And the winner is…

You’ve heard of the Oscars, I daresay. They are bestowed in a modest little film ceremony that seems to be doing very well for itself. We predict big things for it. But you might not, perhaps, yet be aware of the nascent yet brilliant YachtscarTM awards.

They are, in many respects, much like the Academy Awards, but without the red carpet or revealing dresses or industry clout or hefty global coverage. In fact, to the casual onlooker, there may not be a great deal of similarity between the two at all, other than that they occur within only a couple of days of each other. (What serendipity!)

But, notwithstanding all, here they are: the very first annual YachtscarTM Awards, here to celebrate and honour the excellence of boaty publications at Adlard Coles Nautical.

Best Book in a Leading Role


A bestseller since its first publication – with over 40,000 copies sold in seven editions – you might call this tome a bit of a box-office hit. It’s the standard reference for Yachtmaster students, thus helping all its readers to take on leading roles themselves. We make it a policy never to ask a book its age, but it’s safe to say that Complete Yachtmaster has matured very well indeed.

Best Book in a Supporting Role

WHAT NOW SKIPPER? by Bill Anderson & Chris Beeson

We all love a spot of good seamanship and this handsome chap is a direct route to finding it. It doesn’t preach or drone on when everyone’s tired of hearing the sound of its papery little voice, but it helps crew support their skipper when navigational or seamanship problems threaten to scupper them. It’s the supportive friend everyone needs in their life.

Best Visual Effects

SAILING GOLD by Mark Chisnell

It’s the beautiful little starlet in all its glory: colourful, animated, glossy, exciting, handsome, iconic. And it documents the entire history of Olympic sailing in technicolour glory, proving that it’s really not just a pretty face.

Best Book Tie-in


Four hundred pages. Hundreds of knots, both practical and ornamental, shown in clear, step-by-step full-colour photographs. The most comprehensive resource on the art of knotting on the market. Could this have missed out on a Yachtscar? I’m a frayed knot.

The Ebenezer Scrooge Most Words Per Pound Memorial Award


At a hefty 1088 pages long, we have to hold up our hands to say we haven’t quite finished a thorough word count of the beloved Almanac. But even without one, we feel fully vindicated in declaring this incredible value for money – with 45,000 changes made to each year’s edition, plus free access to the digital almanac to boot, Mr Scrooge would doubtless be a happy, not to mention safe-sailing, old sea-dog.

The Robinson Crusoe Desert Island Read Award

THE SEA by Nic Compton

Picture the scene: you’re shipwrecked on a desert island, not a soul, nor a ship, in sight. You’ve probably got more than a little time on your hands, and what better way to spend it than admiring some of the most stunning and dramatic images ever taken of our oceans – from the wild to the peaceful, and the exquisite to the strange. It’ll remind you that desert island isolation isn’t all bad. And it’s a large format hardback too, so if push comes to shove and you really want to leave… it might help serve as a makeshift raft.

The Horatio Nelson Coping in an Emergency Award

FIRST AID AT SEA by Douglas Justins & Colin Berry

We never know when an emergency’s about to land on our deck, and with this sturdy, laminated, colour-coded and quick reference book, you’ll never be caught out by a rogue accident. Written by doctors who sail, it’s entirely relevant to life on board, whether your vessel is large or small. Frankly, Horatio would have done well to have kept a copy to hand.

Best Editor in a Supporting Role

HANNAH LEECH for World Voyage Planner by Jimmy Cornell


Standing at 400 pages, and boasting the impressive claim to guide sailors and dreamers from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world, Jimmy Cornell’s World Voyage Planner is a truly weighty tome – both figuratively and literally. And with the ever-competent Half-hitch Hannah at the helm, firmly navigating this vessel’s course towards publication, we know it’s in safe hands.

 Lifetime Achievement


An author of not a few Adlard Coles Nautical books, Alan Watts boasts an impressive and illustrious life – from an early stint in the Sea Scouts, he took on active service in the Royal Navy, before working for many years as a forecaster for the Met Office. Alan’s first book for Adlard Coles appeared in 1968 – meaning his publishing career with us spans more than five decades. He is the author of the bestselling Instant Weather Forecasting, as well as Instant Storm Forecasting, Weather Wise, The Weather Handbook and, finally, The Seabreeze Handbook, which publishes in a matter of mere months. We’ve nothing but admiration for Alan’s achievements and his extraordinary meteorological knowledge.

And there we have it! The 2012 YachtscarTM Awards in all their nautical glory. Now you must excuse us – we’re off to the after-party. It’s all glamour here, you know…

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