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4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 77 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 94 reviews
on March 17, 2007
Terrific book which finally made it clear to me why I had been ground into the dust refitting an older boat; namely, the enormous number of jobs and the huge amount of labour required to refit a 20 year old boat, even if in moderately good condition.

Table 4-5, page 117, lists desired upgrades for three styles of offshore voyagers - simplicity, moderation and highlife. Their costs and labour are shown in detail in Chapter 10, Putting it All Together From Refit Plan to Balanced Boat, pages 248-266.

There is also a real world FOUR YEAR refit example and information on what was left off going from Leonard's Silk to Hawk.

This is NOT in the first edition, which for me makes the second edition the only choice.

This book is as necessary as Hal Roth's How to Sail Around the World and Nigel Calder's Mechanical and Electrical Manual and Cruising Handbook
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on May 3, 2013
I like that Beth doesn't take sides or exclaims this or that is the best. She puts things in relative terms e.g. "that worked best for us or our cruising style". Its a very practice oriented book. Easy to read, well structured. I love the check lists, the comparison charts.
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.
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on January 25, 2009
As Slocum and Nate Heffeschoff brought us the romance of sailing, and the Hiscock's told about details related mostly to wooden sailboats and seamanship, and the Pardey's are living examples of the purity of sailing, BETH Leonard has taken probably thousands of hours of painstaking research and personal experience, interviews of hundreds of other sailors, equipment manufacturers, analysis of industry studies, psychology, modern day websites and everything in between and things you may never have thought of and brought them all together in this ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE AND USE reference and guide for sailors or would be sailors.

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.

Allan L
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on September 8, 2014
IS there a way to give an item more than five stars? This book deserves it. Chapter 1, composition of successful crews, in one page was worth the price of the book for me. The author explores the reasons behind some 55 crews who voyaged successfully and discusses Critical Success Factors... This weekend I told my wife about my dream, and her reaction was exactly what Beth Leonard predicted... Oh boy talk about psychological counseling for talking to your significant other about a voyage!
Great Beth, thanks for the chapter! Marriage saver! Crew maker!
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on September 29, 2014
I certainly got a lo out of the book as Beth is very thorough. You can tell she has lived through it and wants to help so not everyone else has to go through the same.

I am more of a study and go figure it out. At times her thoroughness seemed a bit much for me so I just skimmed over parts. More than anything it taught me that everyone will have a method that they found to work for them.

It's really nice that she does some comparisons of types of sailors (simplicity, moderation, high life). I found myself more along the lines of the simplicity.

Really worth while if you look to be/live on a sailboat. Otherwise you will feel like you are reading a textbook. Which for me was just fine. I will definitely use it as a reference in the future.
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on November 6, 2014
Very comprehensive guide to preparing your boat and yourself to go voyaging. If you dream of leaving the docks and cruising the world in a boat, start here. My wife and I plan to spend a year cruising in a few years and this book has given me much to think about and much more confidence that our dream is achievable, the planning we need to do to get there and the lifetsyle that we can expect when we do.
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on October 13, 2016
This is everything you could every want to know about cruising - all professionally written and exquisitely detailed. It's written from a womans perspective, which is fricking awesome because cruising is just as much (or more) about relationships, than boats (and I'm a guy).

I have a lot of sailing and cruising books and this one puts all the others to shame.
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on January 1, 2015
This is indeed like the bible of cruising. It covers everything you need to know about long-term voyaging. The author Beth and her husband Evans are two type A personalities with originally a background in consulting. So their experience is very analytical, data based, and relatively impartial. This was perfect for me, and is in stark contrast to many other sailing books where the author writes based on only his personal experiences and biases.

The charts and tables in the book present valuable data, and they surveyed other cruisers to get data on dozens or hundreds of other boats. The middle of the book gets a little slow and covers more commonsense material (like how to pack small spaces efficiently) that I felt I could skim over. But the first 1/3 of the book and last 1/3 are chock full of great reading.

The best chapter in this book for me was "Chapter 3 - A Bluewater-Capable Yacht". They did a good job of putting into perspective the debate on what kind of boat you need to cross oceans, and what features are important. Yet they still managed to be relatively impartial and gathered data from dozens of different cruising boats to help you make your decision.
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on February 26, 2015
I've spent the last few years working through the sailing section at my local library. Over that time, I've read dozens of technical sailing books, many of them quite good, and more than a few targeted at the same audience as this one. I bought this book because it wasn't available to me, even through Inter-Library Loan. After reading it cover-to-cover, I'm amazed that no library in Minnesota has a copy. It's excellent, and clearly belongs in the top tier of sailing-related books that I've read. It's well-researched, well-written, well-organized, and well-though-out, and a bargain at only $26 for the hardcover. When and if I can finally afford to buy a boat and voyage somewhere, this book will be one of my major references.
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on June 19, 2016
I'm a few chapters in and the book is a wealth of easily understood knowledge.

Only criticism is on the kindle version (and I have tried the PC desktop app as well) the graphs are very poor resolution/quality and I cannot zoom in to be able to read them, so things like the stability curves, etc are illegible (I have tried zooming, but that changes text size and not image).
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