Who doesn't dream of owning a boat? Getting away at weekends, holidaying afloat, keelhauling the children.
Now you can realise your dreams (except the keelhauling one) thanks to a new book written by acknowledged expert, Dennis Watts. The Sailing Boat Manual covers details about buying, using, maintaining and repairing sailing boats, sailing dinghies and small sail cruisers, along with an introduction to sailing and safety considerations. Written in Watts' usual straightforward language and with many illustrations, the book is packed with practical information for new and existing boat owners.
The Sailing Boat Manual begins with a discussion of the different types of boats - sailing boats, sailing dinghies, small cruisers and so on - to help readers decide what will best suit them. Next buying a boat is covered - split into second-hand purchases and buying new. Watts highlights the bargains available when buying a used boat. About the 14ft West Wight Potter, he writes: Second-hand, in good condition, these sell for about £1,400 at the time of writing, whereas a new boat of a similar design is over £9,000.
When considering purchasing a new boat, Watts advises "Boat shows provide an ideal opportunity to see and compare the many new sailing boats on display. The price can be established on the spot, along with details of exactly what's included."
Important considerations such as running costs, moorings, storage and transport are covered next before Watts introduces readers to sailing. He writes: Wind-powered boating can be relaxing, exhilarating and exciting - it's your choice. But you first need to know how to sail. The brief introduction provided in this chapter will help you get started if you're new to the activity.
Routine maintenance, repairs and sailing boat modifications are covered for those owners with basic DIY skills while jobs best left to experts are highlighted. Every aspect of a boat is considered - the hull, rigging, fittings and auxiliary motors plus cabin fittings and equipment. There's a chapter on boating equipment and accessories before an informative appendix, which includes a glossary of terms. If you want to know what a gaff is rather than making one, buy the Sailing Boat Manual.
About the author Dennis Watts has substantial experience of building, maintaining, improving and using sailing boats over four decades. He says: "I built my first sailing dinghy from a kit of parts and plans. By buying cheap second-hand boats, improving them and selling them, I have progressed from boats worth a few hundred pounds to larger vessels worth a few thousand pounds - in a similar way to ascending the housing property ladder." He lives in Essex and has been a member of Maldon Yacht Club and Weybridge Sailing Club for many years.
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Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects.