Did you ever wonder which civilisation first took to water in small craft? Who worked out how to measure distance or plot a course at sea? Or why the humble lemon rose to such prominence in the diets of sailors? Taking one hundred objects that have been pivotal in the development of sailing and sailing boats, the book provides a fascinating insight into the history of sailing. From the earliest small boats, through magnificent Viking warships, to the techlogy that powers some of the most sophisticated modern yachts, the book also covers key developments such as keeps and navigational aids such as the astrolabe, sextant and compass. Other more apparently esoteric objects from all around the world are also included, including the importance of citrus fruit in the prevention of scurvy, scrimshaw made from whalebone and the meaning of sailor's tattoos. Beautifully illustrated with lively and insightful text, it's a perfect gift for the real or armchair sailor, the book gives an alternative insight into how and why we sail the way we do today.
Barry Pickthall is an award winning yachting journalist, photographer and author. A former boatbuilder and naval architect, he was yachting correspondent for The Times for 20 years, and he has written 20 books about sailing, including Blue Water Sailing, Going Foreign, Buying a Yacht and Buying a Motorboat, all published by Adlard Coles Nautical.