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Books, Videos and DVD's about learning to sail, comprehensive list with reviews, discount prices on new and used books.

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Before your first sailing trips, learning how to sail is essential. Sailing can be dangerous and could easily end in an injury. If injured you may need to contact a personal injury attorney Los Angeles. A lawyer could help you during an injury if you are having issues with your insurance company.

A great introduction to sailing for young children and their parents.

Start Sailing Right!: The National Standard for Quality Sailing Instruction
A reader from Acampo, CA United States
If sailing is a new sport for you then this is a "must-have" book. I have reviewed several how-to-sail books/pamplets and this book is by far the best. The illustrations are excellent (the best I've seen) and plentiful. The book is also very comprehensive. If you are an experienced sailor and are looking for a book to improve your racing skills, then this is not the a book for you. The book also has videos that go along with the text.

Learning to Sail: The Annapolis Sailing School Guide for Young Sailors of All Ages
Sailing increases in popularity from summer to summer, and practical instruction such as these two mariners provide is essential to the fully rigged library. From nautical jargon to life-preserving tips, Goodman and Brodie initiate novices into the currents of recreational voyaging, and their chalkboard of choice, the dinghy (a small one-mast, open boat), is, appropriately, the most often used in harbor classes. After viewing simple line drawings that explain how the sail, ropes, centerboard and tiller work together, readers then turn to the intricacies of tacking into the wind, running with it, or coming about. Reading this book before putting out for the first sortie will give any new captain steadier sea legs. Gilbert Taylor

Reviewer: Robert James from Atlanta
For the last 20 years, my student feedback has been very good. They like the pictures, the pace, and the level. The self tests at the end of the chapters help them get ready to take a very comprehensive written exam. By using this textbook, my pass rate on this exam is above 90%. Then they use and enjoy the practice water excercises to develop their water skills. Prior to using this book, my students felt very intimidated by the sailing mystic. This book is user friendly. Of all the textbooks that have been written on sailing, the US Coast Guard Auxillary picked and approved this text to be used in their courses. I believe their seal on the front cover says alot about the quality of the contents.
Sailing For DummiesŪ by J. J. Isler (Author), Peter Isler (Author)
Reviewer: A reader from Huntsville, AL USA
This is an excellent sailing textbook - as the cover states it's "A Reference for the Rest of Us!" That is, it can be used as a beginner's book and then kept for use as a reference manual. I have read and re-read this book several times and each time I re-read it, something I didn't understand or fully comprehend "jumps out at me" and I become a better sailor because of the information contained within and imparted by this book. Also, some people know their subject but are unable to teach others what they know. Both JJ and Peter not only know their subject, sailing, but are also very adept at transferring that knowledge to their readers, sailors and wannabe sailors!

Learn to Sail in a Weekend by John Driscoll
Reviewer: raskal77 (see more about me) from Mansfield Center, CT
This title is one of those lush photo-illustrated productions that Dorling Kindersley and other British publishers are famous for: the future of the book in the age of computer and television will be assured if this type of publishing becomes widespread. That said, there are a couple of caveats for the self-learner and beginner. The first is that the author does not clearly point out the distinction between sailing dinghies, that is, small racers or day-sailors without weighted keels or cabins, and keelboats, which are not covered. Many of the techniques and warnings found in the text do not apply to keelboats, such as pulling up your centerboard on different points of sail. Also, capsize on a keelboat is uncommon and the techniques for righting dinghies will simply not work if the boat hasn't already righted itself. And there is the usual problem of a British book using British terminology: in America the "kicking strap" is the "boom vang". The book is written from the point of view of a British instructor preparing beginners for dinghy racing, emphasizing racing techniques and specialized equipment (including clothing), but it's good to see the whole method laid out this way--few other books have done it as completely.
The Complete Sailor: Learning the Art of Sailing by David Seidman, Kelly Mulford (Illustrator)
Reviewer: Gregory Russell from Westchester County, NY
After sailing for 30 years, I was looking for a book for my children to use to give them a solid foundation. I ordered another 5 star book recommended by sailing schools, but ran across this one at the library.
This book is head and shoulders above the other. It covers all the basics in an easy to read style, and the huge number of detailed drawings are both beautiful and incredibly informative.
In addition to the basic stuff you need to know to sail a small boat, it also has a wealth of deeper information, about everything from bouyancy and balance, to boat construction and history.
I'm buying a copy for each of my kids, and recommending it to my sailing friends. As for the other books, I will probably either return them, or leave them to gather dust on a shelf.
The Handbook of Sailing by Bob Bond
Reviewer: William M. Clemens from Los Altos Hills, CA
Sort of a shorter, and lighter to carry, Chapman's, this is a comprehensive review of topics relevant to most sailing situations. A good book to start with and a helpful reference to have. Lots of good illustrations and pictures. Also, the construction/binding of the book is high quality, so it will survive being bounced around.
Learn to Sail by Dennis Conner, Michael Levitt, Chris Lloyd (Illustrator)
Reviewer: A reader
I'm a sailor and recently purchased this book as a refernce for my wife who is just getting into the sport.
We've found the book an excellent "learn to sail" guide. The text is well thought out and the diagrams are good. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in learning to sail.
The drawback to the book is Dennis Connor's constant references to his own sailing victories (there's one every few pages). He even brags about the shamefull incident where he found that the only way he could win back the Americas Cup from the Kiwis was to use a catamaran and a courtroom.
This aside, this is still a book worth buying.
DK Complete Sailing Manual by Steve Sleight, Truman Morris (Editor), Steve Steight
With a dedication that cites the lovely passage from "The Wind in the Willows" about how there's "nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats," the DK Complete Sailing Manual tacks into a welcoming breeze from the start. It's an unpretentious, simply written, well-organized (by color codes for easy referral, no less), and comprehensively illustrated instructional that starts with the basics and, step by understandable step, builds from there. Steve Sleight, a British National Champion racer, charts a course that beginners can quickly pick up and the more advanced can hold onto for ready reference. Emphasizing essential principles and techniques, he gets you into the boat, familiarizes you with both theory and practice, and then launches you safely with more than enough knowledge to keep you afloat. Before returning to port, he'll have you relatively ship-shape in knots, navigation, maintenance, safety, equipment, weather, and etiquette in vessels and situations ranging from one-person dinghies to multi-hulled yachts and calm lakes to high seas. "For those who catch the sailing bug, there is rarely a cure," he writes. Given this, the Manual comes through handily with the requisite life support. -Jeff Silverman
The Everything Sailing Book: Sail Away With Tons of Tips, Tricks, Lessons, and Helpful Hints That Cover Every Aspect of Getting Off the Dock (Everything Series) by Michael Smorenburg
Reviewer: chris from Miami, Florida
Awesome! Great book for your beginner as well as seasoned sailor! I bought this book for my wife who is an amateour sailor and she reads it all the time. Wonderful book for general knowledge and also some interesting trivia I had no idea about. Highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in sailing or going to be on a boat for a day out at sea or for any length of time.

Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 64th Edition : The Boating World's Most Respected Reference, Completely Updated & Revised with New Charts, Photographs & Illustrations: by Elbert Maloney
From Publishers Weekly This new edition of the classic reference used by boating schools and recommended by the Coast Guard Auxiliary covers every imaginable topic related to both powerboats and sailing ships, from emergency procedures and international signals at sea, to weather conditions, knots, navigation and much more. This heavy dose of information is presented in an easy-to-understand text and a user-friendly design that features sidebars, color and b&w illustrations, maps, etc. While the scope of the book may be more than a casual boater needs, the author assumes many readers are novices. For example, he says, "Among the most important of all piloting tools are ordinary pencils and erasers. Pencils should be neither too hard nor too soft ." More experienced sailors might know this, but a weekend boater may not think to bring one on board. The section on motors provides color photographs with labels designating each part. Appendix material includes a listing of such useful information as state registration offices, boating organizations and marine safety offices. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Chapman Piloting: Seamanship & Boat Handling (Chapman Piloting Seamanship and Boat Handling, 63rd Ed) by Elbert S. Maloney, Charles Frederic Chapman When Chapman Piloting lands on your doorstep--all 656 pages of it--it's easy to feel daunted. Have faith, sailor. Now in its 63rd edition, Charles Frederic Chapman's masterpiece is a boater's bible. Indeed, one customer raves, "if you could take a class called Boating 101, this would be the textbook." It's more than just a basic text, however; it's a complete curriculum of nautical knowledge, from knots to navigation, docking to distress calls, plus etiquette, protocol, and terminology for powerboaters and sailors alike. Accessible to the beginner, Chapman Piloting is an essential reference for even the most experienced sailor. A necessary component of any nautical library. Highly recommended. M. Stein
The Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere
Reviewer: Jon C. Paulus from Parma, OH
I reviewed "Annapolis" for Good Old Boat magazine. The review, and an excerpt from the book is in the July/August issue. The book stands as the yardstick by which other sailing references must be judged. For this new edition, Rousmaniere did an excellent job of gender neutralizing the language without any awkwardness. He talks about "forehandedness", a state of being prepared for whatever the sea throws at one. This book is the best written resource to help one obtain that state. The book will be instantly accessible to the beginner. It will remain a good reference for the most experienced sea dog. Rousmaniere uses a lot of little tricks to help the reader retain the information in the book. While the book is chock full of facts, his love for sailing and the romance of the sea shows through as well. If you want to improve your sailing skills and knowledge, buy this book! --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The New Book of Sail Trim by Ken Textor (Editor)
Practical Boat Owner, March 1996 is fair to say that there can hardly be any owner whose sailing would not benefit from these articles. Because each is of modest, 'magazine', length, they form a book into which one can dip when one has ten or fifteen minutes to spare. That makes it easier to assimilate the knowledge and experience that has been presented by so many experts. It is worth its price.
Book Description
From the pages of Sail Magazine, comes the first new anthology in nearly 15 years on the popular subject of sail trim. Withh 44 articles that have never before appeared in book form, The New Book of Sail Trim provides concise, easy-to-understand instruction in every facet of sails and sail handling.

Learn to Sail! with Multimedia! by Linda S Cullum
No review available
Learn To Sail & Get That Extra Knot, DVD
No review available
Sailing With Confidence, DVD
Description A great learn to sail program designed to give those with little or no sailing experience the knowledge and skills needed to sail with confidence. Expert instructor Bud Foulke teaches the basics of getting started, intermediate helmsmanship and maneuvers and advanced heavy weather sailing and flying spinnakers.
Annapolis:Daysailers Sailing, DVD
Description Featuring world renonwned sailing expert John Rousmaniere. In this program, you will learn now to sail and enjoy the most popular of all sailboats - the keel daysailers and small keel sailing boats. Beginning with hull design, this program covers getting underway, boat handling and includes an introduction to the sport of sailboat racing. This program is packed with information inlcuding detailed close-ups, helpful graphics and a strong emphasis on safety. Subjects covered include, steering, tacking and jibing, how to shape the sails, life jacket type and use, crew organization, the spinnaker, essential racing skills, navigation rules and man overboard rescue.
Annapolis:Heavy Weather Sailing, DVD
Description Featuring world renonwned sailing expert John Rousmaniere. In this program, John Rousmaniere, sailing aboard a Hinckley Sou'wester sloop in the Caribbean shows the modern techniques and equipment for mastering tough conditions so that the experience becomes more enjoyable and less fearful. Maneuvers are demonstrated with detailed close-ups and animated graphics. Subjects covered include boat and crew preparation, how to avoid falling overboard, storm tactics, heaving to and drogue deployment, trimming and shortening sails in fresh, strong and gale winds. Plus exciting footage from the Whitbread Round the World Race.
Sailing in Heavy Weather, DVD
Go offshore aboard a 40ft. sailboat for an exciting look at heavy weather sailing techniques and tactics. Join Warren Luhrs, Steve Dashew, John Neal and other top sailors as they cover steering in large seas, heavy air sail trim, heavy weather sailing techniques and tactics, personal protection and storm tactics.
Storm Tactics DVD
Reviewer: A viewer from San Diego, California Bought this as an Xmas gift for my partner and it has cost me a bundle. We both found it so encouraging he asked me to buy more copies for several friends who are getting ready to go cruising.The Pardeys not only discuss their ideas of what to do in a storm, but also try to put it all in perspective - taking a lot of the scare out of being at sea. I liked seeing some of the ideas used to secure gear inside boats, liked their detailed discussion of storm sails. Though they mention thier voyage around Cape Horn, they show that with planning they always had loads of searoom around them when they hit the worst storms. Though it would have been great to see shots of thier boat battling around the Horn, I know this would have meant hiring Heliocopters, camera men etc. This program is definitely not Hollywood, nor Discovery channel, it is good solid how to stuff. Hope to get to one of their seminars if they ever do one in our area.
Storm Tactics DVD Preview

It's obvious the Pardeys are not actors, but then I wouldn't want to take much advice about crossing oceans from actors would you? It's also obvious they made these programs on a budget. But did I enjoy them? Yup. I learned a lot of new ideas from and felt like I was sitting on board their boat seeing things through their eyes. I'd like to meet these two folks but this is probably the closest I'll ccome. Some of what I learned- some good ideas for setting up ground tackle, great stuff on their instant spinnaker pole arrangement, good stuff about storing gear well.

This wasn't a guide for going cruising though, so I docked it one star - on the other hand, combined with their great books, it works pretty darned well.

Annapolis:Cruising Under Sail, DVD
Featuring world renonwned sailing expert John Rousmaniere. This is the most complete and detailed instructional DVD ever made about sailing, from the first moment you first climb aboard, to dropping anchor. While this program deals with a voyage made under sail, many of the techniques demonstrated apply equally to power boaters, to whom seamanship and navigation skills are as important as to the sailor. Every maneuver and technique is demonstrated clearly with plenty of close ups and action replays. Subjects covered include, basic navigation and planning a cruise, sail handling and sail trim, anchoring and docking, steering and boat handling, safety at sea, what to wear, moving around on deck, knots and rop work and much more.
Start Sailing Right, part 1 (1998)
For those who do not know the difference between Port & Starboard, this video is an absolute must. Seemingly over-simplified at times, this video is a perfect introduction to the basics of sailboat safety & function. Part 1 & 2 go hand in hand and seem to cover all the basics, from defining all the parts of a sailboat to the actual art of sailing. Best of all, the "Keep it Simple" approach allows anyone, even children, to learn all the necessary information required for safe, simple sailing!
Start Sailing Right, part 2 (1998)
In Part 2 you will learn the skills and techniques to sail upwind and downwind and how to trim your sails to sail well. You will also learn to judge weather and currents plus how to safely leave shore and return.
One of the most valuable parts of this video is the section on sailing drills. These drills help you to learn to sail better and to sharpen your skills.
We recommend that you learn to sail on the water with a qualified instructor in a US Sailing/Red Cross program. The Start Sailing Right videos will be a valuable adjunct to your on water instruction. Watch them before your course to increase your learning rate when you go out on a boat. Also, you can return to these videos long after your instruction for a refresher course to review sailing technique and safety procedures.
Part 2 Contents: 1) Maneuvering Upwind & Downwind 2) Weather & Currents 3) Sailing Well 4) Leaving & Returning 5) Sailing Drills.
Learn to Sail (1997)
Reviewer: Christopher M Mayer from Belmont, CA
I coudn't stand this video. From the get go he stutters, pauses, "ah"s and "um"s continuously. The text is not scripted, nor is it conversational. I think he had stage fright in front of the camera. He needs to learn how to speak. As a result, I could not listen any more, and certainly nothing useful was absorbed of the footage I did watch. The intro cut scenes, every 1 - 2 seconds, made no sense and was unnerving. Although there was some good camera footage here and there, it was edited poorly. He may be a good sailor, but he is certainly a lousy narrator.
Sailing With Confidence (1992)
Reviewer: A viewer from Massachusetts
Sailing with confidence is an easy to understand sailing video that gives you the essentials of sailing. It is divided into 30 minute sections which makes it easy to come back to or to watch it at your own pace. Bud Foulke does an excellent job teaching in an easy to understand vocabulary. I would strongly recomend this video to anyone interested in sailing.
Improve Your Sailing Skills (1992)
No review available.
Sailing in Heavy Weather (1997)
Go offshore aboard a 40ft. sailboat for an exciting look at heavy weather sailing techniques and tactics. Join Warren Luhrs, Steve Dashew, John Neal and other top sailors as they cover steering in large seas, heavy air sail trim, heavy weather sailing techniques and tactics, personal protection and storm tactics.
Heavy Weather Sailing: Volume 2 (1992)
Reviewer: A viewer from Kalamazoo, Michigan
This 55 minute vieo (1987) covers the basics of heavy weather sailing. It includes boat and crew preparation, how to use jacklines and typical storm tactics. The heavy weather drills are actually carried out at sea to add a sense of realism. However the video does not cover all known storm tactics and should not be thought of as a comprehensive review but rather a sampling of options. I recommend this video to sailors who want to see a sampling of heavy weather, but not as replacement for extensive reading and research.
The Practical Mariner's Book of Knowledge: 420 Sea-Tested Rules of Thumb for Almost Every Boating Situation by John Vigor
Reviewer: geoff beck from Australia
having already read this book , I found it was filled with wisdom from the introduction to the very end , being on the water a lot for a living myself this book pointed out some of the more obvious rules of thumb that apply too mariners. And some very good ones i'd never heard of , but as it states in the book " good advice is so very hard to come by when it comes to rules of the ocean , and the black box theory is some thing i will do my utmost to adhere to as it is all very true done with the witty sence of humor that would appeal to more than most fisherman allthe way to seasoned sailors its a very handy book , A must for all serious Boaties !
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Boating and Sailing, Frank Sargeant
You're no idiot, of course. You can recite dialogue from every episode of Gilligan's Island, cook a delicious gourmet fish dinner, and even bait your own hook without feeling squeamish. But when it comes to boating, you don't know the bow from the stern. Don't abandon ship yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Boating and Sailing teaches you everything you need to know to get your feet wet in this exciting recreational sport.
Day Sailing (1999)
Reviewer: A viewer from Minneapolis, MN
This is a cute little tape for beginner sailers and great for teenagers. If you know anything at all about sailing you might find it a little to easy. Strictly for beginners.
Boatings Top 60 Tips:Boat Handling, DVD
Description (This is about powerboats)
Produced in association with Boating Magaine. Learn how to handle your boat in open water and close quarters. Covers boat handling for inboards/outboards and entering or departing your slip or dock under different wind and current conditions. Plus handling tips in bad weather, narrow channels, rough inlets, following seas, head-on seas and running in the trough. Discover how handling your boat in a crowded marina, busy narrow channel or rough inlet can be much easier and safer.
Boating Basics, DVD
The complete encyclopedia of boating for beginners, covering the information used in State Boating courses in most states. This DVD covers choosing the right boats, boating laws, navigation rules and aids, getting underway and how to come back safely from each outing. A perfect program that will provide you with a complete introduction to boating.
The Encyclopedia of Boating Tips, DVD
Reviewer: A viewer from Perryville, Missouri
So much information, and so much of it is practical stuff... the kinds of things you'd only learn by doing it wrong the first time! We thoroughly enjoyed picking out chapters here and there that interested us, even though we are only "arm-chair" boaters. We especially enjoyed the trip to the Exumas -- a place we will probably never get to, but still love to dream. This would be a great gift for anyone who has a boat.. or even dreams of having one.
U.S. Coast Guard License Boating Course Instructional Training Video - Get Your Captains License! (2003), DVD
The best DVD to help you to obtain the internationally recognized U.S. Coast Guard License. Covers the essentials of the license test, the complete rules of the road, advanced piloting and much more. Invaluable for getting your license.

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