The Why Book of Sailing

The Why Book of Sailing
By Scott Welty
2007, Burford Books, Inc.
32 Morris Avenue
Springfield, N.J. 07081
ISBN: 1-58080-146-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-58080-146-1
Many of us remember just how difficult it was to relate the laws taught in high school physics to everyday life, regardless of how hard the teacher tried. Today as sailors we see these forces of nature at work constantly, although some still remain a mystery and beyond our capacity for the most rudimentary explanation.

In his new book, The Why Book of Sailing, retired teacher of physics and full time voyager “Captain Wizard” Scott Welty attempts to demystify many of these conundrums in a plain, spoken style that avoids any heavy math or complicated explanations. Broken up into chapters focusing on everything from Archimedes’ principle to the laws governing optics, illusions and rainbows, Welty’s “lessons” are not only entertaining, but they also provide useful information, especially where electricity is concerned. Other topics covered include torque, vectors, waves and much more — all with marine-related examples. The book’s question-and-answer format unravels such mysteries as “The mystery of the non-starting engine” and “How can I tell if a switch is broken inside?” A far cry from a high school physics text, The Why Book of Sailing is filled with loads of useful facts and information, and has a place on the bookshelf of any voyaging yacht. 

By Ocean Navigator