Hints, Tips, and Tricks for a Fabulous Life Afloat

This book contains 58 years of seamanship and ship’s husbandry distilled into more than 350 readable pages. It is chockfull of technical information gathered during three circumnavigations and a lifetime of living aboard in foreign ports.

It tells you the nitty-gritty technical details of the sea gypsy lifestyle. It isn’t merely about the boat, it is also about the knowledge required to safely handle that boat and, ultimately, how to manage the cruise as well. It contains what every sea gypsy understands—but few marine publications address—the good, the bad, and the ugly of ocean cruising.

It does not cop-out by telling you to throw money at your problems by hiring marine experts. It does exactly the opposite. It informs you how to not need those experts.

It clearly communicates the morality, the economy, the karma, and the delights of sailing the world with empty pockets and full hearts.

Cruising offshore isn’t rocket science. It is all basic, logical stuff. The skills required can be explained step-by-step. This book reveals the reality of buying a well-found, inexpensive boat and outfitting it for living aboard—then taking it inshore gunkholing, coastal sailing, offshore cruising, and ocean storm-strutting.

Reading this book is like sitting in the cockpit of a battered ketch at anchor in an exotic port—and having one of the most famous circumnavigators spin yarns, tell jokes, and give the most outrageous of advice on cruising under sail.

Forget the “you gotta have a pile of money” rock-hugger thinking. You don’t. There are a million good reasons why not to go to sea—lack of money is not one of them.

Basic seamanship is far more important than coinage—and you can’t buy seamanship. In fact, circumnavigators with large purses actually have less fun than work-as-you-sail sea gypsies.

This book was not written for the edification of Topside-clad yachtsmen or teak-trodding credit card captains—but rather for the working-class sailor attempting to transit from dirt dweller to ocean vagabond without losing sight of the daily fun factor.

Does sailing across an ocean on a small vessel seem like an immense challenge? It doesn’t need to be—if you are prepared with a well-found boat, strong offshore safety gear, and some basic seamanship skills.

Fatty and his wife Carolyn are currently on their fourth circumnavigation. They sail across oceans with no more concern than most yachties experience while putt-putting to the fuel dock.

Are you just getting your sealegs but have a burning desire to live within Mother Ocean’s warm embrace? To be truly free? To sail to Borneo, Madagascar, Cocos Keeling, the Caribbean, and Chagos? To kiss life full on the lips from the deck of a small boat on a big ocean?

Then you are in luck. This book is written with the specific aim of helping sailors exactly like you accomplish these very real, very worthwhile cruising dreams—without a massive amount of money, complication, or BS.

Welcome aboard!