Sea-Boats, Oars and Sails


Conor O’Brien

With a Foreword by Sam Llewellyn

That alone should get you into Heaven—Paul Gartside

Most of what is writ­ten about boats is nat­ur­ally based on the ortho­dox view, and the man who wants a boat neither for class racing nor as a har­bour orna­ment, but to go to sea in, gets little guid­ance from it. This book of mine is frankly unortho­dox, in that I hold noth­ing sac­red and take noth­ing for gran­ted.

So writes the (inter alia) intel­lec­tu­al, gun-run­ner, naval officer and cir­cum­nav­ig­at­or Conor O’Brien, of his strongly opin­ion­ated yet vitally inform­at­ive and prac­tic­al book, pub­lished in 1941 and now re-pub­lished to meet ascend­ant interest in the sail-and-oar cruiser—particularly the small lug­ger.

Brist­ling with ideas born mostly of hard-won exper­i­ence, some­times of pure con­jec­ture, and stud­ded with rev­el­at­ory nug­gets of sheer com­mon sense con­cern­ing small boat con­struc­tion, setup and hand­ling, Sea-Boats, Oars and Sails mer­its its place on the book­shelf of every sail-and-oar prac­ti­tion­er or aspir­ant.

This new edi­tion is enhanced with inspir­ing new pho­to­graphs, and design draw­ings, of the small lug­ger design ILUR by François Vivier—a design which embod­ies per­fectly, in mod­ern tim­ber con­struc­tion and mater­i­als, the qual­it­ies of sea-keep­ing, usab­il­ity and safety advanced by Conor O’Brien in this book.

The many full-page and double-page pho­tos are of An Suire (The Sea-Nymph) built by Tim Cooke, and sailed by him in the waters of south-west Ire­land which Conor O’Brien knew well.

The endear­ing thing about Conor O’Brien (a man, come to think of it, who might not have been pleased to be called endear­ing) is that he is just as much a vic­tim of his sea dreams as any­one who is likely to shell out for this book.
Sam Llewellyn

Read a sample here.

ISBN 978–1-907206–17-7; 216 x 156mm, 176pp, inc. 15 pages of draw­ings & 18 pho­to­graphs. Soft­cov­er with sewn bind­ing, cover flaps and matt lam­in­a­tion.

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