If you’ve seen our home page, you know we’ve got the new 2013- 2016 Racing Rules. There are quite a few updates: more than half the rules have changes or amendments. Here’s a rundown of our post popular rule-related books:
The CYA Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016 are the ISAF rules including “Exceptions to Rules” specific to Canadian racers. This is just the straight legalese, without any interpretation or illustration. The 5 by 7 inch format slips easily into large pockets.
Hal Holbrook drawing a cool beer from the bilge of his yacht, Yankee Tar
When people first hear the name of our book, Beer in the Bilges, they usually have one of two responses. For sailors, it is one of confirmation, and for non-sailors it is one of confusion. After having read the book, everyone gets it, but since you might be wondering, and are too shy to ask, we thought we’d better tell you. But first some history.For hundreds of years, British sailors depended on alcohol to make the brutish task of sailing bearable. Whether they were volunteers or pressed into service, a sailor’s lot was a hard one, and being slightly sloshed soothed their demeanor and made them easier to manage. The British navy had the bright idea of giving the sailors a daily ration of a gallon of beer each to keep them suitably intoxicated. The problems with beer, though, were that it took up so much space, and that it tended to go off after too long in the keg, especially in the warmer climates. In 1655, however, the navy discovered the benefits of rum, and continued the practice of the daily tot of an eighth of a pint until 1970.
While not so formal a tradition in the recreational sailing world, beer has persisted as a necessary cargo for many sailors. Even though today’s voyages are usually shorter than a naval assignment, the problem with temperature is still present for the many boaters who do not have the luxury of refrigeration. The solution today, as it was centuries before, is to place the beer in the coolest part of the boat. That part of the boat is the area below the waterline called the bilge, and hence the general practice of keeping the “beer in the bilges.”
The authors (left to right) Peter Jinks, Alan Boreham and “Hollywood” Bob Rossiter