Writing shortly after the Great War, F B Cooke has every bit of the bluff, blokey do-exactly-as-I-say-and-everything-will-be-all-right style that was popular in his era, but today seems bossy and a little odd.
For Cooke the popular yachting harbours may have been full of good chaps but they were also home to waterside loafers and land sharks who would find a dozen ways to rob the poor innocent yachtsman. Rather like a sheriff in a Wild-West movie, Cooke could distinguish between them in a moment, knew exactly how to handle both types and briskly tells us how to [ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]be like him.
I wish I could see the world with such simple clarity!
As well as providing sailing instruction, Cooke’s 1926 sailing manual Seamanship for Yachtsman is an entertainment and a glimpse of the almost forgotten world of between-the-wars England and its people. I suggest you pour yourself a malt, and curl up with these pages for the next half hour or so: apart from providing some stern warnings about the dangers of hired hands who insist on calling themselves ‘Captain’, he also finds space to explain how a fellow should choose his first small yacht for solo sailing.
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Seamanship for Yachtsmen Chapter headings:
Chapter I Introduction
Chapter II Small Cruising Yachts
Chapter III Getting under Way
Chapter IV Getting under Way (continued)
Chapter V Seamanship under Way
Chapter VI Seamanship under Way (continued)
Chapter VII Heavy Weather
Chapter VIII Heavy Weather (continued)
Chapter IX Bringing Up
Chapter X Moorings
Chapter XI Stowing Away
Chapter XII Running Aground
Chapter XIII Accidents
Chapter XIV Strange Harbours
Chapter XV Rule of the Road
Chapter VXI The Dinghy
Chapter XVII Roller Headsails
Chapter XVIII Dinghy Sailing
Chapter XIX Racing
Chapter XX Racing Tactics
Chapter XXI The Care of Sails and Gear
Chapter XXII Fitting Out and Laying Up
Chapter XXIII Knotting and Splicing
Glossary of Nautical Terms
Copies of Seamanship for Yachtsmen by F B Cook are available at ABE Books. Check now: