Ocean Sailing

This book is a very practical guide to long distance ocean sailing, compiled by a very accomplished and experienced practitioner and aimed at the would-be ocean sailor.

Review of "Ocean Sailing, the Offshore Cruising Experience with Real-Life Practical Advice"
Author: Paul Heiney

This book is not a “how to do it” manual, more a compendium of the most important issues facing the aspiring ocean cruiser illustrated by passages from “those who have done it and how they have done it”.

The author has drawn skilfully from a wide range of diverse experiences of Royal Cruising Club (RCC), Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) and Cruising Club of America (CCA) members and used these to illustrate practical solutions to the main questions facing the aspiring ocean cruiser.

It is only when you read this book that you realise the full extent of the myriad questions and potential problems facing the aspiring ocean sailor, ones that those of us who have “done it” have either forgotten about or take them in our stride. However, the author comprehensively runs through the whole process from “where to go” and “when to go”, right through the process of choosing a boat and its major equipment and financing the trip, to communications, weather information, maintenance, medical care, disaster management and even the re-entry process after the trip is over. Along the way he takes in sailing with kids, cruising on a budget and, surprisingly, “Too Old to Go?” which got me dusting off my sea boots! It is a very engaging book and throughout is presented in a manner in which problems are recognised but not laboured as being insurmountable. The theme throughout is “Prepare well, get on and do it, be aware of the dangers and prepare for the worst, but enjoy the experience”.

The chapter on communications is very comprehensive and very well presented. It was very re-assuring to see the author’s emphatic endorsement of SSB when so many modern sailors are choosing a sat phone instead, unaware of the benefits of SSB. The author acknowledges that this is a fast-moving area of technology, but it was a surprise to see that he did not include the Iridium Go! which has become the instrument of choice for so many ocean sailors for email and weather information offshore.

One hidden gem, right at the back, is an excellent bibliography for each of the chapters. One mild criticism. I felt the initial chapters on where in the world to go could have been improved by inclusion of charts of the major cruising routes and wind and current systems thereby making the descriptions easier to follow. That’s not to detract from what is an excellent book and should be on the shelves of every aspiring ocean cruiser and perhaps also some already on their way!

Finally, the binding, printing and illustrations are to an excellent standard, only to be expected from Adlard Coles and RCCPF.

John Franklin, Past Commodore Ocean Cruising Club, September 2019.
OCEAN SAILING – The Offshore Cruising Experience with Real-life Practical Advice from Paul Heiney, 2019
ISBN: 9781472955395
Published by Adlard Coles at £35.00