Ships of the World

Ships of the World – An Historical Encyclopedia by Lincoln P. Paine A comprehensive encyclopedia that provides the history and scantlings of more than 1,000 famous and infamous vessels, Ships of the World is a must-have reference book for the enthusiast of nautical history. But it’s also a treat for the general reader; included in its extensive listings are hundreds of gripping sea stories.

Every major vessel to roll down the ways or impress itself on the public consciousness in some way has its story told. The list includes the Egyptian Cheops Ship; the legendary British clipper ship Cutty Sark; the river steamer Robert E. Lee, winner of a celebrated non-race with the steamer Natchez; the Kaiulani, the last American square-rigger to sail in regular service; the ill-fated tanker Exxon Valdez; and countless warships that served in significant battles.

Paine even stretches the designation “ship” by including famous yachts like W. Starling Burgess’s staysail schooner Niña; Joshua Slocum’s Spray; and Robert Manry’s 13-foot sloop Tinkerbelle, the 1965 record-holder for smallest vessel to cross the Atlantic.

A fine selection of color plates and an index of ships in literature add to the book’s impressive compendium of knowledge.

Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Mass.; ph: 617-351-5000; 680 pgs.; $50.

By Ocean Navigator