A shopping list for the mariner - or boat bum - you love
The past two years have been notable for political controversies, and now we have the economic debacle finally starting to seriously affect the Vineyard as well. You may find that you need respite from the world at large, and our small one, but you can no longer afford the yacht or a trip to Italy, or even a trip to Boston. Each year it is my pleasure to review maritime books and other nautical items that have caught my eye, and may be suitable for your own libraries and workshops, or for gifts. Be comforted to realize that the cost of a book or a tool is vastly more doable. Plus, it will provide you and the potential recipients endless pleasure. That is, if you agree with my recommendations.
This year, I've again picked a mix of new and old books, plus a few kids' books and even some movies. With young grandsons, I am anxious to provide them with cultural experiences from around the world. Books and documentaries or magazines are one way, and sailing and boats are another as they all carry us all over. As Capt. Robert S. Douglas, master of the schooner Shenandoah, says, "The waters of Vineyard Sound are connected to all the waters of the world." And through these connections we are all connected!
Building Kettenburgs, Premier Boats Designed and Built in Southern California, was published by Mystic Seaport Museum, late in 2008, in cooperation with the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Written by Mark Allen and featuring many photographs, plans and sketches, as well as extensive endnotes, this is a beautifully produced book. The narrative fascinated several local boatbuilders with its explanations of the philosophy behind the designs and construction techniques. The Kettenburg family built boats for about 70 years, and many of them are still around, much loved and sailed along the California coast.
Traditional Boats Of Ireland, History, Folklore And Construction, edited by Criostoir MacCarthaigh for the Traditional Boats of Ireland Project, and published by The Collins Press. This is a truly magisterial book and an incredible tome of knowledge. Those who know only of Galway Hookers or Curraghs (spelled Curachs in the book) will be amazed at the wide number and variety of traditional boats. Go to their website: www.tradboats.ie for a quick glimpse of what this project and book are about, and have accomplished. I can't praise the scope and content (text, plans, photos, reference materials, interviews, sketches and working drawings) of this book enough. It is a very expensive book, but it is fabulous. I wish that someone could have documented the traditional boats of America in a similar fashion before so many of them turned into compost.