) Trimarans – Seeking a suitable cruising boat; the impossibly high cost of importing a yacht from England; experiences and lessons learned on Seven Seas; eldest son introduces me to Hedley Nicol’s trimarans, their construction is within my wood-working capabilities, decided to build at home and have the boat lifted over the house for transport to the river; builders formed an association to share experiences; problems with adverse publicity; joined the Yachting Association; bought set of plans to a 29-foot Islander; the co-operation of fellow builders.

7) Pelinta – Method of construction; improvements to lines, modifications to lengthen cabin and reduce cockpit, modifications forward to provide washing and toilet facilities, chain locker and sail locker. Making the laminated stem; providing for samson post; rejecting spade rudder for skeg and rudder with aerofoil section; modifications to main beams and bulkheads; protection against rot; doubling up roof beams; sealing exposed surfaces with Dynel cloth and epoxy resin; design of mast; roller-reefing gear; forestay release and tensioning gear; measurement and inspection by surveyor; Joan’s view of the construction.

10) Beyond the Sound – Becoming more adventurous we joined other multihulls in going out of Cockburn Sound and sailing south inside the Murray Reefs to Mandurah. In the very light breezes, Pelinta’s heavy sails left us behind and out of sight of our leader, but we found our way into the mouth of the estuary and joined the others...

12) Engines, Capsizing, and Other Concerns – Engines used by trimarans for auxiliary power described; particularly 18 hp Evinrude and 50 hp Evinrude with a suitable propeller. The causes of capsizing examined together with mathods of overcoming the problem.

And much, much more – 17 chapters in all. It even includes a detailed inventory list.
 

#383 Hardcover, 6 "x 8 ", 191pages, b&w photographs & Illustrations 

Eur 33,20

 

 

The Perfect Storm

by Sebastian Junger

(reviewed by Charles K. Chiodi)
 

Three years in the making, Sebastian Junger put a tremendous amount of effort and time into the research for this book. Originally from Belmont, a small town near Boston, he moved to Gloucester on the North Shore and was amazed to find a “working town” on the seashore. There were huge chains, anchors, lobster pots and fishing boats instead of boutiques, beach umbrellas and tourists. A working man himself, who was a high climber cutting tree limbs until he accidentally cut into his own limb with a chain saw – he liked the place. Now he lives there. He thought about writing a book on dangerous jobs.

One day he was standing on a jetty when a storm brewed up with high winds and waves. He admired the power of nature, but then he found out from newspaper reports the following day that one of the fishing boats was lost with all hands on board. “What dangerous business this is!” – he concluded, and at that moment the concept of this book was born.

The title of The Perfect Storm may sound like an oxymoron, but by the lingo of meteorologists it is a storm that cannot get any worse.

The first half of the book describes the lives of commercial fishermen and their habits on land and at sea. Building the characters, Junger does a good job to lead the reader from one paragraph to the next and keep his interest to the point that it is hard to put the book down. And the exciting part has not yet begun.

The Perfect Storm can be scary reading for the faint-hearted, but it should be read by anybody who ventures out of the harbor on any kind of vessel. There are two sailboats also caught in this storm, and the rescue of the crew is dramatic as well as educational.

A spellbinding true story of what happens on the high seas when the wind starts raging, this book – in my opinion – is a good candidate for a literary award – and a motion picture.
 

#259 Softcover, 226 pp, one map …Eur 9,95

 

 

 


 

Polar Passage

by Jeff MacInnis/Wade Rowland
 

This is the astounding personal account of history’s first sail-powered transit through Canada’s treacherous 4,000-km-long Northwest Passage. Starting in July 1986 at Inuvik at the mouth of the Mackenzie River and ending in August 1988 at Pond Inlet on Baffin Bay, 23-year-old Jeff MacInnis (son of deep-sea diver and explorer Dr. Joe MacInnis) and 32-year-old photographer, Mike Beedell, journeyed on a course that succeeded where so many had failed. In fact, no one had made such an attempt since Sir John Franklin’s 129-man expedition vanished without a trace in 1845.

For most of the year, the 4,000 km route consists predominantly of solid ice. Arctic explorers had dreamed of a shortcut to Asia for centuries, but when they sailed into the Northwest Passage their expeditions were stopped by ice and bad weather.

MacInnis and Beedell staked their survival in the brutal environment of the high Arctic on high-tech diving suits and mountaineering gear. They used a specially-strengthened 18-foot, 450-pound Hobie catamaran named Perception, which at first seemed unlikely to help MacInnis and Beedell achieve their goal. Without an engine, they pushed, paddled, hauled, and sailed their tiny boat across the dangerous ice. Jeff said: “The ice was like a giant jigsaw puzzle whose pieces constantly shifted, fragmenting into an endless labyrinth and then suddenly coming together and... forming a solid mass within hours.” They lived through extremes of violent seas, biting cold, hurricane-force winds, tense emotions, fatigue, and bad weather. They battled sea conditions that would have threatened a yacht three times the size of Perception. Danger was always imminent because of prowling grizzlies, blizzards, impenetrable fog, sudden squalls, and the inherent risk of sailing through 15-foot seas in sub-zero temperatures. The beauty of the untouched Arctic was, in part, their payoff. They drifted through towering glaciers and reached waters that hold the world’s largest populations of whales, walruses and seals.

Polar Passage is the unforgettable story of how two men triumphed against incredible odds and the most severe tests of physical and mental endurance to fulfill one of history’s long-standing dreams.

Here is an excerpt from Polar Passage:

“The wind had reached a howling 70km/h, blasting the snow at us almost horizontally. Together we lifted the buckling tent out of the rising water and fought it over to the boat and onto the tramp. While Mike struggled to lash it in place with ice-stiffened ropes, I began loading gear back inside to weigh it down. It seemed to work, and the tent and our gear appeared to be safe for the moment.

But, what were we to do now? We had no clear idea of how far we were from land and we certainly couldn’t see in the darkness, fog, and swirling snow. Worse, the postage stamp of ice we were on was already awash and was being blown, slowly but surely, out into the open water of the sound, where the storm was in its full fury and where it would be impossible for us to survive for long.

In that moment it occurred to me that we were experiencing the worst-case scenario, being blown offshore in a gale with no way of getting back. It was something we had decided must be avoided at all cost, because the consequences, in all likelihood, would be fatal.”

Jeff MacInnis’ historical Polar Passage is the topic of a National Geographic feature article and pictorial as well as a feature-length TV show that aired in Canada, the U.S., and Great Britain. Jeff was a member of the Canadian National Downhill Ski Team and gives lectures on motivation and adventure.

Wade Rowland has collaborated on the best-selling Virung, The Passion of Diane Fossey with Farley Mowat, and Ark on the Move with Gerald Durrell. Rowland is the publisher of his own travel guides and lives and works in Port Hope, Ontario.
 

#419 Hardcover, 186 pp, maps, dramatic color photographs …was: $21.95
NOW:...
Eur 16,25

 

 

 

 


 

Preliminary Design of Boats and Ships

by Cyrus Hamlin

(reviewed by Dick Newick)
 

This book helps a would-be owner describe his dreamboat to a naval architect. It applies to all small vessels, regardless of the number of hulls. The tech­nology can be found in books listed in the bibliography; however, Mr. Hamlin is more concerned with a happy creative relationship between owner, designer, and builder. He was a pioneer in glued strip-planking construction, designed the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, worked to improve fishing boat designs in remote places, and has owned a 34' power catamaran. His office is adjacent to a boat-building and design school. Contacts there have given him a keen appreciation of what students need to know.

Few small-craft yachtsmen may give a designer as much guidance as the author suggests. That’s fine with this reviewer (who is also a designer). My ideal client would study this book and then come up with a list of what he wants the boat to do (rather than how he wants to do it), plus photos and drawings of boats that appeal to him, a budget, and enough faith in me to sit back and see how creatively I can solve his problems. Then is the time for owner, designer, and (perhaps) builder to go through the book’s processes and arrive at a boat which will please all concerned. Different people in different situations will find a wide variety of solutions. The process for a small, lightweight yacht need not be as complicated and expensive as for a large vessel.

A list of chapter headings shows how valuable this book is to anyone contemplating a new boat: Tools of the Trade; Sketching; Vessel Geometry; Calculations; The Forces of Nature; People Afloat; The Design Process; A Vessel’s Function, Aesthetics and Delight; Construction; Powering; Economics; Power Yachts; Specifications; A Visit to the Naval Architect.

Here’s a quote from the Power Yacht chapter: “There is no single answer to things nautical, but many of the problems people face in financing a compatible boat can be solved by the catamaran.”

Right at the beginning the author says, in talking about equipment required: “Above all, keep it simple. Don’t saddle yourself with a bunch of fancy equipment and thick books. Figuring out how to use all this stuff will only tend to get in the way of your thinking about your design.”

If you dream of owning a boat, buy this book and make a serious start. Do not wait until the financing is all in place. If that never happens, it would be a shame to deny yourself the pleasure of creativity as your idea develops into a well-thought-out presentation. Anticipation may be even better than realization; certainly it is much better than inaction.
 

#312 Hardcover, 7" x 10", 294pp, illustrated and indexed …Eur 40,70

 

 

 


 

Rescue in the Pacific –

A Riveting Tale of Rescue on the High Seas

by Tony Farrington
 

In June of 1994, a dramatic story of life, death, and the epic struggle of man against the forces of nature unfolded in the South Pacific. North of New Zealand, a powerful Force 12 storm developed and, with little warning, swallowed up a fleet of yachts, launching one of the most Herculean rescue missions in recent memory.

As Tony Farrington’s narrative begins, yachts bearing sailors from America, Australia, and New Zealand are overtaken by a sudden storm with winds of 70-90 knots and waves of up to 100 feet. What follows is a story as spellbinding and harrowing as any novel. As the yachts’ crews fight desperately to survive the storm, a valiant rescue operation is undertaken by an international fleet of merchant, naval, and fishing vessels – against incredible odds.

Farrington, who only through sheer luck escaped being caught at sea during the storm, interviewed survivors and rescuers. Besides these first-person accounts, the book contains spectacular photos, many taken from vessels in the belly of the beast – which vividly depict the storm’s fury.

When it was over, three people had disappeared and 21 had been rescued, plucked from their boats at the height of the storm. Both survivors and rescuers were forever altered by the experience, and the book explores that side of the story as well.

Finally, the epilogue reveals the survivors’ thoughts after the storm, including analyses of how their actions effected the eventual outcome. Of further interest, an appendix with weather maps discusses storm conditions from a meteorological point of view.

About the author:  Accomplished sailor Tony Farrington (Auckland, New Zealand) has been around the sea most of his life. He runs a successful public relations and advertising company. Only a last-minute business delay prevented him from putting to sea just before the storm, which he then followed from his boat’s radio station while moored safely in port.
 

#193 Hardcover, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2," 273 pp, b&w photos …Eur 16,25

 

 

 


 

Return in the Wake –

The True Story of a Woman’s Adventures at Sea

by Cathy Hawkins
 

To any would-be or actual single- or double-handed sailor, Cathy Hawkins’ book Return in the Wake is compulsory reading. Cathy describes her own book as “the story of a dream.” It relates her experiences with Ian Johnston and their two trimarans: little Twiggy and beautiful Balena.

These two sailors are probably the best-known Australians in the field of short-handed sailing. Cathy’s training as a journalist has enabled her to capture the mood of each moment. An example was the excitement of the Round Britain and Ireland Race. For them, the race ended in a dramatic capsize, described by Cathy as follows: “The top meter-and-a-half of the wave we had just surfed had broken, and foaming white water was biting at our stern. I looked ahead to find a way to avoid the wave’s impact but, in an instant, it had swooped in. I leaned forward to release the spinnaker.

“I couldn’t reach it. I was flying through the air, my arms back-pedaling to break my fall into the icy sea. At that moment I saw myself detached, in slow motion, like a figure in a film, staring at my bright yellow seaboots and tumbling towards the spinnaker lying flat upon the water. Twiggy’s bows were buried; she was standing on her nose.

“I hit the water and the mast splashed down next to me. A surge of adrenaline rushed through me as the disastrousness of our predicament penetrated.” From there, she recounts the events of salvage and the battle for sponsorship, culminating in Twiggy’s being entered into the single-handed La Route du Rhum with Ian Johnston as skipper. Again the effort resulted in an unfortunate capsize. At least the sponsor received publicity.

The book gives clear insight into the mettle of these two famous Australians who have, between them, clocked more than 12,000 sea miles. Following their early disasters, the book moves with them into the new era, recounting the building of Balena and the obtaining of sponsorship. With the new craft, they raced the Pacific while Cathy faced her ultimate aim of single-handed ocean passages. You feel you are with her as she battles with her ‘friend and ally,’ the sea.

“Nearly everything that could possibly happen at sea had happened to me, and I had not been afraid. But, this lonesome passage was different; I’d become afraid of being alone with my thoughts and fears. I’d wanted so badly to sail alone, but a voice inside me kept insisting that I shouldn’t be doing this.”

As Cathy tries, and tries again, you move with her, willing her to succeed.

Since writing the book, Hawkins and John­ston had sponsorship from Verbatim, the floppy computer-disk manufacturer. They stretched their unbeaten record to 32 victories before losing to Top Gun in 1987.
 

#280 Hardcover, 6 1/4" x 91/4", 188pp, color and b&w photos …was: $18.95NOW: Eur 16,25