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Why You Need to Read These Top 5 Sailing Books Before Learning How to Sail


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Are you learning to sail for the first time, enrolled in sailing school, or maybe you need to brush up on the sailing skills that you learned from when you were younger? Sailing Clothes and Gear are firm believers that you will always be learning how to sail so we have compiled a list of the Best Sailing Books for you.

We have listed our top five sailing books (in no particular order) to provide you education and resources for you to learn how to sail.

We also highly suggest that you take a look at the American Sailing Association's website and US Sailing's website for in-depth sailing information regarding sailing schools and certifications.

1. The Complete Sailing Manual, 4th Edition

The Complete Sailing Manual, a hardcover reference sailing book, is a fantastic and must-have reference book for beginner sailors. This top sailing book covers step by step basics of sailing to more advanced maneuvers of sailing. It goes over sailing terminology, equipment, and boat features which includes colorful pictures and diagrams. It is comprehensive and would be a great addition to your sailing book library.


  • Sailing navigation

  • Rules and regulations

  • A comprehensive overview of sailing terminology

2. Invitation to Sailing

Invitation to Sailing is a beginner's sailing book that is organized into two sections. The first section teaches you basic seamanship for learning how to sail in different weather patterns. The second section focuses on sailboat racing and how to teach sailing. Although this book does not have colorful pictures and diagrams, it does cover additional areas that we did not find in other sailing books.


  • Reviews seamanship

  • Diagrams that feature sailing to windward and leeward

  • Practice questions and answers

3. Sailing For Dummies

Sailing for Dummies is a well-organized sailing book that was written by Peter Isler, a world-renowned sailor, motivational speaker, and author. It is a comprehensive and informative sailing book for beginners that covers specific topics through in-depth chapters. There is a whole chapter dedicated to anchoring which we all know that anchoring is crucial to a good night's sleep on a liveaboard.


  • Learn how to tie nautical knots

  • Overview of how to dock

  • Reviews sailing emergencies

4. The Annapolis Book of Seamanship: Fourth Edition

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship is in its fourth edition and is a highly regarded sailing book that encompasses (and not limited to) seamanship, sailing emergencies, heavy weather, maneuvering, and anchoring. The author, John Rousmaniere, was honored in 2013 by the U.S. Sailing Association for his "outstanding contribution" for sailor education.


  • Sailor's health

  • Plotting and positioning

  • Equipment and maintenance

5. Sailing Fundamentals

Sailing Fundamentals is a descriptive sailing book that encompasses sailing basics with in-depth descriptions and diagrams. We have found that a lot of sailing schools use this sailing book for beginner sailor certifications. It is comprehensive enough to get you feeling confident with your first sail.


  • The official learn-to-sail manual of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

  • Written by widely acclaimed author, Gary Jobson

  • 150+ line drawings and photographs

We hope you found this compiled list of top-rated sailing books informative. Learning to sail is exhilarating and fun. However, sailing terminology is totally different and may take a while to learn. Diving into a good beginner's sailing book will add to your learning how to sail journey.

If you have read these sailing books and/or have additional beginner sailing books that you love, please leave a comment below and let us know.

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Sailing Clothes and Gear started out of love for sailing. We hope to pass our learned knowledge of boating on to our readers by reviewing, recommending, and providing education by writing articles.  


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