Cruisers: How to prepare for the big trip

Cruising Under Sail
By Dag Pike
Adlard Coles Nautical
Softcover, 192 pages
Although British marine journalist Dag Pike, now in his late 70s, spent a good part of his time on powerboats, including navigating during Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Challenger record-breaking, fastest-crossing of the Atlantic on a powerboat in 1986, he’s also spent time on sailboats.

He first took up ocean sailboat racing in 1948, and was also involved in some of the early testing of RIB inflatables and RNLI lifeboats.

In his latest book, Dag now tackles the subject of cruising for sailors, and how to prepare for the big trip, from using paper charts, anchoring, weather watching, and planning each leg, to using a GPS, understanding tides, the importance of crew and coping with emergencies.

On the topic of emergencies, the author suggests a series of “what ifs” to prepare yourself for some tricky situations, like a leaky hull (stuff something into the hole), grounding (safety of crew is most important), towing of being towed, dismasting and steering loss.

The book features many colour photographs. The layout is quite simple, but the information contained is important for both the novice and the experienced sailor.

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