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Book details
  • SubGenre:Sailing
  • Language:English
  • Pages:150
  • eBook ISBN:9781543907469

The Upside Down Spinnaker

Ups and Downs of Cruising, Racing, And Buying Cruiser Size Sail Boats

by Ned Rosen

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This book is about the thrills, fun, nature's beauties, unwelcome challenges, and serious risks in cruising and racing cruiser size sailing yachts. "Cruiser size" is defined as boats whose length ranges from twenty-four feet to forty plus, and whose cabin includes most of the comforts of home, e.g., marine toilet, kitchen, bunks for sleeping, shower and more. Based on their many years of sailing several different yachts in varied waters, two salty skippers illustrate and bring to life the subjective side of sailing sizeable yachts, and its psychological rewards. On the other hand, they also describe some of the unpleasant, even dangerous circumstances that can be encountered on the water, especially when venturing far from one's home port. They make clear that a sailboat cruise is not always romantic and free from stress. Describing the human element in racing as crucial, their book includes a detailed treatment of racing crews as a critical success factor. Emphasis is on developing teamwork, and avoidance of many human errors that lose races, cause injuries, or can result in loss of life. Over a period of many years, the two skippers separately purchased several cruiser size sailing yachts used in their various racing venues. They had to deal with design shortcomings, manufacturing errors, and dealer installation deficiencies. These, and others they heard about from other sailors, are described in a separate chapter. It augments another chapter that provides much information to help prospective buyers and individuals planning a charter. The book includes numerous photos and several amusing cartoons. While the text is non-technical, a Glossary is included for readers having limited sailing experience.
This book about sailing begins with an account of the author's and his collaborator's separate early experiences and the problems they encountered. In one case, ignorance was not bliss - it resulted in property damage. The other case, despite life-threatening conditions at sea, luckily had a happy conclusion. Fortunately, both boys grew up, and became very "salty" sailors. In this book, they share lessons learned and wisdom gleaned through almost ten decades of cruising and racing sizeable cabin cruisers in many different bodies of water. They have compressed their combined years of experience on the water into a sensible, practical, and highly readable guide for sailors at all skill and experience levels. What's the main theme of the book? To make clear that prospective long-distance cruising sailors need clear thinking and realistic plans as they make purchasing decisions. To help make that happen, the authors present accounts of a few (of several) joyful experiences, some mixed experiences, and some ugly ones - and much more. Their rich and engaging narrative about sailing also portrays picturesque villages on the shores of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, the Long Island Sound, and Chesapeake Bay. Up-close sightings of gorgeous sea birds, playful dolphins, a large leaping manta ray, scores of huge basking whales in the Long Island Sound, and even a near collision with a swimming buck deer during a night-time race brought much joy, as did awesome sun rises and sunsets. An encounter with flying blood suckers on Lake Ontario, and a miserable anchorage on a rainy night with mosquitos in the Florida Keys brought only pain. Between them, the two men purchased nine cruisers, and chartered several others over six decades. Based on their various experiences with these vessels they offer practical, hard-won advice to readers on how to buy one, and how to avoid common mistakes. They do this by posing thought questions for shoppers to answer prior to spending money on either new or used boats. Buying a cruising size sailboat isn't as easy as it may seem, especially to someone new to sailing. Scary design and manufacturing defects, and mistakes by dealers to be avoided are identified. Both skippers had to deal with serious below water line leaks in harrowing conditions. Their bad experiences can make yours better. The authors' practical lessons on developing and leading race crews for cruisers are important elements in the book. Both men bring much experience with team building to this essential part of racing from their separate professional and racing careers. Rosen provides a team excellence model, and both men contribute to a list of more than thirty mistakes that race crew members are prone to commit. Most of the mistakes cause boat speed loss. Some can result in injury or worse. Readers will learn how to prevent or recover from these mistakes under racing conditions. While "The Upside-Down Spinnaker" is not a technical book, a glossary is included for less experienced readers, plus numerous photos and illustrations.
About the author
Ned Rosen, now a retired Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, learned to sail small boats as a youngster in South Florida. After high-school there he earned degrees at three educational institutions, including a PhD at Purdue University. Subsequently he became a Professor at Cornell University. There he conducted research and taught courses on group dynamics, leadership, and inter-group conflict. He cruised his own boats on Lake Ontario, the Long Island Sound, and in the Florida Keys. He skippered charter yachts on Chesapeake Bay, and the British Virgin Islands. He raced three of his cruisers over the years on Cayuga Lake at Ithaca, NY, where he won numerous flags and glassware.
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