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Top Marine Booksellers (US)

  1. Bluewater Books and Charts
  2. Seaworthy
  3. International Marine
  4. Sheridan House
  5. Paradise Cay Publications
  6. Seafaring Store (L&A)
  7. Red Sky at Night
  8. American Nautical Services
  9. Boating Bookstore
  10. Waypoint

Top Marine Booksellers (ex-US)

  1. The Nautical Mind (CA)
  2. Salty Sam’s (NZ)
  3. Warsash Nautical Books ( UK )
  4. Boat Books (NZ)
  5. SailGB ( UK )
  6. Navy books ( UK )
  7. Sailing Books ( UK )
  8. Sea Chest  ( UK )
  9. Maritime Books (AU)
  10. The Book Shelf (NZ)

So what better way is there to spend a cold winter than dreaming about all those nice on-the-water activities, learning how to improve your boat, or living vicariously through another enthusiast's adventures? Okay, so maybe chartering in the Caribbean would do it, but for those of us who can't get away, getting away in our dreams is good alternative means to pass the time until spring.

I used to go to Armchair Sailor in Newport and browse for hours picking through all the books I did not yet have in my library for the next acquisition. After a while, it got harder and harder as my library began to look like the bookstore itself. Then, lo and behold, Armchair Sailor became part of Bluewater Books and I could get my fix anytime online. No need to wait until a delightful trip into Newport (although that's still a wonderful event we look forward to). So Bluewater Books and Charts is our favorite source of all printed matter to do with water borne activities both online and in their stores, and for that reason they get the top spot on the list. They have by far the most comprehensive collection of nautical titles we've seen anywhere (at least in the US). Seaworthy claims to have the largest selection of nautical titles online, and they offer free shipping on orders over $25. We found the Bluewater website a bit more friendly in design, but certainly visit both often.

You might ask, why didn't make it? Well, it's because they are not specialized in nautical publications so it takes skill with the search engine to locate the choice selections. Although we certainly use them, and the reader's lists are often a good source of suggestions, we opted to leave them off the list for now and rank only those who dare to specialize in the very small but exciting boater's market.

Second on the list is International Marine, for although they are publishers, they do sell direct and they do publish more than anyone else in the nautical genre. Similarly, Sheridan House and Paradise Cay, though smaller inedependent publishers and perhaps a bit more specialized than IM, have great selections of titles that sometimes can only be obtained from them.

Selections 5-10 are nautical booksellers that come up next in the google search term rankings for marine/nautical booksellers in the US. Not all are strictly booksellers but all have a large selection of books available through their stores. Interestingly, we decided to include the Seafaring Store of Latitudes & Attitudes magazine because they now offer quite a selection of publications, some of which I have not seen elsewhere.

So many came up in the search terms internationally that we decided to include the top ten outside of the US as well. It's actually fascinating to visit the sites of international booksellers (even by country) to see what's hot in other places. We get so caught up in our own isolationism here in America that we miss all the wealth of resources available from the rest of the world. Try it, you'll be fascinated by the differences.

Finally, one additional selection we offer that is not on the lists is Alibris, a good source of used, new, out of print, and rare books. Because it's such a small market, very often the books do not remain in print that long. The link we included here takes you directly to the Alibris maritime search page. Enjoy!

Please Note: The number 1 selection each month receives a free link to their website for that month. Being named to the list does qualify those honored to sponsor links. Please contact us for details.

The list is not revealed prior to posting so the selections are made in relative absence of bias according to reasonably well defined criteria. You are invited to submit names for consideration.

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