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The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising [Hardcover]

Beth A. Leonard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising 4.0 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

30 May 1998
Here's how to see the world from your boat. More and more people are taking off on their cruising boats for a few months or even a year. After they've tasted the cruising life, prepared and equipped their boats, and developed some experience, many cruisers begin to dream of voyaging farther--maybe even an around-the-world voyage.

"The Voyager's Handbook" offers specific information for cruisers considering such a vast undertaking. An experienced circumnavigator, author Beth Leonard shows cruisers how to prepare their boat and themselves. She offers complete, up-to-date information on the latest gear and techniques and detaile, hard-earned advice from dozens of experienced sailors, about boats, crew, and costs as well as crucial but easily overlooked aspects of long-distance passagemaking such as health, safety, weather, provisions, fresh water, and foreign port protocol.

With a balanced, down-to-earth approach, "The Voyager's Handbook" tells it like it is, for any cruiser considering that voyage of a lifetime.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: TAB Books Inc (30 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070381437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070381438
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 19.5 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,751,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

If you've dreamed of offshore voyaging...
When other boats scurry back to to their berths just ahead of the setting sun, you want to keep sailing. You want your tracks to be the only ones on a perfect sand beach of a deserted tropical island. You want to see the green flash, taste coconut milk from the husk, watch the fish dance at dusk, and share a feast with new friends from other cultures. This book can help you get there.

In five sections, this book covers everything I wish I'd known before my partner and I embarked on our 36,000 nautical mile circumnavigation:

1. The Essential Ingredients - an enthusiastic crew, an offshore-capable boat and enough money.

2. Equipping the Yacht for Bluewater Voyaging - all the equipment you'll need to add before you leave from anchors to frying pans.

3. Liveaboard Skills - From maintenance to keeping your boat watertight.

4. Shorthanded Passagemaking Skills - From weather to watchkeeping.

5. Foreign Savvy - Bureaucracy, mail, money, markets and enjoying foreign cultures while keeping the home fires burning.

From the Back Cover

"When other boats scurry back to their berths just ahead of the setting sun you want to keep sailing. You want your tracks to be the only ones on a perfect sand beach of a deserted tropical island. You want to see the green flahs, taste coconut milk from the husk, watch the fish dance at dusk, and share a feast with new friends from other cultures. Perhaps you have cruised for a few months along one of the coasts, for a season in the Caribbean, or for a year in the Atlantic. You probably returned relaxed and contented full of plans for someday. This book can help you get there. It is written for coastal and limited offshore cruisers who want to make the transition to long-term voyaging. I have tried to capture everything I wish I had known when we set sail that June day."

from the Prologue by Beth Leonard

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In most cases, the human element determines whether a long-term voyage is a success or a failure. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on this Subject 19 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have an extensive library of books about cruising and the voyaging lifestyle and this is by FAR the best and the most useful. Beth Leonard covers the whole topic in great depth and what's more instead of just spouting personal opinion like so many other books, she actually backs it up with research and published evidence. You can tell she has a background in management consultancy. No, she hasn't got a lifetime aboard like some other writers but in my opinion that's what makes her book more valuable to the average person. Not many of us abandon the established world in our teens and are then content to live a spartan and frugal existence thereafter, happy because its all we've ever known. Many more people come to liveaboard cruising in their 40s, 50s or 60s and want to retain some sort of comfort in their new life whilst watching their budget. This book outlines far more realistic and workable ideas for this type of cruiser than the more purist approach of living on dried beans without a proper head or hot water!!!
Really, if you are considering taking a sabbatical to go cruising, this is a definite must have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
For anyone contemplating crossing an ocean in a small boat, this is the most informative book available on the subject. Leonard successfully combines the experience of her three-year circumnavigation with the analytical skills of a high-powered business consultant--the job she abandoned. Because she was a total novice when she initially set off, she looks at voyaging through fresh eyes, no small advantage in a field too often ruled by dogma. Voyager's Handbook addresses every imaginable aspect of offshore cruising. I found the book to be extremely well researched, and Leonard's recent firsthand experience makes it authoritative. Definitely two thumbs up. I recommend it without reservation. --Don Casey
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, practical, and down to earth. 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
I purchased this because I recognized the author as one I had enjoyed from aritcles in sailing magazines. Clean / easy / enjoyable writing style. The book is well structured and fairly thorough for its "catch all" nature. It seems well researched. Very informative, practical, and down to earth. I wasn't sure whether to give it 4 or 5 stars, but certainly would recommend it to others and will likely re-read parts of it again in the future.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely THE BEST 2 Dec 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read a lot of books about voyaging and how to prepare yourself for it and this is undoubtedly the best. Beth Leonard takes a very clear, pragmatic and structured approach to the whole business which is a welcome difference to some of the more "romantic" approaches. I really like the fact that she gives options at every step of the way depending on budget and your wish for technology. So, the book is useful to both the budget/purist, the mid range voyager, the large purse/technologist and every shade in between. I learnt so much from reading it.
Whatever other books you buy on this subject - do buy this one.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Information, Well Written 29 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This book has recieved many 5 star reviews. I reserve that for the very best. I give this 3 stars instead of 4 because the authors do one annoying thing. They did an around the world cruise and made many mistakes as well all do. But they never come out and say. We blew it on this- we were lucky and figured it out later. Instead they write that this is the way to do it period. This may be a nit-picky gripe but I believe there are lots of right ways and I will learn more about learning from others mistakes, what they did wrong, why they did that, and why they won't do it again. Then from them just telling me this is the right way- accept it - we know. Not withstanding my sort of negative review this book is well written and informative. Would I buy it again? Yes- bearly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable addition to any blue water Library 28 Nov 2008
I found this extremely useful and I have bought many blue water cruising books in my time. If I had to choose one to keep, it would be this one. I have read some of the reviews and to say that a person who has spent 3 years sailing around the world doesn't have the experience to write a book on blue water cruising....beggar's belief.
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By A Customer
Great book - full of facts but easy to read. Great for convicincing significant other of the merits of bluewater sailing - I'm the one in a thousand women trying to convince a husband to sail around the world with me and he wants facts - this book had plenty. Very impressed! Lots of detail on cost, time and energy required.
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By A Customer
Beth simultaneously addresses the nitty gritty details of life "off the hard" by providing a ready reference, and bolsters the spirit for heading offshore with a personal glimpse of her adventure and cruising life. This will become part of our onboard library.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know on how to work a boat.
This may be the best reference book ever for anyone going anywhere in a boat. Beth Leonard answers all the questions, and then raises and answers more. Read more
Published on 29 April 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars a good writer, but does she have enough experience?
When I first saw this book and read the reviews I felt that no publisher would spend this much and produce a book that looked this good unless it was either written by someone who... Read more
Published on 15 Feb 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book written from experience.
I found this book to be very enlightening. A must read for those going offshore. The book covers everything you need to know : type of boat to buy, finances, heavy weather, crew... Read more
Published on 10 Feb 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging from the first page and satisfying to the last....
The Voyager's Handbook : The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising by Beth A. Leonard will surely become a cruising classic. Read more
Published on 26 Jan 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating perspective on voyaging
What types of food are available in what markets? How much more time does it really take to maintain a gold-plated, gadget-laden boat than a stripped to essentials cheapie? Read more
Published on 16 Sep 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb discussion of blue water realities and requirements
Most people, even very experienced sailers, have no idea what the blue water cruising life is really going to be like. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 1998
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