Electronic Nautical Books

Fiction and Non-Fiction Available on the Internet

Berry, Don
Magic Harbor: A non-fiction memoir of life with the “water rats”, a fringe society of water people living on their boats in Eagle Harbor, Washington.

Binning, Arthur J.
Survivors, 1994: The saga of the WW II U-Boat U-188. This is a remarkable true account of survival at sea against all the odds.

Bishop, Nathaniel H.
Voyage of the Paper Canoe 1878: “A Geographical Journey of 2500 Miles From Quebec to the Gulf Of Mexico, During the Years 1874-5”
Four Months in a Sneak-Box, 1879: “A Boat Voyage of 2600 Miles Down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and Along the Gulf Of Mexico.”

Bowditch, Nathaniel 1773-1838
The American Practical Navigator, 1995 Edition

Chapman, Frederik Hendrik af 1721-1808
Architectura Navalis Mercatoria, 1765: The famous treatise on ship and boat design. With many, many plates of drawings.

Childers, Robert Erskine 1870-1922
The Riddle of the Sands, 1903: Pre WW I yachtsmen find German military preparations. One of the Best. The classic adventure of cruising along the sand banks of the North Sea. Compare to Maurice Griffith's non-fiction books about the same areas. See also biography The Riddle of Erskine Childers, by Andrew Boyle, 1977.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 1857-1924
The The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Conrad, Joseph (Josef Teodor Nalecz Korzeniowski) 1857-1924
The Nigger of the Narcissus: a tale of the forecastle, 1897: Conrad's first sea story; a sailing ship voyage from Bombay to London with a dying black seaman aboard. (Link is to an ftp version)
The Heart of Darkness, 1899: Marlow tells of his voyage in command of a steamboat far up the Congo River to relieve the mad ivory trader Kurz. Adapted to fit the Vietnam War and filmed by Francis. F. Coppola as Apocalypse Now in 1979. “The Horror! The Horror!”

Curmi, John
Wind, Waves and Ignorance, 2001: The real-life story of the Curmi family who, with no experience of sailing, navigating, meteorology or seamanship of any kind, purchased a 40' steel ketch, moved aboard, went cruising and started trying to figure it all out as they went along. Their travels took them throughout the eastern US, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Dana, Richard Henry 1815-1882
Two Years Before the Mast, 1841: Autobiographical account of Dana's voyage as seaman in the brig Pilgrim to California for cowhides in the 1830s and his return in the ship Alert. A classic.

Davis, John
Seamans Secrets, 1657: Wherein is Taught the three kindes of Sayling, Horizontal, Paradoxal, and Sayling upon a Great Circle. Also an Horizontle Tyde-Table for the easie finding of the Ebbing and Flowing of the Tydes, with a Regiment newly Calculated for the finding of the Declination of the Sun, and many other most necessary Rules and Instruments not hereforte set by any.

Falconer, William 1732-1739
An Universal Dictionary of the Marine, 1780

Falkner, John Meade 1858-1932
Moonfleet, ?: Fifteen-year-old orphan gets caught with smugglers in Moonfleet, England, which leads to complications impelling him into a search for the cursed Mohune treasure. For 19th century young readers -- or 20th century adults that don't need sex to enjoy a plotline. Young readers today would probably find it too difficult.

Fenger, Frederic A.
Alone in the Caribbean, 1917: The yarn of a cruise in the Lesser Antilles in the sailing canoe Yakaboo.

Forest Products Laboratory
Wood as an Engineering Material, 1999: The wood handbook.

Frazer, Perry D.
Canoe Cruising and Camping, 1897: A how-to book.

Garren, Marty
San Juans Navigator: A Pleasure Boater's Guide to the San Juan Islands of Washington State, 199?: PDF format

Greene, Eric & Associates
Marine Composites, 199?: A textbook on building boats with fiber reinforced plastics (FRP).

Hodgson, William Hope 1875-1918
The Ghost Pirates, 1920: A ghost story set aboard the doomed ship Mortzestus as it flees a phantom vessel (sailing upside-down below the waves!) that pursues them at night.

Holm, Don
The Circumnavigators: Small Boat Voyagers of Modern Times, 1974

Hurley, Edward N.
The Bridge to France, 1927: The story of the the United States Shipping Board told by its WW I chairman.

Knight, E. F.
The Cruise of the Alerte: in Search of Treasure, 1928: A voyage to the South Atlantic island of Trinidad in search of plunder from the Peruvian revolution.
The Falcon on the Baltic, 1928: A coasting voyage from Hammersmith to Copenhagen in a three-ton yacht.
Sailing, 1928: A how-to handbook.

London, Jack 1876-1916

Lutus, Paul
Confessions of a Long-Distance Sailor, 1991: “In 1988, I sailed away from the West Coast of the United States in a 31-foot sailboat. This is my story -- my account of a 3 1/2-year around the world solo sail.”

McGrady, John F.
Sailing the Dream, 1998 (Cruising story about an escape to the South Pacific from the Northwest in a 30' boat)

MacGregor, John
A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe on Rivers and Lakes of Europe, 1892

McKinley, Paul (Chief warrant radio Technician, USN, 1937-1946)
Cruiser Scout: Recollections of the war in the Pacific: The pre-war navy and WW II in the Pacific through the eyes of a radio operator/observer in scout aircraft operating from cruisers.

Mann, Edward C.
Shadow Wind: Seagoing murder mystery adventure in the days of sail. (Costs $4.95)

Marryat, Frederick 1792-1848 (Marryat was a British naval officer during the Napoleonic wars, starting his career on board Lord Cochrane's ship. Lord Cochrane was the colorful officer whose exploits were later an inspiration to Forester and O'Brian. Some of the first novels written about the sea war against Napoleon, and some of the few written by a man actually present.)
Masterman Ready; or, The Wreck of the Pacific, 1841: For young readers.

Melville, Herman 1819-1891
Billy Budd, Foretopman, 1924 (written 1891)

Mooney, Jack and Sandy
Cruising Dreams: Realizing your dream about sailboat cruising, 1999: With poems by Paul Mooney.

Neidé, Dr. Charles A.
The Canoe Aurora: A Cruise From the Adirondacks to the Gulf, 1885: Cruising yarn by the secretary of the American Canoe Association.

Paine, Lincoln
Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia , 1997

Phillips, Alan
Dinghy Cruising with Phillips, 1981: An experienced dinghy cruiser shares the pleasures and shows how to avoid the problems of open boat sailing, for a day, a week or more.

Platt, Robert L.
Longboaters, 1995: Childrens story Illustrated by the author.

Poe, Edgar Allan 1809-1849

Sabatini, Rafael 1875-1950
Captain Blood, 1922: For treating a wounded nobleman who participated in the Monmouth rebellion, Dr. Peter Blood is condemned and sold as a slave in the Carribean. Taking advantage of a Spanish raid on the island on which he is held, Blood captures the Spaniard's ship, and embarks on the carreer of a buccaneer. Good fun.

Scheer, Admiral Reinhard 1863-1928
Germany's High Sea Fleet in the World War, 1920

Slocum, Joshua 1844-1910?
The Voyage of the Liberdade, 1890
Voyage of the Destroyer from New York to Brazil, 1894
Sailing Alone Around the World, 1900

Smyth, H. Warington
Mast & Sail in Europe & Asia, 1906

Stephens, W. P.
Canoe and Boatbuilding for Amateurs, 1889

Stevenson, Robert Louis 1850-1894
An Inland Voyage, 1877: An account of the author's journey through Europe in a double-paddle canoe.
A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa, 1892: Nonfiction about the Anglo-US-German naval confrontation at Samoa in the 1880s and the hurricane of 1889.

System Three
The Epoxy Book, 199? Freed PDF format guide to using epoxies.

Tiphys (pseud.)
Practical Canoeing: A treatise on the management & handling of canoes, 1881

United States Army
Army Watercraft Safety: US Army Field Manual FM 55-502
Harbor Craft Crewman's Handbook: US Army Field Manual FM 55-501-2
Introduction to Marine Electricity: US Army Field Manual FM 55-509-1
Rigging Techniques, Procedures, and Applications: US Army Field Manual FM 5-125

Verne, Jules 1828-1905

Whelan, Tim
Adventures in the Charlottes, 1998, 1999: Account of a voyage from Seattle to the Queen Charlotte Islands in northwestern British Columbia.

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