Adlard Coles’ classic work first appeared 50 years ago and this is the seventh edition. It remains probably the best overall account of heavy weather conditions, although Tom Cunliffe’s Heavy Weather Cruising, published by Fernhurst, concentrates on the practical issues and is excellent value.

As before, it is divided into two main sections covering “Expert Advice” and “Storm Experiences”. Subjects covered in the first part include design and stability; spars, rigging, sails and drag devices; preparation, handling and seeking refuge; meteorology, seasickness; powerboat handling and multi-hull tactics. The second part mainly covers storm experiences over the last 30 years.

Compared with early editions, this benefits from the use of colour and more explanatory diagrams, while older readers will regret the omission of Captain de Lange’s terrifying photographs of hurricane conditions. The meteorology chapter dwells too long on elementary theory and is unduly negative about the resources of the individual sailor (a common problem remedied by the Club’s “Practical Weather Forecasting” course). The chapter on seasickness is good but curiously omits discussion of the role of antacid preparations, a matter raised many years ago by Des Sleightholme. These, however, are minor quibbles about an iconic work: expensive but worth it.

Reviewed by: Ian Stewart,

Hon Librarian's note:   We also have the original version, written by Karl Adlard Coles, a former member of the Club, on our shelves.

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