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Customer Review

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't follow the herd., 24 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Voyaging on a Small Income (Paperback)
The book seeks to explain, amongst other things, some important principles which they say will liberate the reader from requiring more than a small income. Those principles appear to me to be very sound and powerful.

However, if you just take the phrase 'cost-benefit analysis' and google it, then spend a little time reading and thinking, you will save yourself from reading all the other stuff in this book. You may find that that is not very entertaining, or that it is difficult to understand how to apply it to voyaging on a small income. In that case buy the book, after all it is only a few quid and you are new to applying this cost-benefit thingy. But if you do buy the book, beware.

Beware because, not surprisingly, it is full of advice, and I thought that was great, until it got to something I know about. I was shocked to find that I had been accepting their arguments without questioning them, probably because I liked the idea that they had all the answers, and after all, they have been sailing for years and should know what they are talking about. But once I realised that they could be wrong about one thing I stopped and looked back through the book more critically.

Their arguments are often sloppy, illogical, ambiguous, self-contradictory, or out of date (second edition published 2001), and one is frustratingly idiotic, but the way it's written makes it sound like a good idea, until you look for what is missing. Also some of the numbers don't add up. They gloss over things they don't like about their decisions, and highlight the things they like. This is fine if you don't need to know the facts. But if you want to apply cost-benefit analysis and other thinking you will need to know those facts to make your own mind up.

There are also plenty of pictures and diagrams, but they don't often illustrate the point, they are just pictures. There are a significant number of typos too. Its really shoddy content, although it looks nice.
There are no details about the money they spend or what cruising they do.

To sum up
The advice: some of it is wrong, and very little of it is truly substantiated, so most of it could be wrong for a given reader. You might just as well have a few beers and start an argument about rigs, everyone knows which is best!

The principle ideas: are well worth taking on board
Cost-benefit analysis
Keep It Simple Stupid
Protect your capital
Think logically
Make your own decision, don't just follow the herd (unless they are going the right way).
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Location: London UK

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