Sailing References


Aspiring Writer
Jun 29, 2006
Does anyone know of a good sailing ship reference book? I have seen quite a few but what I am looking for is something that may contain drawings of the different parts of the ship and exactly how they work/sail as well as the usual nautical terms.

Many thanks.
What period of sailing ship?

If Napoleonic War era is your interest then as well as a text book I'd suggest reading one of CS Forester's Hornblower books. I remember them as being pretty accurate on details.

Other than that, I'd just go down your local library and see what they've got for starters. I researched ships years ago for a book and I went the library route. (Can't remember what they were to recommend.)
Further thought. Again depending on period, there are various people who have built replicas and sailed them. Only one that I can immediately name is Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki - and have also written books about it.
The 100-Gun Ship Victory by John McKay ISBN 9 780 85177 798 6

Gives the complete anatomy of Nelson's flagship, complete with scale plans/drawings covering approx. 80 pages. Goes from full overview down to diagrams of individual blocks.
Thanks, will have a look at all the recommendations. I already tried my local library but they were no help at all, just sent me to the reference section where all the war books were.
Does your library have its catalogue online? With my county library, you can log in and search via the web, and order books from other branches at 50p each. If they are on the shelf when you order them, then they usually arrive within a week.

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