The learning curve on boats, boating, seamanship, and navigation is long and never ending. Almost every time you take a boat out on the water, you learn something … about your boat, about conditions, and even about yourself.
Which is to say, you can never learn everything you need to know within the pages of a book. On the other hand, some of the books recommended here are excellent steps along the way of obtaining knowledge about boating. And more knowledge is always a good thing.
So here are some recent books that would help, and help entertain, boaters of every kind.
Chapman Piloting & Seamanship
For a century, Chapman has been an indispensable, trusted resource for boating under power and sail. It has sold millions of copies, and is a must-have for virtually anyone who puts a craft on water. Featuring 1,500 color photos, this updated edition covers new technologies, maritime laws and regulations, safety tips, and maintenance, as well as complete discussions of weather, tides, currents, and navigation. From anchors and knots to sailing theory and sail-handling systems, Chapman Piloting and Seamanship explains absolutely everything you need to know. Amazon: $35
Boating Skills and Seamanship
Developed and refined through 40 years of Coast Guard Auxiliary training courses, Boating Skills and Seamanship is your perfect introduction to recreational boating’s fundamentals. Great for beginning and intermediate powerboaters alike, it offers you the basics of choosing, equipping, and handling a small to midsize powerboat. Amazon: $20
Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook 2019
This is the complete edition of the official U.S. Coast Guard Handbook– International & Inland. Point the code reader on your phone at the QR code in the book and the color photos and videos will open like magic. Save to the home screen and you will have them on your phone for ready reference forever. There are accident reports, vessel safety checks, links to follow real time shipping at sea, links to the USCG and The complete Code of Federal Regulations.This 2019 edition includes internet addresses to find updates and all other helpful sites and information. Amazon, $8.99
Powerboat Handling Illustrated
Some people prefer illustrations to reading pages of text. This is the book for those captains. Using hundreds of illustrations and photos, Powerboat Handling Illustrated shows you step-by-step how to do tasks such as docking, trimming, wave handling, and close-quarters maneuvering. These maneuvers are adapted to different types of boats under various conditions. Amazon, $22.50
The Boater’s Cookbook
Cooking on a small boat—sail or power—requires special attention few new boaters understand. Sylvia Williams Dabney is a longtime live-aboard sailor with more than sixty thousand offshore miles who understands the necessity of a well-stored pantry and loves collecting recipes from around the world. In The Boater’s Cookbook, Sylvia shares everything anyone needs to know about creating stunning meals in a small boat galley. Amazon $11
The Useful Knots Book
Knowing how to tie knots is an important and useful skill, but some people get overwhelmed. There are many knots, far too many for the average person to remember them all. Fortunately, being able to tie just a handful of knots is enough to see you through. The Useful Knots Book is a no-nonsense knot guide on how to tie the 25+ most practical rope knots. It comes with easy to follow instructions and pictures for tying each of the knots. It also has tips on when to best use each knot. Amazon $8.99