The Complete Sailor: Learning the Art of Sailing

ISBN: 0070571317
ISBN 13: 9780070571310
By: David Seidman Kelly Mulford

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20th Century Amazon Currently Reading Default Non Fiction Nonfiction Reference Sailing Self Help To Read

About this book

Covers navigation, boat design, and seamanship. This work conveys the magic as well as the techniques of sailing. Among other topics covered are: anchoring, rope work, rigging, weather, rules of the road, trailering, and working the winds.

Reader's Thoughts


I received this book after taking a sailing class. I have not actually read through the entire book from beginning to end, but have found it to be a great resource and something I often refer to before going sailing when it's been a while since my last trip. A great book that I will keep on my shelf for many years to come.


When I consider how many other books I have given five stars, I feel remiss giving this one only four. Because if I need to recommend to a beginner what book will teach him or her to sail, this is the book. It is solid and simple, immediately comprehensible and clearly illustrated. It also enough for all but the most advanced sailor.It's also a friendly book one that welcomes neophytes and doesn't act as if sailing is either a religion or a strictly empirical exercise. Sailing, in fact, is something in between these two, and this book acknowledges the desire for an aesthetic experience that sailing represents.This is the book I bought my wife when she wanted to learn to sail.For beginners, this is the best sailing book I've found.


This is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to get a better grasp on sailing basics. I've been sailing for two years now, and I found that I was learning a lot -- or finding that I was gaining a clearer picture of concepts I already understood. The language is down to earth and accessible, and the illustrations are whimsical and very fun. I also give this book credit for having one of the clearest eye-splice directions and illustrations out of any book I've read so far. I wouldn't reccomend this for people looking to expand their knowledge of marlinespike seamanship, but if you want a good grasp of wind direction, basic sailing terms, and the purpose of sails this would be the one.

Rachelle Gabriel

I was given this book by my boyfriend who has been sailing his whole life. I probably would have given this more stars if I had a boat to apply what I learned. It was, however, easy to understand for someone who knew absolutely nothing about sailing. Also I did notice that after I read this book I was able to better comprehend my boyfriend's family's sailing stories.


I think this is a classic book of beginner's sailing instruction. It's quite easy to follow and to understand, with excellent, clear, cartoon-like illustrations (very effective, in my opinion). Though aimed at beginning sailors, possibly at rather young sailors in fact, it dives right in and introduces all the nomenclature and parts of a boat, how to sail at all points of the wind, and so on. Highly recommended.


A great beginner's book about sailing. Line drawings and sketches that a child could understand, but they are very professionally drawn, complete, and pleasing to look at. Most of my questions were answered right there. It is well-written, at times even poetic. This guy really loves sailing and boats. A friend is going to start teaching me this weekend, and I can't wait to learn how to sail! I feel like I have as much as I need to get started from this book alone. (I read several others, this is by far the best.)


Great introduction to the art of sailing. I'm just starting out, but this is both a good read and a good reference, so I expect to return to it many times in the years to come.I especially appreciated the drawings, which simply and clearly explain difficult concepts and terminology.

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