Review: Catamarans – The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors

5 Star, Sailing


5 Star – Truly Superb Structured Overview, Most Ably Illustrated with Photos and Charts, Essential Pre-Reading Before Renting or Buying

Review by Robert David Steele

I have read this book twice and made note of a number of critical considerations to keep firmly in mind if chartering or buying.

This is a large size book (11″ x 9″) and superbly laid out.  The paper while glossy lends itself to pen annotation and I have the book heavily annotated.

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Review: The Onboard Medical Guide – First Aid and Emergency Medicine Afloat

4 Star, Sailing
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Paul G. Gill

4.0 out of 5 stars The Best in Its Time, Superceded by Marine Medicine, March 29, 2015

Dated but exceptional.

I have been so unhappy with the “standard” references such as Advanced First Aid Afloat that that I created my own informal study guide for offshore use, one page per item, description/diagnostics, treatment, and photo.

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Review: Marine Medicine

5 Star, Sailing
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Eric Weiss and Michale Jacobs

5.0 out of 5 stars BEYOND First Aid, Comprehensive It Is March 29, 2015

I’ve been an offshore sailor since 1988, off and on, and in all that time I have been very frustrated by a wide range of largely mediocre medical references, to the point that I created my own First Aid Afloat reference (one page per issue, description/diagnosis, treatment, photo).

Prior to this book (WARNING NOTICE: this is a small book with SMALL print), my preference has been for The Onboard Medical Guide: First Aid and Emergency Medicine Afloat, in part because it comes with large pages, large print, and lots of white space. While this is the first NEW maritime medicine reference that meets my standards, I would have preferred a larger layout with larger print. This is a cargo pocket book.

Thank having been said, yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Jacobs lecture the US Safety at Sea Seminar in Annapolis — this is the premier US Sailing event of the year — and today I had the further pleasure of an interactive session with the good doctor. I found him to not only be a superb professional, but the perfect gentleman whom I would recommend as a lecturer, mentor, and hands-on trainer.

Use Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” to review the extraordinary table of contents. Books such as Advanced First Aid Afloat, do not satisfy m; while I like the Red Cross online PDF including the color photographs, that could still do with some improvement. What wins me over completely, the small size and print aside, is the very long list of specifics (including multiple pages on fractures and multiple pages on internal injuries) along with the concluding appendices on drugs and assistance sources.

See Also:

Wilderness and Travel Medicine

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Review: Teaching Fundamentals for Sailing Instruction

5 Star, Sailing
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

US Sailing

5 Stars Perhaps the best teaching/coaching “best practices” overview I have ever read

This volume complements – with some overlap but certainly worth reading on its own merits – the US Naval Offshore Sail Training Squadron Experiential Leadership Guide, which cites this books as recommended additional reading.

Worthy of immediate and continuous note is the opening emphasis on the legal responsibility of a sailing instructor – a duty of care with attendant legal obligations and a vulnerability to being sued if all four of the following can be proven:

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Review: Total Loss – A Collection of First-Hand Accounts of Yacht Losses at Sea

5 Star, Sailing
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Jack Coote Revised by Paul Gelder

5 Stars Wake Up Call for Anyone Responsible for a Small Vessel and Its Souls

This is a hugely important book that should be in any personal or organizational (e.g. sail training program) library. It is organized into the following parts: weather (and waves), faulty navigation (poor thinking), failure of gear or rigging, failure of ground tackle or mooring lines, collision (think submerged free floating shipping container), fire or explosion, and towing mishaps.

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Review: Yachtsman in Red China

5 Star, Biography & Memoirs, Sailing
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life From Building the Boat to Being Captured by the Chinese

February 16, 2010

David J. Steele

I watched my father build the Piver Tri-Maran in his garage and front yard of our home in Saigon, South Viet-Nam (at the time). This book is a still exciting story of an oil engineer and manager (at the time in charge of all Esso supply for all of Viet-Nam) who built a boat from scratch and sailed it from Saigon toward Hong Kong.

20 miles off the coast of Hainan (by his calculations) he was rammed by militia-pirates and the boat sunk, leaving him in the water. He was taken prisoner and vanished from the public eye. Months later he was released into Hong Kong with some photos of pieces of his boat washed up on shore, and his sextant.

The best part of the book for me has always been his account of being treated as a guest rather than a prisoner in China, and when asked what Americans drank with their meals, his response “a big bottle of beer.” That’s what he got, and he claims that is why he only lost 40 pounds or whatever it was.

I still have the “little red book” he was given to read while a prisoner. My positive opinion of the Chinese has been shaped in part by their very dignified treatment of my father as a quasi-prisoner, combined with my finishing high school in Singapore at a time when Minister-Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was just hitting his statesmanlike-stride.

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Review DVD: Morning Light

4 Star, Reviews (DVD Only), Sailing

Morning Light

Worthy of time and money, could have been better, June 25, 2009

The Amazon review above stinks. Ignore it.

I would never, ever, have known of Morning Light if I had not been the only other person in an advanced meterology class in Seattle under master weatherman Lee Chesneau. The skipper Jeremy, the navigator Piet, and the back-up navigator Chris, and I, spent a full week together. I ended up feeding them and the instructor a lot of sushi.

These three were a cut above the norm, but one of the things I learned from being with them was just how normal the crew was, and the fact that they were giving up a working position in order to carry a camaraman–in other words, they came in second to a world-class professional crew even though handicapped by one cargo camaraman. I was surprised not to see this mentioned in the film.

As for the film, it had me on the edge of my seat and as mundane as some may find aspects of the film–not exactly a James Bond movie, and certainly not a drama with hotties such as Wind–for anyone who loves sailing, this is absolutely a great film to view alone or as an excuse for a gathering of like-minded folk.

My biggest disappointment in the film is the lack of detail on training–absent my comment and my direct experience, no one would know they got advanced meterology training, or that their initial southern pick went against everything they were taught (the wind rotates counter-clockwise). Nor did I learn anything of other training.

From talking to them I learned far more about the training and the details of equipping the boat, e.g. they were each allowed one small sack of personal items, and as the boat was put together there were furious arguments about the exact weight of the navigation light at the top of the mast, and the weight of the wire from the light to the power source. That is the kind of stuff I was hoping would be in this film.

So a bit disappointing, but a superb contribution and one that I would recommend as a gift to any aspiring sailor from high school onwards.

Other DVDs in my sailing library (see my Amazon List):
Volvo Round the World Race: The SEB Stopover Reports.
Racing To Win with Gary Jobson