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WINDJAMMERS The Final Story

290 x 210 mm, 296 pages, 42 colour plates, 30 photos

9781877058042, $59.95, Hardcover

Robert Carter

Available: Out of Stock

This is a unique book in that Robert Carter had the rare opportunity to acquire first hand information about the last of the wind driven ships from the final generation of sailing ship sailors. His friendship with Captain Eben Anderson led on to other contacts in the world of square rig and to worldwide connections through the Finnish grain ships.

As a youth, Robert Carter even corresponded with the famous sailing ship owner, Gustaf Erikson of Mariehamn in the Northern Baltic Sea. As an associate member of the Australian section of the International Association of Cape Homers, many of his friends there have told him stories of their voyages under sail. Through his research and a great interest in the last sailing ships and the people who manned them, there are few persons in the world with a greater knowledge of this.

The book is an interesting blend of interviews, diary extracts and stories, all illustrated with forty of Robert Carter's beautiful and detailed paintings. These paintings are not just illustrations of ships but each, with its own description reveals yet another story or happening from the days of sail. We are also given a good insight into the various reasons why commercial sail lost the battle against powered vessels, how it was able to exist until half way through the 20th century and also some very colourful accounts of the harsh life in the last of the windjammers.

The beauty of sail and the romance is also there. Maybe we even get the answer to why some men chose to sail in these ships rather than take more comfortable and better-paid jobs in steamers.

This book is intended to reveal to today's generation the events, happenings and reallife stories from the final fifty years in the life of the last commercial sailing ships. This era ended in 1959.

In the last decade there has been a proliferation of restorations and the building of new traditional sailing vessels, for the purpose of sail training and adventure type excursions in so called 'tall ships'. Every major maritime nation now possesses at least one sail training ship along with a plethora of other vessels engaged in charter work, together with stationary museum ships.

The author's worldwide study of sail driven ships reveals there are now thousands of people of many nationalities, who have experienced a voyage under contemporary square rig, whilst those who have gone to sea in smaller traditional fore and aft rigged vessels are too numerous to count.