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Top 12 Sailing Books to Read in 2022

After our list of the best sailing movies, we decided to bring you another one – The top 12 sailing books every sailor should read in 2022.

List of the Top 12 Sailing Books:

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12. Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea

Most of you have probably heard of an incredible and extremely life-threatening situation world-famous, experienced sailor, Steve Callahan, endured. It’s no surprise that his story of survival a 76-day-long battle for life on an inflatable raft became a best-selling book and a thrilling movie we, like many others, have already written about. So are you more a book lover or a movie enthusiast? If you haven’t already read a book and/or seen the movie, make sure you do as you won’t regret it.

Author: Steve Callahan

11. Red Sky in Mourning

Your life can change in a minute so live each day to the fullest! This is what we often think or hear from others when we are faced with a change or a problem in our lives. But can we really be aware of how things can actually go wrong until we experience it first-hand? A 41-year-old, after sailing right into a terrible storm, woke up to find out her fiance was gone and the land was nowhere in sight. This is an incredible story of endurance and her physical and mental strength. Moreover, it is an authentic example of how a paradise can easily turn into a living hell. However, it also serves as a reminder to cherish every single moment and that our life is worth fighting for.

Author: Tami Oldham Ashcraft

Red Sky in Mourning - Sailing Book
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10. The Lonely Sea and the Sky

The Lonely Sea and the Sky is the complete autobiography of Sir Francis Chichester, the first and the fastest man to singlehandedly circumnavigate the globe. When he was 18, Chichester emigrated to New Zealand to work as a shepherd, lumberjack, and gold prospector. Soon he qualified as a pilot and started his most famous solo flight from England to Australia. Despite having been diagnosed with cancer, Chichester became the first person to sail around the world solo from west to east via the great capes. Our list of Top 10 sailing books couldn’t be complete without this great book.

Author: Francis Chichester

The Lonely Sea and the Sky - Sailing Book

9. The Annapolis Book of Seamanship

Since the publication of the widely hailed first edition in 1983, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship has set the standard by which a sailing book is measured. Used throughout America as a textbook in sailing schools and Power Squadrons, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship thoroughly and clearly covers the fundamentals and advanced skills of modern sailing. Over half the book has been revised; old topics and features have been updated, and many new ones have been introduced. What’s more, the design has been modernized, and many colour illustrations have been added. As big and detailed as Annapolis is, the wealth of technical information (including dozens of step-by-step instructions) is presented here in a unique way; it’s both useful and easy to read. This is because John Rousmaniere and artist Mark Smith bring to Annapolis decades of experience both as sailors and as professional communicators.

Author: John Rousmaniere

8. Leap of Faith

How many of us have dreamt of selling everything we own and just go sail around the world? Well, this couple did exactly that! This sailing book tells a story about ultimate freedom and can be a really helpful guide if you ever make that decision. The book includes tales from the couple’s travels, places they had visited, rich social commentary and a financial plan that some of you might find useful. If you want to find out what’s it like to live in paradise, this sailing book is for you.

Author: Ed Robinson

Leap of Faith - Sailing Book

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7. Left for Dead

When Nick Ward was asked to join the crew of the Grimalkin to sail in the Fastnet Race, he felt like all his dreams came true. This 600-mile course of the UK’s Fastnet Race started with perfect weather, but within two days the deadliest storm in the history of modern sailing had blasted through the Irish Sea. This storm took the lives of fifteen sailors. Nick Ward was left alone on his boat to face down a storm that has become legendary among sailors and racing fans. Left for Dead is one of those stories that deserves to be on our list of best sailing books.

Author: Nick Ward

6. The Curve of Time

This book is a true story of a single mother who became a widow in 1927 and packed her five children onto a sailboat to explore, summer after summer, the coastal waters of British Columbia. Her husband went on a solo camping trip and never returned. She decided not to sell their boat and went on a summer trip with the rest of her family. She was a navigator, skipper and engineer leading her crew/family through some bad storms, tides, and cougars and showing her children how to love and respect nature.

Author: M. Wylie Blanchet

5. Godforsaken Sea

Godforsaken Sea is a book about the 16 solo sailboat racers of The Vendee Globe race. This solo race is famous for taking sailing to another level and it took part across the Southern Ocean. It is pretty obvious that those 16 competitors are not „holiday sailors“ – they have been preparing for this race for months and they even hired some sleep specialists to achieve better results. Godforsaken Sea is a great adventure book that definitely deserves to be on our list of top 10 sailing books.

Author: Derek Lundy

4. Once Is Enough

This timeless classic is an exciting true story of survival against all odds. Miles Smeeton and his wife Beryl sailed their 46-ft Bermuda ketch, Tzu Hang, in the wild seas of Cape Horn, following the tracks of the old sailing clippers through the world’s most notorious waters. This is an exciting true story of survival against all odds, but it is also one of the most thoughtful sailing books which provides hard-learned lessons for other intrepid sailors.

Author: Miles Smeeton

3. The Long Way

The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier‘s own incredible story of his participation in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. For seven months, the veteran seafarer battled storms, doldrums, gear failures, knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the finish, Moitessier pulled out of the race and sailed on for another three months before ending his 37,455-mile journey in Tahiti. Not once had he touched land and he explains his whole story in one of the most amazing sailing books ever.

Author: Bernard Moitessier

2. Maiden Voyage

Challenged by her German-Swiss father, an 18-year-old New York City bicycle messenger in 1988 became the first American woman, and the youngest person, to sail alone around the world. In this jaunty account of her journey, she veers between the perils of solo sailing, her relationships with her separated parents and the death of her mysterious mother. Aebi, writing with freelancer Brennan, reveals her lack of sailing knowledge and experience, describes the heavy seas and weather she endured, her numerous problems with malfunctioning equipment, the countries, people and cats she encountered and a sympathetic French-Swiss whose boat sometimes accompanied her own. The story is so compelling that sailing enthusiasts will read avidly on to the triumphant finish.

Author: Tania Aebi

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1. Sailing Alone Around the World

This sailing memoir was written by a seaman and an adventurer Joshua Slocum, who was the first person to sail around the world alone and documents his epic solo circumnavigation. An international best-seller, the book became a great influence and inspiration to travellers from each corner of the globe. Additionally, Slocum is an example that through determination, courage and hard work any dream can easily become a reality. Apart from being an exceptional mariner, Slocum is an equally talented narrator, as he depicts events which are not only entertaining to read but also hold great historical and cultural significance considering the time of his journey. Well written and engaging to the very last page, Sailing Alone Around the World is one of the best sailing books ever written.

Author: Joshua Slocum

4 thoughts on “Top 12 Sailing Books to Read in 2022”

  1. Ernest Hemingway “The Old Man and the Sea”

    One of the best works about the sea and the search for harmony with the world around. For this small story, the author’s was not only honored the Pulitzer Prize in 1953, but a year later received the Nobel Prize. The story is significantly different from other works of the master – it is philosophical, simple, slow, and at the same time incredibly tense.

    Calm and storm, good luck and defeat, happiness and grief – all this old fisherman Santiago saw more than once, but at the end of his days, fate prepared him for a new trial. He faces a grueling battle with a giant fish, from which there are only two outcomes – victory or death.

    You can not put a sink to your ear, the smell and sound of the sea will be felt while reading this story.

  2. The old man and the sea is great fiction but not sure it compares with The Long Way or some of the other non fiction books about solo sailing. Not sure Papa Hemingway was much of a solo Sailer, but then I guess Jack London wrote some great stories about adventure in Alaska/ Northwest Territories without ever leaving San Francisco…

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