“Even readers who deem themselves confirmed landlubbers will warm to this charming memoir…[also] offers the fine local color of coastal North Carolina.”—Publishers Weekly
When Louis Rubin was thirteen, he built a leaky little boat and paddled it out to the edge of the ship channel in Charleston, South Carolina, where he felt the inexorable pull of the water. In his sixties, dozens of boats later—sailboats, powerboats, inboards and outboards—the pull is as strong as ever.
In the tradition established by Twain, Conrad, and Melville, Small Craft Advisory explores man’s longtime passion for boats. Louis Rubin examines the compulsion that has prompted him and countless other non-nautical persons to spend so much time, and no small portion of their incomes, on watercraft that they can use only infrequently. As his new boat (a cabin cruiser made of wood on a workboat hull) is being built, Rubin tells of his past boats and numerous boating disasters, and draws a poignant comparison between his two passions: watercraft and the craft of writing.
“A wistful meditation on risk-taking and a longing for a place where time never runs out.”—The Washington Post Book World
“If the point of reading a memoir is to meet a person who is truly good company, and maybe to have a little wisdom rub off at the same time, Small Craft Advisory is a book to read.”—The New York Times Book Review
“In describing the building of his boat he is describing the building of his life, reasserting the shaping value of memory and imagination. [A] gracefully written contemplation.”—Library Journal