book & DVD review: go sail by steve sleight

I borrowed a new book from the library: Go Sail with Live-Action DVD Coaching by Steve Sleight

Steve Sleight is no stranger to sailing, the publisher DK has this to say about him:

Steve Sleight, a former Royal Yachting Association coach and instructor at the UK’s National Sailing Centre, has taught all levels of craft and ability and is a successful racing yachtsman and British National Champion, Steve has something to offer all sailors, from those who sense that initial tingle of excitement the first time they take to the water, to those with years of experience.

this particular book was a new experience for me – the book came with it’s own DVD, a 30-minute instructional video.  the book and DVD were interwoven nicely, with hints in the book to pay attention to certain things in the video, and similarly, the video would post page numbers so you could follow along in the book at certain sections of the video.  the amazing video footage gave a real-time glimpse into how the maneuvers would be completed out on the water, and then the book broke everything down into nicely diagrammed pictures and descriptions.

the book: first off – this book is loaded with absolutely amazing nautical photography.  there are great general shots of sailing mixed in throughout the book, as well as close-ups of various sailboat parts and gear (sometimes a tad abstract!), and pictures annotated with diagrams and comments to explain the various ins and outs of a sailboat and sailing in a clear and concise fashion.  Steve begins the book by explaining some of the basics of sailing (boat basics, ropes/knots, & clothing/gear) and the principles of sailing (how a sailboat works).  he spends a good amount of time then delving into how a boat moves on the water (start/stop, points of sail), including explaining/diagramming how to change course – tacking, jibing, etc., with particular attention paid to both a 1-person dinghy and a 2-person dinghy.  the pictures and DVD both primarily used a Laser as the 1-person dinghy and a RS200 for the 2-person dinghy.  Steve spends time explaining the importance of sailing safely and understanding and sailing properly with the elements. he then briefly touches on taking the sailing experience up a notch, including sailing with a spinnaker, using a trapeze, and then other types of boats to get involved in.

the DVD: overall the DVD was fantastic – well put together, with Steve Sleight doing the voice-over, providing great commentary to explain the step-by-step procedures required to complete most of the necessary maneuvers while sailing.  the DVD was a perfect length – about 30 minutes – so that an appropriate amount of time was spent explaining each maneuver, but things were not drawn out too long to make the subject matter boring or slow to watch.  each maneuver and tactic was shown for both the 1-person Laser and the 2-person RS200, and the role of both the helmsman and crew were explained for the 2-person RS200.

book rating: 4 of 5 stars (my only real complaint – the photography was so amazing, it was almost at times distracting while trying to read the subject matter – is that really something to complain about, though?)

DVD rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had to have my library borrow this through their library inter-loan program, so this book and DVD combo might be hard to come by, but it is definitely worth finding a copy to borrow and experience for yourself.


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