How to Sail a Boat

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More About This Title How to Sail a Boat


To sail a boat is a magical, and sometimes mystical, experience. The sailor is free from the cares of life on land, entirely absorbed in the enterprise of moving a craft across the water. For the uninitiated, though, willingly putting oneself at the mercy of nature’s unpredictable forces, winds, waves, and weather can seem quite daunting. Here, Matt Vance takes readers inside the mind of a sailor, from the first scary moment of handling a boat solo to the exhilaration of sailing across oceans and discovering new worlds. His stories and those of his fellow madmen will captivate sailors young and old and have landlubbers yearning for the blue horizon.


Matt Vance is a New Zealand–based writer, artist, and filmmaker who specializes in quirky tales from the South Pacific, Southern Ocean, and Antarctica. His stories and photographs have appeared in NZ Listener, Sunday Star-Times, and Wilderness magazine.


“This beautiful little book will put a gleam in the eyes of an experienced sailor, and rock a new sailor’s heart with fear, trembling—and longing. As well as reflections on myriad things sailing, it offers glimpses of the true transcendence of sail.”  —Tom Lochhaas, author, Suddenly Overboard

“A fine integration of knowledge, humour and affection.”  —Owen Marshall, author, Harlequin Rex