Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach

by Don Casey

Paperback, 1990



Call number




International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press (1990), Edition: 1, 356 pages


If wisdom can be defined as common sense that has withstood the test of time, then Sensible Cruising is a wise book. It explains: Why a sensible cruise is affordable to almost anyone. Why the boat of choice for most cruisers is under 35 feet. Why lowering the cost doesn't devalue the cruise. How simplicity minimizes insulation from the experience. How to think in terms of how little, not how much, is really required. Drawing heavily on the philosophy of the sage of Walden Pond, this book is a gentle guide to the art of commonsense cruising which, in hardcover, was one of the 10 best-selling sailing books of all time. Now available for the first time in paperback, Sensible Cruising, a former main selection of the Dolphin Book Club, is more pertinent than ever during this time of economic retrenchment. No truer American existed than Thoreau . . . there was an excellent wisdom in him, proper to a rare class of men . . . with] power of description and literary excellence . . . he chose to be rich by making his wants few, and supplying them himself . . . --Ralph Waldo Emerson I never would have imagined that Thoreau's philosophy could be so aptly applied to anything as disparate as cruising.--Dr. Walter Harding, author and Secretary of the Thoreau Society At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.--Robin Lee Graham, Circumnavigator and author of DoveOne of the wonderful things about the cruising life is that it teaches you how little you can get along on, that to lead a fulfilling life it is not necessary to have a big pile of bucks. This may have been self-evident to Thoreau before the day of mass media, but in our modern environment it isa philosophy that is difficult to come by. Your readers should be aware that being judicious in their purchases can be financially rewarding at the end. We have always treated our boats as investments, and made money, on all of them.--Steve Dashew, Circumnavigator, and author of Bluewater Handbook and The Circumnavigator's HandbookIt does look sometimes as if the world were on its last legs. How many there are whose principal employment is is nowadays to eat their meals and go to the post-office.--Henry David Thoreau What others say about this book: This is one of the most intriguing and original books on cruising to appear in a long time . . . an admirably practical guide . . . with a delightful sense of humor . . . --John Rousmaniere, author of The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, The Sailing Lifestyle, Fastnet Force 10, and The Golden Pastime: A New History of YachtingFor anyone contemplating a prolonged sail . . . this book makes an excellent companion, full of sensible advice on the fine art of making-do when things don't go quite as expected.--SoundingsSensible Cruising is a refreshing change, written for those of us who dream of modest goals. Every cruising sailor, ambitious or unambitious, should read and treasure this memorable volume.--SailingCasey and Hackler suck the very marrow of life from Henry David Thoreau's writings to build a case for the small cruiser. The perfect instigation to get procrastinators and naysayers off the pot and over the horizon.--Dan Spurr, Senior Editor, Cruising World, and author of Spurr's Boatbook: Upgrading the Cruising Sailboat… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member John_Vaughan
Our boating guru returns with this book and it really is – a sensible approach, and yes it does help if you have actually read Thoreau’s works.(My favorite is Cape Cod)

Full of Casey’s practical knowledge and experience this book is an enticement to at least dream of cruising, if not to pack
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up and go! Like the Authors other books (his This Old Boat is almost a boating bible) it reads well, is loaded with ‘why didn’t I think of that’ ideas on boat improvements and really does reflect a thoughtful approach to boating.

Good read and a book to treasure, for rereading.
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Original language



0071580255 / 9780071580250

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