Your Boating Library: Recommended Reading

Portrait of a girl reading a book while sitting on a small wooden wharf.


Our Freedom Boat Club captains have chosen the following as the best general books to start a boating library.

Between them, these volumes cover the full array of boating topics, from how to handle everything from a paddle-board all the way to a 65-foot trawler, and more!

Chapman Piloting & Seamanship
68th Edition
(Hearst Books)

Known as “the Bible of Boating”, Chapman Piloting & Seamanship has been the leading reference book for both power and sail boaters for over 100 years. More than 3 million copies have been printed.  The latest edition has 920 pages, 1,500 full-color illustrations and charts, exploded views and cutaways, and updated with information on federal laws, regulations, and fees.

Getting Started In Powerboating
3rd Edition
by Bob Armstrong
(International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press)

This updated edition  of the bestselling guide provides all the information needed select a boat, master maneuvering, and understand the rules and conventions of powerboating. The book covers all powerboats: big and small; single-engine, twin-engine, outboard, and sterndrive; trailerable and non-trailerable. Featuring new photographs illustrating key techniques and maneuvering sequences, including turning, backing, and docking.

Powerboat Handling Illustrated
How to Make Your Boat Do Exactly What You Want It to Do

by Bob Sweet
(International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press)

Using hundreds of illustrations and photos, Powerboat Handling Illustrated provides step-by-step instructions on such tasks as docking, trimming, wave handling, and close-quarters maneuvering. The maneuvers are adapted to different types of boats under various conditions.

Start Powerboating Right!
The National Standard for Quality On-the-water Instruction

The Certification Series
(United States Sailing Association)

Written by experts in the field of powerboat handling, this training manual will bring the beginner through the basics and beyond.

We also recommend this title as a great introduction to sailing:

Basic Keelboat
The National Standard for Quality Sailing Instruction

The Certification Series
(United States Sailing Association)

The definitive learn-to-sail text covers the skills and terminology required to skipper a small daysailing keelboat, breaking down maneuvers like tacking, jibing, docking and overboard recovery in a simple, understandable manner.

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