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The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising Hardcover – December 7, 2006
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From the Back Cover
“Belongs in the bookshelf of every cruising vessel.”―Blue Water Sailing
“If you are serious about that extended voyage, read The Voyager’s Handbook.”―Sailing
“Every now and then a new voice emerges in the world of sailing literature that stands out, a voice that is both clear and of lasting quality. The appearance of such a new voice is something of an event, and that’s what we’d call the publication of The Voyager’s Handbook.”―Blue Water Sailing
This inspirational and comprehensive manual leads you step by step through every aspect of choosing, planning, and following the voyager’s life. Using three example boats representing three cruising lifestyles―Simplicity, Moderation, and Highlife―Beth Leonard helps make your bluewater dreams come true, whether you’re sailing on a shoestring or a CEO’s pension. Starting with the things you can’t do without―an enthusiastic crew, a seaworthy boat, and, of course, money―Leonard offers sage advice on how to select crewmembers who are truly committed to the voyage, how to choose the right boat for you, and how to find just the right approach to financing your voyage and making the most of every dollar spent.
Managing life from a floating home and keeping that home livable, seaworthy, and safe requires you to become, among other things, the ship’s purser, engineer, doctor, cook, and cruise director. You’ll discover how to prepare for these new roles and put necessary equipment and arrangements in place before you untie your docklines. This exquisitely detailed guide also helps you master the skills you’ll need to handle a boat at sea with a small crew, including
- Weather forecasting
- Passage planning
- Heavy-weather sailing
- Emergency management
- Midocean repairs
Complete with dozens of easy-to-use graphs and tables for quick reference, along with the hard-won wisdom of experienced cruisers, The Voyager’s Handbook is the ultimate resource for anyone who is planning, preparing for, or just dreaming about a great adventure on the high seas.
Since completing a three-year, 35,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe with her partner, Evans Starzinger, in 1995, Beth Leonard has lectured widely, written for leading sailing magazines, and outfitted a new 50-foot aluminum cutter aboard which she and Evans once again set sail in 1999. They logged an additional 50,000 miles at sea over the following six years, much of it in the world’s high latitudes, including Labrador, Iceland, Scotland, Cape Horn, and east through the Southern Ocean to Australia.
See the world from your boat
“A voyaging handbook with soul. Beth Leonard is a pleasure to read. No one else has captured the yin and yang of voyaging so well.”―Caribbean Compass
“Required reading. Beth Leonard is a fresh and authoritative voice.”―SAIL
“In her own journey, Beth Leonard has become not only a wonderful sailor, but also a fine teacher. I know this because I’ve learned so much from her.”―from the Foreword by Herb McCormick, Latitude 38 and Cruising World
"When other boats scurry back to their berths just ahead of the setting sun, you want to keep sailing. You want your tracks to be the only ones on a perfect sand beach of a deserted tropical island. You want to see the green flash, taste coconut milk from the husk, watch the fish dance at dusk, and share a feast with new friends from other cultures. This book can help you get there. It is written for coastal and limited offshore cruisers who want to make the transition to long-term voyaging. I have tried to capture everything I wish I had known on that June day when we first sailed out from under Newport Bridge.”―from the Prologue by Beth Leonard
About the Author
Beth A. Leonard has won awards from the Ocean Cruising Club and the Cruising Club of America. A popular writer, she lectures around the country. She and her husband have circumnavigated the globe twice under sail, logging 85,000 blue water miles.
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Top customer reviews
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Her comparison of cruising styles and the cost, technologies, pros and cons associated with different levels (simple, moderate, and highlife is also very good it helps to establish where you are or wanna be. What you can aford and what to focus on. And here she goes in great detail and provides alternatives which demonstrates her expertise. She knows what she's talking about. She gives great advice what to look for when buying or outfitting a sailing vessel.
I love the book. Its full of highlighted passages and bookmarks for later reference.
and YES I do recommend it to everybody who contemplates cruising and buying a sail boat.
It is not enough to simply have the romance in your heart and some experience and have read a few adventures of other sailors. No, you will not be prepared to voyage and your chances of success and real long term enjoyment will have the odds stacked against you.
I as so many others have found THIS BOOK, this one book alone, takes you by the hand, and leads you through the entire experience of the sailing life, right down to the smallest detail that you should think of now ideally rather than later.
Take the advice of many before you, that this book is an essential reference and should be one of the very first you own and read cover to cover, if you want to do more than be an arm chair sailor.
There is little romance of sailing in this book, but it is fun because of the personalities of the author and her mate. This book has information that will keep you safe, both with your budget before you go, and with your life itself once you leave, both very essential if you want the time and freedom later to simply relax and think about the romance of the sea.
Thanks very much Beth............... I owe you a debt of gratitude and hope we cross paths someday.
Also, the book is now ten years old and becoming a bit dated. Hopefully they will publish a new edition soon.
It deals with everything from the emotional and financial to the most basic equipment requirements for taking off on an extended period of long distance cruising.
My only reservation is that the standard that Ms. Leonard sets for the proper cruising vessel is so high. She is correct, for example, that ventilation is absolutely crucial for comfortable extended cruising, but most boats, even those that are designed for such cruising, are not up to her standard.
Still, as I contemplate taking off in the next 24 months, this book has become one of my favorite references.
I have a lot of sailing and cruising books and this one puts all the others to shame.
It's full of good info (from money issues, to outfitting, to passagemaking, to health issues abroad, and way more) backed up with the author's experience and data from other voyagers. Very complementary to other great cruising boat books, and really should be part of every serious cruiser's library. The information is good for both skipper and crew.
It's in a "detailed handbook" format, where you don't need to read it cover-to-cover in consecutive order to understand it... though that's how I read it. It's also a pretty easy style of writing... it was interesting enough I probably could have read it nonstop had I had a whole lot of time.