Home' Afloat : AFLOAT January 2018 Contents 54 AFLOAT.com.au January 2018
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Everyone knows Sydney Harbour. At least, we think we do. Everyone
can see the harbour, whether we have ever been to Sydney or not. By
as little as a word or two, the harbour floats into our mind’s eye. The
Bridge. The Opera House. Fireworks on New Year’s Eve. When we
see those images, we feel a sense of belonging. No matter who we
are or where we’re from, we see the harbour and we feel good. In this
beautiful, authoritative and meditative journey, Scott Bevan takes us
from cove to cove, by kayak, yacht and barge to gather the harbour ’s
stories, past and present, from boat builders, ship captains and fishermen to artists, divers,
historians and environmentalists, from signs of ancient life to the submarine invasion by the
Japanese. HB 656 pages $49.95
Yacht Were You Thinking?
Naming a boat is as personal as naming a baby (even if few male skippers
would risk telling the wife that). The culmination of many years of dreaming
and penny pinching, the purchase of a boat of any size is a huge event for
any sailor, and with that comes serious naming pressure. Many boatowners
have a secret fear that someone else got their brilliantly original name
first – or ruined it for ever by reducing its reputation to snigger-worthy
opprobrium. Sometimes it’s so difficult to name a boat that skippers are desperate enough
to ask the sorts of people who think Boaty McBoatface (or Ferry McFerryface) would be a
good choice... The perfect gift for any skipper or would-be skipper, and featuring hundreds
of common and uncommon names, this entertaining little book will answer perhaps the most
important question new owners should ask themselves: what will this name say about me? And
as everyone knows, once you’ve named a boat, you never ever change it, so it also answers
the question: what is my boat name saying about me? HB 144 pages $19.95
In Search of Fish
by Bill Leonard
published by Western Australian Museum Publications
RRP: $70.00 (305pp; 300mm x 240mm)
Soon after European settlement along Australia’s western
coastline, fishing flourished as the early colonists realised the
bounty of the sea. To follow was the famous pearl fishing industry.
Fisherfolk, pearlers and boatbuilders took up the challenge of
building boats specifically designed to meet the many challengers
inherent in fishing in Australia’s western seas and rivers. Their craft
were unique to the specific waterways in which they were used.
Author Bill Leonard has meticulously researched the stories
and lifestyle of these pioneers and their beloved boats. In Search of
Fish and Fortune, this acclaimed master shipwright has concentrated
on fifteen historically significant vessels featuring magnificent line
drawings of their hulls and rigs.
Leonard’s own story is a fascinating one. Born on the shores of
Scotland’s River Clyde into centuries of shipbuilding and sailing,
Bill followed in his father’s footsteps as a shipwright. In 1986, the
master shipwright migrated to Fremantle to find work in advance
of Australia’s defence of the America’s Cup.
This led to an offer to lead the team building the replica of one
of the most famous wooden ships in history, Captain James Cook’s
Endeavour. Later he was to lead the construction of the Fremantle-
based replica of Duyfken, the 17th
century Dutch ship recognised
as the first European vessel
to encounter the mainland of
Leonard’s stories and wonderful line drawings range from
the pearling luggers that worked out of Broome for decades
(interrupted during World War II when the Japanese divers were
interned for the duration).
He has traced the history of traditional fishing boats built and
sailed down the coast off Shark Bay and Fremantle, where small
fishing boats were sailed by the many Italian fishing families lived
there. They worked the waters of the Swan River and offshore for
salmon, sardines, oysters and crayfish.
At the southern points of the WA coast he found the sturdy
ocean fishing vessels that worked out of Albany and Esperance
catching salmon for the canneries.
This magnificent table-top book offers an insight into the
evolution of design and boat-building craftsmanship, and the
development of fishing craft as integral and fascinating facets of
Australian maritime history along its western coastline.
Sail like a PRO
The Australian manual to learn to sail, from
cruising & racing to offshore sailing
by Marc van Dinther
published by DownUnder Media
RRP: $29.95 (248pp; 148mm x
This is said to be the first book written
especially for the (aspiring) Australian
sailor and is the outcome of decades of
teaching people how to sail, cruising the
world, racing and boat ownership.
Author Marc van DInther is the founder of AusSea Sailing
School in Sydney and a journalist author. He wrote the book with
the new sailor in mind and as a quick reference guide for the more
experienced sailor. He should capture the avid attention of both
with this most comprehensive book.
The simplicity of his explanations of so many aspects of sailing
makes this a very attractive book to give as a gift to children or
adult sailors, learners or experienced.
Marc writes that his coaching of thousands of people has
taught him to break complex topics into essentials, and then
break down the essentials into bite size pieces.
His written his book in this manner, making all the complex
aspects of safe and successful sailing easier to understand and
speeding up the learning process.
As he points out, sailing is best learned on the water. I agree,
but a good handbook will always complement the training on water.
Sail Like a PRO is good reading from start to finish, a Southern
Hemisphere-orientated handback for beginner to old sails like me
to appreciate. There is always something to learn on the water and
the chapter ‘Sky Watching’ is a case in point.
So too is ‘Passage Planning’ and the excellent chapter on
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