This is it, your basic instructions for small boat sailing. It covers what you need to know for your first crewing, training course, or rental boat. Written with straight talk and without condescension, this slim book is suitable for all ages of beginning sailor. Opening with a photo of a complicated sail rig, by the end of this short sweet book you will know the function of every line visible (only practice will train you how to USE them). Chapters are organized in practical order, from preparation and unmooring, through sailing against and before the wind, to mooring or anchoring again, just like your first voyage. Although the beginner will want to keep this booklet handy, it is far too large to be carried aboard in a pocket.
George is very good at gently telling you how to avoid doing something stupid, cracking your skull, or capsizing. He is particularly adamant that sailing with wind astern--what seems easiest of all--carries great danger in boats, due to the potential for accidental jibing, or disastrous boom-swing, if you don't pay minute attention to the wind. If you are a lubber who only knows the difference between starboard and port as fixed directions, pay close attention to the opposite sense when tacking, for this controls rights of way (and "road rage") on the water. What George says in the chapter about sailing and sail trim is of special interest for model sailboaters, who have much less control and timely adjustment available. Numerous well chosen b/w illustrations are provided, although several photos are too dark to see the detail to which attention is drawn. The book concludes with useful sections on law, equipment, reading the wind, and a glossary of terms. You will soon want to learn more knots, rules of right away, racing tactics, or larger boats than covered here, although George includes only one suggestion for further study.