Author: David Seidman

“Learning the art of Sailing” is an apt sub-title for this book, which is full of lovely illustrations, interesting lore, and tons of extremely useful information. Through his writing, the author manages to impart the magic of the wind on sails, and the wonderful history and skill of our sailing forefathers. This book is a directory of all things sailing, complete with wonderful explanations of nearly everything from the parts of a sail to how to trailer a boat.

All the basics are covered in the book, supported by unique pen-and-ink drawings, which manage to be both beautiful and informative. It’s an excellent book for the novice sailor, with easy explanations of things like getting on and off a mooring, or how to tie up at the dock, and it’s one of those rare sailing books that can also be a great reference manual for the more advanced sailor.

As a teacher of beginning sailing, I’ve often used this book with my students, because it has a great section explaining everything to do with the wind, which new sailors need to understand before they can progress. One of my favorite things in the book is the drawing of the points of sail, complete with the “words of the wind,” which comes in very handy for teaching.  I’ve also given this book to numerous friends as they were learning to sail, and they’ve all really enjoyed it.

I highly recommend this book for the beginning sailor, as I think it makes the perfect textbook. I have had a copy on my own sailing bookshelf for several years now, and still consult it. It’s a delightfully easy read, and somehow I manage to learn a new little nugget of information every time I pick it up!


Deborah Bennett Elfers
I was practically born on a boat, though on a working lobster boat rather than a sailboat. In my early days, I sailed quite a lot on a Sunfish, but not very elegantly, as in our little neighborhood “fleet,” the boat was primarily used as a weapon in a wildly popular game of “kill the other guy!” Who could have imagined way back then, that one day I’d become so passionate about all things sailing?
Deborah Bennett Elfers
Deborah Bennett Elfers

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