book review: learn to sail in a weekend

this is my 1st book review for my2fish: I picked up a couple books on sailing from my local public library – the 1st one I read was “learn to sail in a weekend” (Amazon link) by John Driscoll.

the book was chock-full of pictures, diagrams, illustrations – all of which can be very helpful when you are just starting to learn some of the sailing terms – starboard vs port, mainsheet vs halyard, etc.  the book was well put together – laid out in a timeline fashion, breaking down the important steps of learning to sail, so that theoretically, you could learn it all in just a “weekend”.  I was impressed by the clarity of the step-by-step instruction for each part of sailing that you will need to know prior to sailing.  full color photos were included for almost every step – rigging, launching, reaching, tacking, heavy winds, capsize & recovery, etc.

my one complaint most likely stems from the fact that the Sunfish rig is just so simple – just one sail, one mainsheet, one halyard (I suppose you can make it a bit more complicated with the Jens rig, cunningham, racing adjustments, etc – but those are beyond my current skill set).  the book’s diagrams and steps for sailing mostly deal with a sailboat that is rigged with a jib sail, and most often sailed by two sailors – a helmsmen and a crew, so most of the instructions are geared towards the 2 sailor’s separate responsibilities, where on a Sunfish, often sailed solo, you’d have to complete all the steps alone.

overall: very good introduction to the sport of sailing, a quick and easy read with fantastic color photos and diagrams

rating: 4.5 stars


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