Every Cruiser was once a Dreamer.
He knew that a life on the sea could suit him. When he looked at the sea he could easily imagine himself sailing toward the horizon.
Then one day our would-be cruiser decides to take a step forward and he looks for some good reading – something that would explain to him how, where and when to buy a boat. But mainly he needs someone that to demonstrate that his dream really is possible (and not reserved only for the rich).
I used to be a dreamer too and remember very well how lost I was in the ocean of available books.
I read most of them and also ended up writing my own book in order to distill all the techniques and philosophies that I have found necessary to embark safely and enjoyably on this lifestyle that weren’t covered in the other publications. In other words – to try and answer all the questions a budding cruiser with big dreams and shallow pockets really needs answered. Get Real, Get Gone pulls no punches and is a great place to start making your dream real.
But where to go next? Here are some books (in no particular order) that I am happy to recommend.
Lin and Larry Pardey are gods for many cruisers, including me. They are serious sailors with hundreds of thousands of miles behind them, they circumnavigated the world in both ways with an engineless boat and wrote many very good books. For someone that is thinking about buying a boat I recommend this book, but heartily disagree with the idea of wooden boats, which are a bloody nightmare for anyone who is not a gifted wooden boatbuilder (such as the authors).
In this book Lin says “If there is something on your boat that you can’t fix, maybe it shouldn’t be there.” – a good reminder that the trick to accessing the joy of cruising is to keep things simple.
This is the book that made me fall in love with the idea of cruising. Annie Hill is always here, on my bookshelf, just in case I forget what the essence of the cruising life should be. In the appendix she has collected a ton of information about how to keep fresh food on a boat without a fridge – very valuable. The short story at the end, The $200 Millionaire is the icing on an already rich cake.
Not so much of a ‘how to’ than a story of one budget sea-gypsy’s experience sailing the oceans alone in his tiny (but eminently seaworthy) little sailboat Atom. Nicely written and a good reminder that size of boat and bank account are the least important aspect of enjoying a better life aboard.
If you have any other good books on the subject you can recommend, please leave a comment and let me know the title. If you end up reading any of these books, I’d love to hear your impressions.
Fair winds to everyone!