If you know what you are doing, your are doing it so much safer. That is one very good reason to read and learn about seamanship. But there is another one too: The satisfaction of being part of a thousand year old tradition. While seamen have come and gone, their ways have stood the test of time.
Piloting: Seamanship & Small Boat Handling (62nd ed.)
Excellent book for the recreational boater. If you are only likely to read one book on the subject, choose this one!
The definitive book on the subject, now to be released in new edition. Not only does it provide you with a wealth of infomation and excellent advice, but it is a riveting read as well. Also has chapters on motorboat and multihull handling in bad weather.
Knots and Lines Illustrated
The essentials of smart line handling, knotting, and splice handling. All color photograped in easy to follow sequences.
Ashley Book of Knots
If there ever was a bible on knots, this be the one! Magnificent, comprehensive, incredible - choose your adjectives! The only reason for the seriously knot-minded to consider something else is the somewhat stiff price.
Handbook of Knots
Good alternative for the practical user.
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