Home' Afloat : AFLOAT February 2014 Contents 50 AFLOAT.com.au February 2014
Books reviewed by Paul Talbot
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
SWINTAL, TSUCHIYA & KAMINS 9487
Millions of sailing enthusiasts and casual
fans alike watched the America’s Cup in
awe as the ORACLE TEAM USA trailing
one point to New Zealand’s eight, was first
to the finish line in eight consecutive races.
This miracle triumph left many wondering
"How did they do it?" The answers come
together in Winging It, with insights from
naval architects and builders on their
radical boat designs, the consequences of racing these untested boats,
and explanations of how the foils and wingsails—rarely seen on boats
The book explores the impact of events that led up to the Cup, including
how a sudden capsize threw the entire event into doubt before the 2013
America’s Cup ultimately delivered an epic finale.
Top sailors share their stories, including the victorious Jimmy Spithill on
USA 17 and the shockingly defeated ETNZ skipper Dean Barker.
PB 218 pages $34.95
In The South:
Tales of Sail and Yearning
by Geoff Heriot
published by Forty Degrees South Publishing
RRP $29.95 (294pp; 230mm x 155mm)
EBook edition RRP $9.95
In a wistful, nostalgic first chapter, Geoff Heriot sets the
scene for his work of homage to two boats, their designers and
the maritime heritage of Port Phillip Bay and Tasmania. This
book and the other in this review, found ways to hide themselves
from view on the bookshelf after arriving there sometime early
last year. My apologies to A fl o a t readers and the books’ authors
for not bringing them to you sooner.
In the South comes from an author with much journalistic
experience who is a former newspaper and broadcast journalist,
as well as holding senior executive positions with the ABC. Geoff
Heriot lives in Hobart, Tasmania, and clearly loves the place with
its proximity to Bass Strait, the Southern Ocean and most of all,
it seems, Tasmania’s thriving wooden boat industry.
The book begins with the author’s tracking down through
good fortune and serendipity two wooden boats – a schooner,
Ile Ola, designed by L Francis Herreshoff and a Sharpie ketch,
Scher zo, designed by Bruce Kirby. Through skilful story telling, it
continues with related sidebars as
the stories of these two boats are
And so In the South is part
“stories of sail and sea in the
Australian south” and part a work
of history about the designers and
builders who made these boats
and others like them possible. Port
Phillip, Bass Strait, the Derwent
and other waterways in the area
feature prominently as do the areas where Kirby and Herreshoff
plied there trade.
A visit to Geoff Heriot’s web site at www.heriotmedia.com will
explain more about him and the book and point to its availability
through Boat Books and the author’s site.
The Crash Test Boat
edited by Mike Golding
published by Bloomsbury Publishing Australia
RRP $35.00 (176pp; 245mm x 190mm)
The price of The Crash Test Boat:
How Yachting Monthly took a 40ft yacht
through 8 disaster scenarios might well
be the best $35.00 you could spend.
Published in paperback in 2013, the
book shows a normal cruising boat,
a Jeanneau Sun Fizz ketch, going
through what has been described
as the nautical version of Top Gear
with the added bonus of potentially
life-saving lessons for sailors.
Under a team of specialists and
consultants, the yacht Fizzical was
taken through a total of eight possible disasters that everyday
yacht owners, skippers and crews might plan against, but hopefully
never endure. It was run aground, capsized, dismasted, sunk, had
major leaks induced, set on fire and finally blown up.
Each disaster is a chapter of its own. The scenario is described
with an assessment of possible outcomes. Then the yacht is put
through the disaster, artificially, of course. Careful observations,
including of crash test dummies, are made and then the effects
of the disaster are described in words and pictures. Then the
testers show in detail what recovery efforts might be put into
the boat to get it going again.
One of the more obvious lessons is for boat owners to inventory
the array of tools and other possible equipment for use in the
various situations. This book shows a use for the most unlikely
of equipment, even furnishings. Each disaster is accompanied
by the real-life experiences of sailors who had been through just
such events. And in a first, ‘scannable QR codes’ (I did not try
to access these) are included, linking to the real life crash tests
filmed during the testing.
This is a package of material not to be missed by sailors who
might be inexperienced with the major disasters and recovery
from them. The lessons learned are too valuable to ignore.
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