“Living the dream” – Flying Fish reviews Sail The World

This review was published in Flying Fish 2022/1, The Journal of the Ocean Cruising Club.

When we set off on our own voyages Jimmy Cornell’s most successful book, World Cruising Routes, was our bible. We relied on it heavily for passage planning, and even programmed his waypoints into our chartplotter. Since then we have followed his adventures on his series of Aventuras with admiration and perhaps a little jealousy. After all, he was ‘living the dream’ and making a living doing so.

Jimmy’s 18th and latest book, Sail the World With Me, is based on and supersedes his previous 200,000 Miles: A Life of Adventure (2017) and A Passion for the Sea (2007). As with the previous two titles, this is a book that is both enjoyable to read and to dip into now and again. It is part memoir, but interspersed with huge amounts of information via anecdotes about everything from boat selection to what to do and where to go.

The book kicks off with the story of Aventura Zero, Cornell’s newest boat and fifth in the Aventura series. This is a project Jimmy came up with at the age of 80 – a voyage around the world in a fully electric boat! He needed speed to help with electricity generation and settled on a catamaran – the first multihulled Aventura. The sea trials of the purpose-built boat went well, but the first problems arose on the first leg of the journey when they sailed into a high with no wind for several days and Aventura Zero’s battery banks drained quite low. Again and again, Aventura Zero failed to generate sufficient power to cover consumption, even when carefully managed. On arriving in the Canaries Jimmy, never one to procrastinate over an urgent matter, reached the conclusion that the system was unsustainable for a long voyage. A return to France ended this adventure – perhaps only for now.

My one criticism of the book is the small type size combined with a light serif font. Although Sail the World With Me is clearly targeted at the sailor ready to set out on an adventure it is also of great interest to experienced cruisers, and for those who might be slightly older such small type can be an issue. One thing I particularly like is the Technical Index at the back. While the book is chock-full of great advice, this is threaded into his stories and thus otherwise hard to find should the need arise. I also like the highlighted ‘Tips’ segments interspersed throughout. When flipping through the pages, these are easy to find and full of valuable insights.

In all, I would recommend this book to ocean sailors as well as to armchair sailors and anyone planning to set off at some point in the future. As of May 2022 Sail The World With Me was not available for sale in the USA, but 200,000 Miles is still available from both North American distributors Paradise Cay and Amazon.

Editor’s note: Sail the World will be available soon to order from North America, more details to follow soon.

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