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Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere Paperback – January 1, 2010
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Through boat reviews and advertisements, sailors are bombarded with product information about new boats in sailing magazines. They can tour new boats to their hearts content at boat shows. And they can compare these vessels in annual directories of sailing manufacturers and distributors. Eager vendors will readily send sales literature on request.
But what of those of us who have elected to sail those boats euphemistically referred to as gently used or previously sailed? These boats, of course, are affordable, often well-equipped, and typically in sailaway condition without extensive commissioning. So how do you make comparisons and determine which of these boats is right for you?
John Vigor has selected 20 from a vast field of older sailboats and offers comprehensive reviews and rating scales for comparison. His criteria for selection were that the boat must be seaworthy enough to go offshore and small enough to be easily handled by two. The boats he selected range from 20 to 32 feet.
Lin and Larry Pardey, who have circumnavigated twice in sailboats less than 30 feet in length, argue that small and simple boats are better for voyaging couples. They have noted that large vessels are often the cause of abandoned cruising dreams. Theyre too expensive and thus steal too much from the cruising couple without the assistance of additional crewmembers or power devices that can fail at the most critical moment. Larger, more complicated, sailboats have more systems that break, testing the skills of even the handiest. Their advice in sum is to go small, go simple, and go with the confidence that comes of handling it yourself.
In this book, John Vigor offers sailors a collection of 20 boats capable of taking you anywhere perhaps not in the comfort and style touted by new boat product literature but safely and with dignity. John has raced, crossed oceans, and cruised coasts. His views are fresh and insightful. He has the credentials to know a boat for what it is. Readers will be rewarded with valuable information that is more timeless than trendy. Lurking behind it all is Johns wry humor that steps in at just the right moment to remind us that logic has its limits and owning and sailing these vessels is meant to be fun. If we are patient, todays new boats will become older boats. When the best small ones have proved themselves by crossing oceans safely and in style, John may select from among these and write another book. -- Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas,Publishers of Good Old Boat magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
For those of you who haven't seen the book yet a word of caution - there are no photographs of any boats in the book. All the visuals are line drawings and sail and 'floor' plans. In addition, I found one glaring error in the chapter on the Cape Dory 25D. The line profile drawing is for (I believe) the Cape Dory 25 - a distinctly different boat. The other drawings for this boat are definitly not of a Cape Dory 25D either.
These are all interesting boats - several have been single handed around the world, - one set a speed record for crossing the Atlantic. Of course they aren't the only boats capable of crossing oceans. You can expand your search by looking for boats by the same designer and / or the same builder. Sometimes it might pay to look to larger or smaller boats in a particular line. Find owners on the web and shoot them an email. Many people are glad to share sailing experiences. That reminds me that one of the best parts of this book is the Owner's Experiences section.
The rater that speaks of Vigor's head being 'up his stern' should lighten up or, at least, give some reasoning for his unsubstantiated comments.
Obviously, if your heading offshore you probably won't just read Vigor's book (or choose a Cal 20 or Catalina 27) but the book sure narrows the choices to make. And, of course, Vigor's choices aren't the only ones. As many raters said, 'a good starting point' and, contrary to captain 'up his stern' and his innuendo's, there's not a boat in Vigor's 20 choices that are inherently 'bad'.
Sorry to Capt. A. Spears and his review which was, nevertheless, helpful; Tanya A. sailed around the world in a Contessa 26 not a Bayfield 25. I only know that 'cause I read her book and once lusted after Contessa 26/Bayfield 25 vessels; only to choose, in my opinion, an even better boat with my 'new' Albin Vega 27.
I believe Vigor's book, for those contemplating serious, offshore voyages, should only be the beginning of the research; but a great place to start.
lets face it folks, when you sail skiffs at twenty mph it makes these things look huge and slow BUT if you want to call them "small" its up to you. Be that as it may "twenty small boats to take you anywhere" is the best put together book of its kind that I have ever read bar none. John Vigor has put a lot of research and general "checking out" of all twenty boats in this book and has presented this information in a clear and concise manner.
Starting at the intro I started to think "O.K. ..another dull book about boats". I was surprised by an easy reading style that felt as if J.V. were standing there at the boatyard with me. Each boat in this collection gets a good complete, and fair review on basic design, accommodations and lay out of cabins, rig, performance and most important KNOWN WEAKNESSES. There are also quick reference summarizations on each boat via an "in short" and "in comparison" boxes.
Another thing I found enjoyable is the "owners comments". They are entertaining and valuable experiential knowledge of how the boat actually handles under sail. The drawings of each boat with top side and beam views with the rig is also very helpful.
Twenty Small Boats to take you Anywhere" is an excellent reference book for those looking for a great sea worthy craft or even for those that are just curious. In any case I will be adding this one to my personal library. Now could some one please put out a book like this for fast racing skiffs? ;)>
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great little book, clear and fairly comprehensive. The author strikes you as someone who has been around boat for a while and have sailed most of the more traditional, moderately... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jorge J. Santiago Aviles
Great reference book. Would be nice if it had pictures and diagrams as well.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a delightful book to pore over even if -- like me -- you do not expect to buy a sailboat anytime soon. (The book sits by my bedside. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mark
Perfect book for anyone entertaining the thought of circumnavigating or even coastal cruising in a boat shorter than 30' LOD. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mark J
This book is valuable for any sailor who wants to sail out of sight of land. I learned what really matters in a blue water boat. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Fred D. Mueller
Good, clear discussion of many of my favorite cruising vessels. Since some of these were very expensive yachts, I've ordered Mr. Vigor's other book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by alan T. cleveland
My copy is now tattered, dog-eared, and well loved. This book entices me to dream. I can pick it up whenever and read, re-read, day dream. Love it.Published 9 months ago by AndyII
I have a question for the more experienced among. Which boats do you think the author missed? Which boats would you take out?
I'm just starting on this journey. Read more