Get Nautical at the Balboa Branch Library

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Whether you are an old salt, or a landlubbing beginning boater, you will find exactly what you need in the Nautical Collection housed at the Balboa Branch of the Newport Beach Library.

Kept in a separate “Nautical Room,” the Nautical Collection encompasses far more than books. Charts, marine-related magazines, bound journals from as far back as the ’30s, DVDs, audio books, and information on nautical websites and local yacht clubs and associations are readily available.

Librarian Andrea Jason said, “The collection is very unique and there are not that many in the country.”  Adding, “People nationwide have requested information and use of materials from this collection.”

One distinctive addition to the collection is the “The NADA Maritime Appraisal Guide” which comes quarterly. It is often consulted if someone is trying to appraise a boat that is now part of an estate or will be sold.

As the library website reminds us, “Newport Beach’s boatbuilding industry, shipyards and canneries, the world renowned Newport-to-Ensenada International Sailing Race, and the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum have all contributed to a thriving boating community and an interest in all things nautical.”

This deeply rooted interest is reflected in huge diversity of the Nautical Collection.

Whether looking to renovate, (“Wooden Boat Renovation,” Jim Trefethen) buy, (“Practical Boat Buying” Editors of Practical Sailor) or build (“Boatbuilding: A Complete Handbook of Wooden Boat Construction,” by Howard Irving), a boat, the collection can help every step of the way.

In addition, nautical art, history and cooking are also well represented. Rare books such as James Delgado’s “To California by Sea: A Maritime History of the California Gold Rush” or “The Gourmet Galley (Fine Cooking on Small Boats)” by Terrence Janericco can be checked out.  There are more than 50 titles about navigation and cruising routes.

The reference materials are superb.

The International Register of Historic Ships includes historical and statistical information on more than 700 ships being preserved for historical value. These ships, representing 43 nations or territories and every continent, are of particular significance as last examples of a type or examples of successful restoration projects.

The Dictionary of Marine Artists, compiled by Dorothy and Marion Brewington, cataloguers for the Mystic Seaport Museum, contains alphabetical listings for 3,074 marine artists working during the last four centuries to 1981.

According to Jason, one of the best treasures in the collection is a huge book called, “America’s Cup Yacht Designs 1851-1986.” In 1987 the book cost $395.

Come to the Nautical Room in the Balboa Branch Library and make the Nautical Collection part of your reading and seafaring adventures!


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