This book is more than just choosing a cruising sailboat. It covers the whole spectrum of foils, hull shapes, deck layouts, sails, interiors, etc. anyone who is looking to buy a boat period, i recommend this book. Even if you are not planning to buy but just want to learn more, this is a must.
My long-term plan is to sell up and sail away, but I realised while looking at all the sailing yachts for sale that I couldn't really tell one boat from another.
This book is quite frankly the best book I have read that allows a novice to understand why a boat can only go at a maximum speed. Why the Rudder is where it is on different boats, different hull types, keel types, mast/sail layouts, stern of boats, how the cockpit is laid out ...etc
The book starts by asking you what you want to do with the sailing boat and then walks you through the Pros and Cons of each type and layout, length, beam and draft (novice, I sound like an old salty sea dog, Oh arr mee Hearties:)
I can't really do an explanation of this book to do it justice. Suffice to say I loaned it to another person who is doing her RYA Day skipper and she said it was some of the technical and practical stuff even she hadn't considered (she kept it for 3 months)
Well worth the price for the Hard Back, get it before you go and spend your money on your dream and end up picking the wrong boat for the wrong reasons.
This is a great book. I'm reasonably new to sailing but very interested. I see so many boats around and the geeky side of me wants to know why they are like that, what the impact of the different styles and configurations are, etc. For this, this book is perfect. It goes into great details of boat design and impact of that design on how the boat sails. The focus is on assisting you in your choice of boat based on how you intend to use it. It's not just about "Cruising" boats, it covers all boat design.
The downsides? It's an American author to examples and dimensions are aimed at a US market but this is easy enough to cope with. The pictures used are ok but at times could be better - it has the feel of an old text book at time. More colour images and better quality graphics would make it feel fresher. This doesn't take away from the content though, so I'd highly recommend this if you want to understand what makes yachts work, which in my view will help your sailing.