Our boating journey began years ago when I bought my first book, A Sail of Two Idiots, by Renee Petrillo. After reading their story of leaving the rat race, buying a boat (with NO boating experience) and sailing the Caribbean I was addicted! Growing up I was never much of a reader, unlike my mother who was an avid reader. But there’s something about living vicariously through these sailors and their stories, that got me hooked. With every book I read (and many of them are from the Pacific Northwest!) we are that much closer to fulfilling our dream. Perhaps someday, we’ll write a book of our own?
Below I have put together a quick list of the books we have read with links to Amazon. These are all great stories that will capture you and let you take a break from your everyday life.
Favorite Cruising Books I’ve Read:
- A Sail of Two Idiots – a young couple sells their home in Arizona and buy a catamaran in Florida with no boating experience at all.
- Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey – this is definitely one of my all time favorite books! Local author, Wendy Hinman and her husband Garth are from Seattle and decide to sail for seven years on their 31′ sailboat. They travel from the PNW around the world a few times! I love seeing Wendy every year at the Seattle Boat Show. She also wrote another book, see below.
- Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire – this is a big novel about her husband Garth’s family when they sailed the world in the 70’s and reefed their boat. This is worth the read. It is very similar to Black Wave – see this book on the list below.
- The Motion of the Ocean – written by a newlywed from the Pacific Northwest, her tales about her first year of marriage on the Pacific are hysterical.
- Sail Away: How to Escape the Rat Race and Live the Dream– a book detailing how to leave the rat race and sail away.
- A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean – a couple from Vermont sell their business and open a restaurant in Anguilla. This is a great story! Plus they also have a cookbook, called: At Blanchard’s Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook
- An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude – a Toronto couple sails down the ICW to the Caribbean.
- Leap of Faith: Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat– Ed Robinson and his wife decide to leave the cold weather & live on their power boat in Florida! He gives great details on how they managed to do it.
- Sailing the Dream – this is a story about a Seattle area dentist who leaves everything so sail with the love of his life. His story about going around Neah Bay is harrowing!
- Seasoned by Salt: A Voyage in Search of the Caribbean – an east coast couple sails down to the Caribbean.
- Everyone Said I Should Write a Book: The Travels and Adventure of a Sailor and Explorer – this book is full of short stories about this sailor. He then wrote a second book.
- Everyone Said I Should Write Another Book: More Travels and Adventures of a Sailor and Explorer
- Poop, Booze, and Bikinis – in his second book, Ed Robinson talks about the funny things that we deal with while living on boats.
- Life Was a Cabaret– another PNW couple travels for six years across the oceans and she shares lots of funny stories.
- Sailing The Waterhouse South Until the Butter Melts – another couple from the PNW (Everett, WA) sail over 35,000 nautical miles
- Living on Island Time, All the Time: Sailing and the Pursuit of Happiness – this couple quit their jobs and moved onto their 27′ sail boat and sailed down the ICW to the Caribbean!
- Quest and Crew: A True Sailing Adventure (Volume 1) – the first book of a 3 part series. David Beaupre buys a sail boat and retrofits it in his backyard. It’s informative and funny!
- Quest on the Thorny Path: A True Caribbean Sailing Adventure (Volume 2)
- Quest for the Virgins: A True Caribbean Sailing Adventure (Volume 3)
- Convergence: A Voyage through French Polynesia – this is a great coffee table book full of gorgeous photos and this family’s story of their journey.
- Black Wave: A Family’s Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them – this is an amazing survival story about a family from California who reefed their sailboat and their father nearly died. It is an emotional, yet inspirational story.
- Leavin’ The Grind Behind…: Get Palm’d in the Virgin Islands – this is not a sailing book, but about a guy that falls in love with the Virgin Islands.
- Like Winning the Lottery: How Moving to an Island Paradise made me Happier than a Millionaire and How I’m Loving Life as an Expat – another book about living in paradise, but on land.
- Of Foreign Build – This is the first book by Jackie Parry. After losing her partner to cancer and figuring out her life, she ends up finding her soulmate and sailing the world. Her perspective on their adventures is very entertaining & relatable.
- This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat – Jackie Parry’s second book (I haven’t read it yet) about her continued journey.
Books about Living Aboard
- All in the Same Boat : Living Aboard and Cruising
- Living Aboard: A Condensed Guide for Moving from House to Hull
- The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat
- How to Live Aboard Your Own Boat
- Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Sailing
As I continue to read more books (and I have about five new ones I’m reading right now), I will add them to this list!
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