Books about ships, boats & sailing free online. Seamanship books pdf, explorers’ voyages, seafaring history. Includes many works of fiction in some of the collections.
‘Book Collections‘ and ‘Vintage Books‘ are at the bottom.
CORE BOOKS – Seafaring, Ships, Sailing, Voyages
The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas, False Lights and Plundered Ships – Shipwreck Books, Books on Old Sailing Ships
A history of the drama and danger of wrecking since the eighteenth century – and the often grisly ingenuity of British wreckers, scavengers of the sea. A fine wreck has always represented sport, pleasure, treasure, and in many cases, the difference between living well and just getting by. In settings ranging from the Goodwin Sands to the wreck-strewn waters off the coast of Durham, these murky tales of resourcefulness and quick-witted opportunism open a vista of life at the rough edges.
Unknown Lands: The Log Books of the Great Explorers – Voyages of Explorers, Explorers and Expeditions Books
This remarkable book documents the period of exploration and enlightenment when the Old World began to open its mind to the wonders and mysteries of the New World.
Boatman’s Handbook: The New Look-it-up Book – Boating and Navigation
Hearst Marine 1985
Gathers practical information on seamanship, safety, emergency procedures, navigation, piloting, weather, and maintenance.
Contents: Emergencies — Safety — Seamanship — Piloting — Weather — Electronics — Racing — Amenities — Sources — Government — Tables — Maintenance. Boating and navigation.
The Man Who Ate His Boots: The History of the Search for the Northwest Passage – Voyages of Explorers Books, Explorers and Expeditions PDF
Beginning in 1815, for the next thirty-five years the British Admiralty sent out expedition after expedition to probe the ice-bound waters of the Canadian Arctic in search of a route, and then, after 1845, to find Sir John Franklin, the Royal Navy hero who led the last of these Admiralty expeditions. Enthralling and often harrowing, The Man Who Ate His Boots captures the glory and the folly of this ultimately tragic enterprise.
Women Sailors and Sailors’ Women: An Untold Maritime History – Book on Women Sailors
Random House 2001
For centuries the sea has been regarded as a male domain. Maritime scholar David Cordingly shows that in fact an astonishing number of women went to sea in the great age of sail. A landmark work of women’s history disguised as a spectacularly entertaining yarn.
Two Years Before the Mast – Books on Classic Sailing Ships, 19th Century Sailing Ships
Dana, Richard H. Jr.
Modern Library 2001
Two Years Before the Mast is a memoir by the American author Richard Henry Dana Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage from Boston to California on a merchant ship starting in 1834. Originally written to expose “the life of a common sailor at sea as it really is,” Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast quickly became an American classic of maritime adventure. Crackling with realism, it remains one of the most eloquent and insightful depictions of life at sea in the early nineteenth century.
Eagle Seamanship: A Manual for Square-rigger Sailing – Seamanship Book, Sailing Manual
Daniels, Edwin H., U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Naval Institute Press 1990
A convenient pocket training manual for square-rigger sailing. Written for cadets serving on the U.S. Coast Guard training barque Eagle.
Topics: Marine engineering, United States., Sailing, Non-Motor Boat Design And Construction, Seamanship, History – Military / War, United States, Transportation, Military – General, Ships & Shipbuilding – Engineering, Coast Guard, Handbooks, manuals, etc, Officers’ handbooks, Eagle (Ship : 1936-), United States. Coast Guard, Square-riggers, Barks (Sailing ships), Training-ships. Seamanship, sailing.
Modern Seamanship; A Comprehensive Reference Guide for All Recreational Boaters – Books on Seamanship and Boating
Modern Seamanship is a comprehensive guide for boaters who wish to learn how to solve boating problems on their own by analyzing a situation and deftly using acquired knowledge. This book presumes you wish to know why, and not just how.
Don Dodds covers in detail the use of such laborsaving technological advances as GPS and radar, which have revolutionized recreational boating in the past decade. But because technology, like water wings, can get boaters literally and figuratively into deep water without knowing how to swim, Modern Seamanship also explores the traditional seamanship skills upon which these space-age devices are based-skills that always work, whether or not the batteries are dead. In its pages you will find information on navigation, weather, boat handling, docking, mooring, anchoring, common emergencies, communications, working with rope, and maintenance-all skills a mariner needs to deal confidently with the sea. Seamanship, boating, navigation books.
The Romance of Tall Ships – Book about Sailing Ships, Classic Sailing Ships
Introduces the world of sailing ships, explains their continuing appeal, and examines their history, design, and ornamentation. Illustrated books about sailing ships. Classic sailing ships.
The Britannica Guide to Explorers and Explorations that Changed the Modern World – Voyages of Explorers, Voyages of Discovery, Free Books
“The nature of the maiden voyage is deeply captivating. Though the oceans still hold vast opportunities for uncharted exploration, our land resources have been bravely explored and charted for hundreds of years. Very few places remain mysterious and untamable to man, and this transformation is due to imaginative and fearless explorers. Readers will devour these tales of explorers who have pushed geographic and personal boundaries, leaving virtually no corner of the globe off limits.” – Publisher. Nautical books, explorers voyages, voyages of discovery.
Sailing, Seamanship, and Yacht Construction – Sailing Handbook, Seamanship Manual, Boatbuilding
Packed with information, ideas, and more than 300 excellent illustrations, this classic of the genre was written by the father of modern planing sailboats. Most of the text focuses on individual vessels; among the 20 profiled are the 60-foot-long Landfall; the Patience; and the author’s own creation, the Vigilant. Sailing handbook, seamanship manual, boatbuilding book.
Kon-Tiki : Across the Pacific by Raft – Voyages of Explorers Book, Explorers and their Voyages
Washington Square 1984
On a primitive raft made of forty-foot balsa logs and named “Kon-Tiki” in honor of a legendary sun king, Heyerdahl and five companions deliberately risked their lives to show that the ancient Peruvians could have made the 4,300-mile voyage to the Polynesian islands on a similar craft.
Modern Rope Seamanship: Synthetic and Natural Fibres – Seamanship Books, Rope Knots and Splices PDF
Jarman, Coin and Beavis, Bill
International Marine 1976
Knots and splices pdf, Rope, Ropework, Seamanship, Manual of seamanship, seamanship skills book.
The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea – Books about Shipwrecks, True Sailing Adventure Book
In October 1991, three weather systems collided off the coast of Nova Scotia to create a storm of singular fury, boasting waves over one hundred feet high. Among its victims was the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based swordfishing boat the Andrea Gail, which vanished with all six crew members aboard. In a book taut with the fury of the elements, Sebastian Junger takes us deep into the heart of the storm, depicting with vivid detail the courage, terror, and awe that surface in such a gale.
Random House 2000
“One of the best books ever written about sailing” -Time. 27,000 miles, three and a half to five months alone at sea, chilling casualty rates, the unrelenting strain of handling 60-foot boats day and night, the absolute certainty of weather and waves that could destroy them. On 3 November 1996 sixteen sailors set out from the Bay of Biscay to embark on the Vendee Globe – a single-handed yacht race through the world’s most treacherous and isolated seas. This is a book about the sea: how we are dawn to it and how it repels us and about why these men and women risk everything to embark on such a perilous journey.
Chapman Piloting & Seamanship – Seamanship Books, Marine Navigation
Maloney, Elbert S. and Chapman, Charles F.
“The classic reference used by boating schools and recommended by the Coast Guard Auxiliary covers every topic related to both powerboats and sailing ships, from emergency procedures and international signals at sea, to weather conditions, knots, navigation and more.” Boating essentials – Seamanship skills – Safety – Piloting – Electronics – Further aspects of boating – Appendices. Seamanship books, maritime books, marine navigation.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux 1990
This is an extraordinary tale of life on the high seas aboard one of the last American merchant ships, the S.S. Stella Lykes, on a forty-two-day journey from Charleston down the Pacific coast of South America. As the crew of the Stella Lykes makes their ocean voyage, they tell stories of other runs and other ships, tales of disaster, stupidity, greed, generosity, and courage.
Standard Seamanship for the Merchant Service – Seamanship manual, Merchant Seamen Book
Van Nostrand 1936
“Embracing every department of seamanship proper, the book shows evidence of careful
planning and wise selection from competent sources. . . Capt. Riesenberg’s ‘Standard Seamanship’ is doubly welcome, not only for the sound technics employed and advocated but for the wholesome atmosphere of professional brotherhood that is a feature of the book.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931)
“The classic of its kind.” —Travel World. Challenged by an expert who said it couldn’t be done, Joshua Slocum, an indomitable New England sea captain, set out in April of 1895 to prove that a man could sail alone around the world. 46,000 miles and a little over 3 years later, the proof was complete: Captain Slocum had performed the epic “first” single-handedly in a trusty 34-foot sloop called the “Spray.” This is Slocum’s own account of his remarkable adventures during the historic voyage. This robust classic of the sea has been widely read ever since its first publication in 1900.
University of California 2009
“Arctic Labyrinth may well be the definitive work in the whole course of Arctic discovery and the particular chimera that killed so many men — the Northwest Passage.”—Robert C. Ritchie
BOOK COLLECTIONS – History of Ships, Seamanship, Boats, Navigation, Voyages, Yachts
Voyages and Travel Books : Search Results at Internet Archive – Sailing Ship Adventures, Voyages of Explorers Books, Explorers and Expeditions
About 2,800 free books. Some book titles: How Not to Travel the World; Safari: a Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer; Make the Most of Your Time on Earth. Books about sailing ships, maritime books pdf.
Voyages and Travel Books : Search Results at Open Library – – Sailing Ship Adventures, Voyages of Explorers Books, Explorers and Expeditions
About 11,300 free books. Some book titles: How to Babysit a Leopard; Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe; Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture. Nautical books free, voyages of explorers.
Discovery and Exploration Books : Search Results at Internet Archive – Voyages of Discover, Voyages of Explorers Books
About 2,600 free books. Some book titles: Treasures from Native California: the Legacy of Russian Exploration; Henry Hudson: Exploring the Northwest Passage; Antarctic Expedition. Nautical books, maritime books pdf.
Discovery and Exploration Books : Search Results at Open Library – Voyages of Discover, Voyages of Explorers Books, Explorers and Expeditions
About 6,550 free books. Some book titles: Exploring the West; Samuel de Champlain; Exploring the Great Lakes; With Scott In The Antarctic. Explorers and expeditions, voyages of explorers.
Shipwreck Books : Search Results at Internet Archive – Free Books on Shipwrecks, Disasters at Sea, Books on Adventures at Sea, Books about the Titanic
About 1,900 free books. Some book titles: The Titanic; The Lusitania Story; Shipwreck. Shipwrecks books, disasters at sea.
Shipwreck Books : Search Results at Open Library – Shipwrecks Books, Books on the Titanic, Book on the Lusitania
About 2,280 free books. Some book titles: Hurricane dancers: the first Caribbean pirate shipwreck; A Storm too Soon: a true story of Disaster, Survival and an Incredible Rescue; Great British shipwrecks. Ships pdf, maritime books pdf, shipwrecks books.
Buried Treasure Books : Search Results at Internet Archive – Books about Buried Treasure, Books about Pirates, Treasure Hunters Books
About 980 free books. Some book titles: Treasure Hunter’s Handbook; Sensational True Stories: Treasure Hunters; Secret American Treasures: from Hidden Vaults to Sunken Riches. Books on buried treasure, treasure hunting.
Buried Treasure Books : Search Results at Open Library – Books about Buried Treasure, Books about Pirates, Treasure Hunters Books
About 720 free books. Some book titles: Treasure Hunting; The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried Treasure; At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui. Buried treasure books, shipwrecks books.
See our books on shipping and boats on the U.S. Great Lakes
Ocean Travel Books : Search Results at Internet Archive – Cruise Ships PDF, Ocean Travel Books, Voyages of Explorers
About 660 free books. Some book titles: Cruise Guide to Europe & the Mediterranean; The Conquest of the Ocean: the illustrated History of Seafaring; Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans.
Ocean Travel Books : Search Results at Open Library – Voyages of Explorers Books, Books about Sailing Ships, History of Seafaring
About 1,260 free books. Some book titles: Impossible Voyage of Kon-Tiki, Down to the Sea in Ships, Voyages from the Past. history of seafaring, voyages and explorers.
Seafaring Life Books : Search Results at Internet Archive – Seafaring History, Sailing Ship History, Sailing Adventures
About 600 free books. Some book titles: The History of the Ship: the Story of Seafaring from the Earliest Times to the Present Day; Seaworthy: A Swordboat Captain Returns to the Sea; People of the Sea. Nautical books, maritime books pdf.
Seafaring Life Books : Search Results at Open Library – Sailing Memoirs, History of Seafaring, Sailing Ship Adventures
About 700 free books. Some book titles: Sea Legs: One Family’s Year on the Ocean; The Fyddeye guide to America’s maritime history; Jack Tars Story The Autobiographies And Memoirs Of Sailors In Antebellum America.
Boats and Boating Books – Collection – Boating Manuals, Sailing Handbooks, Boatbuilding Books
About 1,000 free boats and boating books at the Internet Archive. Some books: Essential boating for teens, America’s Boating Course, Personal Guide for the Small Boat Owner, Boatman’s Manual, Exploring the Coast by Boat, Cutaway Boats, World’s Fastest Boats, Complete Book of Small Bats, Boat Handling Under Sail & Power, Book of Fantastic Boats, Design a Boat, Yachtsman’s Guide to Better Maintenance, Restoring Vintage Boats, The Mariner’s Catalog, Your Boat’s Electrical System, A Treatise on Sailing Boats, many more. Seamanship books, boatbuilding.
About 50 books on Boat Maintenance & Repair. Some titles: Essential Boat Maintenance Manual, Do-It-Yourself Boat Repairs, Fitting Out : Maintenance and Repair of Small Craft, The Outboard Book, Complete Step-by-Step Boat Repair & Restoration.
Books about Ships – Collection – Books about Ships PDF, Shipbuilding, Merchant Shipping, Books about Sailing Ships
About 2,500 free online books about ships at the Internet Archive. Includes fiction and children’s books. Some books: Ships and Submarines, Ships through the Ages, The Clipper Ships, Pictorial History of Ships, About Submarines, Merchant Ships 1949-1950, Sailing Ships, Submarines of the World, Cruise Ship Jobs Insider’s Guide, Alaska: the cruise-lover’s guide, U.S. & Canadian Icebreakers, Ships & Shipbuilding, The Viking Ships, Ships through the Ages, Merchant Sailing Ships 1850-1875, Unofficial Guide to Cruises, Cargo Ships, Great Passenger Ships of the World, many more. Free online books about ships, illustrated books about ships, when did cruise ships start, the history of cruise ships. Ships pdf, maritime books pdf.
General Sailing Books – Collection – Sailing Handbooks, Seamanship Manual PDF, Boating Books
About 45 free books about general sailing. Includes several handbooks and manuals. Some titles: Sailor’s Start-up, Reed’s Nautical Almanac, Ready to Sail, Fitting Out Your Boat, How to Trim Sails, The Perfect First Mate, New Complete Sailing Manual, more. Seamanship books, sailing pdf.
Sailing Books – Collection – Sailing Handbooks, Seamanship Manuals, Voyaging, Yachting Books
About 1,400 online Sailing books at the Internet Archive. Many aspects of Sailing, including fiction. Some books: Complete Sailing Handbook, Deep Sea Sailing, Sailing for Beginners, Advanced Sailing, Sailing and Seamanship, Sailing Smart: winning techniques tactics and strategies, Sailing Tips, This is Fast Cruising, Handbook of Sailing Techniques, Official Learn-to-Sail Manual, Glossary of Modern Sailing Terms, Ocean Voyaging, The Complete Yachtsman, Encyclopedia of Sailing, many more. Seamanship books, sailing pdf.
Seamanship Books – Collection – Seamanship Handbooks, Navigation Handbooks, How to Sail, Knots and Splices PDF
Over 150 Seamanship books at the Internet Archive. Some books: Visual Encyclopedia of Nautical Terms Under Sail, Illustrated Book of Basic Boating, The Self-Sufficient Sailor, Get Your Captain’s License: complete study guide, Colgate’s Basic Sailing Theory, How to Cope with Storms, Arts of the Sailor: knotting, splicing & ropework, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Navigation, Circumnavigator’s Handbook, American Merchant Seaman’s Manual, Navigation and Nautical Astronomy, Sailor’s Book of the Weather, Complete Guide to Anchoring and Line Handling, The Amateur Pilot, many more. Seamanship books, sailing pdf.
Books on Cruise Ships – Collection – Cruise Guides, Jobs on Cruise Ships, Caribbean Cruises, Europe Cruises, Cruise Vacations
About 240 Cruise Ships books from the Internet Archive. Some books: European Ports of Call, Cruise Ship Jobs, Alaska: the cruise-lover’s guide, Cruise Ships, Exploring Careers on Cruise Ships, Caribbean by Cruise Ship, Panama Canal by Cruise Ship, Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships, Dollarwise Cruises, Cruise Vacations for Dummies, The Cruise and Travel Employment Program, many more.
Shipping Books – Collection – Books about Ships, Old Sailing Ships, Commercial Shipping, Merchant Ships, Merchant Marine Books, Maritime History Books
Over 350 free shipping books at the Internet Archive. Some books: Revolution in Merchant Shipping 1950-1980, U.S. Merchant Shipping Policies and Politics, The Classic Merchant Ship 1900-1960, Nuclear Merchant Ships, Regulation and Policies of American Shipping, Lake Carriers: saga of the Great Lakes fleet, Sailors Whalers & Steamers: ships that opened the west, Industrial Democracy at Sea, Modern-Day Piracy, Ocean Traders: from the Portuguese discoveries to the present day, many more. Merchant shipping books, American merchant marine. Ships pdf, sailing pdf.
Merchant Marine Books – Collection – Merchant Marine PDF, Navigation History, Maritime History, Books on Commercial Shipping
About 200 free books about the Merchant Marine and Merchant Mariners. Some titles: U.S. Marine Transportation, Modern-Day Piracy, The Merchant Navy (WWII), The Way of the Ship, Tracing your Family History in the Merchant Navy, The Outlaw Sea, more.
VINTAGE BOOKS – Ships & Navigation
American Merchant Ships and Sailors – Vintage Books about Merchant Marine, Seafaring History
Abbot, Willis J.
American shipping from colonial days to present, including coastwise, oversea, river, lake and fishing craft. Accurate. -A.L.A.Catalog 1904. Merchant shipping books, American merchant marine.
Knots, A Study of Marlinespike Seamanship Which Embraces Bends, Hitches, Ties, Fastenings and Splices and their Practical Application – Vintage Seamanship Book, Rope Knots and Splices, Seaman’s Handbook
Aldridge, Arthur F.
Also with chapters on cordage, matting, hammock making and wire steel work. Seamanship books, sailing pdf.
Boat-building and Boating – Boatbuilding, Yacht Building, Boating Manual
Beard, Daniel Carter
“Practical work, describing boatmaking from a primitive raft to a motor-boat, with directions for tying knots, making sails, etc. Excellent illustrations.”
– – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911.
The Small Yacht; its Management and Handling for Racing and Sailing, with Chapters on Construction – Yachting Book, Boat-building, Yacht Racing, Seamanship Book
Boardman, Edwin Augustus
“Design and construction of a racing yacht and its handling during a race are discussed in very practical chapters, written from the experience of a successful amateur yachtsman.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911. Books on yachting, books on boat-building.
Ocean Steamships; a Popular Account of their Construction, Development, Management and Appliances – Steamships, Ocean Shipping Book
Chadwick, F.E. and others
Scribner’s Sons 1891
Vintage ship book. Ships pdf, sailing pdf.
Romance of the Ship: The Story of Her Origin and Evolution – History of Seafaring, History of Shipbuilding, Old Sailing Ships, Types of Sailing Ships, Vintage Book on Ship History
Chatterton, Edward Keble
“Covers in one volume the field of the author’s Sailing Ships and their Story and Steamships and their Story. Suffers somewhat from condensation and omissions, but is on the whole very informing and interesting.” -A.L.A.Catalog 1904-11. Vintage books about ships.
Ships & Ways of Other Days – Seafaring History, Vintage Book on Maritime History
Chatterton, Edward Keble
Sidgwick & Jackson 1913
“”A fascinating book for the reader interested in sea-faring matters and old voyages, telling how men managed to build, launch, equip, and fit out different craft in all ages, how ships behaved, and how mariners have lived on shipboard. Well illustrated with reproductions, of old prints and with line drawings.” – Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931). Vintage books of ships.
The Seaman’s Friend, Containing a Treatise on Practical Seamanship… – Vintage Seamanship Book, Seafaring History
with plates; a dictionary of sea terms; customs and usages of the merchant service; laws relating to the practical duties of master and mariners. 13th edition
Dana, Richard Henry Jr.
Thomas Groom 1873
Dana gained fame as the author of the memoir, “Two Years before the Mast”.
Durand, William Frederick
International Marine Engine 1907
“Brief, practical and thoroughly scientific manual, including boats, propellers and engines.
– – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911. Free boating books, vintage books on boats.
Ocean Steamship Traffic Management – Ships PDF
Huebner, Grover G., PhD
The first volume of a projected “Shipping series.” Presents the facts, forms; functions and principles of most importance in the shipping business; analyzes the divisions of freight and passenger service, the duties of each position and the possible lines of advancement. Well organized; written with clearness and precision. Part one is on “The traffic organization of ocean shipping,” part two “Ocean shipping documents” and part three “Ocean rates and regulations.” – A. L. A. Catalog (1926). Vintage books of ships, merchant shipping books, American merchant marine.
The Young Sea Officer’s Sheet Anchor; or, A Key to the Leading of Rigging, and to Practical Seamanship
G.W. Blunt 1843
Topics: Navigation, Masts and rigging. Seamanship book, maritime book.
Ports and Terminal Facilities – Vintage Ships PDF
MacElwee, Roy S., PhD
“A valuable work on the economic importance of ports, proper equipment and methods of handling traffic.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931). Merchant shipping book.
Selected Articles on the American Merchant Marine – Vintage Nautical Books
Phelps, Edith M., comp.
H. W. Wilson 1916
In the first decades of the 20th century publisher H.W. Wilson produced many volumes in its Debaters’ Handbook Series on social and political issues that were under discussion at the time. Each book contains the full text of selected articles and documents representing opposing views on the issue, along with a substantial bibliography of books and articles. American merchant marine, merchant shipping books.
Most of the books mentioned in these guides are likely to be freely available online. Search by title; first at the Internet Archive (archive.org), then at HathiTrust.org. Referenced magazine articles may also be available online at the same sites, with HathiTrust the preferred site for magazines.
Every Boy’s Book of Railways and Steamships – Vintage Nautical Books
London: Religious Tract Society 1911
Vintage book of ships, illustrated book about ships.
Motor Boats, Hydroplanes, Hydroaeroplanes … – Vintage Nautical Books
Construction and Operation with Practical Notes on Propeller Calculation and Design
Russell, Thomas H.
“An illustrated manual of self-instruction for owners and operators of marine gasoline engines and amateur boat-builders.”- A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911.