A Manual of Yacht & Boat Sailing by Dixon Kemp

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Dixon Kemp’s famous “Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing” was first published in 1878. The general plan of that first edition was maintained in subsequent editions, but considerable new material was added to each edition reflecting the introduction of new designs, and the changing face of yachting during the final two decades of the 19th century.

Click to view on Amazon
Click to view on Amazon

“A Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing” by Dixon Kemp is a classic and comprehensive guide to the art and science of sailing, first published in the late 19th century. This book, written by an experienced sailor and naval architect, is aimed at both beginners and seasoned sailors, offering valuable insights and practical advice.

The book opens with an introduction that provides some background on Kemp himself and sets the stage for the wealth of knowledge that follows. Kemp’s goal is clear: to equip readers with a deep understanding of yacht and boat sailing, blending both the practical and theoretical aspects.

Kemp dives into the intricate details of yacht design and construction, explaining the various types of yachts, their purposes, and the nuances of their designs. He discusses the materials commonly used in yacht construction, such as wood and metal, and the methods employed to create sturdy and seaworthy vessels.

When it comes to sailing techniques, Kemp covers the basics like wind direction, sail trimming, and maneuvering. He doesn’t stop there, though; he goes on to explore advanced techniques such as tacking, jibing, and managing different weather conditions, ensuring that readers are well-prepared for a wide range of sailing scenarios.

Navigation and safety are also key themes in the book. Kemp offers guidance on essential navigation skills, including the use of charts, compasses, and other tools. He places a strong emphasis on safety at sea, detailing life-saving equipment, emergency procedures, and best practices for avoiding and handling accidents.

For those interested in competitive sailing, Kemp provides insights into yacht racing. He discusses the rules and strategies involved in regattas and shares tips for those looking to compete. The book also features accounts of notable yacht races, adding a historical dimension to the practical advice.

Maintaining and repairing yachts and boats is another important aspect covered in the manual. Kemp offers advice on how to keep vessels in top condition to ensure their longevity and performance. He also provides instructions on common repairs, helping sailors tackle issues that may arise during their journeys.

The book is richly illustrated with diagrams, plans, and drawings, which help to clarify complex concepts and designs. A glossary of nautical terms is included to help readers become familiar with the language of sailing.

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