Storm Trysail Book Club

Looking for a good book to read and learn more about our shared passion for the ocean? Check out these books curated or even written by members. Do you have a book you would like to see added to the list? Submit your own in the form below.



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Ocean Racing and the America’s Cup

The story of the 1996-97 Vendée Globe, capturing the personalities, the adventure and the loss in this classic ocean race.

One I am excited to read as I am hunkered down during the COVID pandemic very close by, this is the story of a group of people from Oxford, MD on the Eastern Shore with an implausible bid for the America’s Cup.

The implausible partnership between Larry Ellison and Norb Bajurin, an auto mechanic who was named commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Great fun and a fascinating look into three America’s Cup campaigns.

The Bermuda Race might not happen in 2020 but experience it through the rich history written by John Rousmaniere. The Storm Trysail Club was born from the shared experience of some of the 1936 sailors.

From the winner of three Bermuda Races in a row, this classic adventure tale will transport you out on the ocean.


A great recently updated retelling of Magellan’s legendary circumnavigation.

 Erik Larsen turns from grizzly murder in Chicago (Devil in the White City) to the tragic tale of the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania during World War I.

 A retelling of the tale of Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar. The author uses the battle to examine the notion of heroism and the way the world reacted to Nelson’s victory and death.

The story of the ‘White Hurricane’ on the Great Lakes in November 1913 that killed over 250 sailors.

A true-life Cold War submarine adventure. Read it right after finishing Hunt for the Red October.

The book on which the classic movie is based.

The true story of the whaling ship Essex, sunk in the North Atlantic by an (understandably) angry sperm whale. This is the story that inspired Mellville to write Moby Dick.

Tragedy, Safety and Recovery at Sea

John Rousmaniere made a well-deserved name for himself with this classic story of the tragedy that befell the 1979 Fastnet Race. Every ocean racing sailor should read and re-read this book for the incredible stories and incredible lessons learned.

Read this right after completing Fastnet: Force 10. The tale of the disaster that befell the Sydney - Hobart Race in 1998, it shows how much we learned from the 1979 disaster, but it also highlight how much further we have to go as a sport.

Another Rousmaniere book with fascinating, captivating stories from historic and modern days of tragedy and trouble at sea. 

You’ve seen (and no doubt criticized) the movie - now read the great Sebastian Junger book on which it is based. Meticulously researched and detailed, it’s authentic and exciting at the same time.

Stories of rescue missions from a North Atlantic tug.

A non-technical book by a naval architect on what actually makes boats work.

Naval Fiction

Before Tom Clancy became Tom Clancy, and before Jim from the Office became Jack Ryan, this book (Clancy’s first) was an unexpected blockbuster published by the US Naval Institute. It’s a thrilling and technically-accurate Cold War submarine thriller.  Also check out his other early book Red Storm Rising.

Hemingway. Enough said.

Personal Stories / Nonfiction

William F. Buckley, Jr., was not only a master of the spoken and written word, but he was also a lifelong sailor. Here, he tells the tale of “The Big One” - a crossing of the Atlantic with his family and friends in his 74’ cruising yacht, complete with piano and oil painting. A great story.

You cannot call yourself a sailor if you haven’t read Slocum’s story of the first solo circumnavigation.

A memoir of an American sailor who left Harvard to sail in merchant ships for two years in the 1830s.

Accidentally sailing around the world. That sounds good enough to pick this up.

Two Canadians leave the rat race behind and move to the Caribbean. An added plus is that there are recipes provided!

Mowfat’s tale of a boat in which he probably should never have set sail.

Books by Members

By Roger Vaughn

In this lively sequel to COMING ABOUT, the crafty Isha has escaped. Andy’s real father, Grady, who Andy found after 25 long years, turns out to be a shady character, The sailing is intense, and so is the story.

Dick Carter was one of the most successful ocean racing champions in the 1960s and early 70s. He was the designer of boats famous for their winning ways, such as Rabbit, Tina, Vendredi Trieze, and Red Rooster. Starting as an amateur designer, he was soon beating the best designers in the world at their own game, in the International One Ton Competition, the Fastnet Race, the Admirals Cup. His design, Lively Lady II, won the 2006 Newport-Bermuda Race.

For 21 years, Juan E Corradi sailed and raced his beloved black-hulled Swan 38, named Pirate, across many thousands of adventuresome miles, from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean Sea, and into the Baltic and the Arctic Circle, always with a circle of friends and his wife Christina. They sailed at the highest levels of competition and seamanship, winning the Bermuda Race, and winning their class in the TransAtlantic Race, the America 500 commemorating Columbus’ voyage of 1492. With great good humor and a Wagnerian sense of the majesty in an oceanic undertaking, Corradi inspires his friends and any one else to take to the sea in a small, well-found sailing vessel, and see the world by sailboat.

Written with Ron Weiss, Peter Wilcox has been a Captain for Greenpeace for over 30 years. He would never call himself a hero, but he is recognized on every ocean and continent for devoting his entire life to saving the planet. He has led the most compelling and dangerous Greenpeace actions to bring international attention to the destruction of our environment. 

Gary Jobson's latest book featuring the work of Onne van der Wal, this deluxe, grand-scale, limited-edition book is a voyage across America, capturing the joy, excitement, and serenity of sailing in the waters of every region of the United States--from Puerto Rico to the tip of Alaska.

Written by William Snaith, for which our Snaith Trophy is named which is awarded to the recorded designer of the yacht which finishes first on corrected time in the Newport-Bermuda Race or the Annapolis-Newport Race.

Book Recomendations from Members

To support the Foundation with these member recommendations, first go to and search for "Storm Trysail Foundation." Then, search for these books and 5% of your total purchase will be donated. Happy Reading!

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

 Book Title Submitted By Category Give us a brief description
Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at SeaGuy BrierreSafety At Sea / Tragedy

Steve Callahan is sailing his mini back from the Canary Islands in 1982 when he hits something that fatally wounds his boat. He is able to escape to his life raft with minimal supplies/tools but through ingenuity, perseverance, determination, skill and a little luck he survives 76 days until being spotted by fishermen in the Caribbean. An amazing story that also teaches survival skills. I read this book when it first came out in 1986 and not a day goes by I don't think about some aspect of it. I was lucky to meet Steve a couple years ago and have him sail with me, great guy.


I am the author of this book. Below is the publisher's description:

A maritime adventure memoir that follows a crew of misfits hired to sail an 18th-century warship 6,000 miles to Hollywood

In the late 1990s, Patrick O’Brian’s multimillion-copy-selling historical novel series—the Aubrey–Maturin series, which was set during the Napoleonic Wars—seemed destined for film. With Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin, the production only needed a ship that could stand in for Lucky Jack’s HMS Surprise, with historical accuracy paramount. The filmmakers found the Rose, a replica of an 18th-century ship that would work perfectly. Only there was one problem: the Rose was in Newport, Rhode Island, not in Southern California, where they would be filming. Enter a ragtag crew of thirty oddballs who stepped up for the task, including Will Sofrin, at the time a 21-year-old wooden-boat builder and yacht racer, who joined as the ship’s carpenter.

All Hands on Deck is Sofrin’s memoir of the epic adventure delivering the Rose to Hollywood. It’s a story of reinvention, of hard work on the high seas, of love, and of survival. The Rose was an example of the most cutting-edge technology of her era, but in the 21st century, barely anyone had experience sailing it. The crew effectively went back in time, brought to life the old ways of a forgotten world, and barely lived to tell the tale. Just a few days in, a terrifying hurricane-strength storm nearly sank the Rose, and later, a rogue wave caused a nearly fatal dismasting. And the ups and downs weren’t limited to the waves—with the crew split into factions, making peace between warring camps became necessary, too, as did avoiding pirates and braving the temptations of shore leave. All Hands on Deck is a gripping story of an unforgettable journey and a must-read for fans who adore O’Brian’s novels and the dramatic film adaptation of Master and Commander.

All This and Sailing TooOther

The autobiography of Olin Stephens — a most influential and successful yacht designer — telling about the boats he designed and the sailors who sailed them from the 1930s through the 80s.

Annual YRALIS Racing ProgramCliff CrowleyOcean Racing

To paraphrase the motto of Faber College, 'Knowledge (of your local racing rules) is good' ,

In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at YorktownThomas Keogh, Jr.History

Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake—fought without a single American ship—made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.
Philbrick includes diagrams of the sequential maneuvers of ships of the line in battle which made me feel like I was reading a tactical how-to in Sailing World - and then I remembered that he used to write those, too. He quotes his brother who described the engagements as "team racing with cannons"!

Taking The Helm; One of America's Top Sailors Tells Her StoryDawn RileyOcean Racing

By the time the U.S. Women’s Challenge had completed the first leg of the 1993-94 Whitbread Round-the-World Race, the crew was riven by dissent, financial problems, and personal conflicts. Only a new captain could save the all-women’s team from mutiny and lead them to a successful finish. When Dawn Riley received an unexpected phone call from Uruguay asking her to take on the assignment, she was not eager to step into the midst of a fractured crew—and yet she knew she needed to keep this boat in the race. She packed up her life and flew south. After four days of hasty boat preparation and group training, the women set out from sunny Punta del Este, unprepared for the perils of the treacherous Southern Ocean. In their streamlined, stripped-down vessel, the crew faced near-hurricane winds, numbing temperatures, and jagged icebergs. Eating freeze-dried food and working in four-hour watches, they braved the forces of nature in the face of physical injury, dwindling supplies, equipment failure, and overall exhaustion. In the midst of it all, bitter resentment was brewing among the original crew members while the controversy over Riley’s takeover made headlines on land. As the boat sailed on to complete the arduous six-leg race, this female crew and their boat—renamed Heineken for its new sponsor—circumnavigated the globe. But these women traveled much farther than the race’s 32,000 miles: with each leg and each new test, this crew learned to rally under their captain’s leadership when their very survival was at stake. In recounting how she took responsibility for the lives of eleven other women, Riley tells an extraordinary story of self-discovery within the gripping context of the world’s most demanding sailboat race.

Ted Hood Through Hand and EyeKate WilsonHistory

A good biography of Ted Hood and his contributions to the sport.

The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service by Erskine Childers, 1903Lee ReichartNaval Fiction

According to Ken Follett "Riddle of the Sands" is the first modern thriller and was included by the Observer as one of the 100 Greatest Novels of All Time. "Riddle of the Sands" was introduced to me by John Browning on the weather rail of a Bermuda Race on Ed du Moulin and Harold Oldak's Blaze. It's a classic tale featuring the kind of small boat offshore adventuring the Brits enjoy.

 Book Title Submitted By Category Give us a brief description

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