I just read Herb McCormick’s biography of Lin and Larry Pardey, As Long as It’s Fun. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I devoured the book, or maybe to be more accurate still, the book consumed me for several hours.
A Good Read
Herb is one of the world’s best writers about sailing, and when presented with as interesting a subject as Lin and Larry, he truly shines. And what adds so much to the book is that it’s not just a fan-boy biography, but rather presents the Pardeys warts and all, including the stresses that their minimalist cruising lifestyle put, from time to time, on their relationship—it wasn’t always fun.
I think many of us in the cruising community pigeon-hole Lin and Larry as that rather odd couple that sailed small wooden boats without engines—old fashioned throwbacks to another time whose thinking really doesn’t apply to modern boats and methods.
But, in fact, Lin and Larry are two of the best mariners of our time, or maybe any time, with lessons to teach all of us, no matter what kind of boats we sail, and Herb does a great job of bringing that side of the couple to the fore.
A Vital Read
A technique that we never would have thought of without the inspiration of having read an earlier version of their book—Lin and Larry’s fundamental teachings translated well to a 56-foot relatively modern aluminum cutter.
A Business Book
That Lin and Larry know a lot about heavy weather sailing should come as no surprise, but what is surprising is Herb’s story of what clever and innovative entrepreneurs the two of them are. So if you are trying to figure out how to get out there cruising and still eat, studying their approach to their many business enterprises may be useful.
A Love Story
Anyway, aside from all that, As Long as It’s Fun is a charming life, voyaging and love story. I highly recommend it to anyone with even the slightest interest in boats and the sea.
The Father of Attainable Adventure Cruising
By the way, Herb is not only a great writer, he is also a cracker-jack editor, a skill that might be even more rare. It was Herb who some 20 years ago recognized a kernel of value in the ramblings of a dyslexic sailor within a manuscript buried deep in the slush pile at Cruising World magazine, and then mentored that sailor as he made his first often-faltering steps towards becoming a writer.
So in some ways you could say that Herb McCormick is the father of Attainable Adventure Cruising. Thanks, Herb.
Have you read any good books about offshore voyaging lately? If so, please share in a comment.
Neither Lin and Larry, nor Herb, solicited this article or provided any value, in cash or in kind, to me or this website in connection with it. Further, I paid the same price as anyone else would for the book and we don’t receive any benefit if you buy one.
Lin did send us a free copy of Storm Tactics Handbook some years ago.