I am a decades-long powerboater (sorry) with experience on the Great Lakes as well as the Gulf of Mexico. I’m old(er) now and am enjoying my peace and quiet with a loved but old 27ft sloop. I know how to make it do what’s necessary, but I know I need some help. I am budgeting a trip to a sailing school for next spring, but want to improve my vocabulary first. “Pull on the rope there” won’t cut it. Is there a sailing dictionary I could study that has all these terms (with pictures!) organized for an old cat to learn new tricks?
— Ryan Corman, Fargo, ND
It’s somewhat ancient and long since out of print, but we’d recommend Royce’s Sailing Illustrated. It’s not a dictionary, per se, but it is chock full of terms, ideas and expressions—a great picture book for just leafing through on a rainy day, with tons of fun arcane facts along with pretty much every sailing term you could ever imagine. Otherwise, Sailing for Dummies is a good primer, and not just for dummies!—Eds. (PS: In this month’s Gear section, there’s also some information on a set of reference cards that may interest you.)