Heavy Weather Powerboating
by Hugo Montgomery-Swan
Reviewed in SAILING September 2010:
Heavy Weather Sailing has been a best seller in the yachting world for years, with every justification; and there is no doubt that this new powerboating equivalent will reach all the way to the top, too -- quickly.
In similar fashion to the 'sailors' bible', this book by Hugo Montgomery-Swan, the Editor of RIB International magazine, has many noteworthy contributors, all of whom recount experiences in extreme weather, and endeavour to pass on the lessons learned.
There are tales of incredible heroism, dramatic rescues, and heartbreaking tragedy, and the tone is set in the opening chapter 'Heroes of the Great Storm'. Although it happened 50 years ago, the story of Dick Evans and his gallant crew and the dangers they faced time and again as their RNLI boats undertook rescues in the most horrendous sea and weather conditions makes for rivetting reading. There is a poignant prelude to this story too, but you need to read it for yourself to appreciate just what sacrifices these men make, and just how brutal the sea can be.
Thirty years later, just before Christmas, on the Cornish coast, Penlee lifeboat was lost during an attempted rescue. All eight of her crew perished as did the eight people they were attempting to save. So little achieved; and at such cost.
Nearer home, well-known South African boatbuilder and one-time member of the NSRI, Peter Adamo, tells of rescues in the Hout Bay area, and there is also a special mention of the difficulties of getting in and out of a river harbour such as the Kowie.
Rescues apart, the book also embraces the development of rescue boats, and RIBs, weather forecasting and techniques that can be used in dealing with the frightening face that the sea so often shows. Lending weight to some of the excellent writing are full colour action pictures that are, in a word, awesome It is an enthralling book; a book that will surely equip powerboaters with the best knowledge, the best tools, perhaps, to face and survive the worst that the elements can throw at you. It is, like its sailing counterpart, a must read for anyone dealing with extreme weather.
Price: (South African Rands): R 517
Prices are subject to change without prior notice.
Book ID (for ordering): 2638