Online Books

  1. Click on a title.
  2. Online Books are divided into chapters.
  3. Get to the bottom of a chapter—click on a link to the next or previous chapter.
  4. Click at the top of a chapter to return to the Table of Contents.

Anchoring Made Easy


There are few activities in the voyaging life that cause more anxiety and stress than anchoring. But it does not have to be that way. In this book John and Colin share what they have learned in a combined century of anchoring from Greenland to Brazil, as well as a lot of places between.

Coming Alongside (Docking) Made Easy


Over my years on the water I have seen more unhappy and stressful events while watching boaters bring their craft alongside than any other task—yes, even more than anchoring, and that’s saying something.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. These proven techniques, along with a couple of days practice, will make you a confident close quarters boat handler.

Electrical Systems For Cruising Boats


How to get the very best from a cruising boat electrical system—real information that works based on 25 years of live-aboard experience. John is also an electronics technician by trade, so doubly qualified to provide practical and reliable information.

Engines For Cruising Boats


Matt, AAC Engineering Correspondent, starts this Online Book with an in-depth look at what makes an efficient powertrain and how we can benefit from future developments.

John then shares his experience gained in three re-powers and twenty years of cruising the Arctic, where a reliable engine is literally a lifesaver, including a step-by-step account (with many photographs) of the latest and highly successful repower of Morgan’s Cloud.

If you own a boat with an engine—auxiliary sail or power—you will benefit from reading this, even if you only use the knowledge to better manage your existing engine and, into the bargain, make it last longer and break down less often.

Getting Out There Cruising


There are endless books and articles on the boats and gear required to get out there cruising, but what about the most important thing of all…You. John, Phyllis, Christopher and Colin write about what you need to do to get out cruising and have fun when you do.

Full of tips that will help you handle the really hard stuff, like matching your cruising style to your own aspirations, and the really big one, handling fear and anxiety.

Heavy Weather Tactics


When you have spent some 45 years going offshore in sailboats and 25 years doing the same in the high latitudes, you learn a thing or two about heavy weather tactics, whether you like it or not.

In this Online Book John takes you through the options for storm survival from drogue deployment to heaving-to including step-by-step guides to putting together an easy to deploy and retrieve storm survival system system. The book also includes real world storm survival advice from some of the most experienced heavy weather sailors of our time.

How To Buy a Cruising Boat


How to choose and buy a boat that will really make you happy including: the things the broker will not tell you, getting a good survey, when are refits worth it and how to do one without disaster. All hard actionable advice.

Maintaining a Cruising Boat


When we think of voyaging, we think of tradewind passages and beautiful landfalls. But what will really govern how much fun your cruise will be is much more mundane: It will come down to how good you are at maintaining your boat. Colin and John share knowledge gained from a combined 100 years of maintaining offshore boats.

Navigation and Marine Electronics


The fruits of a combined century of navigation, much of it before electronic gadgets, and then we relate that experience to modern electronic navigation.

Person Overboard Prevention & Recovery


If you fall overboard from a short-handed boat, you are probably not going to be rescued. Tips and procedures that will help keep you and your loved ones on the boat.

And now, notwithstanding the above, includes chapters on recovery.

Sail Handling and Rigging Made Easy


Setting, reefing and striking sails and doing it in challenging conditions—tips, techniques, gear, sail selection and rigging.

Weather Reception and Analysis


Step-by-step methods to receive weather information while offshore and in remote places.

Continuous Update and Improvement

One of the most wonderful things about offshore sailing is that we never know it all. In fact, the more we learn and the more years we spend voyaging, the more we realize that we have more to learn. With Online Books, we can, and do, revise and improve constantly.

The date of the last update is shown in the byline area of every chapter.

And I do mean constantly—barely a day goes by that we don’t change or improve a chapter based on new wisdom. 


Our Online Books are interactive so when you, the reader, have a question or a suggestion for a better way to do things, you can contribute that as a comment.

So our Online Books are not just our wisdom but also include that of hundreds of others:

  • experienced voyagers,
  • boatbuilders,
  • and engineers;

far more wisdom than any one person could accumulate in a lifetime.