Handling Schooners

I am currently reading your book entitled Surviving the Storm and want you to know I think it is one of the most comprehensive books I’ve read thus far–more like a textbook than the typical books on rough weather sailing. It’s possible that I may be asking you something you’re not able to answer. If so, accept my apologies for the inconvenience, but I thought you may be able to help me on finding a book on another related subject. I am looking for any book that discusses the differences in sailing techniques for schooners versus sloops. I have a fair amount of experience both in racing and cruising sloops but don’t know anyone knowledgeable about schooners. I just sold my boat (sloop) and am toying with the idea of possibly buying a schooner if I can find one in my price range. I am nearing 70 years old and would like to find a boat that has a normal amount of sails but would be less strenuous on my tired muscles. (And beside, I always liked the looks of a schooner over simple sloops or ketches.) I already have a zillion books on sailing etc. but have not been able to find any about sailing schooners. If you can give me any info about this I would appreciate it.

Hi Fred: If you like the way a schooner looks, great! But they are a lot of work, way more than a single sticker or proper ketch rig–for a given amount of miles per day. That said, I’d contact Chris Flavell at Sea Ocean Book Berth in Seattle, WA (206-675-9020). Chris is a repository for all sorts of used books and will have lots of schooner titles I’ll bet. Of particular interest maybe one or two of Eric Tabarly’s books from the 70s or so in which he discusses in detail the sailing of one of his racing schooners–modern version. Good Reading!

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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