The Boat Who Wouldn't Float

by Farley Mowat

Paperback, 1984



Call number




Bantam (1984)


It seemed like a good idea. Tired of everyday life ashore, Farley Mowat would find a sturdy boat in Newfoundland and roam the salt sea over, free as a bird. What he found was the worst boat in the world, and she nearly drove him mad. The Happy Adventure, despite all that Farley and his Newfoundland helpers could do, leaked like a sieve. Her engine only worked when she felt like it. Typically, on her maiden voyage, with the engine stuck in reverse, she backed out of the harbour under full sail. And she sank, regularly. How Farley and a varied crew, including the intrepid lady who married him, coaxed the boat from Newfoundland to Lake Ontario is a marvellous story. The encounters with sharks, rum-runners, rum and a host of unforgettable characters on land and sea make this a very funny book for readers of all ages.… (more)

Media reviews

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«Jeg var slave av en synkende skonnert»

Denne boken er kanskje den morsomste som noen gang er skrevet om kjærlighetsforholdet mellom en mann og hans båt!

Skonnerten Happy Adventure hadde en fatal feil. Hun lakk som en sil. Hvorfor noen ville utsette seg og sine beste venner for denne sta,
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egenrådige, ukomfortable og ikkeflytende lørja, som ved siste opptelling hadde sunket åtte ganger, er mer enn noen kan fatte. Enhver forklaring synes umulig. Men historien er sann, tro det eller ei.

Dette er en fornøyelig beretning om livet med og i en gammel båt; om råtne seil og helbredende rom; om livet på yttersida og om hunder, havet og kjærligheten.

«En utrolig morsom bok. Hvis ikke den gir deg lyst til å kjøpe en gammel båt, er du ved dine fulle fem»
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User reviews

LibraryThing member tripleblessings
Funny stories of a cheerful crew of Newfoundlanders with Mowat as skipper, and their ship "Happy Adventure" with a tendency to sink. The ship limps along the coast of Newfoundland and the Maritimes and up the St. Lawrence. This new edition includes 90 black and white drawings by Marc G. P. Berthier
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to capture the sea air and adventures. Very enjoyable yarns.
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LibraryThing member kardea
I just finished this one last night. I "sailed" along with Farley and his various companions along the coast of the Avalon and across the Southern shore of Newfoundland and finally onto Cape Breton and onto Montreal. I could really appreciate the humour in this book as I am originally from Ontario
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and have been living in Newfoundland just over two years. Things are a little different here(in a good way). The book brought lots of laughs and smiles.
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LibraryThing member nmele
I am a paddle-man, not a sail-er, but I enjoyed reading this memoir of Mowat's adventures in Newfoundland with local water men and various other sorts he encountered as he sailed, pumped and caulked away for several years.
LibraryThing member gypsysmom
If you don't laugh out loud at some point when you read this book, there is something wrong with you. This is a, supposedly, true tale of Farley Mowat's adventure with the boat Happy Adventure. Along the way, a ship-mate is acquired who becomes Clair Mowat, Farley's wife. Enjoy!
LibraryThing member ZanaDont
This book was hilarious, exciting, touching, thoughtful, heartfelt, and then it was funny again. I've recommended it several times since reading it.
LibraryThing member AyRGH
Excellent experiential maritime muddled with deftly drawn comedy. Observant, wry. poignant, like everything of Mowat’s read, does-not-disappoint. So thankful he chose to write and has kept it up for the duration. Merci, Mr. Mowat, for sharing your life with the world. Imagine how many you’ve
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touched and all of the enjoyment and interest you’ve added. Count us among the thankful.
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Original language


Original publication date



055324552X / 9780553245523
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