Books That Are Fun and Informational

Fun and Informational Books

The books are organized into two sections, books that tell a story and books that are instructional.  We began attending sailboat shows and reading books years before we decided to start sailing or bought our boat.  They are not organized in the order we read them or by importance.  They all taught us something completely different. This is the fun and informational section.  We will add more great books as we find them.

Off The Grid — I went from working 60 hours a week and getting nowhere to working three months a year and going everywhere. Now, I survive off the grid and close to nature, the way we were intended to live: free Throughout my 20s, my 30s and 40s, I worked various construction jobs, lived in the Caribbean aboard a sailboat, owned a restaurant, got married and divorced, and raised two kids. There were highs and lows, but one constant: I spent a lot of time working, working, and working some more – and still stressing about money. Finally, in 2013, I spent $12,500 to buy a sturdy 39-foot Ericson sailboat that needed a little work. Since then, I’ve been living full-time aboard the Gypsea Soul, on the water. I outfitted her with rainwater catchment tanks, plus solar panels to power my freezer and navigation instruments. I am usually on the move or keep my boat anchored out in the water, so that I don’t have to pay marinas any rent. This let me clear up my debts, and in turn, freed my spirit. Living on a boat, I’ve met a wild cast of characters and had a ton of adventures — hilarious ones, but scary ones, too. In the following pages, I’ll share those adventures with you, as well as some how-to information for anyone curious about following a similar path. In between chapters, I’ve interspersed some of my insights, just as I wrote them, taken straight from my Captain’s Log. (Don’t call it a “diary”! LOL.) I hope that as you read this book, you will feel as though you’re along with me, fruity island drink by your side, the salt and wind in your hair, lost in the amazement of the sea. Most of all, I hope you’ll be inspired to go after whatever’s been pulling on your heart.

Changing Course–    Debra Cantrell

Changing Course chronicles the odyssey of making a major lifestyle change from land to sea from a woman’s perspective. The moving and often poignant thoughts, feelings, and experiences of more than 100 women illustrate the decision-making process that enabled most of them to move from resisting the change proposed by their partners to embracing the cruising life. It is an inspiring examination of the highs, lows, and day-to-day drama of changing one’s life in a fundamental way. From the common fears that prevent individuals from taking risks to the interpersonal dynamics that affect couples and relationships, this one-of-a-kind book explores the phenomenon of change and the growing lifestyle change movement. This thought-provoking and highly personal book explores what women stand to gain when they set forth on such a journey–and what they stand to lose if they do not.

Capable Cruiser by Pardey—  The Capable Cruiser is a logical extension of the Pardeys’ The Self-Sufficient Sailor , with more emphasis on seamanship underway, including careful analysis of extreme anchoring situations and solutions for mitigating them.

Get Real  Get Gone– The idea that you have to be rich to travel the world on your own yacht is so universal, it goes largely unquestioned This book hopes to change all that. If you are not rich, but dream of seeing our beautiful world from the deck of your own yacht, this book is packed with practical and spiritual advice to help you cut through the endless marketing and identify what it is you truly need to become a modern sea gypsy and sail away forever.

A Sail of Two Idiots by Petrillo—  100+ Lessons and laughs from a non-sailor who quit the rat race, too the helm, and sailed to a new life in the Caribbean.


Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Sailing by Vigor— Aimed at sailboat owners of all kinds, this reference book contains 200 entries packed with solid practical advice and valuable tips. Each entry is categorized alphabetically and prefaced by an arresting statement such as “People always lie about how fast their boats are.” The reference format offers readers the opportunity to open the book at any page and browse endlessly.                                 

Cruising for Cowards by Copeland–Cruising for Cowards brings one of the most popular reference books for cruising sailors in a current expanded form, an invaluable resource for both veterans and newcomers to the cruising life, whether coastal or offshore. Buying a new boat? Have equipment or provisioning concerns? Feel ambivalent about boating? Cruising for Cowards is packed with practical, current information from experienced cruisers.

As Long As It’s Fun by McCormick —                                                In As Long as It s Fun, the biography of Lin and Larry Pardey, Herb McCormick recounts their remarkable sailing career from their early days in Southern California to their two circumnavigations to their current life in a quiet cove in New Zealand. Through interviews with their families, friends, and critics, McCormick delves deeply into the couple s often-controversial opinions, sometimes-tenuous marriage, and amazing list of accomplishments. As Long as It s Fun is as much a love story as it is a sea yarn, and, like all such stories, it s not without complications . . . which makes it not only a sailing tale but also a human one.

It’s Your Boat Too A Woman’s Guide to Greater Enjoyment on the Water by Giesemann– if you’re just going along for the ride, you are limiting your enjoyment on the water. Suzanne encourages women to take a bigger role on board by addressing common fears and self-limiting attitudes. She shares the nautical knowledge necessary to become a safer, more competent, and more confident boater.

The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat by John Vigor– A guide to essential features, gear and handling. Take the unique diagnostic questionnaire to determine whether your boat is capable of offshore sailing, then let John show you step by step how to get there.

The Cruising Life  by Trefethen– A Commonsense Guide for the Would-Be-Voyager.  If you think age, experience, and money can keep you from the cruising life, you haven’t read the Cruising Life.

Sailing into Retirement by Trefethen–  7 ways to retire on a boat at 50 with 10 steps that will keep you there until 80.

Changing Lifestyles by Kimberly Brown—  Whether your plan is to trade in your lifestyle for another or to simply start to travel or sail more, this book will provide entertainment, insight and inspiration.

Just Cruising A Family Travels Around the World by Copeland— The Copelands left a regular lifestyle to go sailing for two years.  They found their new life so exhilarating they stayed for six years and visited a total of 82 countries.

The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew by Pardey—  This is  primer on successful cruising.  It covers everything from outfitting a galley to organizing meals safely in rough weather to controlling seasickness.          

Cost Conscious Cruiser by Pardey–  Champagne Cruising on a Beer Budget.  The pleasures and adventures of cruising under sail are amazingly affordable, say Lin and Larry Pardey. But to keep your dreams on budget, financially, emotionally, and timewise, you have to decide – are you a cruiser or a consumer? Topics covered include making your getaway plans to finding a truly affordable boat, keeping your outfitting costs and maintenance time in control, then learning to feel confident as you cruise farther ahead.Their chart of the gear considered necessary by many shoreside experts, compared to that carried by several cost conscious cruisers, will give you a convenient checklist to gauge whether you are buying true necessities or overloading your budget and boat with high-tech items.


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