Our Books

We currently have four books in print, three of them written by Jill and the other by Roxanne.

How NOT to Build a BoatHow NOT to Build a Boat by Jill Dickin Schinas

Paperback, 189 x 246 mm, 298 pages.
With 67 photos and over 110 pen-and-ink drawings and cartoons.
Published by Imperator
ISBN 978-0-9560722-2-1
RRP £19.99 / €22.99 / $24.99

This is the story of the good ship Mollymawk, and of how she was built, and where, and why.

If Mollymawk had been built in a friend’s field or in a shed, in the ordinary way, there would have been nothing much to say – except, “Here’s a good design for a cockpit,” and “Don’t forget to sand-blast” – but as it is she was built on a South African farm, and in a small harbour just east of the Cape, and on the windswept desert coast of Namibia, and in the remote island of St Helena, and in the Cape Verdes, and in Spain… and so on. As a result, How NOT to Build a Boat is a DIY instruction manual, a travelogue, and – at times – a comic tragedy, all rolled into one.

Copious illustrations, diagrams, and photographs ensure that even the most complicated piece of engineering can be understood by all, and Jill’s observations and anecdotes, combined with the cartoons scattered here and there throughout the book, ensure that the account never gets too heavy.

After Mollymawk was launched, we moved aboard and began to cruise in our unfinished home, and the continuing saga of the boat-building adventure is presented against a colourful backdrop of cruising tales. Besides describing the perils of welding from the rubber dinghy and the difficulty of insulating the hull-sides whilst three small kids are clambering about the cabin, the book also records anchoring dramas, visits to an isolated penguin colony and to the antique British colony of St Helena Island, tells how we cured our compass of pointing always at the bow, and describes in gory detail the ordeal of sailing a half-built boat in heavy weather.

Like the boat itself, this book has been a long time in the making.

For more information see Jill’s website or the publisher’s website.

Directions for buying the book from us are given below, or you can follow these links to Amazon UK or Amazon US.

A Family Outing in the AtlanticA Family Outing in the Atlantic by Jill Dickin Schinas

Foreword by Tom Cunliffe
31 pen-and-ink drawings and cartoons
Paperback, 234 x 156 mm, 304 pages
Published by Imperator
ISBN 978-0-9560722-3-8
RRP £16.99 / €19.99 / $20.99

A Family Outing in the Atlantic is Jill’s account of the seven year long voyage which we made in our previous boat. It begins at the beginning and ends at the end, when the yacht was capsized and we all had to be rescued by the RAF. (All except Roxanne, that is. She wasn’t born – but she wishes that she had been.)

This manuscript has been sitting on a shelf for a long time while we get on with the business of having more adventures. Before it was released into the world it was completely revised and revamped, in order to make it more accessible to readers who may not know very much about sailing.

For more information see Jill’s website or the publisher’s website, or read the rave reviews on Amazon (all written by people we have never met).

Directions for buying the book from us are given below, or you can follow these links to Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Two Gulls and a Girl by Roxanne Schinas

Foreword by Richard Williamson
92 black-and-white photos and illustrations
Paperback, 234 x 156 mm, 140 pages
Published by Imperator
ISBN 978-0-9560722-0-7
RRP £12.99 / €14.99 / $15.99

Two Gulls and a Girl is Roxanne’s account of her survey of the seagull colony on Isla Perdiguera. Regular visitors will already have seen most of this work, but in piecemeal form. Now you can read it in the comfort of your arm-chair / bath-tub / bed / boat / aeroplane … or wherever you happen to be.

In order to keep the costs down the publisher has had to convert the photos to black and white – but to make up for it we have added a few more. All told, there are 89 photos and three drawings.

The foreword was written by well-known nature warden, Richard Williamson, who is the son of the man who wrote Tarka the Otter and other classics, and an author in his own right. Richard also reviewed the book in his local newspaper, the Chichester Observer.

For more information see the publisher’s website. Very nicely reviewed on Amazon, again by a complete stranger.
Directions for buying the book from us are given below, or you can follow these links to Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Kids in the Cockpit by Jill Schinas

40 black-and-white photos and line drawings
Paperback, 246 x 171 mm, 192 pages
Published by Adlard Coles Nautical
ISBN 978-0-7136-7229-3
RRP £14.99

Kids in the Cockpit, based on 13 years of research and personal experience, is the bible of boating with babies and children. Immensely practical and highly entertaining, it contains a wealth of information on every aspect of the business, including: Introducing children to sailing, ideas to keep them from being bored on board, and tips for turning a mutineer into a midshipman Safety and suitability of different types of yacht; features to look for and those to avoid Dinghies suitable for use as both tender and sailing craft Personal safety and an in depth look at different types of children’s lifejackets Ideas to help you cope with seasickness, or even avoid it altogether Absolutely everything you need to know about sailing or cruising with a baby Ocean cruising with kids, including home education.”

For more information see Jill’s website.
Has received some very favourable reviews on Amazon UK, with all readers awarding it five stars. Our American cousins seem to find it a little harder to understand, but it is still rated “worth reading”.
Not available via this website, but can be purchased from Amazon UK or Amazon US, or from the publisher.

Buying the books

All the books except Kids in the Cockpit can be ordered via us – and if you buy the books through us rather than from a bookshop such as Amazon, we make more money without it costing you any more. (In fact, since some bookshops seem to be charging more than the RRP, it could easily cost you less to buy the books from us!)

To order copies please send us a message using our contact form. Be sure to include your name, address, and phone number. We will send you a PayPal invoice by email, and when we receive the payment we will tell the publisher to send the books out.

If you buy directly from us, prices will be as follows :

How NOT to Build a Boat £18.99 €23.99 $28.99
A Family Outing in the Atlantic £15.99 €19.99 $25.99
Two Gulls and a Girl £12.99 €15.99 $19.99

Delivery costs vary slightly according to the destination country and which book you order (How NOT to Build a Boat and A Family Outing are considerably heavier than Two Gulls and a Girl), but within the UK and Europe it will be about £3—£5 for a single book, and slightly more for two.

After we have processed your order the wheels will be set in motion and the book should arrive within 7 working days in the UK, or 10 working days in the rest of Europe.

(Alternatively, if you don’t mind paying an additional 60p per book, it is possible to expedite the order, reducing these times by three days.)

You can pay in any currency, using PayPal or Google Wallet. (We prefer pounds sterling, as PayPal and Google charge us a bigger commission on other currencies.)