Maritime book recommendations - what classics am I missing

The movie was “The Key”. Hell, I liked it. . . . The Key (1958 film) - Wikipedia

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No Horatio Hornblower?

That’s it. Sophia Loren comes with the apartment. When the tug Captain assigned to the apartment
is killed by a U-boat, the next captain in line gets the apartment. And on it goes.


One of my all time favorites!
Also, Mowat’s, “The Serpents Coil”, another story of Foundation Maritime

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Here’s 25 classics for sale for $102 plus $10 S&H on Ebay.

Maybe you are thinking of the movie “The Key” from the novel “Stella”
It starred Sofia Loren, William Holden, Trevor Howard

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Stella was published under three different titles at different times: Stella, The Key, and The Distant Shore.

Rig Mover by Captain Johannes Webber :rofl::rofl::rofl:

I don’t know how many of these have been listed, but…

The Great Green by Calvin Kentfield

Woody, Cisco and Me, by Jim Longhi

The Greatest Beer Run Ever by John “Chick” Donohue

Higliners by William McCloskey

Raiders by William McCloskey

Breakers by William McCloskey

Until The Sea Shall Free Them by Robert Frump

Liberty’s War by Herman Melton

John Barlycorn by Jack London

Death Ship by by B. Traven

Hell Around the Horn by Rick Spilman

Looking For A Ship by John McPhee

Cap’n Fatso by Daniel V. Gallery

Now Hear This by Daniel V. Gallery

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Dove by Robin Lee Graham


I like Clive Cussler novels. . . kind of. They sometimes don’t ring true to me in a maritime sense, though.


That’s funny because a coworker & I were discussing Clussler books & we both said the same thing. I’ll read one, then another right after, then call them garbage books & tell myself I won’t ever waste my time with one of his books again. A few years later I’ll see one in a ships library/bookshelf & do it all over again. It’s cheap literary maritime adventure porn.

What’s even weirder, I don’t ever recall being on a vessel with an English library/bookshelf & it not have a Cussler book or 3. They’re classics I guess?


I have a couple of ones at the house that I haven’t started yet. The Bucko Mate, and The Last of the Boom Ships. . . not novels, though.

His 2 books The Sea Hunters and the surprisingly titled Sea Hunters II are non fiction stories about wrecks and their individual stories. They’re pretty good.

Edit to add that I’m talking about Clive Cussler, I should have credited the author for those that aren’t following along.

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Those are some of the best wreck hunting books I’ve read, ever. They stand out strongly from the rest of his body of work, in the same way as Nevil Shute’s Slide Rule, with no further comparison.

I take a couple used copies with me when I go back to work. Thanks.

Almost anything by Allan Villiers, but especially “The Way of a Ship”.

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I did what I said, took them with me to read but can’t recommend them for “read aboard books”. At least not at the end of the day in your rack before you go to sleep. The Sea Hunters books are a collection of short stories consisting of 2 or 3 chapters each. The 1st & 2nd chapters tell true stories of dozens, hundreds or thousands of people being killed, blew up, incinerated, lost or drowned at sea. The last chapter or 2 tells the story about how Clive Clussar & his gang searched for the wreckage. Not a good idea for mariners to read about suffering terrible deaths at sea before going to sleep IMO. It probably breaks some STCW proper rest & watchkeeping rule.

How about light reading like Donald Duck and Popeye?
I did a quick search for maritime comics and got a Gcaptain result from 2012. :slight_smile:

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You’d be surprised how much I dwelt on different ways to die at sea during & after reading Cussler’s historical accounts of people perishing at sea. Tell your crew to read the first chapters of those short stories a month before CG, ABS or PS inspection & you’ll probably pass with flying colors.


ICE BROTHERS by Sloan Wilson & HUNGRY AS THE SEA by Wilbur Smith as well as the Jan de Hartog & Farley Mowat novels.

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