92nd out of 119 books — 29 voters
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The Art of Rigging
The best manual ever produced on rigging a sailing ship, based on extensively revised and updated 1848 edition prepared by Biddlecombe, Master in the Royal Navy. Complete definition of terms, on-shore operations, process of rigging ships, reeving the running rigging and bending sails, rigging brigs, yachts and small vessels, more. 17 plates.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Dover Publications
(first published January 1st 1925)
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I can't say I've read it from cover to cover, since half of it is really just a dictionary of terms, but it's an amazingly useful book, and available for free as a PDF, so there's no reason not to own it. I wish there were more diagrams. Learning how to tie a knot using only written directions is difficult.