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John Jamieson
  • Male
  • Vero Beach, FL
  • United States
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Something About Me and My Book:
My book, "Seamanship Secrets", is due for release in March 2009 from McGraw-Hill/International Marine. It is written for power and sailboat skippers that want to improve their skills in navigation, seamanship and small boat handling. It includes short tips and techniques that can be used in tough conditions, such as an open cockpit, rain or spray.

Here is the bio and opening letter from the book's opening pages:

About the Author
John Jamieson spent 23 years in the Coast Guard as an enlisted navigator, instructor, search and rescue coxswain and ship’s conning officer. He taught seamanship and navigation for the Coast Guard and Navy. He has trained hundreds of students both ashore and afloat in navigation, seamanship, boat-handling and ship-handling.

He spent over 10 years at sea, half of those as navigator and conning officer on coastal Buoy Tenders. He served as Senior Assistant Controller at the Rescue Coordination Center in Long Beach California. His team coordinated air and sea search and rescue missions from the border of California and Oregon to the Yucatan Peninsula, out to 1000 nautical miles offshore.

He has singlehanded sailed for 13 years and delivered sailing vessels along the US east coast. He made three Bermuda passages aboard tall ship “Eagle”, teaching coastal and celestial navigation to officer candidates and enlisted students.

He holds master and mate licenses for both power and sail and is a nationally certified sailing instructor. He recently directed the seamanship and chart navigation department at the internationally renowned Charles F. Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart, Florida.

Letter To My Fellow Skippers
How many times have you wished for a system of easy to learn, easy to remember techniques that work the first time, the second time and every other time you try them? This book was written for skippers by a skipper, frustrated by the crushing amount of information that, for the most part, doesn’t seem to quite measure up to what I like to call the “repeatability” factor.

Several years ago, commercial fisherman petitioned the Coast Guard to keep its Loran-C navigation system active because of its superior “repeatability” factor. Once they’d found a lucrative fishing ground, these hardy seamen wanted to return to it again and again. Only Loran-C earned their respect for its ability to take them back to exactly those same fishing grounds—time after time after time…

And I truly believe that to be the essence of seamanship under power or sail. What works today should work tomorrow on my boat, your boat or any other boat out there, without a whole lot of fuss. In fair weather or blowing like the devil, in pea soup fog or sparkling night under a canopy of stars. Simple is good and simpler is better.

So it is with navigation skills. You need a system that works in a comfy cabin—which I’ve found rarely works for small crews— or open cockpit or flying bridge, exposed to wind, rain and spray. I captained a Bertram 47 that took spray all the way back to her flying bridge, even in moderate weather. I still had to navigate with traditional chart and compass. This book’ll show you how to set up a whole series of charts for an entire trip and fit them onto a portable, one handed clipboard. We’ll explore the quickest, most accurate ways to navigate to the next marina, across the Gulf Stream or islands beyond the horizon.

We’ll look at the rare skill of short tacking up a narrow channel with shoals or boats on either side. I’ve often observed apprehension from even the most experienced sailors to practice this important skill. And yet, time and again, I’ve taken guys and gals from the desert that’ve never set foot on a boat, put them onto a sailboat of nearly 30 feet, and had them short tacking like a racing crew in less than twenty minutes. The secret to success lies in preparation, coordination and crystal clear communication. In this book, I’ll show you the secrets to mastering this skill along with docking under sail into a slip or alongside a pier.

On the powerboat side, we’ll solve problems like how to bring a twin diesel powerboat alongside a pier or into a slip after losing one engine. Now that might curl your toes a bit, but again, there are ways to do this successfully, using the secrets of preparation, coordination and communication.

Then we’ll look at emergency skills, such as getting things under control after collision, fire, flooding, crew overboard and hypothermia. Throughout the book, you’ll find proven methods to step through any emergency quickly and logically. For instance, if a person falls overboard, so much has been written about various patterns to return to the person. We look at these too, but also explore recovery techniques and prevention. After all, prevention goes a long way in keeping your crew on the boat, safe and sound.

And to check your skipper skills, each chapter ends with a thought provoking short list of questions so that you can test your abilities to make decisions on your feet. No real right or wrong answers here. I give you feedback on how I might handle them.

This book doesn’t attempt to be everything to everyone. There are certainly much more knowledgeable folk than I that have written wonderful books, covering every aspect of navigation and seamanship. Yet, I sincerely believe this carefully selected collection of tips and techniques will take you to the next level in knowledge and confidence. In any event, this book will make you a better, more respected skipper in all respects. So the best to you. Have a great read.

Stay safe ‘n sound…

John Jamieson (“Cap’n J”)

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John Jamieson's Blog

How to Choose a “Sea Pooch” for Sailboat Cruising

Dogs have served as mascots on sailboats, Coast Guard ships and square riggers. But how do you know if your dog would make a great companion for coastal sailing?

Look for These Water Dog Characteristics.

Does your friend take to the water or not? To find out, engage in a game of fetch with a rubber ball. A great water dog fetches the ball with gusto every time! But if he or she shies away from the game, leave Fido with a friend before you cast off.

If you’re in… Continue

Posted on October 6, 2008 at 5:30pm

How Magnetic North Affects Safe Nautical Navigation

Did you know that the location of the magnetic north pole affects every course you plot on your navigational chart? Are you familiar with the two ways to correct your course in order to steer a safe, accurate magnetic course?

Use this easy guide to gain a good understanding of true and magnetic direction. Then you’ll have the confidence to expand your horizons for cruising wherever you wish to go.

True North and True Course Direction.

Imagine that you… Continue

Posted on September 29, 2008 at 1:59pm

How to Lower Sail Repair Costs on Your Cruising Sailboat

Did you know that the average mainsail and headsail only last 8 years? Sails used on a racing sailboat or long distance cruising sailboat break down much sooner. What can you do to prevent sail repairs from eating up a significant portion of your cruising budget? First, take a quick look at how tension control plays a critical role in keeping your boat sails healthy.

A Peak behind the Sailmaking Curtain

Your sailmaker installs a fiber or wire rope luff reinforcement called a… Continue

Posted on September 28, 2008 at 10:11am — 2 Comments

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At 12:56am on September 27, 2008, John Kremer said…
Welcome to the Book Marketing network. Please tell us more about you and your book.
At 4:41pm on September 26, 2008, Joanne Victoria said…
Glad to see you here...

At 12:29pm on September 26, 2008, Joanne Victoria said…
You will love this network as an opportunity to gain attention to your book. You can also create a blog about tips for sailors. (Look right under "quick add")

Take care,


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