Julia Jones, Yachting Monthly's literary reviewer discusses Seamanship 2.0, which consistently takes the approach that the best cure is prevention
Seamanship 2.0 gets its title from the idea of labelling upgrades that have been improved in their second version.
The aim is not to achieve a qualification but to inculcate and develop the attitude that the skipper is 100% responsible for his or her ship.
The suggestion is that so many clever contemporary ideas – like GPS – have made it so much easier for many people to get to sea, that many may have lost some of the basic self-reliance.
Author Mike Westin, being an experienced lifeboatman as well as an ocean cruiser, has seen too many situations where the skipper just dials for help when a little more initiative and ‘thinking-outside the box’ might have resolved the problem.
The best cure is prevention
Seamanship 2.0 consistently takes the approach that the best cure is prevention and provides plenty of good information in this sailing book.
Fostering good crew attitudes and ensuring that the skipper mirrors best practice when moving about the boat is integral to safety.
There’s always something new to be learned and, for me, the explanation of the way the legs of a MOB function as a drogue, potentially turning the face into the waves, makes a compelling case for a sprayhood – though an even better one for rigging sufficient additional jacklines to keep people safely on deck in the first place.
Generally the book is attempting to make the reader think, rather than rush to the chandlery for more equipment.
There are sections discussing on-board fire, being holed and sinking and – somewhat less dramatically – running aground, an everyday hazard in my part of the world, which most sailing manuals ignore.
Seamanship 2.0 includes a well-targeted first aid section, written by professionals.
Perhaps best of all Ollie Landsell’s lively and abundant illustrations are as stimulating as the text itself and frequently memorable.
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