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Sailing For Dummies Paperback – June 6, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (June 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471791431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471791430
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Covers the latest advances in electronic navigation

Get the know-how you need to sail safely and have fun

Want to sail into the sunset but don't know port from starboard? Don't worry! Now updated with the latest on boats, gear, and racing, this hands-on guide helps you chart a course to sailing success, from getting familiar with nautical terms and seamanship basics to setting sail, navigating, anchoring, and docking — even riding out a storm.

  • Get your feet wet at a sailing school
  • Launch a boat and maneuver under sail
  • Navigate, anchor, and dock
  • Charter a boat or enter races
  • Choose and care for a boat

Praise for Sailing For Dummies

"Provides an interesting read, easy instruction, and a handy reference work."
—Walter Cronkite

"Peter and JJ's enthusiasm for the thrill and fun of sailing brings the comprehensive guide to life in every chapter. Whether you're a novice or several years into this fascinating sport, the Islers' knowledge and insight will speed you along your course to sailing mastery."
—John Burnham, Editor of Cruising World magazine

About the Author

JJ and Peter Isler have been sailing for most of their lives. JJ grew up around boats in San Diego, California, learning to sail in a little 7-foot dinghy called a Sabot. Peter started out loving powerboats and fishing (boys can be so strange!), but took up sailing after his family moved to Connecticut when he was 13 years old.
The Islers are well known throughout the world of sailing as top competitors and teachers. They both have taught sailing to people of all ages and experiences. Peter played an important, early role in developing US Sailing’s educational program. He also coached at the Olympic level and helped found the American Sailing Association, which accredits sailing schools and certifies sailors and instructors.
Peter has twice won the America’s Cup, serving as navigator aboard Stars & Stripes with Dennis Conner in 1987 and 1988. An accomplished small-boat sailor, Peter was Intercollegiate Sailor of the Year while at Yale University. He was the top-ranked U.S. sailor on the professional match-racing circuit for five years and has won many of the world’s major ocean races, including the Bermuda Race and the Transpac (where he navigated Morning Glory to an elapsed time record in 2005).
Peter has also been very active in the media. In the 1990s, he shifted his America’s Cup energies to television, where he was a featured analyst in ESPN’s Emmy Award–winning Cup coverage in 1992 and 1995. More recently, he covered sailing for the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), including its coverage of the 2003 America’s Cup. He is the author of several books on the sport and is presently Editor at Large of Sailing World magazine. In his spare time, Peter enjoys playing guitar and keyboard with his band, The Water Brothers.
JJ is the only American female (so far) to have won two Olympic medals in sailing, and she is the first female inductee in the Sailing World Hall of Fame. With crew member Pamela Healy, JJ won the Bronze Medal in the Women’s 470 class in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, she and crew member Pease Glaser won the Silver. JJ is a four-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (in 1986, 1991, 1997, and 2000) and has won three World Championships and numerous national titles. She was the first female to compete in a number of events on the international matchracing circuit. And in 1995 she was the tactician and starting helmsman for the America3 Women’s America’s Cup team. She graduated from Yale University where she was captain of the sailing team and a collegiate All-American.

Customer Reviews

I bought 3 sailing books this is the most teachable of all 3.
Dixie Gallup
It is very clearly and humorously written, and it covers the basics of sailing very well.
D. Smith
Would highly recommend for anyone wanting to learn about sailing or learn more.
Kashmere

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Frank R. Caruso Jr. on April 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great book; well-written and informative, and I recommend it highly.

Here is my "how I learned to sail" story:

I accidentally ended up in possession of an O'Day Sprite (10 foot dinghy), but knew nothing about sailing. I put it at my buddy's house; he had a place on a lake, and he promised to teach me how to sail. One day, he walked in, tossed me a bag of parts, and said "Go rig your boat!" He came down with me and taught me equipment terminology, and showed me how to rig the mast. We ended up replacing the mast stays, but everything else was okay.

We got it rigged and got the sails on. He looked at the sails, then looked at the boat; then he said, "That's an awful lot of sail for that boat." He took it out for a quick spin to make sure everything was working, then he put me in the boat and had me try to sail it, while he shadowed me in the Whaler, shouting instructions. The one thing I learned that day was that accidental jibes can cause death rolls (I didn't actually "learn" it until later, but that's what happened). We ended up towing the Sprite back in with the Whaler, and that ended my first lesson.

I went out and bought "Sailing for Dummies", spent a week reading and re-reading it from cover to cover, went back to the lake, and successfully sailed the boat for hours. I never did capsize it again, although I've had it darn near horizontal in a strong breeze. My friend likes to tell people he taught me how to sail; I always correct him and say he taught me how to capsize, which was just as valuable a lesson.

I spent several summers sailing both the Sprite and and my buddy's Hunter 170, then "graduated" to keelboats. He kept telling me that that the Sprite was the hardest boat I'd ever sail; bigger boats are easier.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Jennings on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my non-sailing wife after I unsuccessfully tried to explain the effects of wind on the sails. She found it to be vastly better than my explanations. She also told me some things I didn't know, that she learned from the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Louis E. DeGreeff on March 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Purchased this as a novice in sailing thinking this would introduce me to sailing and also be a referral source. Mistake in not purchasing hard copy but Kindle version. Not a bad book as an introduction and would be a good resource but not easy to access specific pages on Kindle
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ralph W. Stewart on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good simple book for new sailors or helpers (3rd mates)
Got it for a friend to help me, but not to take over command.
I have even been corrected for using the word Rope instead of Line
If you learn everything in this book, you will be a very knowledgeable sailor
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Malachowsky on May 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After deciding to try my hand at sailing this season, I decided to purchase this book; it was the best thing I could have done to learn! In adition to knowing what terms are for what (jib, keel, etc), I was able to learn about how to sail safely and handle common disasters. Thanks for a great book :-)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack L. Tofari on February 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has read a Dummies book has a good idea of what to expect. This book is not much different. All the basics are there, from setting the sails to dropping the hook safely. The Islers do a nice job of trading off personal experiences. These make the book a little more interesting and gives the reader a chance to get in touch with the writers.

The instructions for sailing seem fairly complete yet the writting style is such that the reader does not fall asleep. The book moves along and does not drag. Much information is included on where to go or where to look for more specialized information.

I would have rated this book 5 instead of 4 except for just one reason. The copywrite is 1997. For the most part this is not a problem; sailing is sailing. Ocassionally though a reference is made to a race or other upcoming event that is already history.

Good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Reed on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I regularly purchase books by the Dummies Series on new topics when I need to have someone "dumb it down" for me. This book is no exception to meeting that gap in the information available on line or other sources for the newbie sailor. If you are a newbie, (like me) I HIGHLY recommend that you read this book and get the who, what, where, when, how and why to decide if you want to go sailing or if your already sailing to fill in the gaps you feel silly asking someone in person. Covers a Lot of safety issues to consider and a lot of plain old fashioned common sense issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Cummings on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been a great help for someone who knows nothing about sailing but always wanted to learn. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to start out.
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