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Books about navigation, with GPS or paper and sextant. Discount prices on the best navigation aids available. See also our bookstore sections on GPS Handbooks and GPS Units for sale.

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Cruising Fundamentals by Harry Munns, et al
Reviewer: ed carter from Melbourne, Florida
It is a big step for an intermediate sailor to go to the Caribbean and bareboat charter a 40' vessel. We use this book to take the intermediate sailor to this level. Cruising Fundamentals contains a vast amount of detailed information and yet it is organized in logical steps to bring students to the desired level of competance without overwhelming them. This book contains many excellent photographs and sketches. The basic navigation information is excellent without going too deep and the review questions are good for self evaluation (am I really getting it?)
I particularly like the way systems are presented and compared. For example, the House DC system vs the shore power AC system, diesel engines vs gasoline engines featuring the differences and types of cooking fuels discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
This is an all round excellent book that can be read straight through or used as a reference. I understand the second edition is in the works and I look forward to getting it.
The Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere, Mark Smith (Illustrator)
Reviewer: Carl Brookins from Roseville, Minnesota
For me, a recreational sailor of over twenty years, this book has been like the bible. I've used it for voyage preparation, to teach new sailors and, when I wrote my sailing mystery novel, Inner Passages, this book was my first and primary resource!
Sometimes, late at night, nostalgic for the sensation of a sailboat deck underfoot once more, I pull it off the shelf and just dip inside. It evokes memories, reminds me of trips gone by, and I cam almost smell the sea air. This latest edition, replete with fine illustrations, should be a primary addition to any sailor's library.
The Sextant Handbook by Bruce Bauer
Reviewer: Yves Arrouye from Sunnyvale, California
Sextants are bautiful instruments that let us determine our position by observing stars and planets. They are very precise optical instruments, and today, the least expensive new metal sextant costing around $... Such a precious and expensive instrument needs to be cared for properly.
This book contains very helpful information on how to adjust (or how not to adjust, to avoid damage) your sextant to ensure accurate sightings. The book also covers what can be done to continue to use a sextant after damage, including what repairs can be done by its user. It covers the use and storage of the sextant at sea, gives good tips on how to get good sights and times, and describes a number of sextant types, apparels, and accessories, along with their pros and cons. It also contains interesting information about the history of celestial navigation. I bought my sextant new, but there is a really good section on buying a used sextant. Cmd. Bauer also gives numerous contact information for sextant manufacturers, importers, and retailers, though I haven't checked if they are still up to date. At the very least they will be a good guide for the prospective buyer of a new or used sextant.
The pricing information on the book is outdated, and so are some of the things that are described, like Davis' prism to ensure verticality of the sextant, which is not manufactured or distributed anymore. But it is really well written, full of good information, and a very nice companion to your sextant, or a good guide before you buy one, used or new. Obviously, Cmd. Bauer knows what he writes about, and how to present his knowledge in a compelling manner.
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 !
How to Read a Nautical Chart : A Complete Guide to the Symbols, Abbreviations, and Data Displayed on Nautical Charts by Nigel Calder
Book Description
The best handbook on chart usage, from one of the most trusted names in boating
In 2000, the U.S. government ceased publication of Chart No. 1, the invaluable little book that generations of mariners have consulted to make sense of the complex system of signs, symbols, and graphic elements used in nautical charts. Now Chart No. 1 is not just reborn but expanded and improved in How to Read a Nautical Chart. The demand for a book like this has never been greater.
Arranged and edited by Nigel Calder, one of today's most respected boating authors­­and containing four-color illustrations throughout­­How to Read a Nautical Chart presents a number of original features that help readers make optimum use of the data found in Chart No. 1, including a more intuitive format, crucial background information, international chart symbol equivalents, electronic chart symbology, and thorough explanations of the practical aspects of nautical chart reading.
Chapman Piloting: Seamanship & Boat Handling (Chapman Piloting Seamanship and Boat Handling, 63rd Ed) by Elbert S. Maloney, Charles Frederic Chapman
Reviewer: thomn from Princeton, New Jersey
I just started in the world of boating and really was quite clueless to the whole terminology used. I have since read about 3 books and find that I use Chapman's the most. The others were good to get my feet wet, but Chapman's is the one I actually use consistenly. Easy to understand and really the only reference / learning book I have found that covers every aspect of boating I needed to learn. Excellent purchase and I would suggest it to anyone who is just starting out. Can't imagine learning all this without it...
Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook: A Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors by Nigel Calder
Reviewer: Ron Chappell from Colorado
Ordinarily,I would not get too excited about another new cruising book,even one by so eminent an author as Calder, whose previous work: Boatowner's Mechanical And Electrical Manual, has become an icon on both sides of the pond. While the cruising genre is a particular favorite of mine, recent offerings seem to have grown a bit redundant for those of us striving to keep abreast of the field.
This book of Calder's is a whole new ball game.
First of all: It's a very big book both physically, and in terms of it's diverse subject matter. At just under six hundred pages in an 8 ˝ x 11inch format, it is not something I would refer to as a "handbook" unless speaking to a gorilla. The word "encyclopedic" springs to mind, as it is truly monumental in scope and execution...
McGraw-Hill did a commendable job of putting it all together. It looks like it might last, even in the marine environment where it will most assuredly find a home. It features a water resistant cover and flexible spine, designed to lie flat when opened, a wonderful feature on a pitching chart table, far at sea, where information is scarce and time of the essence.
It covers nearly everything. It covers it in exquisite detail. It covers it in a manner anyone can understand. There are chapters relating to most any conceivable contingency a cruiser might run in to, from boat selection, equipage, and maintenance, to the more esoteric areas of daily life on a cruising sailboat (and much more than I wanted to know about navigational history).
Calder remains the quintessential "systems" man and his section on surveying a prospective purchase, with it's attendant checklist, is, alone, worth the price of the book. The section on weather and prediction should be required reading for every television forecaster in the country. There are up to date chapters on shipboard health, and disease prevention criteria for every sector of the world. Nearly every page is clearly illustrated, and at the end of each technical chapter a "worksheet" so that you may evaluate your own vessel or system. Here is a man not afraid to infuse his material with the very latest in technological know how, even though it may at some point appear dated. For the mathematically inclined there are charts, graphs and formulas enough to satisfy the most gifted. And all this, is just the tip of the iceberg.
I have read this book cover to cover and word for word (it took a very long time). Is it the proverbial "One Book Cruising Library" - the definitive work on the subject?
I think it may well be.
Annapolis:Sailboat Navigation
Description
Featuring world renonwned sailing expert John Rousmaniere. This program teaches you step-by-step how to find your way with classic dead reckoning piloting and today's electronic navigation instruments. Includes clear demonstrations on the water and in a simulated navigator's station in a Coast Guard certified navigation school. Includes detailed close-ups, helpful graphics and imaginative presentations of how objects appear on the chart and water, in good and bad visibility. Subjects covered include, the chart and compass, GPS, radar for navigating and avoiding collisions, the navigation rules, finding your way in fog and at night, taking and plotting bearings, allowing for tidal current, tips and tricks for quick decisions.
Shiphandling for the Mariner by Daniel H. MacElrevey
From Book News, Inc.
A guide for working pilots and masters of ships to the routine maneuvers required for docking, undocking, and shiphandling in restricted waters, and other situations. Emphasizes directional stability, shallow water effects, squat, and aids such as variable pitch propulsion, electronic reference instruments, and tractor tugs. The third edition includes new material on training, voyage planning, bridge team training, and bridge resource management. First published in 1983 and revised in 1988. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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