Search for books, people and lists
Read This Twice
HomePeopleBooksSonaLibrariesSign in

Best Sailing Books

Set sail on a literary voyage with these top sailing books, featuring narratives full of adventure, technical know-how, and the allure of the sea. They have been charted based on their recommendations by seasoned sailors and leading nautical publications.

Recommendations from 48 articles, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and 39 others.
Best Sailing Books
89 books on the list
Sort by
Number of Articles
Sailing Alone Around the World book cover
Sailing Alone Around the World
Joshua Slocum - 1999-06-01 (first published in 1899)
Goodreads Rating
This thrilling memoir recounts Captain Joshua Slocum's three-year journey to circumnavigate the world alone by boat. As the first man to accomplish this feat, Slocum faced pirate attacks, gale-force winds, and the ever-present threat of shipwreck. His journey took him across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where he visited South Africa, South America, and Australia. This book is a must-read for anyone with a love for adventure and the open sea.
The Long Way book cover
The Long Way
Bernard Moitessier - 1995-01-01 (first published in 1971)
Goodreads Rating
Join Bernard Moitessier on his unbelievable journey as he takes on the first solo, non-stop circumnavigation race around the world. Battling treacherous weather conditions, gear failures, fatigue, and loneliness, Moitessier's journey is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. But when he nears the finish line, he decides to keep sailing on for another three months, eventually ending his 37,455-mile journey in Tahiti without ever touching land. This is the incredible story of The Long Way.
The Annapolis Book of Seamanship book cover
The Annapolis Book of Seamanship
Fourth Edition
John Rousmaniere - 1999-10-01
Goodreads Rating
This comprehensive guide to seamanship has been called the sailor's bible since its launch in 1983. From basic skills to advanced techniques and current electronics, the book covers all aspects of sailing. The author emphasizes the importance of mastering sailing fundamentals, including boat handling, safety, emergency preparedness, weather reading, navigation, maintenance, and tradition. The book is well-organized and written in jargon-free language, with helpful illustrations throughout. This is an essential resource for any sailor, and a must-read for those wanting to improve their skills.
Maiden Voyage book cover
Maiden Voyage
Tania Aebi - 1996-09-29 (first published in 1989)
Goodreads Rating
Embark on an extraordinary adventure and spiritual journey with a young woman who sails around the world alone on a twenty-six-foot sloop. Through the highs and lows of her 27,000 mile journey, she discovers the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, faces death-dealing horrors of the Red Sea, and confronts her own needs, desires, dreams, and goals. Maiden Voyage is a captivating memoir of courage, self-discovery, and love.
Voyage for Madmen book cover
Voyage for Madmen
Peter Nichols - 2002-06-01 (first published in 1997)
Goodreads Rating
A thrilling tale of courage and determination, this book recounts the true story of the first attempt to sail around the world alone and non-stop. In 1968, nine men from different countries set out to make history and face unimaginable challenges. Only one crossed the finish line, while the rest encountered despair, madness, and death. A must-read for anyone interested in adventure and maritime history.
Recommended by
Nancy Pearl
Adrift book cover
Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea
Steven Callahan - 2002-10-17 (first published in 1986)
Goodreads Rating
Survival at sea! Steven Callahan shares his incredible firsthand account in Adrift, a seafaring classic that was on the New York Times bestseller list for over 36 weeks. He's the only man known to have survived more than a month alone at sea in an inflatable raft, fighting for his life after his sloop capsized. A must-have for any adventure library.
The Kon-Tiki Expedition book cover
The Kon-Tiki Expedition
Thor Heyerdahl - 1990-05-01 (first published in 1948)
Goodreads Rating
Join biologist Thor Heyerdahl on an astonishing adventure across the Pacific Ocean by raft. In a journey of 4,300 nautical miles, Heyerdahl and five other adventurers set out to prove an intriguing theory about the settlement of the South Sea Islands. Battling raging storms, whales, and sharks for three months on the open sea, they sighted land and achieved their mission. Translated into 65 languages, Kon-Tiki is a classic tale of daring and courage that has inspired countless readers.
Gipsy Moth Circles the World book cover
Gipsy Moth Circles the World
Francis Chichester - 1967-01-01
Goodreads Rating
A sailor's daring journey around the world aboard a small boat is chronicled in this timeless classic. Francis Chichester set sail at 65 years old, to complete the fastest ever circumnavigation in history, returning nine months later as a hero. Discover this inspiring story and witness the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4/E book cover
Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4/E
Nigel Calder - 2005-06-01 (first published in 1990)
Goodreads Rating
Discover how to design, install, and maintain electrical and mechanical systems on your boat with this definitive guide. Covering everything from engines and electrical systems to refrigeration and rigging, this book is a must-have for sail and power boat owners. Updated to include information on hybrid propulsion, distributed power systems, and fuel cells, it offers solutions for legacy boats and options for new ones. Praised as "the best of its kind," by "WoodenBoat," this book should be standard equipment on every boat.
Godforsaken Sea book cover
Godforsaken Sea
Racing the World's Most Dangerous Waters
Derek Lundy - 2000-06-06 (first published in 1998)
Goodreads Rating
Embark on a perilous journey through the world's most treacherous and isolated seas with this award-winning book. Follow the sixteen sailors who set out on a single-handed yacht race and discover the unrelenting strain and chilling casualty rates that come with handling 60-foot boats day and night for three and a half to five months alone at sea. Learn about the sea and its power over us, drawing us in and repelling us, and why some risk everything to sail its waters. This special anniversary edition includes a new foreword from the author.
The Proving Ground by G. Bruce Knecht
The Complete Sailing Manual by Steve Sleight
Left For Dead by Nick Ward
The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin
Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre Deroche
Two Years Before The Mast by Richard Henry Dana
The Complete Sailor, Second Edition by David Seidman
Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual by Don Casey
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
World of My Own by Robin Knox-Johnston
Escape from the Ordinary by Julie Bradley
The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford W. Ashley
The Last Grain Race by Eric Newby
Sailing For Dummies by J. J. Isler
Swell by Liz Clark
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
Longitude by Dava Sobel
500 Days by Serge Testa
Endurance by Alfred Lansing
Get Real, Get Gone by Rick Page
MASTER AND COMMANDER [Special edition including bonus book by Patrick O'Brian
The Voyager's Handbook by Beth Leonard
Sailing Made Easy by The American Sailing Association Asa
How to Sail Around the World by Hal Roth
The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof
Plunge by Liesbet Collaert
Fastnet, Force 10 by John Rousmaniere
Heavy Weather Sailing by Peter Bruce, Friedl
The International Marine Book of Sailing by William Robinson
World Cruising Handbook by Jimmy Cornell
Maiden Voyage...the First American woman- and the Youngest Person ever- to Circummavigate by Tania Aebi, Photos
438 Days by Jonathan Franklin
South by Ernest Henry Shackleton
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
Dove by Robin L. Graham
Sailing a Serious Ocean by John Kretschmer
Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 68th Edition by Chapman
The Morrow Guide to Knots by Mario Bigon, Guido Regazzoni
Last Man Off by Matt Lewis
A Race Too Far by Chris Eakin
Once is Enough by Miles Smeeton
Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die by Chris Santella
The Capable Cruiser by Lin Pardey
Cost Conscious Cruiser by Lin Pardey
World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell
How to Read a Nautical Chart by Nigel Calder
Learning to Sail by Di Goodman
Seraffyn's European Adventure by Lin Pardey
Winning in One-designs by Dave Perry
Sailing Fundamentals by Gary Jobson
Self Sufficient Sailor 3rd edition, fully revised and expanded by Lin Pardey
Encounters of a Wayward Sailor by Tristan Jones
Across the Savage Sea by Maud Fontenoy
A Sail of Two Idiots by Renee Petrillo
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
North to the Night by Alvah Simon
The Curve of Time by M. Blanchet
The Complete Rigger's Apprentice by Brion Toss
Close to the Wind by Pete Goss
Ocean Passages and Landfalls by Rod Heikell and Andy O'Grady
The Wager by David Grann
Float Plan by Trish Doller
Looking for a Ship by John McPhee
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
The Book of Sailing Knots by Peter Owen
The Odyssey of Homer by Homer
As Long as It's Fun, the Epic Voyages and Extraordinary Times of Lin and Larry Pardey by Herb McCormick
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Catamarans by Gregor Tarjan
Sailing For Dummies by J. J. Fetter, Peter Isler, Marly Isler
The Lonely Sea and the Sky by Francis Chichester
Mar remoto by Derek Lundy, Juan Pedro Campos Gomez
Taking on the World by Ellen MacArthur
And the Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi