Below you will find an overview of the books that have been very useful to me over the years and that I can recommend to you. Have fun reading !
Pro tip from Bob 🙂 – You will also find links below for these books to well known sites like Amazon.co.uk. These are so called ‘affiliate links’. If you click on such a link and then buy the book (or anything else) on that website within 24 hours, I get a small commission on that. You pay the same price as normally in those stores, so it’s not more expensive for you. Of course I’m not asking you to buy these books, but if you’re planning on buying them anyway, then you’re supporting me tremendously by buying them through the links below.
Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual
If you have a sailboat and want 1 good reference book, then this is the way to go :). Don Casey is an authority in the United States and this book is basically a compilation of 6 of his books. And that ensures that there is a lot of info in it.
Some of the information covered: boat inspection, boat electrics, marine diesel maintenance (with handy trouble shooting tables), polyester repair, and even a basic course in boat sewing (especially cockpit tents, hoods, and basic sail repair).
Over 800 pages, very practical focused on jobs, clear drawings, clearly explained. Good stuff. You’ll find less depth there than in Nigel Calder’s books, though (see below).
Amazon.com: Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual
Amazon.uk: Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual
Boatowner’s technical and mechanical manual (Nigel Calder)
A lot more technical depth than Don Casey’s book. Nigel Calder is an authority in the UK. He has spent an incredible amount of time on the water and you can see that in this book: he gives very thorough technical explanations, but also stays with his feet on the ground (with advice such as: yes, you can buy expensive AGM batteries, but we have found that golf cart batteries also work pretty well at a fraction of the price). I would only buy this book if you like to know how everything is done technically and in detail. Still, this book is not just theoretical, but you also get all the necessary boat job information.
The information that Calder offers in this book is incredibly broad: electricity on board, engine maintenance, rigging, steering systems, and so on and so forth. Again, more than 800 pages thick.
Amazon.com: Boatowner’s technical and mechanical manual
Amazon.uk: Boatowner’s technical and mechanical manual
Boatowner’s practical and technical cruising manual (Nigel Calder)
If you want to learn more about why ships are designed this way and that way, about how to equip a ship for long voyages and what you need to know to make a long voyage by ship, then this is your book. 600 pages full of pure experiential knowledge (Calder cruises a large part of the year on his own boat, and has been doing so for about 20 years I believe). Hugely useful book for leavers who want to make their dreams concrete.
Amazon.com: Boatowner’s practical and technical cruising manual
Amazon.uk: Boatowner’s practical and technical cruising manual