Seamanship in the Age of Sail

By John Harland

About the book

Numerous successful reprints of contemporary works on rigging and seamanship indicate the breadth of interest in the lost art of handling square-rigged ships. Modelmakers, marine painters and enthusiasts need to know not only how the ships were rigged but how much sail was set in each condition of wind and sea, how the various manoeuvres were carried out, and the intricacies of operations like reefing sails or ‘catting’ an anchor. Contemporary treatises such as Brady’s Kedge Anchor in the USA or Darcy Lever’s Sheet Anchor in Britain tell only half the story, for they were training manuals intended to be used at sea in conjunction with practical experiences and often only covered officially-condoned practices.

This book, on the other hand, is a modern, objective appraisal of the evidence, concerned with the actualities as much as the theory. The author’s facility in a remarkable range of languages has allowed him to study virtually every manual published over a period of nearly four centuries. This gives the book a completely international balance and allows the author to describe for the first time the proper historical development of seamanship among the major navies of the world.

About the author

John Harland was born in the great shipbuilding city of Belfast in Northern Ireland, but after his medical training he emigrated to Canada. Although the area of British Columbia where he now lives is far from the sea, he never lost his childhood interest in the sea and ships, devoting most of his spare time to their study. He is a highly active member of the Society for Nautical Research and contributes to its prestige journal The Mariner’s Mirror on a wide range of topics. Virtually a life’s work, this book has become the standard reference on the subject, proving invaluable to captains and crew of tall ships and maritime historians alike.

ISBN: 9780851771793 
RRP: £40.00
Web Price from Anova BookStore: N/A
Format:  Hardback
Pages: 320 pages
Size (h x w): 298 x 252 mm 11.73 x 9.92 inches
Illustrations: 100 Photographs and 350 illustrations

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