8 Must Have Books For Sailing Around The World

Sailing around the world always starts with a dream! If you are like us, once you have had the dream your mind will be on a never ending quest for more knowledge about how to sail around the world. These are the sailing books on our short list! We read them before leaving, but found them so valuable we carry them aboard with us.

1. Chapman’s Piloting

This is the book to start with when learning about boating and navigation. Perhaps it is the best all around resource to have on board to learn about navigation and piloting a recreational powerboat or sailboat.

2. USCG Navigation Rules Handbook

This is a requirement for any US Coast Guard Documented Vessel to have on board. It is a great resource for learning boat navigation light patterns. This is very important for nighttime navigation. It also covers all of the rules of the road, helping you to know what you should do when vessels meet on the ocean.

3. Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes

There are over 1000 routes in this book which help you find the right time and place to start and finish your voyages. Following the routes in this book will generally lead to pleasant offshore sailing and avoid major storms and hurricane seasons. We don’t always take sailing routes in this book, as we enjoy challenging conditions which are off the beaten path, but we do consult it regularly.

4. Nigel Calder’s Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual

If there is a name synonymous with DIY boat work it is Nigel Calder. This book will cover everything you possibly need to know to maintain your boats important systems while sailing, especially your engine and electrical system, which may be most sailors biggest challenge. Keeping your boat in top condition is a challenge in harsh saltwater conditions, but it is very important as a working boat is your primary means of transportation and your home.

5. Sir Ben Ainslie’s Complete Sailing Manual

If you want to sail around the world, well, you need to learn to sail. This book covers how to really sail boats big and small, catamarans and monohulls, both fast and slow. Written by national champion and Olympic sailors, you will learn how to sail and trim the proper way to make your boat move through the water. This means more speed, less fuel consumption, a smoother ride, and a happier crew!

6. Bowditch’s American Practical Navigator

Do you want to know everything there is to know? This giant book will teach it to you. This is the book you can find on the bridge of every US Merchant Maritime vessel and is the reference manual for professional seaman. Its over 1200 pages cover meteorology, navigation, oceanography, weather, and contains countless tables, charts, and illustrations.

7. Pardey’s Storm Tactics Handbook

A list of essential around the world Sailing books can not be complete without a how-to book from Lin and Larry Pardey. The number one reason sailors never leave port is fear of bad weather. The number one reason people abandon ship is because of problems when the going gets tough. This book will teach you what you need to know to get through tough storm conditions safely on your sailboat.

8. Dashew’s Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia

Perhaps the original Performance Cruising sailing couple, Steve and Linda Dashew have compiled all of their vast knowledge of sailing and boatbuilding into one book! This book contains all you need: from the time you start thinking about purchasing a boat to sail around the world, to reference items and ideas while en-route.

There are surely lots of other great books, both inspirational and educational on the topic of sailing around the world. These are books we have actually read and find valuable enough to carry aboard with us. We think you will love them also. If there is one we forgot, please drop us a note in the comments below.

Note: We do earn a commission off of the links to Amazon to purchase these books. We think it is a win/win, as we can share some of our knowledge with you and you can support our journey at no additional cost to you when you make purchases.

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