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Wind and Tide: An Introduction to Cruising in Pure Sailing Craft
Author: Jerome FitzGerald
ISBN: : 0-595-21733-8
Quality: Scanned pages
Pages count: 169
Description: In 169 pages, Mr. Fitzgerald makes a very convincing argument that not only are engines on sailboats harmful to the environment, but engines take away the skill and quiet joy of sailing.
Fitzgerald starts with a wonderfully idiosyncratic review of his own philosophy about life and sailing. He comes across as a fairly thoughtful environmentalist. When he discusses boats, he affirms that using an engine is not a benign process. "Make no mistake about it - diesel engines are terrible polluters." His style is quite direct.
Fitzgerald writes thoughts that many sailors have pondered, but never said to our colleagues who rely on engines. "While one might forgive a fool, it is difficult to forgive a man who will anchor tucked close to shore in a pristine harbor and pump oil impregnated water overboard in order to run his refrigerator."
After laying out a philosophical framework for sailing without an engine, Fitzgerald goes on to give practical advice. He presents interesting sections on sail trim, man overboard drills, boat handling at the dock, types of clouds, light air sailing, oars, self-steering gear, anchoring under sail, knots, and even the Beaufort scale. He doesn't try to provide an all-inclusive tome about sailing technique, but rather a series of practical pointers for those who chose to move across the waters in a boat with no engine.
In summary, this book is interesting on several levels. It is both a philosophical treatise on independence from the over materialistic world in which we live, as well as a manual of practical advice about sailing. On all these levels, the book was a delight.