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Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook: A Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors / Edition 1

Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook: A Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors / Edition 1

by Nigel Calder

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ISBN-10: 0071350993

ISBN-13: 9780071350990

Pub. Date: 05/07/2001

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing

The most comprehensive and helpful guide ever written for selecting and equipping a cruising sailboat

Whether you’re a coastal or offshore cruiser, you’ll find your most pressing concerns treated with the know-how that makes for skillful, confident cruising in Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook. The author -- one of the most respected marine how-to


The most comprehensive and helpful guide ever written for selecting and equipping a cruising sailboat

Whether you’re a coastal or offshore cruiser, you’ll find your most pressing concerns treated with the know-how that makes for skillful, confident cruising in Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook. The author -- one of the most respected marine how-to authors on either side of the Atlantic, and author of the universally admired Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, -- walks you through all key technical and practical aspects of modern cruising systems and equipment, providing you with a summary of the skills necessary for safe, enjoyable sailing.

The first half of the book includes an easy-to-use tabular method for evaluating a boat's suitability for cruising; ideas for workable deck and interior lay-outs and organization; how to choose and configure suitable boat systems for cruising; and how to install gear for trouble free operation.

The book's second half teaches you boat handling skills; core navigational expertise; anchoring techniques; weather understanding; heavy weather expertise; and specific skills for long-term and long-distance cruising.

Product Details

McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Front Matter




Part One: The Boat

Chapter 1. A Boat for Cruising

Basic Design Parameters

Length-Beam Ratio; Keel Types; Displacement Calculations; Ballast Ratio; Displacement-Length Ratio; Overhangs; Waterplanes and Immersion; Comfort Factor; Sail Area-Displacement Ratio; Stability Curves and Ratio; Capsize Screening Value and STIX Number; Maintaining Control; Speed-Length Ratio; Buttocks, Diagonals, and Aft Sections; Speed versus Comfort

Getting Down to Details

Construction Materials; Cored Hulls and Decks; Hull-to-Deck Joints; Structural Reinforcements; Keels; Rudders and Skegs; Skegs and Propellers; Bilge Water and Tankage


Chapter 2. On Deck

Rigs and Rigging

Rig Options; Masts, Spreaders, and Shroud Angles; Holding Up the Mast; Roller-Reefing Foresails; Mainsail; Odds and Ends

Cockpits and Deck Layout

Center or Aft Cockpit; Basic Parameters and the Comfort Factor; Steering; Dodgers and Biminis; Cockpit Flooding; Deck Design and Layout; Stowage

Dealing with Ground Tackle

Bow Platform; Deck Layout; Anchor Wells; Chain Locker; Windlasses

Addendum: Carbon Fiber Masts

Lightning and Other Survival Issues

Chapter 3. Cruising Accommodations: Fusing Functionality at Sea with Comfort on the Hook

General Considerations

Minimizing Motion; Keeping Things in Place; Insulation; Ventilation; Air Conditioning and Heating

Specific Spaces

Navigation Station; Wet Locker; Galley; Saloon; Forecabins, Quarter Berths, and Aft Cabins; Head Compartment


Addendum: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Chapter 4. Electrical Systems

A Balanced System

Keeping the Load Down; The Supply Side; Supplementary Sources of Power; Defining the Limits; Miscellaneous DC Systems Issues

DC to AC Inverters

Sizing an Inverter; DC and AC Installations

Over-Current Protection and High-Current Circuits

What Size Fuse or Circuit Breaker?; High-Current Circuits; Check Your Own Boat

Low-Energy Refrigeration

Efficiency; Versatility; Insulate, Insulate, Insulate; Enhancing Performance; Effective Refrigeration

Low-Energy Lighting

Fluorescent Lights; LED Lighting; Halogen Lights

AC Systems

Safety; Corrosion; Miscellaneous AC Systems Comments

Bonding, Zinc Anodes, and Lightning Protection

Stray-Current Corrosion and Bonding; Lightning Protection


Chapter 5. The Rest of the Systems

The Engine and Propeller

How Big an Engine?; Propeller Sizing; Propeller Matters; Peripheral Systems; Living with an Engine

Fuel and Water Tanks

Metal Tanks; Plastic Tanks; Freshwater Systems; Watermakers

Bilge Pumps

Flooding Rates and Pumping Capacities; Improving Performance: Hoses and Check Valves; Improving Performance: Electrical Considerations; Float Switches; Keeping Dry Below Decks

Through-Hulls, Seacocks, and Hoses

Quality Through-Hulls and Seacocks; Hoses

Propane Installations

The Problem of Refills When Cruising

Making Equipment Choices

What Spares to Carry?

Chapter 6. Acquisition Strategies

Defining Priorities

What Size Boat?; To Build or Not to Build; Commissioning Costs

Used-Boat Market

Refurbishing an Older Sailboat; Old Racing Boats; A Survey; Go Sailing as Soon as Possible!

Cruising-Boat Questionnaire and Checklist of Desirable Features

Part Two: Cruising Skills

Chapter 7. Boat Handling under Power and Sail

Maneuvering under Power

Close Quarters Maneuvering under Power; Docking (Mooring) Lines; Docking Situations; The Mediterranean Moor; Getting in and out of Slips; Picking up and Leaving a Mooring

Sailing Skills

A Little Theory (of Sorts!); Going to Windward; Using Telltales; Adjusting Draft; Tacking; Reaching; Running before the Wind; Double Headsails; Spinnakers; Cruising Spinnakers; Weather Helm and Lee Helm; Motor Sailing

Tuning a Rig

Preparatory Measurements; Static Tuning; Dynamic Tuning at Sea

Chapter 8. Piloting, Navigation, and the Rules of the Road

Paper Charts

Chart Construction; Chart Terminology and Symbols; Chart Corrections; Other Nautical Publications

Buoyage Systems and Lighthouses

Lateral and Cardinal Marks; Lighthouses; Picking out Navigation Marks

Compasses and Plotting

Compass Basics; Compass Installation and Adjustment; Transferring Bearings to and from a Chart; Plotting Positions

Basic Piloting

Dead Reckoning; Estimated Positions, and Set and Drift; Fixes; Plotting Conventions; Tides, Tidal Currents, and Currents; Keeping a Logbook; Expanding the Piloting Repertoire; Complex Situations, Fog, and Coral

Electronic Navigation

Chart and GPS Datums; Electronic Charting; Radar Navigation

Rules of the Road

Basic Rules; Sound (and Light) Signals; Navigation Lights

In Perspective

Addendum: One Person's Ellipsoid Is Another Person's Shipwreck

Newton versus the Cassini Family; From Sphere to Ellipsoid; From Ellipsoid to Geoid; A New Age; Nautical Peculiarities; Avoiding Reefs

Chapter 9. Anchoring, Running Aground, and Kedging Off

Ground Tackle

Calculating the Load; Matching the Components; Chain Rodes; Rope Rodes; How Much Rode?; Anchor Choices


Anchoring Routine; Setting and Retrieving an Anchor under Sail; Setting More than One Anchor; Retrieving (Weighing) an Anchor

Running Aground and Kedging Off

Running Aground under Sail; Running Aground on a Rising Tide; Running Aground on a Falling Tide; Running Aground in Tideless Waters; Towing and Salvage

Chapter 10. The Ditty Bag

Modern Ropes

A Look at Construction; Caring for Ropes

Marlinespike Seamanship

Knots; Eye Splices; Seizings and Whippings; Ratlines


Materials and Construction; Maintenance and Repairs


Hard versus Inflatable; Inflatable Options; Getting a Dinghy on and off a Boat; Miscellaneous Dinghy Thoughts

Foul-Weather Gear

Features; Layering and the Extremities

Safety-Related Equipment

Life Jackets and Harnesses; Crew Overboard Maneuvers; Fire Extinguishers

Chapter 11. Weather Predictions and Heavy-Weather Sailing

Basic Theory

Adding Wind and Putting a Spin on These Processes; Pressure Changes, Isobars, and Wind Direction; Relative Humidity, Air Masses, Stability, and Instability; Frontal Systems; The Jet Stream and the 500-Millibar Chart; The Big Picture

Coastal Cruising: Putting Theory to Use

Onshore and Offshore Winds; Thunderstorms; Fog

Offshore Cruising: Putting Theory to Use

Things to Monitor; Signs of Change; Ocean Currents

Extreme Weather Situations

Hurricanes and Typhoons; Rapidly Intensifying Lows (Meteorological Bombs); Microbursts

Heavy-Weather Sailing

Being Prepared; Heaving-To; Lying Ahull; Running Off; Sea Anchors; Dealing with Flooding; Abandoning Ship


Chapter 12. Extended Cruising and Staying in Touch

Logistical Considerations

Provisioning; Ensuring Safe Water; Environmental Issues; Finding Crew; Financial Matters and Insurance; Bureaucracy; Children Onboard

Staying Healthy

Seasickness; Good Health in Tropical Climates; Diarrhea; Childhood Infections and Infestations; Avoiding Mosquito-Borne and Other Transmittable Diseases; Cuts, Scratches, Insect Bites, and Marine Hazards

Staying in Touch

Big Ship Developments; VHF Radio; Marine SSB and Ham SSB Radio; Inmarsat; Satellite and Cell (Mobile) Phones; E-Mail; Making Decisions; Snail Mail



Metric Conversions and Trademarks


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