Christmas Gifts for Sailors


Searching for that perfect nautical gift this year? Whether you’re buying for a seasoned skipper or armchair sailor, we’ve got Christmas covered. Take a look at just a few of this year’s Christmas picks, then shop the sale where all our books are 45% off!*

* Sale ends Sunday 11 December 2016, excludes Reeds Nautical Almanacs


9781472918857A History of Sailing in 100 Objects
£20.00 £11.00

Which civilisation first took to water in small craft? Who worked out how to measure distance at sea? Why did the humble lemon rise to such prominence in the diets of sailors? A quirky look at history through one hundred objects that changed the way we sail.

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9781844863143The Sea Chart
£25.00 £13.75

To sail the oceans needed skill as well as courage, and the sea chart was the tool by which ships navigated their course. This magnificent book looks at the history of the chart and nautical map as a means of safe navigation.

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9781472922786Des Pawson’s Knot Craft and Rope Mats
£16.99 £9.34

Knotting guru Des Pawson gives step-by-step
instructions on how to put together beautiful rope

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9781472927088Narrowboat Life
£18.99 £10.44

Filled with beautiful, enthralling photography, Narrowboat Life answers all the questions we’ve wanted to ask about the ins and outs of living on the inland waterways.

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Click here to find all our gift books at 45% off


9781472916730Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic
£16.99 £9.34

The result of a drunken bet between three rich 19th century Americans, the first race across the Atlantic would change the course of yachting history and leave six sailors dead…

“A jaunty and surprise-packed retelling of a wonderful story” Times Literary Supplement

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9781472936004.jpgIn the Wake of Heroes: Sailing’s Greatest Stories
Introduced by Tom Cunliffe
£8.99 £4.94

A collection of amazing stories of great seamanship, bringing together some of the best sailing accounts from the last few centuries. Renowned sailor Tom Cunliffe introduces each extract by giving insightful background on the writer, their book and what makes their experience so worth reading.

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9781472908841Sea Fever: The True Adventures that Inspired our Greatest Maritime Authors, from Conrad to Masefield, Melville and Hemingway
£8.99 £4.94

This enthralling book takes us on a tour of the most dangerous, exciting and often eccentric escapades of literature’s sailing stars, and how these true stories inspired and informed their best-loved works.

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9781472928320Untie the Lines: Setting Sail and Breaking Free
£8.99 £4.94

Former stressed-out city girl Emma is in Malaysia, living on a yacht with handsome Guy, with plans to explore the world’s most remote and exotic places. Life couldn’t be more perfect. But when she is eventually forced to return to her old life in London, Emma finds herself struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. Running, or sailing, away is just not an option any more.

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For big savings on all our bunkside reads, head to


9781472935342The Pacific Crossing Guide 3rd edition
RCC Pilotage Foundation
£50.00 £27.50

A complete reference for anyone contemplating sailing the Pacific in their own boat. From ideal timing, suitable boats, routes, methods of communication, to seasonal weather, likely costs and dangers, the comprehensiveness of this book will both inspire dreamers and instil confidence in those about to depart.

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9781472918130The Complete Ocean Skipper: Deep-water Voyaging, Navigation and Yacht Management
£30.00 £16.50

The Complete Ocean Skipper covers everything a yachtsman needs to know when planning an offshore cruise or ocean passage.

“Essential reading for anyone planning for or dreaming about sailing long distances” Soundings

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9781472923196Heavy Weather Sailing 7th edition
£35.00 £19.25

For 50 years Heavy Weather Sailing has been regarded as the ultimate international authority on surviving storms at sea aboard sailing and motor vessels. This is the seventh updated edition, ensuring that in its 50th year the book remains as relevant and as essential as it has been for the previous five decades

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9781472923202Splicing Modern Ropes: A Practical Handbook
£20.00 £11.00

For any seafarer, splicing rope is an essential skill. But the traditional 3-strand rope is fast disappearing. So how do you splice braided rope? This is the definitive guide to this crucial skill. Most of the techniques are quite easy to master – and they are also fun to do!

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Click here for course books, cruising guides, maintenance manuals and more – all 45% off!


9781844864096Britain’s Historic Ships
£20.00 £11.00

The British Isles have a long, rich seafaring history stretching from the earliest times through the victories of Drake and Nelson, the voyages of discovery of Cabot and Cook and the defence of the realm by vessels in the present century. This lavish book explores twenty of the most celebrated ships in Britain.

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9781472930804Tom Diaper’s Logbook: Memoirs of a Racing Skipper
£16.99 £9.34

Tom Diaper’s memoirs, written on scraps of old cigarette papers, tell of dramatic races with the German Kaiser, working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, both World Wars and other exciting adventures during Tom’s lifetime. This is a rare opportunity to read first-hand about the drama, conflict and fascinating details that made up the life of a for-hire racing skipper during the glory days of racing.

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9781844862344Cutty Sark: The Last of the Tea Clippers
£20.00 £11.00

A beautiful volume describing the eventful history of one of the world’s most celebrated ships – from her construction at Dumbarton in 1869, her famous tea voyages, through to a career under a Portuguese flag and subsequent return to the Thames, the dramatic fire, painstaking restoration and glorious reopening.

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9781844862894Captain of the Carpathia: The Seafaring Life of Titanic Hero Sir Arthur Henry Rostron
£20.00 £11.00

Henry Arthur Rostron was the captain of Carpathia, the first ship to reach the distressed Titanic, defying the ship’s limitations to rescue 706 survivors. Following the rescue Rostron became the most celebrated master mariner of his generation.

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Browse our full collection of maritime history & save a festive 45%!

Merry Christmas from Adlard Coles!

A Christmas at Sea

We are excited to host a special guest blog from Sandra Clayton, author of our new book A Thousand Miles from Anywhere.

A Christmas at Sea

David and I had spent Christmas in some unusual places even before we became offshore sailors. But one of the more memorable occurred a thousand miles from land in any direction during a two-handed Atlantic crossing on a 40-foot boat.

Before we left the Canary Islands I had surreptitiously bought a Christmas card for David and while he slept in the aft cabin I sat down at the chart table to write it. He had lost a lot of sleep through bad weather during the previous few nights so I was trying to make as little noise as possible during my watch.

As I opened the card a terrible screeching sent me rushing across the bridge deck to the gas alarm. It makes that kind of noise to warn you that gas is escaping into the bilges and if you don’t do something about it fairly quickly your boat can blow up. Even as I stared at it, however, I realized the awful noise wasn’t coming from the gas alarm but the chart table I’d just left. I had unwittingly bought a “musical” card and it was shrieking “Jingle Bells” fit to wake the dead.

Despite a tumultuous sea we celebrated the day in festive style. We had a tree in the corner of the saloon, although every so often the decorations fell off as Voyager rose and fell on huge Atlantic rollers. We had cards from family and friends, collected en route, strung between the barometer and the boathook. And on Christmas Day we had as near as possible the traditional dinner, even if our plates did occasionally get away from us and the wine glasses had to be wedged to stop them falling over.

Something a three-week sea passage gives you is plenty of time for reading and among the books we had on board was A Christmas Carol. As quite often with Charles Dickens, the central theme is materialism. Two years earlier David and I had opted out of a conventional lifestyle but when I’d picked up the book I’d had no thoughts about it being relevant, only seasonal.

For Dickens, Christmas represents those qualities – generosity, kindness and compassion – which make us fully human. Accordingly, the three Spirits of Christmas reveal to Ebenezer Scrooge the kind of world he is helping to create by devoting his life to the counting house; and by consigning the poor and afflicted Tiny Tim to an early grave because he has no value on a balance sheet. Whereas the little boy’s immeasurable gift is the life-enhancing effect he has on those around him.

It is interesting how the small details that lodge in the memory tend to change with your own changing circumstances. For instance, although I’d read this book several times before I had not remembered that the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge out over a raging sea, to show him how even on an isolated lighthouse the spirit of Christmas touches the two hardened men who tend the light. Or onto a heaving ship, where every man at his station has a kinder word for his fellows than on any other day.

But then, until comparatively recently, lighthouses and raging seas had not loomed very large in my experience. Nor had the kind of selflessness of two distant yachtsmen, whose actions were conveyed to us by a third party that morning over a crackling radio receiver. The couple had turned back thirty miles in awful weather and begun towing another yachtsman whose boat had been dismasted in a squall the previous day. Out in Voyager’s cockpit that Christmas night, on watch on my own solitary stretch of a dark and heaving sea, A Christmas Carol resonated more than ever before.

And then a whale turned up. But that’s another story. In the meantime, may the spirit of the season be with you and yours and throughout the coming year. Or, as Tiny Tim observed, “God bless us, every one!”

In the late ‘90s Sandra Clayton and her husband David sold up their home and set sail in a 40-foot catamaran called Voyager.  Her third book, A Thousand Miles from Anywhere, will be published by Adlard Coles on 6 January 2013 and charts their Atlantic crossing to America via the Caribbean Islands – plus a few eventful days in the Bermuda Triangle.Christmas - DavidChristmas - Sandra

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Here in our Bloomsbury offices, the Nautical team are feeling about as festive as it comes. The Bedford Square Christmas tree is spreading its cheer, the office carol singers have warmed the cockles of our hearts and Secret Santa is coming to town any moment now. Let’s hope no one is on the Naughty List.

After the holidays we’ll be back and raring to go at the London Boat Show, from where we’ll be live tweeting all the latest news, events and gossip. Find us @reedsnautical and follow the action.

Wishing all our readers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!