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Total Loss - Dramatic First-Hand Accounts of Yacht Losses at Sea
Monday, 19 May 2008 15:08

Author: Paul Gelder
Publisher: Adlard Coles Nautical

From Baird Maritime:

As this useful little book’s promotional “blurb” states: “Why make mistakes, when you can learn from the hard-won lessons of others?”

Why, indeed, when you can have a book like this which can be studied in the comfort and warmth of your own home? The book’s 38 clear and concise case studies provide a wide range of causes and effects of loss of a vessel.

In this case, all the vessels are yachts but their losses occurred in such a wide range of locations and circumstances as to be equally instructive to both yachtsmen and commercial mariners.

As can be expected, some of the incidents described are the result of bad luck or accident but most were due ultimately to human error. As seems to be the norm with yacht accidents compared with those involving commercial craft, the yachts have a somewhat lower incidence of human error. Perhaps the professionals suffer from a problem of familiarity breeding contempt?

Whatever, it is a well written, lively and instructive little book of equal interest to mariners of both stripes.

Ordering Information:

Adlard Coles Nautical
London, UK

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Cruising Guide to Southeast Asia: Volume I – South China Sea, Philippines, Gulf of Thailand to Singapore
Monday, 19 May 2008 15:08

Authors: Stephen Davies & Elaine Morgan

From Baird Maritime:

Despite the highly over-wrought horror stories of piracy, tsunamis, pollution and corruption, cruising – both private and commercial – is becoming increasingly popular in South East Asia.

This very useful and well presented cruising guide should help make it even more so. Produced by a well known and experienced pair of enthusiasts, it certainly whets the appetite.

Approximately a third of the book comprises a “Planning Guide”. This is general advice applicable to most of the region. It is very useful and carefully explained. The remainder is more of a traditional but very enticing pilot.

Anyone venturing into this exciting and increasingly accessible region should purchase a copy of this valuable guide and study it carefully well in advance.

Ordering Information:

Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson
Huntingdon, UK

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A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming
Monday, 19 May 2008 15:08

Authors: Stephen Hume, Alexandra Morton, Betty C. Keller, Rosella M. Leslie, Otto Langer, Don Stanford
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

From Baird Maritime:

Any book prefaced by David Suzuki is going to be suspect in the minds of professional fishermen and fish farmers. He has thoroughly earned his credentials as an environmental extremist.

No doubt he was invited to contribute for that reason to ensure the book is controversial. That was hardly necessary as the content of the book is more than substantial enough without such a boost.

The authors know their stuff. What they present is not pretty. Wherever it takes place, salmon farming is a controversial industry. Regrettably, too many salmon farmers have been neither neighbourly nor environmentally sound.

In a very clear, hard hitting manner the authors expose many of the myriad failings of salmon farmers in British Columbia. Their counterparts in other parts of the world and, indeed, in other fish farming sectors, should read and very carefully digest this very important book.

Do not be put off by the David Suzuki involvement. There is much more to it than that.

Ordering information

Harbour Publishing
Madeira Park, Canada

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Australian Merchant Ships 2008
Friday, 16 May 2008 15:09

Authors: Malcolm Dippy and Tony Starke
Publisher: Nautical Association of Australia

From Baird Maritime:

Taking over from where the old and much lamented AMSA listing of Australian vessels left off, this incredibly detailed and carefully researched history shows the benefits of a “free enterprise” approach.

Effectively, it is a very comprehensive listing of some 774 Australian flag vessels of greater than 100GT or 25 metres in length. While it covers all kinds of work and cargo vessels, sadly there are now only a handful of true cargo ships flying the Australian flag.

Nevertheless, this provides a snapshot or balance sheet of the Australian flag fleet at May 2008. It is a great record of the nation’s working vessels including most of its tugs, ferries, excursion, sail training, dredgers, dive-charter, ice-breaking, research, pearling and many of its fishing craft. There are a total of 40 what could loosely be called cargo vessels. They include FPSOs and bunker barges.

The compilers deserve great praise for what can truly only be described as a labour-of-love.

A very valuable effort.

Ordering Information:

Nautical Association of Australia
Caufield, Australia

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Fairmile Ships of the Royal Australian Navy Volume 1
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 21:01
Edited by Peter Evans
Publisher: Australian Military History Publications

From Baird Maritime:

An impressive “labour of love” produced in just sufficient time before the participants in the story became too old to record it. Published in 2002, it was compiled over the previous six years or so.

This reviewer can only hope that Volume II has also been published. Volume I is enormously valuable.

Fairmiles were small, wooden warships of around 33 to 34 metres in length and fitted for patrol, convoy and anti-submarine activities. They were also used very effectively in other roles such as Motor Gun Boats and for commando and similar support during World War II.

They were built in significant numbers in various parts of the British Empire including Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, a total of around 1,000. There were built quickly and economically and mostly by shipyards that had previously specialised in yachts. They came in six different main types depending upon installed power, fuel tankage. Most did around 20-25 knots. The fastest was capable of 35 knots. They were wet but seaworthy.

There was also a class of 22 metre Fairmile Harbour Defence Motor Launches that were closely related. This fascinating book tells many of their stories very well indeed.

Ordering Information:

Australian Military History Publications
Loftus, Australia

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