These are based on Ian Crowson's personal choice. They are books he has enjoyed and also those he knows many students find useful.            I

The  RYA publish over 60 excellent books and booklets on subjects from getting afloat to going foreign. Join the RYA - members get 10% off,  and they sell some of the titles below. 

Books to help with RYA Courses

G15/03 Sail Cruising Logbook & Syllabus

G18/03 Motor Cruising Logbook & Syllabus

The RYA Book of Navigation by Tim Bartlett   Pub. Adlard Coles **                                                                                                                                                                           This covers navigation for yachts, sail and power. It includes content for  Day Skipper and Off-Shore Yachtmaster syllabi and more. Does not cover astro. Not the best book on navigation. Hard going, too much of the wrong detail for most. Suits anoraks. 

Tom Cunliffe's Coastal and Offshore Navigation pub. Fernhurst*****                                                                                                                                                        This is a much better book for students of navigation. It is easy to read and understand. Written in Cunliffe's great style.

Weather at Sea by David Houghton   Pub. Fernhurst. ***                                                                    Covers the weather part of Yachtmaster syllabus well enough.  A bit hard work in parts. A good companion to those aiming at Yachtmaster.  

The RYA Weather Handbook, pub RYA******                                                                                            This is a really good book on weather. One of the best books produced by the RYA. Easy to read and understand yet covering a lot of detail.

Seaman's Guide to the Rule of the A Seaman's Guide to the Rule *****                                                                                                                                                                       Excellent self-teaching book for anyone who wants to learn IRPCS to Yachtmaster and beyond

The RYA Book of Navigation Exercises  by Noice & Stevens ****                                                                                                                                                                                 Great for  use following an RYA Shorebased course for consolidating learning. Same format as the shorebased exercises, comes complete with chart.

Ocean Navigation by Tom Cunliffe    Pub. Fernhurst ******                                                                                                                                                                      Top book, makes the subject of Astro Nav as simple as possible.

VHF Radio by Sarah Hopkinson  Pub. Fernhurst *****                                                                                                                                                                     What a good book! Why can't all writers make it so clear. Also sold also as a cockpit companion in a shortened version, good.


For those who like to learn with computers:

CD Competent Crew to Yachtmaster   by Michael Collins, LongbowSailing                                                                                                                                                  Michael knows about sailing and computers, this is by far the best  CD that I've seen. Most are poor to say the least. Recommended by and available from, the RYA 


Using PC's on Board  by Rob Buttress & Tim Thornton Pub.AdlardColes*****                                                                                                                                                                             Great, well written book by two experts in the subject. Second ed. just out Jan 2003


Heavy Weather Sailing Ed. Peter Bruce   Pub Adlard Coles ******                                                                                                                                                                   Great classic book in its 5th Edition (old editions seen  s/hand are well worth buying) Anybody, sail or power, going more than a few miles off-shore should read this book. Not just text book but an adventure book too! A good read.


From Sails to Satellites by J E D Williams  Pub. Oxford University Press ****                                                                                                                                                                        Very interesting book for those well into the history of navigation.

Longitude by Dava Sobel  *****                                                                                                                          A 'classic must read' for anybody interested in navigation. The true story of John Harrison, a  genius from Yorkshire who solved the longitude problem by building the first clock that worked at sea. Follow up with a visit to Greenwich Observatory to see Harrison's chronometers and stand with a leg in east and west!

The Admiralty Chart by Rear Admiral G S Ritchie  Pub. The PentlandPress****                                                                                                                                                                             Good book about how Britain surveyed the seas and oceans of the world. Slightly heavy going but worth it.


 NOTE: I'm not suggesting these books for supporting DS or YM Courses, they are for those with a greater interest.

The Weather Handbook by Alan Watts  Pub. Waterline                                                                                                                                                                    I reckon Alan Watts, ex Met Office is the best popular writer on weather.  This book is very good and aimed all who go outdoors. Covers the Atlantic lows for the Yachtmaster theory but with loads more depth.

Instant Weather Forecasting by Alan Watts  Pub.  Adlard Coles****                                                                                                                                                                   A small book that uses 24 pictures of the sky to help you forecast your local weather and more. Aimed at outdoor people. Has been in print for about 30 years and remains a best seller.

Instant Wind Forecasting by Alan Watts                                                                                                    This book is a classic, I've had mine 30 years and its still a best seller. Particularly good for dinghy and coastal sailors interested in micro weather and wind shifts.

Collins Guide to the Weather by David Ludham*****                                                                                    Nearly my favourite book. Aimed at anybody interested in weather. Over half the book is photos of clouds. (ideal for cloud anoraks!)

Weather Facts by Dick File   Pub. Oxford University Press ****                                                                                                                                                                       Excellent reference book for non academics.


The Admiralty Manual of Navigation Vol. 1  The Stationary Office                                                                                                                                                                        All you might ever want to know about coastal and off-shore nav. A very serious book for those who want to know it all. NOT recommended for Day Skipper or YM Shorebased courses.  Vols. 2 & 3 are out of print, look out for them second hand if you're into spherical trigonometry! You will probably be still studying them as you disappear over the horizon on your final voyage!


Shackleton's Way - Leadership Lessons from The Great Antarctic Explorer, by Margot Morrel & Stephanie Capparell  Pub. Nicholas Brealey*****                                                                                          A great book and a good read. Its probably best that you first read White or one of the other books about Shackleton's survival which included 800 miles in an open boat in the Southern Ocean.

Teacher, Trainer, Tutor, - Transforming the learning relationship by Liz O'Rourke  Pub. Management Books                                                                                                                                         (For trainers)  have you ever felt patronised by a trainer or that your trainer was into power and control and that stopped you learning? If you don't want to do this to others  then this book would help. Very refreshing.



GMDSS - A Users Handbook  by Denise Brehaut****                                                                         Covers long range radio and sat. comms . Very good book for those going for certs. beyond SRC 

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