Francis B Cooke
I think it’s high time Cooke was rediscovered … just the stuff to read while waiting for the tide, or in peaceful moments at home
— Gavin Atkin, InTheBoatshed.net
...much of practical value, and plenty to disagree with
— Sam Llewellyn, The Marine Quarterly
Welcome to the world of traditional yacht cruising — the world of Francis B. Cooke. Four generations of sailors have been informed, entertained and inspired by his down-to-earth, ‘one of us’ writings, in countless magazine articles and nearly 30 books. His first published writing of any kind was in 1883, and he was still writing, aged 100, in the early 1970s.
The gear and techniques of our pursuit have changed hardly at all in more than a century, making Francis Cooke’s advice as relevant now as in his heyday. Cruising Hints, 7th Edition, for the first time condenses all of his two dozen practical books into one. To know Cooke’s views on any cruising topic, look no further. There are practical details here which are in print nowhere else, and some of them are alone worth the price of the book.
In the history of 20th Century British yacht design Francis Cooke’s books have been a valuable reference point, but it’s often been a problem to recall in which of his many titles he ‘wrote up’ a certain design. Every single one of his design commentaries is here, with drawings — and we have updated some boat stories to the present day, with owners’ comments and photos.
If this were not enough, Cooke’s writings on boat type and selection, Thames Estuary locations and his charming cruising yarns provide us with a valuable window onto English sailing culture in the early 20th Century. And to cap it all we were delighted that the late Charles Stock, a lifelong Cooke fan, wrote the Foreword. Charles retired from sailing in 2010 in his eighties, having covered some 75,000 miles in half a century sailing the Thames Estuary in his tiny gaffer Shoal Waters, and was a model of what Francis Cooke would call ‘Yachting with Economy’.
A comprehensive Glossary and Index make this an invaluable reference work for anyone interested in the history of cruising under sail.
For the electronic edition we have provided hyper-linked entries for the contents, design list and index, and two-way hyper-links between design commentaries and design drawings. All the design drawing pages have been rotated to landscape view for ease of reading.
Is your boat or its design covered in the book? Check the design list and index in our sample pages.
Francis B Cooke lived to 102, dying in 1974, and his work remains in copyright until 2044. The author's royalty from Cruising Hints is being donated to Arthritis Research UK..
PDF E-Book, 686 pages plus 16 pages of monochrome plates; about 300 line drawings in the text, plus 77 full-page design drawings, all digitally restored for this edition; Glossary and Index.