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Sailboat Electrics Simplified by Don Casey
Reviewer: Gerald Siu from New York, New York
An outstanding book. I myself knew absolutely nothing about electricity when I first bought this book - although obviously it didn't make me an expert, it nonetheless taught me what I needed to know to start modifying my boat's electrical systems. I admit that I am biased - Don Casey is one of my favorite sailing authors - but if you are a novice and need to upgrade your boat's electrics, this is the book to get.

Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair by Don Casey
Reviewer: A reader from Cedar Ridge, California
This is an excellent book for someone who knows nothing about fiberglass boat repair. It starts off with a brief discussion of the three major sealant types (polysulfide, polyurethane and silicone) and when to use each. Other sections cover the different types of resin, epoxy choices, etc. etc. Excellent information when trying to decide which of the gazillion products to purchase in the boating catalogs. Major sections include Leaks (finding and fixing, installing deck hardware), Restoring the Gloss (polishing and scratch repair), Deck Repairs (stress cracks, voids, nonskid surfaces, and teak decks), Laminate Repair (fiberglass layup, types of resins, epoxy), Core Problems (wet core, stiffening), Hull Repairs (gouges, blisters, impact damage), Keel and Rudder Damage (centerboard pivots, weeping keels, etc.) This little book is not afraid to tackle big projects--the Core Problems section for example shows the repair of a huge 2-foot diameter section of rotted core. The book makes it sound easy, but I'd rather not think about that much work. The section on gelcoat--what it is, how it is manufactured, and how to keep it looking good as long as possible--is by itself worth the price of the book.

Sailboat Refinishing by Don Casey
Reviewer: mdwyer17 from Chesapeake Bay
Another crystal clear Don Casey book. Explains painting, varnishing, surface prep, brushes, solvents, sanding, basic gelcoat, fixing small blisters, painting the mast, applying the name, fixing non-skid surfaces, fixing crazing and alligatoring, and bottom painting. If I screw it up now, it won't be Casey's fault :)!

Inspecting the Aging Sailboat by Don Casey
Reviewer: Brad Shinn (see more about me) from Seattle, Washington
I used this book in combination with another to really understand the boat systems and make an informed judgement. Are those cracks in the gelcoat serious? How do I know if the tiller attachment is a weak design? Casey helps you understand how to make a judgement about critical components from a novice/lay point of view. I found the book a very good resource.

This Old Boat by Don Casey
Reviewer: Conrad B. Senior from Easton, Conneticut
I think I have over a hundred books on sailing and boating. "This Old Boat" is my most recent addition, which I bought simultaneously with another of Casey's books "Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair". I consider them to be two of the most important books for sailors that are boat owners.
One can take two routes with boats, buying new and paying a fortune, or going the inexpensive route and doing the work yourself. There is something to be said for each. I'm a sailor, I don't like working on boats. I had my fill as a child working on my Dad's boat. Nevertheless, I'm presently engaged in refitting an awesome older boat to modern standards. I love every bit of it.
Casey's books are essential references for me. I've managed to pick things up from magazines and working on other boats over the years, but I still found these books not only insightful and powerful motivators for me. One job that I have been reluctant to do, a deck modification project has suddenly become do-able for me. Reading his book made it clear to me that these jobs are not as hard as they first seem to be. It is difficult to cut up a nice looking deck, but if you plan the project right, you can transform your deck layout for single-handed sailing, fix a de-lamination problem and a multitude of deck leaks all at one time.
I strongly recommend this book and his Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair

Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats: A Step-by-Step Guide for Buyers and Owners by Henry C. Mustin
Reviewer: Brad Shinn from Seattle, Washington
I used this and another, more detailed book, to complete my own survey on an inexpensive boat with a measure of confidence. I felt that I could gauge the safety and useability of all the major systems of the boat within it safe, does it work properly, etc.
I didn't always understand the why behind some analyses, but the average person can easily use the book to a) perform a basic survey on an inexpensive boat, or b) winnow the acceptable from the unaccptable before paying a professional to complete a thorough survey.

Canvaswork and Sail Repair by Don Casey
Book Description
The skills required for top-notch canvaswork are astonishingly few, and canvas's potential to protect your boat and enhance your enjoyment of it is practically limitless. Here is all you need to tackle virtually any canvaswork project: sails and sailcovers, flags, dodgers, ditty bags, cushion covers, and awnings--including Biminis. It's clean, safe, and risk-free--and you'll save a bunch of money and get exactly what you want in the process.

Understanding Rigs and Rigging by Richard Henderson, Ted Brewer
Reviewer: J. Mark Lane from Mamaroneck, New York
I have a fairly large collection of sailing books, and this is one of the few that has become worn from use. I guess I've probably read the whole book at least five times, reading and re-reading various chapters as questions occur to me. The book is surprisingly readable, given what could be an overly technical or difficult subject area. It's a very practical little guide book. For anyone who is thinking about, or trying to understand, the rigging of small sailboats (I mean, say, under 100 feet), this is a very good book to have. Highly recommended. Mark Lane

The Arts of the Sailor: Knotting, Splicing and Ropework by Hervey Garrett Smith
Reviewer: A reader from Minnesota
This book is a great introduction to all the arts and projects of seamen around the world. The author provides history as well as directions for each of the projects he presents.
Topics included in this book are knotting and rope-work (everything from functional to decorative); seamsmanship (for garments as well as heavier items like sails); leather working; and many others.
This book is a must for anyone bound on a sailing journey or for those just interested in the crafts practiced to fill time aboard ship.

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