Friday, 27 June 2014

Book Review: Plotting the Course: Life Lessons from the Sport of Sailing

Plotting the Course
Each point is matched by a tracker.
I've waited till sailing weather to read this book, I've had a few family events to work through! The cover shot of the sailboats is lovely.

Coincidentally, my SIL has been out on his dad's boat in the US for a last June father/son trip. It is a last sail before his dad sells the boat. We tracked him, using his GPS and an app. It was comforting to my daughter, here in Ottawa, whilst home with her two babes!
You can view the map or satellite
using this app.

The Arms Race

There are some excellent life lessons in this book. A couple rather hit home. He writes about staying within your means when furthering your hobby. This means find a boat you can manage, do not over-extend yourself, and don't buy into the latest technology if it doesn't mean real gains. Arneson used some examples, such as the USA sailing team at the 1987 Australia America's Cup, which installed a new, state-of-the-art keel. They failed to use it to advantage, without the triad of a good boat, teamwork, practice. As well, he writes of preparing, planning, and self-reflection, as well as having a respectful captain (read Leader not just a boss).

Sailing in our family

My extended family has had a number of sail boats at our cottages on 2km-long 'Long Lake!'
First, my Uncle Fred bought one, then his son bought a bigger one. Uncle sold us his old boat, to buy one bigger than his son's, keeping up with their race for the best. My cousin ended up selling his cottage, as the boat he bought needed to be sailed on Lake Ontario. He now lives on Vancouver Island!

My late dad had a blast sailing the old hand-me-down boat for hours at a time. He didn't mind having a small, succinct boat.  The funny thing was that mom and dad sent me up to my Uncle Fred's cottage, 4 doors up the lake, to bring the sailboat back to our cottage. I'd never sailed before! I loved that old boat!
Dad and my brother sailing, sometime in the 70s!
Long Lake had several sailors
Perfect peace and quiet

Target Audience

These are, indeed, life lessons for many people: hobbyists, sports enthusiasts, but also entrepreneurs, and employers. He would agree with what my late mother always said, 'Prioritize your crises!' Arneson is a smart man, who has incorporated his societal knowledge, and his life experiences in competitive sailing, into a plan for life. He also uses many examples of real-life successful people in all walks of life, quoting from a wide body of work; from sailing experts, Eisenhower, Sarah Ban Breathnach, to Stephen King, to Robbie Burns!

This book's premise is that your can steer your life, and your business, the way you steer your craft! It's a good read, I'm happy to steer you in its direction. I quite enjoyed it. It's darn good for a first book!

Plotting the Course: Life Lessons from the Sport of Sailing (May 2014, Makai Press), applies the core principles of sailing to fundamental principles of developing, building, and maintaining a healthy business. 

Author Rick Arneson does an incredible job of weaving business, politics, and history into his narrative as a world-class competitive sailor.

Hubby, before I met him, out sailing!


William Kendall said...

Thanks for pointing out the book!

I've never been out on a sailboat myself.

Red said...

I sailed once on a small boat. I loved it and always wanted to try it again.