Never spend more than 30 seconds fighting a fire. If the fire can’t be extinguished, get everyone off the boat.” This tip from the new book, The Best Tips from Women Aboard, hit me like a ton of bricks. After living on board four days a week for three years on our Islander 34, Seafox, I had never heard or read this vital information.

This 177-page tip-filled book covers many areas of boating from safety, storage, and supply lists to engine winterizing and “pooh boxes” on board for pets. I particularly enjoyed the sections on tried-and-true products, keeping fruits and vegetables fresh (I am having a real problem with lettuce), and cleaning tips. The use of specific product names and where to purchase them was an added bonus. I am eager to try the simple recipes for cleaning products made from basic ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, Clorox, and salt. I have found double-duty supplies to be best on my limited-space boat. Sections on children and pets gave me enough information to make an informed decision about having them . . . or not.

I bogged down in the Engine Room and Fuel chapters. These sections seemed too technical and wordy. I absorbed just enough information to be dangerous. In my opinion, this chapter should be a book of its own with lots of pictures. Although land-locked at this time, I found the tips on cruising south of the border along with communications while cruising most informative and a definite read before you go. I paid real attention to the section on what to expect during a Coast Guard boarding. I find detailed information such as this before the event makes for calm nerves and calm cruises.

This book covers a lot of topics. It gives basic information that would benefit anyone who finds himself or herself aboard. In every book I read I feel it is worth the time spent if I learn one thing I can use. In this quick, easy read I found lots of things.

The Best Tips From Women Aboard Edited by Maria Russell (Seaworthy Publications, 2000; 179 pages)