Cute – but plenty of sound advice

March 6, 2014
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How to Sail A Boat, by Matt Vance (Awa Press, RRP $26):

The latest in the Awa Press Ginger Series tackles the topic of sailing.

The “Ginger” books are guides to a variety of subjects, from art to birdwatching. They aren’t guides in the traditional sense, more an explanation of what is so awesome about a particular topic, written by someone who is passionate about that topic.

With New Zealand having such a strong record of boat ownership I suppose it should come as no surprise that sailing has become book No 13 in the Ginger Series.

Apparently, we Kiwis own more boats per head of population than any other country and in Auckland alone, nearly one adult in 11 owns a boat.

A short stroll around Viaduct Harbour during a recent trip to Auckland would seem to confirm that statistic: I saw more boats than seagulls.

Author Vance also says that many of those boats we own are “rarely, if ever” sailed by both of two very different types of boat owners: tinkerers and sailors.

“The tinkerers don’t enjoy sailing but enjoy boats, ” Vance says. Their boats are immaculate, whereas sailors are better at the sailing part of the deal but their boats are more functional than frilly.

Lighthearted in places and quirky in others, this is a cute little read that still manages to offer plenty of sound advice among all the cuteness.

There’s also a handy glossary that explains all those weird sailing terms that you might have been wondering about.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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