Sailing Books, Videos and Software
We don't actually use books as part of our instructional program--we believe learning to sail should be a hands on experience. The following list of books, videos, and software is mostly for entertainment in the "off season" or on those miserable stormy summer days when we would all rather be out on the water.
All the books listed here have been read by one or more of the school's directors, and we highly recommend them for young sailors. There are also a few sailing references suitable for young people who want to supplement their hands-on instruction at home.
These books are listed roughly by the age group they are best suited for starting with books for the youngest sailors.
The Man (as Henry calls him) takes the Kid out on the ocean for a day of sailing. Initially annoyed to find Henry aboard, the Man changes his mind when Henry saves him from drowning. A storm breaks, the Man falls overboard, and the Kid (who was in the cabin at the time) must find his dad in the rough waters and steer the sailboat toward him with only Henry as his guide.
Robert McCloskey is best known for his books Make Way for Ducklings, and One Morning in Maine. Follows the activities--including sailing--of two children spending their summer vacation on an island off the coast of Maine.
by Douglas Alvord
List Price: $16.95
Part fiction and part basic sailing manual, this book combines the best of both. Sarah's story is engaging, the story illustrations are beautiful, and the detailed instructional illustrations in the fundamentals of rigging and maneuvering a sailing dinghy are clear and easy to understand.
by Arthur Ransome
List Price: $14.95
Sailing adventures of 6 children and two dinghies with a bit of mystery thrown in. For those who enjoy Swallows and Amazon's (and who wouldn't!) these Ransome sailing novels are also available (he wrote more but many are out of print):
Swallowdale List Price: $14.95
We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea List Price: $11.95
Peter Duck List Price: $14.95
Coot Club List Price: $14.95
Winter Holiday List Price: $14.95
by Jan Adkins
List Price: $3.95
This book is not-to-be-missed by anyone who loves sailing and Buzzards Bay. Masterfully written by Jan Adkins, it is the story of 15 year old Jack Stone, a resident of Marion, MA. His adventure begins the day he decides to go off alone in his boat to Penikese Island... and awakens from an afternoon snooze to find that he is in another time.
The edition currently available is a paperback reprint of the original hardbound book which is now out of print.
by Robin Lee Graham, Derek L. T. Gill (Contributor)
List Price: $12.50
In 1965, 16-year-old Robin Lee Graham began a five year, 33,000 mile, solo around-the-world voyage from San Pedro, California, in his 24-foot sloop, Dove. Those of us who were in our teens at the time, followed his story avidly as it unfolded in a series of articles in National Geographic magazine. The book fills in the details of the personal struggle that went along with the pleasant, scenic adventures shown in the magazine. This book is a must-read for those of all ages who love sailing and crave adventure.
by Tania Aebi, Bernadette Brennan
List Price: $10.00
Tania Aebi was a very troubled eighteen-year-old with no idea of what she wanted to do with her life. As she herself put it, "The only thing you could count on me to finish was a meal." She was going no where until her father offered her a choice of challenges: either a college education or a twenty-six-foot sloop in which she had to sail around the world alone. Even though she had little sailing experience, she chose the boat, and for two years she negotiated weather, illness, and fear, learning skills out of necessity along the way. Ultimately, her voyage became a spiritual quest that brought her home--to herself.
by Derrick Fries, Burt Bilbrey (Illustrator)
List Price: $14.95
This is the standard sailing text book recommended for young sailing students in United States Sailing instructor training and certification courses. We use the material in this book at the Buzzards Sailing School, so this book is most compatible with the hands-on instruction a student gets in our program.
by Gary & Steve Kibble
List Price: $10.95
A basic sailing book specifically for those who will be sailing the International Optimist Dinghy. It is profusely illustrated with diagrams and photographs, and written in clear non-technical language.
by Linda S. Cullum
Amazon Price: $54.95
This is a fabulous interactive sailing training CD-ROM program for Windows (sorry no Mac version), and we highly recommend it--the content is very complete and its also a lot of fun to use. Please note that it is not a sailing simulator. It is an interactive sailing "textbook" with over 450 megabytes of narration, animation and digital video clips demonstrating all aspects of sailing, such as wind theory, the points of sail, how to predict the weather, read charts, use a compass, and tie nautical knots. There are also interactive quizzes that allow the student to test his/her knowledge in any area. Kids love these quizzes! Left to play with the program on their own, they zero in on these quizzes immediately.
You can also get this program directly from the publisher, Little Pines Multimedia which is on Cape Cod in Truro. Visit their Web site for extensive information on the program and to order securely online--usually at a lower price than Amazon's.
by Susan D. Artof, Joni Palmer, Paul Artof (Illustrator)
Amazon Price: $10.95
As the title implies, this one is for parents, particularly for parents with little or no sailing experience of their own.
List Price: $19.99
This is the 1937 award-winning, black and white version of Kipling's classic starring Spencer Tracy and Freddie Bartholomew. This film was made on location just a few years before a major hurricane all but wiped out the Gloucester schooner fishing fleet. The footage of this fleet is amazing, and we are fortunate that this film was able to capture the essence of the sailing schooner fishing experience before it disappeared into the past. The story is also quite compelling. It is about a spoiled rotten brat who falls off a cruise ship and is rescued by a Portuguese fisherman and how the experience transforms his life. Kids need to be encouraged to sit and get into this one. They are at first put off by the old style of the film and the fact that it is black and white, but once they get into it, they get caught up in the ever relevant story of a kid trying to figure out how he fits into the world.
List Price: $14.95
Movie version of Robin Lee Graham's story. (Same as the book listed above.) Scenes of his tiny boat sailing totally alone over HUGE ocean swells, and as an unmoving spec in a flat calm hit you square in the face with the realities of ocean cruising. In spite of the fact that the acting is a little rough around the edges, this is well worth seeing.
List Price: $14.99
Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey star as experienced sailors determined to win the America's Cup back from Australia. This film is worth seeing for the spectacular sailing footage alone. It is unlike anything seen in documentary films --it puts you right into the action. While those who know sailing boat racing well will be annoyed by some of the technical inaccuracies and plot impossibilities of the story, it is still a fun movie and an inspiring one for kids as they watch determined young people work hard to achieve their goals.
Swallows & Amazons: The Big Six
List Price: $24.95
Swallows and Amazons:Coot Club
List Price: $24.99
Swallows and Amazons Forever:Coot Club
List Price: $24.99