Sailing Texas Book Store
Learning to Sail

Sailing Texas home page

Home Buying a Sailboat Learn to Sail Racing Rules Sailboat Racing Navigation
Repair & Maintenance Cruising Catamarans Racing Cats Kids Books

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

To add an item to your shopping cart click on the buy from Amazon button on the left. To read more reviews, learn more about the book, or see if used ones are available without adding it to your cart, click on the title above the review. Close the window to return here. If you can't find the book you want in one of our Bookstore Sections, use the search box at the bottom.

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 Dummies´┐Ż 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 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.
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 & Boat Handling (Chapman Piloting Seamanship and Boat Handling, 68th 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.
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.

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.
Can't find it here? Use this to search Amazon!
In Association with

Home Buying a Sailboat Learn to Sail Racing Rules Sailboat Racing Navigation
Repair & Maintenance Cruising Catamarans Racing Cats Kids Books