The Best Sailing Books to Read on Vacation

Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport. But some of the best reads are discovered on vacation between the front and back covers of a well-written novel. So, whether you are counting down the days until your next unforgettable yacht charter vacation or simply daydreaming about island-hopping in paradise, these are our favorite sea-inspired tales for the salty sailor in each of us...

Contemporary Sea Stories (Non-Fiction)

An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude

By: Ann Vanderhoof

A true tale of a couple chucking it all to sail endlessly.  Great armchair reading when you can’t get out on the water.

Also try The Spice Necklace by the same author.

Flirting with Mermaids

By: John Kretschmer

Great title, and if you’ve ever enjoyed hearing a sailor’s tall tales at a dive-y seaside bar, John Kretschmer’s stories will transport you.

Ocean of Insight

By: Heather Lyn Mann

A sailing story about the interconnectedness of nature.

As Long As It's Fun Book Cover

As Long as it’s Fun

By: Herb McCormick

Light, fun reading about a sailing traditionalist’s journeys around the world.  Also a great intro to other books and stories by Lin and Larry Pardy. 


Fiction in Paradise

The Rocks

By: Peter Nichols

Intrigue in a Mediterranean paradise.

All Summer Long

By: Dorothea Benton Frank

Light summer reading, including a luxurious trip to the BVI, and other world-class sailing spots. 

Timeless Classics

Treasure Island book cover

Treasure Island

By: Robert Louis Stevenson

Believed to be written about British Virgin Island’s Norman Island, a popular spot for charterer’s to explore the caves and coves looking for treasure. 


By:Thor Heyerdahl

A true adventure story on the high-seas.

Twenty thousand leagues under the sea book cover

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

By: Jules Verne

Sci-fi at its inception, a story of a terrifying sea monster and the original Nemo. 

The Old Man and the Sea

By: Ernest Hemmingway

Possibly a little cliché, yes there are lessons on courage and defeat, but also an appreciation for man’s relationship with the sea.

Plan Your Own Adventure Story

For kids, please see our Best Children's Books to Read on Vacation blog post.

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