A New Nautical Bible
Adlard & Coles, the
renown publisher of nautical books, has succeeded
in bringing to the forefront an area of seamanship
which has been sadly missing. To complement
its authoritative offshore sailors bible
of Heavy Weather Sailing this latest book
brings together Heavy Weather Powerboating
experiences, considerations and techniques.
Stories from both offshore waters and
especially for most power
boaters the inshore waters which account
for the vast majority of powercraft losses
This first edition contains seven sections
and eighteen chapters written by some fourteen
leading–light authors, brought together
and edited by Hugo Montgomery-Swan. It shares
knowledge learned by skippers of powered
boats from coxswains of the RNLI, professional
skippers from a varied set of disciplines
through to committed power boat enthusiasts.
All in all a remarkable publication which
is destined to become a best seller alongside
the classic heavy weather sailing books focussed
mainly towards sail boat skippers.
The story about Dick Evans and the Molfre
lifeboat crew’s dramatic
and perilous rescue of the crew from the
in Oct 1959 had the hairs standing on the
back of my neck as I relived the drama through
the pages of the text. It was especially
poignant as I’ve experienced huge,
but stable, waves in this area which is renown
for its awesome passages, fortunately not
in a hurricane force storm. A remarkable
feat of seamanship, this classic record illustrates
very well the courage, skill and teamwork
associated with the brave men of the RNLI.
The dangers of a lee shore are re-iterated
throughout the chapters of the book, and
the Penlee tragedy brings this to the fore.
The clear message throughout emphasises
to put yourself in a position whereby your
only refuge in heavy seas is a lee shore.
Mal de Mer
A dedicated chapter tackles seasickness
as anyone, contrary to popular belief, can
fall foul of this condition. The book provides
sound guidance on what to look out for, what
precautions to take and what treatment to
give. Prevention is better than cure and
from personal experience I’ve been
unfortunate to succumb to the ‘mal
de mer’ seriously on two occasions.
On one of these I’d have gladly considered
pulling the trigger if a firearm had been
held to my head. Fortunately prevention is
easy, don’t carry firearms! Seriously
though the book addresses this life-threatening
debilitating condition and remains something
which has to be managed to ensure that power
boating is still enjoyed to the full.
Rogue Waves & Black Holes
photographs of rough seas and freak waves
of the current thinking behind the circumstances
which can generate vertical waves, rogue
waves and black holes. The phenomena behind
the perfect storm of 1991 is simply explained.
Weather forecasting for power boaters is
included which provides another tool in
the armour for the prevention of disaster
Records & Racing
Surprisingly the book includes
two chapters on both circuit racing and
record breaking. These are for powerboats
which are essentially built to a very high
power to weight ratio specification. The
strategy with these types of powerboats
is to have relatively becalmed conditions,
delaying record attempts until the sea
conditions are as near perfect as possible.
the techniques, strategies, equipment and
planning considerations are well worthy
of inclusion in this publication.
Theory & Practice
Some excellent chapters on construction
methods are included, with the processes
described in sufficient depth to enable
readers to make sound judgements. Ergonomics
to encourage that the needs of crew
and cox are adequately catered for,
with some horror stories on what boat
builders can do when they don't go out
to sea in their own boats!
issues are discussed including the remarkable
fact that high speed watercraft impacts
of 25G are not uncommon, while that of a
racing car driver is 4G, a fighter pilot
sees 10G with an ejecting pilot 16-20G.
Good enough reasons to prepare your craft
for heavy seas.
The book informs and
educates by example and experience but
not until the end that mastering
addresses the task of theory and practice.
No discussion is prompted concerning the
deployment of sea anchors and perhaps a
chapter about the considerations when
in seas with deadheads and growlers may
be useful in a second edition.
It’s fair to say that not many power
boaters will be unfortunate enough to experience
the extreme rogue conditions described in
some chapters of the book and be fortunate
enough to return to tell the tale. Sailboats
with their much slower speeds do have a greater
affinity with the wind and the waves bringing
more real life experiences from adverse weather
to print. This makes the content of this
book even more remarkable and the lessons
learned to be appreciated by the discerning
an exceptional book written by exceptional
is one ‘bible’ which
should be read by any self-respecting power
boater, then berthed on the bookshelf for
sober regular reference.
Published by Adlard Coles Nautical
Available June 2010, £25.00
Order online for a 10% discount
Heavy Weather Powerboating