Sailing – the freedom and the pleasure of feeling the wind and the water in your face are unbeatable. If you’ve never sailed the high seas, but still long to feel the pleasure of doing so, reading about sailing and great voyages might be the next best thing. Here are 8 great sailing books for your reading pleasure.
1. 500 Days Around the World on a 12-Foot Yacht by Serge Testa
Who said you can’t sail around the world in a small boat? Serge Testa did just that in a boat that is about as big as the bathtub sitting in your home. If you want a humbly-written story with a little bit of humour sprinkled in, read this story. The story of Serge and his twelve-foot yacht will inspire you for days.
2. The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier
If you are a fan of sailing history, you will have to read this book. Bernard Moitessier always used to follow his inspiration and not the dictates of the world around him. Even when he was participating in the first solo-circumnavigational race in history, he did not finish the race because he felt that sailing around the planet was not enough for him. He stopped sailing in the race when he felt like stopping.
3. The Proving Ground by Bruce Knecht
This is the story of the 1998 edition of the Sydney Hobart race. This race is challenging because of the hostile Australian waters in which it is held. But it got notoriety because of what happened at that particular edition of the race where 115 boats started and only 43 boats crossed the finish line. This story is brilliantly told by Bruce Knecht and is a must-read.
4. Gipsy Moth Circles the World by Francis Chichester
This is a classic and no list would be complete without this book. This is the story of a 65-year-old Chichester who got into his 54-foot boat aptly named Gipsy Moth IV all by himself and proceeded to circumnavigate the globe starting from Britain. He was the first man in history to do a truly solo circumnavigational trip, and for this was knighted by the Queen. Sir Francis kept wonderful journals of his trip and it is from their brilliance that this book was born.
5. Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum
This book screams adventure. Sports Illustrated made this observation about the book: “One of the most readable books in the whole library of adventure”. Slocum performed the extraordinary feat of sailing the planet alone in a 34 foot boat in 1895, and gave new understanding to the discipline of sailing. If you consider yourself a part of the sailing tribe, you must read this book.
6. Godforsaken Sea by Derek Lundy
The Vendee Globe race. High tech carbon-based speed boats were used to solo race across the Southern Ocean. This race takes sailing insanity to another level. This is an amazingly well-written story with vivid descriptions of the challenges and dangers involved in the race.
7. Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi
Tania’s dad gave her a choice. She could either go to school or go around the world in a sailboat. She chose the boat, knowing next to nothing about sailing. This is a thrilling story with great adventure in its pages, with a little romance baked into it.
8. Fastnet Force 10: The deadliest storm in the history of Modern sailing by John Rousmaniere
If you are an ordinary sailor with a desire to get out of your comfort zone in sailing, this story is for you. It talks about the 1979 Fastnet race which was a 600-mile contest in the waters of Ireland. Sailors had to battle intense Force 10 winds in the race, and 15 sailors paid the ultimate price. This is a story about the awesome power and unrelenting intensity of the Ocean. You’ll love it.