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Which woman made the first solo transatlantic crossing? Who saved thousands of lives with the invention of navigation lights? What is the story behind the invention of the compass? Who was Francis Beaufort and how did he come to devise the Beaufort wind scale, still used to this day? Why did William Petty invent the catamaran (in 1662)? Many of us know the story of modern sailing pioneers - Dame Ellen MacArthur and Francis Chichester, Claire Francis and the challengers of the Americas Cup - but what about those unsung heroes who invented the mechanisms and technology which enabled sailors to speed across the oceans and navigate more safely This fascinating book reveals the extraordinary stories behind the apparatus which many take for granted. Learn how the Frenchman Boulanger produced the first binoculars in 1859, enabling sailors to spy landmarks more effectively; or how William Armstrong earned sailors' gratitude by devising the yacht winch. From cloud classification and screw propellers to radio telephones and the measurement of tides, from the sextant to the first fibreglass boat, this collection of stories, with a foreword by Ben Ainslie, Olympic gold medal winner, will inspire and intrigue sailors everywhere.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780750933650
ISBN-10: 0750933658
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 127mm x 10mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Publish Date: 20-Apr-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions


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Author Biography - George Drower

George Drower is a writer and historian, and the author of Gardeners, Gurus and Grubs: the stories of Garden Inventors and Innovations and Heligoland (both Sutton Publishing). He has raced at Cowes, Burnham and in the North Sea.

Books By Author George Drower

Heligoland by George Drower


Paperback, June 2011
Boats, Boffins & Bowlines by George Drower

Boats, Boffins & Bowlines

Paperback, May 2011
Garden Heroes and Villains by George Drower

Garden Heroes and Villains

Paperback, November 2006
Gardeners, Gurus and Grubs by George Drower

Gardeners, Gurus and Grubs

Paperback, July 2002