Maritime Bookstore

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The Maritime Bookstore at Mystic Seaport offers one of the nation’s most complete selection of maritime books. Our shelves feature more than 90 of the Museum’s publications, new titles, used books, children’s books, rare volumes, pictorial books, magazines, and back issues of WoodenBoat magazine. Book signing events with maritime authors, historians, and scholars are hosted year-round.

Relax in our viewing area and watch Around Cape Horn with Irving Johnson or one of several other DVD titles. Stop by the children’s section to read to your youngsters. Listen to samples from our selection of sea chanty CDs and access our free wireless Internet. And, of course, browse a wide selection of books in the finest maritime book store in the country.

Bookstore Subjects

We offer titles in a variety of of subjects, including: Mystic Seaport publications, Adventure, Art, Blacksmithing, Boat Building, Boat Maintenance, Canoe, Coast Guard, Cookbooks, Cooperage, Crafts, Eric Sloane, Expeditions, Figureheads, Ghosts and Haunted, Kayak, Knots, Log Books and Journals, Maritime Calendars, Maritime Fiction, Maritime History, Model Making, Music of the Sea, Nautical Pictorial, Nautical Terminology, Naval History, New England Pictorial, History and Travel, Pirates, Power Boats, Rigging, Rowing and Sculling, Sailing and Sailboats, Scrimshaw, Sea History magazine, Seamanship, Navigation, and Boating, Shipwrecks and Storms, Special Value books, Voyages, Water, Earth and Sky, Whaling, Wood Carving, WoodenBoat magazine and publications, as well as audio books and more than 200 youth titles.

In Celebration of the 38th Voyage

The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat and an icon of the nation’s maritime heritage. The ship sailed on her historic 38th Voyage during the summer of 2014.

CHARLES W. MORGAN BookThe Charles W. Morgan: A Picture History of an American Icon – This coffee table book, published in December 2014 by Mystic Seaport in collaboration with The Day, chronicles the history and recent voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, America’s last surviving wooden whaleship. The 144-page book is a photographic account of the story of the American whale fishery, the Morgan’s career as an active whaleship, as a museum exhibit, and her recent restoration and historic 38th Voyage. The book’s stunning images are selected from the Museum’s collections and from work by the Museum’s photographers, who accompanied the ship during her latest voyage. Order online.

Charles W. Morgan DVDThe Charles W. Morgan: America’s Last Wooden Whaling Ship DVD – The one-hour documentary film “The Charles W. Morgan,” which was directed by five-time Emmy winner Bailey Pryor and had its broadcast debut on PBS in May 2014, is now available on DVD. The film tells the extraordinary story of America’s last wooden whaleship and the incredible saga of whaling, the first global industry dominated by the United States. Order online.

The Charles W. Morgan — John F. Leavitt’s comprehensive history brings the whaleship to life, and includes crew lists; a summary of voyages and logbooks; historic photographs of the ship, her captains, and their wives (five sailed with their husbands, two as expert navigators); the author’s own detail sketches; a sail plan; a glossary; and an index. Order online.

Whale Hunt – In this narrative Nelson Cole Haley, a harpooner on the Morgan during her third voyage from 1849-1853, provides a feel for what life was like on a whaleship. “This classic true story of a voyage on the Charles W. Morgan is both a wonderful read and an excellent source of information about American whaling in the 19th century,” said Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea. Order online.

New and Noteworthy Books

Wondering what to read next? Here are a few recommendations:

“No Ordinary Being: A Biography of W. Starling Burgess, Inventor, Naval Architect, Aviation Pioneer, and Master of American Design” by Llewellyn Howland IIINo Ordinary Being by Llewellyn Howland III – Few 20th-century Americans led a more creative, daring, eventful, and sometimes troubled life than that of the inventor, poet, aviation pioneer, naval architect, automotive engineer, and America’s Cup yacht designer W. Starling Burgess. Deeply researched, richly illustrated, and beautifully produced, this biography will have a particular appeal to recreational sailors, students of early aviation, and lovers of the New England coast, Newport, Long Island Sound, the Chesapeake Bay, the waters of Florida and the West Indies. The 472-page book was published by David R. Godine in association with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Old Dartmouth Historical Society and Mystic Seaport. It is available for purchase at the bookstore or online.

The Strenuous Life of Harry Anderson by Roger Vaughan – A biography of Harry Anderson: sailor, educator, philanthropist, and predominant international yachting ambassador for nearly 70 years. Anderson’s long, active life provides a unique perspective on a fascinating period of American history.


Steamboats on Long Island SoundSteamboats on Long Island Sound by Norman Brouwer – Robert Fulton built the world’s first commercially successful steamboat in 1807, but it was not until after the War of 1812 that these vessels entered service along the Long Island Sound. For 127 years, between 1815 and 1942, steamboats provided a link between New York and cities in southern New England, greatly reducing travel time. Steamboats served the Connecticut cities of Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Derby, New Haven, Hartford, New London, Norwich, and Stonington.

The Sea & Civilization by Lincoln Paine – A monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human.

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship (4th edition) by John Rousmaniere – “The art of sailing, maneuvering, and preserving a ship or a boat in all positions and under all reasonable circumstances.” With the addition of the words, “and some unreasonable circumstances, too,” this definition of “seamanship” is as valid today as when the first edition of this book was published in 1983. The aim remains to advise you the sailor on essential gear, skills, and behavior that enhance your pleasure and safety. This edition of The Annapolis Book of Seamanship is an extensive update. Much of the text is new or revised, and there are many new photos. Throughout, the book stresses the skills and attitudes that comprise what the author calls “The Seamanship Ethos.”

The Wianno Senior Story by Stan Grayson – The Wianno Senior Story will fascinate anyone interested in the history of American small-boat racing and of Cape Cod. Designed and built by the Crosbys of Osterville, the Wianno Senior was first launched in 1914. With its centerboard and gaff rig, the boat soon proved perfectly adapted to the shallow, current-swept waters of Nantucket Sound. Now, a hundred years later, the Wianno Senior is still flourishing, among the longest-lived one-designs in America. Many are familiar with the boat because President John F. Kennedy owned one. But that’s just one aspect of this wide-ranging, centennial history. Here is the Wianno Senior seen through the eyes of a writer widely recognized for his devotion to the history of American yachting and small craft, his careful research, and his storytelling skills. The book is profusely illustrated with important historical images and the photographs of several of today’s most accomplished yachting photographers.

As Long As It’s Fun by Herb McCormick – To anyone interested in small-boat cruising and voyaging, the names Lin and Larry Pardey need no introduction. As world-girdling sailors who roamed the planet on a pair of small, engineless boats that they built themselves, the Pardeys established their hard-earned reputations by eloquently (and sometimes controversially) telling their stories through a series of best-selling books and manuals, and countless seminars and boat shows. They have been called the first couple of cruising and have remained true to their mantra: Go simple, go small, go now. And after 200,000 miles of cruising under sail, they’ve demonstrated that the dream of voyaging over the horizon is not only attainable, it’s affordable.

True Spirit by Jessica Watson —  On May 15, 2010, after 210 days at sea and more than 22,000 nautical miles, 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed her 33-foot boat triumphantly back to land. She had done it. She was the youngest person to sail solo, unassisted, and nonstop around the world. Watson spent years preparing for this moment, years focused on achieving her dream. Yet only eight months before, she collided with a 63,000-ton freighter. It seemed to many that she’d failed before she’d even begun, but Jessica brushed herself off, held her head high, and kept going. Told in Watson’s own words, True Spirit is the story of her epic voyage. It tells how a young girl, once afraid of everything, decided to test herself on an extraordinary adventure that included gale-force winds, mountainous waves, hazardous icebergs, and extreme loneliness on a vast sea, with no land in sight and no help close at hand. True Spirit is an inspiring story of risk, guts, determination, and achievement.

Tugboat by Michael Garland —  This nonfiction book for early readers showcases the many important jobs of tugboats. Make way for a small boat with amazing strength. The powerful little tugboat can do big jobs—such as pulling an ocean liner, a cargo ship, barges, even a bridge! It maneuvers the tall ships and tugs the fireworks barge.Stunning paintings of vibrant harbor scenes in every kind of weather illustrate an accessible, informational text, written especially for emerging readers. A table of contents and back matter supplement the fun learning experience.