If you are new to sailing and looking for alternative methods of learning then our range of instructional handbooks and guidebooks will be an essential source of nautical knowledge for you. Packed full of information along with anecdotal stories and quizzes to test your knowledge, these books will have you ready to set sail in no time!

1. Go Sailing: The Complete Beginner's Guide to Getting Afloat

Sailing is fun for everyone. No matter where you are or how old you are, anyone can get involved. There are only two things you need to get afloat - a kitbag full of enthusiasm, and this book. In this ultimate beginner's guide, yachtsman and writer Simon Jollands takes the helm to show newcomers of any age that sailing is easier than people sometimes think.

He quickly covers how to get afloat before exploring what you can do when you are on board. You can learn how to steer the boat, understand how sails work, and how to hoist them, find out how to use an anchor and how to get free again! Learn how to tie useful knots, know what to do if there's a man overboard, discover the curious intricacies of how toilets work on a boat and much more.

2. RYA Start Sailing - Beginners Handbook (G3)

This book is full of all the essential knowledge that you need to get afloat, regardless of your age, thus making it an ideal learning and reference tool. The RYA’s long-established training methods are recognised as world leading and this book will help you gain both confidence and knowledge.

This book features guidance on rigging your boat, going afloat, leaving and returning to shore, basic skills, tacking and gybing and features large detailed illustrations to help enhance learning.

3. Sailing: A Beginner's Guide

Sailing: A Beginner's Guide takes the reader step-by-step from his or her first sail to an almost intuitive mastery of small boat handling. The delightful drawings combined with the author's appealing writing style successfully explain topics in manageable double-page spreads.

The book unravels the mysteries of reading the wind, guides the reader through his or her first tenuous steps aboard, and then beyond to navigation, safety, seamanship and even trailering, conveying the magic as well as the nuts and bolts of sailing. It is a gentle introduction for those who are just starting out and will provide many evocative images for those who already sail.

4. Navigation: A Newcomer's Guide

Get to grips with navigation at sea. This best-selling book gives you all the information you need to know to do just that! It starts from scratch, uses no jargon and features diagrams and pictures, instead of words, wherever possible. It has been updated to cover all modern navigation. It is recommended for beginners and Day Skipper students.

Written by an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Examiner who runs her own RYA Training Centre which specialises in navigation, it is the perfect place for newcomers to navigation to start. It explains simply how to look at charts, find your position, look at tides, plan your passage and determine the course to steer. It will help you find out where you are and how to get to where you want to be.

5. RYA Navigation Exercises

The RYA Navigation Exercises - 2nd Edition is the only book to accompany all RYA training courses. All vital aspects of seamanship are included, from estimated positions and tide tables to meteorology and maydays.

Through full-colour illustrations, this book follows the newly revised Yachtmaster® syllabus and includes recent developments in electronic chart plotting and GPS. Questions progress from beginner to advanced within each chapter, making this title ideal for boaters on all levels.

6. Stress-Free Navigation

You might think stress-free navigation sounds like an impossible paradox. But it need not be. All boaters, whether under sail or under power, need to be able to navigate safely on the water both to keep themselves and their crew out of trouble and to avoid endangering others.

This book covers the basic introductory elements clearly and simply for novices and progresses through more advanced techniques for experienced navigators so that there is something for everyone, whatever their skill level. It features diagrams, quick-reference tables and flowcharts, explanatory step-by-step photographs, box features, top tips and QR codes giving access to helpful explanatory videos.

7. Learning the Rule of the Road: A Guide for the Skippers and Crew of Small Craft

Learning the Rule of the Road includes the full text of The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, but because these Regulations are lengthy and detailed they are not always easy to understand - nor is it easy to find your way around. 

This guide takes those sections of the rules that particularly affect small craft, and explains them briefly and simply. Lights, shapes and sounds signals are clearly set out, as are the basic steering and sailing rules. The full text of the Regulations is also included at the end of the book for reference. This guide is ideal for beginners but is also an ideal aide-memoire for those with more experience.

8. RYA Knots, Splices and Ropework Handbook (G63)

The complete guide to knots for all knot enthusiasts and a must-have for all boaters. This book is ideal for everybody, whether beginner or advanced, as it deals with knots and ropework from beginning to end.

The first section deals with rope construction and maintenance, moving on to the basic knots which are essential to all boating activities. The authors then delve into blocks and tackles, lashings and bindings, splicing, and finally, they move on to the more advanced, decorative knots, which are ideal for adding a unique touch to your boat, and they also make for lovely gifts.

You can browse our entire range of instructional books here. We also stock a brilliant selection of flip cards, cockpit cards and navigational aids that are ideal for training and instructional purposes. 

9. The Illustrated Boat Dictionary in 9 Languages

Centred around clear, full colour, annotated diagrams in each subject area, the dictionary makes it easy and convenient to translate between nine languages (English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Portuguese and Greek). The diagrams can easily be used to show someone what is meant (or what is broken!) without having to worry about the language barrier. And it also facilitates learning new words in each language with this helpful visual reference.

From general terms such as 'port' and 'starboard' to technical words relating to engine and rigging repair and maintenance, The Illustrated Boat Dictionary in 9 Languages is amazingly comprehensive, and even includes supplementary terms for many topics even when they don't feature in the illustrations.

Post By Rosie Burnman