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Visit Booth G545 at the Toronto Boat Show for Bargains Galore and More!

Come see us at the Boat Show, Friday Jan 20th – Sunday Jan 29th!

Nautical Mind Boat Show Booth G545

New Racing Rules Books

The Rules in Practice 2017-2020

Racing Rules Companion 2017-2020 (300dpi)

Understanding the Racing Rules Dave Perry 2017- 2020



Chapman Piloting & Seamanship (67th ed.) — only $35!
Franklin’s Lost Ship only $9.99!
Making Paper Boats – only $6.99!
Your First Atlantic Crossing: A Planning Guide for Passagemakers – only$8.99!
Reeds Diesel Engine Troubleshooting Handbook – only $5.99!
Adlard Coles Nautical Quiz Book: With 1000 Questions – only $3.99!

Up-to-date Cruising Guides:



Marine Charts

-Explorer Chartbooks for the Bahamas, charts for Intracoastal Waterway,  Richardson’s for the Great Lakes, Trent-Severn
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Nigel Calder to Appear at Toronto Boat Show!

Nigel Calder’s Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual and Marine Diesel Engines are cornerstones of any boater’s library. This year at the Toronto Boat Show he will be appearing to deliver seminars! The Nautical Mind will have his books available at the seminars, as well as at our booth, G-545.  On Saturday, he’ll be joined by John & Amanda Neal, authors of the Offshore Cruising Companion.



Reservations are now being accepted for Mahina Expeditions/ Nigel Calder Cruising Seminar Series at Toronto Boat Show

Friday, Jan. 20: Understanding and Troubleshooting Boat Electrical Systems – Nigel Calder
Saturday, Jan. 21: Offshore Cruising Seminar – John & Amanda and Nigel Calder
Sunday, Jan. 22: Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance & Troubleshooting – Nigel Calder

Click on the above links to register for any of these seminars. Seating is limited and all three seminars are expected to sell out. Seminars run 9-5 and cost is $100 each.

Nigel Calder is author of Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, and Marine Diesel Engines, plus a host of other books. He is the Technical Editor or an Associate Editor of PassageMaker, Professional Boatbuilder, Sail, Ocean Navigator and Yachting Monthly magazines and a freelance consultant on marine energy issues. He and his wife, Terrie annually cruise Europe aboard their Malo 46, Nada and have spent the last 35 years cruising and writing about the East Coast of North America, Caribbean, Atlantic, U.K, and Scandinavia.

John and Amanda Neal are authors of Offshore Cruising Companion and have been helping sailors prepare for extended sailing adventures through 160 Offshore Cruising Seminars conducted since 1976. They 658,000 miles and 81 years combined experience and for the past 27 years have been conducting offshore sail-training expeditions worldwide aboard their Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III.


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Behind-the-Scenes Bookstore Trivia for 2016

A of peek inside our nautical minds —
a few behind-the-scenes notes and numbers from the year so far

Farthest we shipped a book in 2016:
11,415 km. It was Bulk Carrier Practice, sent to Shanghai, China.

#1 Seamanship title, 2016:
Stress-Free Sailing: Single and Short-Handed Techniques

Longest book in the shop:
21st Century Seamanship, a whopping 1,300 pages.


#1 bestselling chartbook since its first edition:
The Explorer Chartbooks to the Bahamas (1st ed, 2000), thanks to word-of-mouth praise.

2016’s most surprising cruising guide tally:
Three copies of the South African Nautical Almanac, tripling last year’s count.

Most exciting customer request:
“Please send a set of Canadian Arctic and Greenland charts for our east-west Northwest Passage expedition.”


Most intriguing 2016 book/event:
Dragon Harald Fairhair: The World’s Largest Viking Ship. The book’s half in Norwegian and the ship itself docked just outside our doors in July.

Longest (and most beloved) series:
Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey–Maturin novels, at 7,000-plus pages. Would it were 10,000….

Unsold book we can’t bear to de-list:
Haunted Lakes: Great Lakes Ghost Stories, Superstitions and Sea Serpents. A 1997 first edition (!), but we just can’t mark down those Great Lakes sea serpents.


Most extreme customer-service delivery:
Two books carried this fall to Cap-aux-Meules, Magdalen Islands by a travelling staff member.

Most books bought by a single customer:
317—possibly more (records only go back to 2005)—purchased by our best all-time/long-time top customer. The runner-up is at 200 titles. Our sincere thanks to them both— and to all our supporters.

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Books Reviews: Wind Strategy, Tuning to Win, Winning Isn’t Luck

This week, we look at some newly arrived off-season reading for racers.


Tuning-To-WinWind Strategy
David Houghton & Fiona Campbell

Tuning to Win
Ian Pinnell

These two are part of the Fernhurst series ‘Sailing to Win’, which also includes Helming to Win, Crewing to Win and Coach Yourself to Win. These books are new editions, released this year. These books are aimed at experienced sailors, but are very much suitable for all experience levels. They are well structured, and cover a wide variety of topics within their subjects. For example, Wind Strategy includes sections about the North and South hemispheres, and of prevailing wind conditions at twenty-one popular regatta locations. Tuning to win covers both how principles of tuning a rig, and the skills needed to do so. These books are great winter reading for racers, to help you set an agenda and plans for the next racing season. These are as applicable for new racers who are learning these concepts as they are for experienced racers who want to hone their skills. These books are especially good for those who already own the others books in the series.

Winning Isn't LuckWinning Isn’t Luck: How to Succeed in Racing Dinghies and Yachts
Fred Imhoff

This is the first edition of the English translation of Winnen is Geen Geluk, which was publish in Dutch in 2014. The translation is provided by Chris Schram. Like the above books, this is an ideal winter read. It’s main argument is that all aspects of racing need to be broken down into an umbrella of related concepts, and that they need to be considered in terms of priority. This book really is a mix, and the chapters focus on aspects of sailing that the author believes are most critical to winning, and are a little more advanced. For example, there is a chapter discussing ‘Trimming on Waves’ in addition to a more chapter discussion ‘Trimming’ more generally. In some ways, this book is a master class comprised of very specific lessons, rather than a comprehensive discussion of racing as a whole. It is well printed, and is filled with excellent illustrations and graphics although they are fairly directly taken from the Dutch version, so geography may be unfamiliar to Canadian racers. As a result, this book is really suitable more for experienced racers than for beginners.

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Book Review: James Cook and Tristan Gooley


The Voyages of Captain James Cook: The Illustrated Accounts of these Epic Voyages
Nicholas Thomas, Ed.

First off, this book is visually and physically stunning. From an aesthetic and reading experience perspective, it certainly deserves pride of place on your coffee table. It is delightfully weighty, and is filled with beautiful images, illustrations and photos. From the perspective of the written content, it is also very good. The book is centered around Cook’s written reports, excerpts of which have been selected and edited by Nicholas Thomas. Each chapter includes analysis and explanations which provide perspective for the selected reports. Although this book by no means contains all of Cook’s logs, the created collection is enlightening.

How-To-Read-WaterHow to Read Water: Clues and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea
Tristan Gooley

This is the third book by Gooley, who is also the author of The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and the Natural Navigator. This book is in the same narrative style as the others, teaching lessons about how to navigate and read the environment, interspersed with anecdotes and stories from his experiences. This book teaches you how to gauge depth, navigate, read the weather, as well as other skills. It further deals with bodies of water of every size and shape from the ocean, to bays and inlets, rivers, streams and ponds. Highly recommended for those who love being in nature.

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Book Review: Rigger’s Apprentice 2nd Edition


The Complete Rigger’s Apprentice, 2nd Edition: The Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging
Brian Toss
Hardcover, McGraw-Hill, 412 pp.

Talking about rigging may be less exciting than talkign about hull shapes or the latest high-tech sails, but it is still incredibly to both racers and cruisers. Brian Toss is a rigger from the Pacific Northwest, and has an absolutely stellar reputation. In this book, Brian discusses all different aspects of rigging.

This book is very different from the first edition of The Rigger’s Apprentice. Part of this is because Toss folded into it the content from his second book, The Rigger’s Locker. Also, it benefits from an addition thirteen or so years of experiences and practices. For example, he’s added a section on splicing modern braided ropes.

If you’re planning on buying a boat, or if you have a boat and are not entirely happy with the rig, then this is a must-read book. The sheer depth of ideas and context will provide you with many ideas, and a good level of understanding on what you’ll need to do to achieve those ideas. This is an excellent winter read.


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Book Review: The Art and Science of Sails, Revised Edition

Art-Science-SailsThe Art and Science of Sails, Revised Edition
Tom Whidden and Michael Levitt
North Sails Group, 2016
Hardcover, 182 pp.

Twenty-Five years ago, these authors published the first version of this book. As they note, in the quarter-century, there has been many amazing advances in sail design and construction. Published by North Sail, this book is stuffed with full of theory and discussion of how sails work. It has sections on theory, materials, design, use of sails, as well sa the use of computers in sail design and manufacture. There are also distinct chapters on headsails and mainsails. There are also substantial chapters on the advances that North Sail has made since the late 1980s, specifically 3DL and 3Di sails. It absolutely benefits from the personal knowledge of the authors, and their involvement with North Sails.

This book is clearly written for people who are interested in the cutting-edge sail design and manufacture techniques, specifically as applied to racing sailboats. It does not address square rigs at all. It is beautifully printed, and is filled with really interesting diagrams and photos that illuminate the text. This is highly recommended for racers, and also for anybody who is interested in how sails work, and modern sailmaking. It is suitable for all levels of experience.

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We’re Looking for Part Time Help in November & December

Become Santa for some sailors! Join our dynamic team of salty dogs and an actual dog for the holiday season as we distribute books, charts, and cheer from our Toronto storefront and across the internet. Familiarity with books, boats, and selling things is necessary for this position. Comfort with nautical charts and paper cuts an asset but not required. Available shifts will likely mostly be on weekends from mid November through the end of December with the chance of further opportunities at the Boat Show and beyond.

Please email or phone.
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Book Review: Arctic Cargo by Christopher Wright

arctic-cargo-backArctic Cargo: A History of Marine Transportation in Canada’s North
Christopher Wright
Marquis Book Printing, 2016
Softcover, 571pp

The Arctic is a neglected topic for Canada, in many ways. It’s isolated geographically, culturally, and economically. Canadians are taught about the First Nations cultures that live there, but aside from that it is rather romanticized. Whether it’s the Franklin Expedition, and the many other efforts to find the Northwest Passage, The St Roch, or Farley Mowat’s stories, or Peter C Newman’s histories of the North, it is a land more of narrative than of reality.

With global warming, it is accepted that the North will become very important to Canada’s relationship with the world as it becomes much more accessible by sea. The reality is that for much of the North, shipping has been the most viable way for goods to get to communities. Author Christopher Wright is an engineer by training, but has spent many years involved with shipping companies. He was first involved with shipping to the Arctic in 1973, and has many years of experience since. He brings that experience and detail-oriented approach to this book.

Arctic Cargo is a history of shipping and cargo transport in Canada’s North. It is not a narrative history, in the style of Pierre Berton or Peter C Newman. It examines all kinds of activities, from defence and deterrence, to resource extraction, to support of communities. In addition to being well written, it is full of data, tables and illustrations. The sheer volume of information is very impressive.

The publisher and printer have done an excellent job. Softcover, it has a pleasing weight to it. It is well structured and laid out. It has three different indices — a general one, a place index, and one for ships. It is well conceived and executed.

Clearly, there is a lot more to talk about when it comes to Canada’s Arctic history. This is a very good book. It is highly recommended for academic audience, especially for maritime and arctic history. That said, anybody who is interested in maritime history, Canada’s North, shipping or history of the merchant marine will enjoy this book as well.


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New Books and New Editions!

Recently, some fantastic new books have come into the store.

New Editions

instant-weather-foreasting5thInstant Weather Forecasting
Alan Watts

This is a fantastic resource for any sailor or cruiser. Each pair of pages discusses a type of weather, and provides a photographic example. This is a fantastic onboard reference for judging weather by sight, and is also good for looking at the weather before heading to the yacht club.


The Complete Rigger’s Apprentice
Brion Toss

This is a great reference for anybody who works on (or is interested in) rigging sailboats. There are major changes in this 2nd edition, Toss has incorporated much of the content from his second book, The Rigger’s Locker. He also incorporates an entirely new section on splicing and dealing with braided line. The rest of the book is retained from the original edition, and describes all facets of working with and maintaining various types of riggings. This includes single-hulled vessels, and multi-hulled vessels.

destroyer-hmcs-haida-warshipDestroyer HMCS Haida
Rindert van Zinderen Bakker

The sixth in a series of glossy books looking at warships, this provides an in-depth discussion of HMCS Haida specifically, and Tribal class destroyers in general. It is filled with amazing images, photos and schematics that span its entire career from construction, to its current life as a museum ship in Hamilton, Ontario. Highly recommended for warship and Canadian naval history enthusiasts.



How to Read Water
Tristan Gooley

This is the third book by Gooley, who is also the author of The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and the Natural Navigator. This book is in the same narrative style as the others, teaching lessons about how to navigate and read the environment, interspersed with anecdotes and stories from his experiences. This book teaches you how to gauge depth, navigate, read the weather, as well as other skills. It further deals with bodies of water of every size and shape from the ocean, to bays and inlets, rivers, streams and ponds. Highly recommended for those who love being in nature.

History-Sailing-100-objectsA History of Sailing in 100 Objects
Barry Pickthall

This is a fantastic new coffee table book. It’s great for history enthusiasts, and especially for children and teens. Not everybody has access to a maritime museum, to be able to see these kinds of objects in person. Barry Pickthall brings a collection of 100 important objects to the reader, and explains theirs significance. These objects describe all kinds of sailing communities and cultures from the Royal Navy, to racers, to Polynesia, and has selected from thousands of years of maritime activity.