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Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook: A Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors Hardcover – 7 May 2001

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From the Back Cover

"The indispensable crew. No boat should sail without Calder aboard." Paul Gelder, Yachting Monthly

This handbook shows you not only how to select and equip a boat for coastal and offshore cruising, but also how to sail and navigate it. Covering all this in one volume is a monumental task, one not attempted since the pioneers of blue-water voyaging wrote the first generation of cruising bibles decades ago. Since that simpler, more spartan era, the typical cruising sailboat has become faster and more comfortable, but also more complex. Even as they've made distant horizons more reachable, the marvels of modern technology have paradoxically raised the ante on the entry-level skills required for cruising. Small wonder then that books about boat handling and seamanship have little to say about the special demands of cruising, while books about cruising presuppose a mastery of the fundamentals of seamanship and navigation.

Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbookpresupposes nothing. It sifts through, organizes, and makes sense of the hundred disciplines of the cruising avocation. It will help you through your first coastal hop or your umpteenth offshore passage. Here you will find

-Comprehensive coverage of cruising sailboat design
-The elements of a comfortable interior and a workable deck presented in depth
-The background you need to decide which of today's technological advancements may detract from rather than add to your cruising enjoyment
-Thorough coverage of cruising skills, from boat handling to transoceanic voyaging
-Fresh wrinkles for even the most experienced sailors

Compiling in one volume all the knowledge needed for successful cruising under sail, Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook provides an inestimable service for sailors. There is nothing else like it.

"If you were shipwrecked on a desert island and could choose only one book to help get you off, this is the book." Patience Wales, Editor, SAIL

About the Author

Nigel Calder is the author of Marine Diesel Engines (1987, 1991) and Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual (1989, 1995), the success of which has made him the most sought-after marine how-to writer in the U.S. and U.K. He has published more than 800 magazine articles in SAIL, Cruising World, Ocean Navigator, Yachting World, etc., and lectures on cruising to sell-out crowds. He is also the author of The Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean (IM, 1991) and Cuba: A Cruising Guide (Imray, 1996). He will be testing his newest ideas with his family during a six-month cruise to the Caribbean and South America this winter.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 46 reviews
129 of 129 people found the following review helpful
The definitive Cruising Book? 1 Sept. 2002
By Ron Chappell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ordinarily,I would not get too excited about another new cruising book,even one by so eminent an author as Calder, whose previous work: Boatowner's Mechanical And Electrical Manual, has become an icon on both sides of the pond. While the cruising genre is a particular favorite of mine, recent offerings seem to have grown a bit redundant for those of us striving to keep abreast of the field.
This book of Calder's is a whole new ball game.
First of all: It's a very big book both physically, and in terms of it's diverse subject matter. At just under six hundred pages in an 8 ½ x 11inch format, it is not something I would refer to as a "handbook" unless speaking to a gorilla. The word "encyclopedic" springs to mind, as it is truly monumental in scope and execution...
McGraw-Hill did a commendable job of putting it all together. It looks like it might last, even in the marine environment where it will most assuredly find a home. It features a water resistant cover and flexible spine, designed to lie flat when opened, a wonderful feature on a pitching chart table, far at sea, where information is scarce and time of the essence.
It covers nearly everything. It covers it in exquisite detail. It covers it in a manner anyone can understand. There are chapters relating to most any conceivable contingency a cruiser might run in to, from boat selection, equipage, and maintenance, to the more esoteric areas of daily life on a cruising sailboat (and much more than I wanted to know about navigational history).
Calder remains the quintessential "systems" man and his section on surveying a prospective purchase, with it's attendant checklist, is, alone, worth the price of the book. The section on weather and prediction should be required reading for every television forecaster in the country. There are up to date chapters on shipboard health, and disease prevention criteria for every sector of the world. Nearly every page is clearly illustrated, and at the end of each technical chapter a "worksheet" so that you may evaluate your own vessel or system. Here is a man not afraid to infuse his material with the very latest in technological know how, even though it may at some point appear dated. For the mathematically inclined there are charts, graphs and formulas enough to satisfy the most gifted. And all this, is just the tip of the iceberg.

I have read this book cover to cover and word for word (it took a very long time). Is it the proverbial "One Book Cruising Library" - the definitive work on the subject?
I think it may well be.
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
A very complete reference 21 Dec. 2003
By J. Van Belle - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The strength of this book is its readability. Calder writes very well, and he organizes this book in a way that makes it something one can read from cover to cover. Reading his work actually makes you want to be sailing.
His treatment of yacht design is a fantastic walk through the desireable characteristics of yachts for cruising. If you are buying a boat, read this book before you finalize your decision. Calder acknowledges that every boat is a compromise, and he clearly favors traditional design over modern lines (he repeatedly expresses his distaste for wing keels, for example).
The book then progresses through different sailing and cruising skills and issues. His discussion of anchoring is one of the best I have seen, and he does an admirable job of explaining marine weather.
The one thing to keep in mind about this book is that it is rather "blue sky". He describes the ultimate cruising yacht (which looks remarkably like his own) and tends to overcook some of the concerns with "lesser" designs. Not everyone can afford to have a brand new Pacific Seacraft 40 built for them from scratch, but this is the boat Calder essentially lists as the perfect cruising yacht.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Needs updating 27 Sept. 2011
By rustygrey - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I Love this book and very much enjoy Nigel Calders writing. I have encountered this book on other peoples boats for some years now and felt maybe it was time I get my own copy. I wrongly assumed that Nigel like other sailor/writers of cruising books dating even back to the 1970's had updated or amended the book where appropriate. This was definitely an error. There have simply been too many changes in the last decade to recommend this book. Perhaps at 1/3 of Amazons current price I could justify it, but as it stands it is as obsolete as my old 121 EPIRB. I will be returning it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is the book you need! 30 April 2002
By Suzy F. Homemaker - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book goes into the detail necessary to outfit a cruising boat. The pictures and diagrams make the concepts very clear, and easy to implement. Many books have a few great ideas, but Calder concetrates them in one spot. The 18 page "Checklist of Desirable Features" at the end of the first section is worth the price of the book alone!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent! 29 Aug. 2001
By Jose-Maria Castro - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In my point of view, I like the practical and no-non sense approach. It goes beyond the simplistic explanation but still serves beginners, who ignore details, into this subject. A pleasure to read, very friendly written. Realistic explanations, a real gem to follow. Now that I have read it, I will keep it on board. The book starts anywhere, it is all equally atractive and appropriate.
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