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on 24 July 2017
Revision helper, did not realise what I knew!
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on 23 August 2017
Top reference work
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on 27 June 2014
A great book full of good seamanship advice as well as the usual theory of tides and navigation etc. Tom Cunliffe is the real deal. This book should be on board every boat. A great ready reference for all situations.
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on 23 April 2017
Great guide for those of you looking to get you Yachtmaster qualifications.
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on 3 March 2017
good guide
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on 30 October 2009
When I bought this book I was somewhat put off by some adverse reviews I had seen, saying that the book was difficult to read, and that unnecessarily technical terms had been used.

I TOTALLY disagree.

I found this to be a valuable read, and I actually read it from cover to cover - I have never read a "reference" book like that before! It is not perfect, but it is a reference book I would highly recommend that any skipper has on board alongside the charts and aid memoir's.
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on 29 June 2016
Brilliant book and well written.

If people have trouble reading this, it's because they are poor readers.

The language used is crisp, smart and even witty in places. It's really nice to find a book that is written well, as so many writers nowadays seem to only have a vocabulary of a few hundred words.

The beginner may struggle with some nautical terms used at times, but that's all part of the fun of learning.

If you want a book written in a dumbed down and condescending fashion, find one that has been written by an American author- they appear to be good at it.
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on 2 September 2012
So the author knows his stuff. But he has written this book for people who already know enough about sailing that they probably don't need the book. I don't need an idiot's guide, but as a 'student' of sailing, I don't appreciate having to look up the terminology twice in every sentance! That said, I have learnt a fair bit. But surely there must be books on sailing which are slightly less - well, pompous.
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on 20 February 2012
I am already YM qualified, but haven't been sailing for a few years and purchased this book as a refresher. I found it to be an excellent read, with plenty of detail presented in an absorbing and memorable way.
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on 19 January 2011
The RYA YM scheme offers a quite unique and experience-based way to acquire internationally recognised sailing certificates. I myself have purchased and thoroughly studied this book as I - having a German sailing background - wanted to familiarise myself with the British syllabus and exam requirements.

The book is very well written, concise and comprises all important aspects of the RYA syllabus. However, further additional reading on some more specific topics such as meteorology, the IRPCS or terrestrial navigation is certainly advisable, but couldn't be expected to be covered by a book like this anyway.

I have found a few comments of other reviewers complaining about the author's writing style, saying it was self-indulged, old-fashioned and incomprehensible. Perhaps the reviewers made particularly bad experiences with Tom Cunliffe as a YM examiner, tend to polemic comments in general or lack some experience.

Given the fact that I as a non-native speaker had no problem at all to understand this book (and I certainly have when it comes to historic logbooks and letters) I find it hard to believe that there should be anything old-fashioned among this book. The entire concept of the book has been rather further developed and adapted over the years in quite a few new editions, making this book an inexpensive and up-to-date compendium.
The odd salt-dog-talk is certainly sometimes unfamiliar, but not inappropriate or cryptic, quite likeable and rather entertaining. Whoever has seen Tom Cunliffe on TV knows that this is rather his personal style and should not be interpreted as self-obsessedness.
The drawings and pictures are very didactical and useful and straightforward to understand and work with. The book leaves little to be desired for. A sort of hightlighted keywords in the text or on the margin could make it easier to find certain text passages. Ten pages of weather related content is unfortunately rather a short sketch of a summary if any at all.

I would absolutely recommend this book together with Basil Mosenthal's 'Learning the Rule of the Road' and a book on meteorology (sorry, only German recommendations here: Seewetter, DSV-Verlag).

Fair winds.
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