Salty reads to keep you busy while the weather keeps you below decks

 The Man Who Challenged America
Laurence Brady, published by Birlinn,
£16.99, 240 pages, hardback

This well-presented biography tracks the journey of self-made Glaswegian Thomas Lipton from his lowly beginnings as a grocer to a self-made millionaire by the age of 30, thanks to the thriving Lipton family tea business.

For all his successes, Lipton was far from infallible, and the five-times failure to bring the America’s Cup home with his yachts Shamrock I, II, III, IV and V between 1898 and 1930 was a huge disappointment to the man who had everything. Despite this, Lipton’s steadfast determination made him well-respected, his name a byword for sportsmanship and diplomacy, and he began the link between sport and business that is so vital today.

Brady’s book is well-researched and down-to-earth, with a classic selection of early 1900s black-and-white photographs to illustrate Lipton’s quest. With Britain currently launching yet another bid to bring the ‘Auld Mug’ home, Lipton’s story is a welcome voyage down memory lane.

A Year In Flagrante
Martin Cartwright, with illustrations by Don Seed
Published by Glover’s Yard Publishing, click here to buy 
£9, 87 pages,

Illustrated letters from the in-tray of Captain Glover, an accident prone middle-aged seafarer, chronicling his irreverent path through the sailing world and the comical responses that it provokes from various authorities. Original and witty, an easy bunk-time read that will absolve you of your own sailing sins.

Eye of the Cannon
Sam Llewellyn
Published by Catnip
£5.99, 134 pages

One for the kids, this tale follows ship-mad Kate Griffiths and her adventures. Set in 1814 while England is at war with America, Kate dresses up as a boy to have a nose around the local ships. After falling asleep on a Royal Navy ship, she wakes up far from land, chasing an American man-of-war. A sweet story of life on the high-seas that’s sure to give your younger crewmates buccaneer aspirations.

English/French Sailing Companion appendixand other aids to translation,
by Emile Schamp
Available from 

Emile Schamp’s all-encompassing English/French Sailing Companion is already a big hit with cruisers who like to explore the other side of the Channel. The new Addendum is packed with useful new words and diagrams, designed to insert into the main dictionary. Schamp has also compiled two mini-guides for the gastronomic sailor – the self-explanatoryShopping in FranceandAt the Restaurant. A must-have for any Francophile whose French is less than perfect.