High School & Adult Level Books

Bowditch, Nathaniel. The American Practical Navigator: An Epitome of Navigation. Washington, DC: U.S. G.P.O., 2002. Published since 1802, since 1867 as a U.S. government document. This is considered to be the “sailor’s bible” for navigation. Good history of navigation overview in the first chapter.

Calder, Nigel. How to Read a Nautical Chart. Interpreting the Symbols on a Nautical Chart. Camden, ME: International Marine, McGraw-Hill, 2003. Many illustrations.

Cutler, Thomas J. Dutton’s Nautical Navigation, 15th ed. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004. Thorough coverage of all aspects of navigation.

De Wire, Eleanor. Guardians of the Lights: The Men and Women of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press, 1995. Includes stories of Maine lighthouse keepers.

Ifland, Peter. Taking the Stars: Celestial Navigation from Argonauts to Astronauts. Newport News, VA: Mariners’ Museum, 1998. A fine richly illustrated history.

Marcus, Jon. Lighthouses of New England. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 2001. The history of the US Lighthouse Service.

Rogers, Cedric. Sailing Ships. London: Camden House Books, 1984. Historic photographs, including navigational instruments.

Sobel, Dava, and William J.H. Andrews. The Illustrated Longitude. New York: Walker, 2003,1998.  This book was the subject of a documentary.  It describes the prize offered in Britain to the person who could solve the problem of accurate identification of longitude at sea.

Waters, David W. The Art of Navigation in England in Elizabethan and Early Stuart Times. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1958.

Williams, J.E.D. From Sails to Satellites. A History of Navigation. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press, 1992.