View Full Version : Liveaboard

03-09-08, 11:16
We are at stage one of looking at moving onto a catamaran with the intention of sailing around the Med (eventually). Is anyone aware of any books available written by someone who's been through the trials and tribulations. I have a wife while being keen still needs to be totally convinced. I'd rather know now what we are likely to face than later. Any help or assistance would be appreciated.

03-09-08, 11:57
Any book by Annie Hill and any book by Lynn Pardey (sp)

03-09-08, 12:12
I found Sailing Promise by Alayne Main to be a good read

03-09-08, 14:12
But maybe you should avoid James Wharram's book 'Two Girls Two Catamarans. /forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

03-09-08, 17:49
I can stick out my neck here and show my age; but I would still nominate 'Sell Up and Sail' by Bill and Laurel Cooper as the ultimate liveaboard primer. It is clearly dated; there are some wonderful descriptions of Bill admitting that he did not know where he was when approaching a coast although he had been a merchant navy officer. This was before the days of GPS.

However outdated by some technology, the issues facing a beginning cruising liveaboard have not changed that much and I find it still to be the best book on the subject that I know of. You will not find any tips on connecting to the internet, but that is the whole point of sailing away - is it not?

Another proof of its durability is that it is still available on Amazon. How many other books do you know of that were published 20 years ago and are still in print? Not many. This is a classic.

04-09-08, 11:07
There are a lot of blogs that will help you. Look up www.zingano.com (http://www.zingano.com) and www.zialater.com. (http://www.zialater.com.) I humbly offer my own for your inspection... www.catamarantwooceans.wordpress.com (http://www.catamarantwooceans.wordpress.com)

04-09-08, 12:43
I just finished reading "Dolphins under my bed" about a couple who sold up in North Wales, and as inexperienced blue-water cruisers, sailed a Cat down to the Med. It doesn't provide much practical advice, but it might broaden your wife's thinking. The author herself was very dubious about sailing initially, but after arriving in the Med realised the amazing, postive impact it had made to their lives.

A couple of teensy weensy scary bits though.

Hope to join the dream one day too.

04-09-08, 19:20
Agree with LadyJessie about "Sell Up and Sail". There are a lot of others these days as well though - buy as many as you can to read over the winter.

Alternatively, your wife could talk to my wife. PM if interested.


04-09-08, 20:04
I am afraid I do not endorse the Cooper approach. Fine if you have the big sailing barge they had and want to conform to their formula for how many yards of wardrobe space you will need ....etc.

However, good on them as they stand by their philosophy having just completed building a big steel barge in Lowestoft. The vessel has limited visual appeal but, when I went aboard, seems to do the business for them in practical terms. They left last month - bound for Greece I think.

The most enjoyable liveaboard book I have read, written by a woman and would appeal to a woman is 'Travellers on a Trade Wind' by Marcia Pirie. A RTW voyage from Wales on a Ferro Endurance 35. Available on Amazon.

04-09-08, 20:56
We can all disagree and argue with many aspects and issues in Cooper's "Sell Up and Sail" but the simple fact that so many posters here have read it and have clear opinions about it; in my opinion shows how much impact this book has had in the liveaboard world and how important it is for beginning liveaboards to read it.

In my opinion; it is still the 'starter book', but you need to read it understanding its' time horizon.

BTW: Bill and Laurel are posters on this forum. I hope you read this and get to understand how much liveaboard happiness you have created by your book.

04-09-08, 23:13
It's worth reading all the books but consider joining the Cruising Association especially if you can make it to their HQ in London where there is an extensive library (and very inexpensive accommodation). Also, follow as many threads here in 'liveaboard' as possible.

05-09-08, 03:42
Any or all of the above are a good read but in addition beg borrow ar steal a copy of Shrimpy :A Record Around the World Voyage in an 18 Foot Yacht by Shane Acton.

I found this invaluable in giving me confidence. If Shane can do it with what he had then I was OK.

In seven years as a liveaboard I often met people having a lot of fun in a small/cheap/old boat.

05-09-08, 03:55
In seven years as a liveaboard I often met people having a lot of fun in a small/cheap/old boat.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's surprising just how many are doing exactly that!

Just to add my two pennyworth to the library of books to read:

a) The Breath of Angels by John Beattie (Atlantic circuit)
b) Down the Hatch by Jim Tyrrell (Humourous Med caper)
c) Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi (RTW single-handed girl aged 18)

05-09-08, 09:12
Not sure many if any books are totally "positive" in that they are mostly more realistic than glowing. Sell up and sail starts with the ulysses quotitnet thing that might actualy put off someone who is game to try. Some pardey books go on about storms, ooer.

I would go gently, coast hop, and find warm weather.

05-09-08, 10:12
There are many interpretations of, and ways of, (a) selling (up) (or not) and (b) going sailing and (c) living aboard.

The various books noted above give some people's methods, and how they did it. The Cooper's did have / do have pretty big boats, although that wasn't really that apparent to us when we first read the book - and it was a major inspiration for us and the way we eventually found our own formula. Some other boats are about Big Ocean Voyages and that maybe not what you (or your wife) wants (right now) - they can still be educational and entertaining, but don't get too frightened or overwhelmed by some of their content. There are other books about Living Very Simply on Very Little. You don't have to hair-shirt it, either. But they show that living aboard is not like (needn't be like) Brighton Marina in a fully equipped big new white boat drinking GandTs all day long and the costs that that would entail.

FWIW we also liked Beth Leonard's "Following Seas" - but we ended up doing nothing like that. Tania Abei's book is simply amazing, but you (and your wife) may not relish the thought of being packed off, novices, in a smallish yacht, to sail round the world. That she did it, that the boat (a Contessa) did it, and then wrote a classic book, is a great testament to her, and her boat.

As Ian Dury said - Break a Few Rules. As Fleetwood Mac said - Go Your Own Way.
But what did they know?


05-09-08, 14:15
I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Claire James' book "Sail for the Mediterranean". If you are Med-bound, this is an excellent resource - practical, informative, and (mostly) free of scary stuff. Claire and her late husband were coastal cruisers, not passage makers, so the white-knuckle-ride-across-raging-oceans stuff is distinctly lacking.

More info (http://www.bookharbour.com/epages/Store.sf/?ObjectPath=/Shops/BookHarbour/Products/CRU0237)

05-09-08, 14:59
I agree with that. When I was last in contact with Claire she mentioned that she was working on a new edition, as a tribute to her late husband.

05-09-08, 16:41
But maybe you should avoid James Wharram's book 'Two Girls Two Catamarans. /forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Nice picture on the cover though

06-09-08, 09:44
We have read many of the books suggested and my personal view is that it's best to read lots, and pick and choose the bits which appeal to you.

For sheer inspiration I'm very fond of "The 200 millionaire" which is at the end of one of Annie Hill's books, but you can read it online at http://www.out-of-the-blue.info/200quid.html . It was reading that which first inspired us to go for coast-hopping and the Med - and subsequently the French canals, hooray - rather than blue-water cruising, which as Grehan says is a rather bigger plunge.