Brown’s Pocket-Book For Yachtsmen

Apr 02, 2020




Brown's Pocket-Book for Yachtsmen
Front cover of Brown’s Pocket-Book for Yachtsmen

I was recently loaned a copy of a wonderful book in the form of a reprint from 1943…. It’s a fascinating historical document that shows both areas of significant change on the water and aspects of sailing that haven’t altered at all.

A quick search online shows the first edition to have been published in 1930!

The description found on the title page gives the following –

“Set out in ready-reference manner, with many informative illustrations and a handy glossary of sea terms”.

By Geoffrey Prout – Joint author of “Yachting”.

The following is Mr Prout’s introduction that I have recreated here to give you an idea of what it is all about.


In writing a pocket-book for yachtsmen I know I have undertaken something useful and needed, and it is my hope that the matter here collected, and in many cases worked out by myself from my own experience, will do its share in the furthering of that grandest of all grand sports – cruising in sail and motor craft.

It has been the aim in compiling this book to include those problems likely to crop up in the pursuit of the yachting sport. Much nautical knowledge has been omitted, because, from the yachtsman’s point of view, much of the nautical knowledge there is is superfluous for a working knowledge for amateurs. Breaking-strains of chain and rope, the extra power given by purchase, pressure per square inch of so-and-so, and so on, are all-important to the professional and the expert. But the cruising man of modern days hasn’t the time for a study of all that. Rather would he learn how to stop leaks and effect simple repairs, the strength of rope required for rigging jobs, the general management of a sail- or motor-cruiser, what can be done quickly in emergencies of all sorts which he, in the pursuit of his sport, may experience; etc. And such little matter the pocket-book deals with, giving potted versions and generally saving space by illustrations which tell their story without words.

This, in my idea, is what is wanted by those whose chief instrument of pleasure is a motor- or sail-cruiser, whether it be of floating-palace or vest-pocket dimensions.

Such a book as this is likely to grow as fresh editions are published, and in this connection I should be grateful for help in the way of suggestions for improvements and additions which may be embodied in reprents.

Geoffrey Prout.

Canvey Island, Essex.

I have found reading the book fascinating from both the language used and the nature of the content. Some of the more interesting sections I will recreate as future posts and look forward to you comments on how we have moved on (if at all)!

Post by Simon

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