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Books reviewed by Ken Broadhead
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
The Medal Maker:
A Biography of Victor Kovalenko
Victor Kovalenko, whose teams have won more Olympic medals in
sailing than those of any other sailing coach in history, grew up in the
Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s. Roger Vaughn tracks his development
from top sportsman in the Soviet Union to his initial Olympic success
as a sailing coach of the Ukrainian team. But Victor’s innate curiosity
and broad philosophical outlook clashed with post-Soviet, Ukrainian
politics. When Australia beckoned, he was ready. He turned what
appeared to be a mission impossible into double gold at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. At
the time he was dubbed “The Medal Maker.” The name has stuck with good reason. To date, in
eight Olympic Games, Victor’s teams have amassed ten Olympic medals, six of them gold. He’s
not done. Victor’s new target: the Tokyo Olympics, 2020. $39.95
Stress Free Motorboating:
Single and Short-Handed Techniques
This book is the answer to all single or short-handed crews’ prayers.
Highly illustrated with step-by-step photographs, this highly practical
handbook tackles the most common motorboating scenarios anyone
will ever have to manage, whether cruising along a river or around
the coast. The author covers groundbreaking and dependable
procedures for getting off (and then back on to) a berth, anchoring,
picking up mooring buoys, boat-handling in tides, fast-flowing
rivers, managing locks and even picking up a man overboard. QR
codes link to helpful instructional action videos to clarify the procedures, and invaluable advice
is given about fuel monitoring, engine care and maintenance – in fact all the essential issues that
affect motorboats. PB 160 pages $29.95
Sun, Wind, & Water
The Essential Guide to the
Energy-Efficient Cruising Boat
by Bill Morris
published by Seaworthy Publications; Florida USA.
RRP: $69.95 (214pp)
Bill Morris is well qualified to write this book
to complement his earlier tome The Windvane
Self Steering Handbook and share insights from
his cruising adventures. He ser ved in the US
Army as a radio mechanic, took a PhD at UCLA
and spent three decades teaching writing to
secondary and college students.
This book is a guide to outfitting sailing
vessels with energy-saving systems that will
save money and contribute to improvements in the environment.
It has 19 chapters on aspects of energy efficient cruising; each
succinctly written with understandable diagrams, clear photos and
useful tables. It draws on over 25 references including from other
cruisers, and the US government. The six appendices include terms
and acronyms used in boat specifications.
The author reminds readers that cruising sailboats can produce
fresh water, cold drinks, hot food, reliable navigation, self-steering,
communications, lighting and entertainment. But continuous access
to these requires an energy plan that includes charging capability,
battery capacity and daily usage.
Morris emphasises the merits of mechanical as well as electrical
systems. Equipment easy to repair while under sail will pay unlimited
Some of his tips seem simplistic but all represent priceless advice
such as having a manual back-up bilge pump, bathing in seawater
but rinsing with fresh water, using mechanical toilets and taps, and the
capacity of paper charts to display the big picture, rather than relying
on a small computer screen.
This book is logically structured with sections covering the main
power plant, alternators, diesel generators, fuels available, battery
types, solar panels, wind and hydro generators, and voltage regulators.
Morris covers ways to monitor systems and record data, lighting,
refrigeration, self-steering devices, windlasses, tools and the essence
of protecting the balance of the biosphere. There are excellent stories
about the ways three successful cruising yachts have pursued energy
The author has produced a most wor thy exposition of boat-friendly
technology that usually seems more daunting than warranted.
Electronic Chart Navigation
by David Burch
published by Starpath Publications, Seattle, USA.
RRP $69.95 (132pp.)
David Burch has produced a work of compelling relevance. It aims
to help mariners transit from paper charts and printed references
to electronic charting systems (ECS) that rely on digital charts. He
explains in clear terms the two types of digital charts. These are Raster
nautical charts (RNC– georeferenced photographic images) and Vector
nautical charts aka Electronic Navigation
It provides comfort to those tired of
having to read in a ‘Help file’ the available
manual/instructions/ procedures on the
same screen they are trying to use. I am well
over being told that ‘The manual is on line’.
The author acknowledges the
irreplaceable value of a ‘real library and real librarian’ in the Internet age
– in this case at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) within the US Department of Commerce.
Vector charts have smaller file sizes than their Raster counterparts
so many charts can be recorded on a single CD or thumb drive. Detailed
information about objects shown can be viewed with a mouse click
that displays the object’s attributes.
The book addresses Vector charts produced by national
Chapters 1 to 3 introduce the two chart types, highlight key
distinctions and explain how ENC are used at sea.
Chapter 4 is essentially a reproduction of the NOA A Electronic
Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) Chart no 1. It includes a
library of the multiple symbols used to indicate the basic navigational
symbols, marine topography, hydrographic and artificial features such
as wrecks, offshore installations, lights, buoys, beacons and fog signals.
Appendices include advice on gross checks to assess chart
accuracy, and the numerous acronyms used for countries, objects and
attributes. References comprise seven written and 27 Internet sources
– a s obering sign of the times. The Index provides a quick path to any
of the subjects covered; although familiarity with this fine book should
come easily with use. h
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