Did you read the title and decide you were not interested? Already got your boat? Nothing here for you — wrong!This well-written paperback offers good insights into what boat might be right for you and how to avoid many of the possible pitfalls when choosing a sailboat. Not obvious by the title is the wealth of information included for prospective boat buyers after they buy the boat or for those who already own a boat.

This book is about how to find the right boat for you and your budget: new or used, large or small, dingy or trailerable, daysailer or liveaboard. It presents ideas on what kind of boat might fit your needs and discusses things prospective sailboat buyers might overlook in their eagerness to get their own sailboat. If you are already feeling the breeze, remember being there? It covers mundane things like marinas, trailers, joint-ownership, maintenance, insurance, financing, and so on. The book details what to look for when you are actually looking at boats, recommends test sailing, reminds you to check fit and finish and to seek your comfort level in the cockpit and belowdecks. It says you probably need a surveyor and discusses how to choose and locate one.

This book also explains many things new or prospective sailors need to know regarding safety, terminology, and maintaining a sailboat. The authors introduce ideas readers can research before they commit to a particular boat or plan for using it. These are items seasoned sailors know but those new to sailing might learn the hard way. It includes information on safety and ground tackle requirements and several helpful checklists. There is a good glossary and index.

This book will be of value to prospective or new sailors who have many questions about sailboats and using them. Many of the questions asked on sailing e-lists and bulletins by newbies are answered here. In short, there is much more here than just a guide to buying a sailboat. It’s well worth reading. You might even want to add it to you library for reference and to loan to guests who will sail with you to add some basics to their knowledge.

Your New Sailboat: Choosing It, Using It by the Editors of Chapman Piloting (Hearst Books, 2002; 192 pages)