Here is my choice for a textbook to use in a boating safety class, because other boaters have made mistakes and we can learn from them. Seaworthy is subtitled Essential lessons from BoatU.S.’s 20-Year Case File of Things Gone Wrong. Bob Adriance edited the BoatU.S. Seaworthy newsletter for 20 years. He collected case studies from the archives and presented them in this book along with his advice and commentary.

Boating hazards from collision to lightning are covered using examples from insurance claims. The author organized the case studies by categories that include avoiding collisions, preventing fires, staying afloat, seamanship and various weather hazards such as lightning and winter storage.

Bob describes the incidents and discusses what went wrong, and what could have been done to prevent their occurrence. Many of the incidents include sobering pictures of what happened. Bob also gives advice on what we can do to better prepare ourselves to avoid becoming an insurance case. The advice he gives can help with selection of equipment, attention to maintenance, and careful operation.

I particularly appreciated the attention to securing a boat at the dock and storage on land. Many of the problems that befall our boats occur when we are not with them — four out of five sinkings happen at the dock. And improper storage during winter haulout can damage a boat and its equipment.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m sure that you will too.

Seaworthy by Robert A. Adriance (McGraw-Hill, 2005; 274 pages)