Cottrell Boatbuilding boating books

5 essential boating books that we love

Everyone has their own opinion for which books they include onboard. Here are five books that we think are excellent choices for any onboard library. Now is a great time of year to be brushing up on safety and boating basics. From tying knots to reading nautical charts, our list has you covered.

Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 68th Edition (Chapman Piloting and Seamanship)

Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 68th Edition (Chapman Piloting and Seamanship) by Chapman and edited by Jonathan Eaton 

If you own only one book on boating then this is the absolute, hands-down, gospel truth of piloting and seamanship.

Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems

Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat’s Essential Systems by Nigel Calder

This is a must-have essential for DIY fixes and basic mechanical and electrical understanding of your boat’s systems. Ours has a broken spine and dog-eared pages!

How to Read a Nautical Chart, 2nd Edition (Includes ALL of Chart #1): A Complete Guide to Using and Understanding Electronic and Paper Charts

How to Read a Nautical Chart, 2nd Edition: A Complete Guide to Using and Understanding Electronic and Paper Charts also by Nigel Calder

We suggest having two copies; one that lives onboard and one that lives at home. Even if you have the fanciest apps or GPS available, knowing how to read a nautical chart is a wise move that will help keep you safe.

The Morrow Guide to Knots: for Sailing, Fishing, Camping, Climbing

The Morrow Guide to Knots: for Sailing, Fishing, Camping, Climbing by Mario Bigon (Author),‎ Guido Regazzoni 

This basic book on tying knots is so user friendly that all of our grandchildren have learned from it. The Morrow Guide to Knots would make an excellent edition to any boating library.

Advanced First Aid Afloat

Advanced First Aid Afloat by Peter F.,‎ M.D. Eastman,‎ and John M. Levinson

There are lots of a great resources available and we like this one for keeping up-to-date on first-aid onboard a vessel.

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