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The Annapolis Book of Seamanship


The definitive guide to
the art and science of sailing


by John Rousmaniere

From navigation and seamanship to boat and gear maintenance, from pleasure cruising to heavy-weather sailing, here is the definitive, state-of-the-art guide that provides systematic step-by-step techniques to see you through every situation on deck and in the cockpit.

Since the publication of the widely hailed first edition in 1983, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship has set the standard by which other books on sailing are measured. Used throughout America as a textbook in sailing schools and Power Squadrons, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship thoroughly and clearly covers the fundamental and advanced skills of modern sailing. This edition of Annapolis is a major overhaul. Over half the book has been revised; old topics and features have been updated, and many new ones have been introduced. The design has been modernized, and many color illustrations have been added.

As big and detailed as Annapolis is, the wealth of technical information (including dozens of step-by-step instructions) is presented here in a way that is uniquely readable; it's both useful and easy to use. This is because John Rousmaniere and artist Mark Smith bring to Annapolis decades of experience both as sailors and as professional communicators.

Annapolis emphasizes the standard skills and proven methods that eliminate error and confusion, ensure security in emergencies, and allow every sailor more time for enjoyment on the water. Much has changed on the water since 1983 when this book was originally published. Black buoys are now green, the Global Positioning Satellite navigation system (GPS) is almost universally used, new types of anchors and sails have appeared, safety skills and gear are vastly improved, many more women are commanding boats, and catamarans and trimarans are common where only monohulls used to sail.

But for all these modern developments, the basic skills and spirit of sailing have not changed at all. Sail trimming, keeping up steerageway, maintaining the dead reckoning plot, heaving-to -- these fundamentals are as important now as ever and receive much attention here.

Among the innovations in this edition are:
  • Basic skills in early chapters: Fundamental sailing and boat-handling skills and gear, which are introduced in chapters 1, 2, and 3.
  • "Hands On" segments: Three dozen special sections, each devoted to a particular seamanship problem and an expert solution.
  • More how-to tips: Additional rules of thumb that guide a crew quickly and successfully through seamanship problems.
  • New coverage of multihulls: Advice on evaluating, anchoring, and handling catamarans and trimarans under sail (including in storms).
  • More on emergencies: New material on emergencies, safety, and heavy-weather sailing, including a section on preparing a docked boat for a hurricane.
  • Equipment updates: Expanded coverage of the use and care of modern gear and hardware, including radar, GPS, rescue devices, and asymmetrical spinnakers.
  • Terminology: Full definition and illustration of major terms when they're first introduced, with alternative language provided in parentheses.
  • Gender: The use of feminine personal pronouns, which reflect the fact that more women are captaining and sailing boats than ever before.


  • From navigation and seamanship to boat and gear maintenance, from pleasure cruising to heavy-weather sailing, here is the definitive, state-of-the-art guide that provides systematic step-by-step techniques to see you through every situation on deck and in the cockpit. Hard Cover. 8 1/2" x 11". 403 pgs. Pub 2014



    The Annapolis Book of Seamanship - 4th Ed.
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