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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Bo - Buf

Bode, Richard

Blue Sloop at Dawn. Dodd, Mead, 1979. 277 pages

Small boat sailing off Long Island, from duckboats to the "sloop of dreams."



Bodett, Tom (1955- )

Williwaw!. Knopf, 1999. 192 pages

In their father's absence, thirteen-year-old September and her younger brother Ivan disobey his orders by taking the boat out on their Alaska bay, where they are caught in a terrifying storm called a williwaw. For younger readers.



Bolger, Philip C. (1927-2009)

Schorpioen: a novel of southern Africa. Duff & Duff, 1986. 203 pages

In an alternate universe a family from the Kingdom of Hawaii are rescued by Dutch speaking Africans from the pariah state that rules most of southern Africa when their old George Lawley built schooner FLYING CLOUD is dismasted off the Cape of Good Hope. In this world there is no apartheid or racism in south Africa, but the country is boycotted by much of the world because women are considered mere posessions. In order to get FLYING CLOUD repaired her owner must accomodate himself to the customs of the country, and the women in his family begin accomodating themselves to the customs all too well for his taste! Men own women to do all their thinking and all the skilled work, thus women are valued for their brains and what they can do. One of the main spectator sports in Africa is racing large lateen rigged "chebecs" on Lake Chad, a giant inland sea where the southern Sahara exists in our universe. Women who can steer a chebec are highly prized, so our hero's wife and daughter join in the fun.



Bond, Alaric

Fighting Sail series:.

  1. His Majesty's Ship. Fireship Press, 2009. 288 pages

    In the spring of 1795 HMS Vigilant, a 64 gun ship-of-the- line, is about to leave Spithead as senior escort to a small, seemingly innocent, convoy. The crew is a jumble of trained seamen, volunteers, and the sweepings of the press; yet, somehow, the officers have to mold them into an effective fighting unit before the French discover the convoy's true significance.

  2. The Jackass Frigate. Pen Press, 2008. 246 pages

    December 1796. It was a time of unrest and discontent for Britain, made even worse by the war with Revolutionary France and the possibility of imminent invasion. Fresh from the dockyard, HMS Pandora, a 28-gun frigate, is about to set sail to join the Mediterranean fleet. Revised by the author in 2009 for the Fireship Press edition.

  3. True Colours. Fireship Press, 2010. 380 pages

    While Great Britain's major home fleets are immobilised by a vicious mutiny, Adam Duncan, commander of the North Sea Squadron, has to maintain a constant watch over the Dutch coast, where a powerful invasion force is ready to take advantage of Britannia's weakest moment.

  4. Cut and Run. Fireship Press, 2011. 342 pages

    Disillusioned by the lack of opportunity in the Royal Navy, Lieutenant King opts for a spell with the Honourable East India Company. But, a trip in an Indiaman is anything but the easy option when his captain is revealed to be an old enemy.

  5. Patriot's Fate. Fireship Press, 2012. 318 pages

    It is 1798 and Ireland rises up against years of repression and injustice. Rebels, supported by a mighty French invasion fleet, prepare to claim their land but find themselves countered by a powerful British battle squadron. Two friends and former allies, separated by chance and circumstance, witness developments from opposing sides while storms, political intrigue and personal dynamics abound.

  6. The Torrid Zone. Old Salt Press, 2014. 300 pages

    A tired ship with a worn out crew, but HMS Scylla has one more trip to make before her much-postponed re-fit. Bound for St Helena, she is to deliver the island's next governor; a simple enough mission and, as peace looks likely to be declared, no one is expecting difficulties. Except, perhaps, the commander of a powerful French battle squadron, who has other ideas...

  7. The Scent of Corruption. Old Salt Press, 2015. 320 pages

    The uneasy peace with France is over, and Britain has once more been plunged into the turmoil of war. After a spell on the beach, Sir Richard Banks is appointed to HMS Prometheus, a seventy-four gun line-of-battleship which an eager Admiralty loses no time in ordering to sea. The ship is fresh from a major re-fit, but Banks has spent the last year with his wife and young family: will he prove himself worthy of such a powerful vessel, and can he rely on his officers to support him?

  8. HMS Prometheus. Old Salt Press, 2015. 366 pages

    HMS Prometheus is needed to reinforce Nelson's squadron blockading the French off Toulon, but a major action has left her severely damaged and the British Fleet outnumbered. Prometheus must be brought back to fighting order without delay, and the work proves more than a simple refit. Barbary pirates, shore batteries and the powerful French Navy are conventional foes, although the men of Prometheus encounter equally dangerous enemies within their own ranks.

  9. The Blackstrap Station. Old Salt Press, 2016. 308 pages

    Christmas 1803, although the group of shipwrecked Royal Navy seamen have anything but festivities in mind as they pitch their wits against a French force sent to catch them. And all the while rescue, in the shape of a British frigate, lies temptingly close, yet just beyond their reach... Encompassing vicious sea battles, spirited land action and treachery from friend as much as foe, The Blackstrap Station tells a stirring tale of courage, honour and loyalty, set against the backdrop of what becomes a broiling Mediterranean summer.

  10. Honour Bound. Old Salt Press, 2017. 412 pages

    Satisfied that he has forged HMS Kestrel into a formidable weapon, Commander King is keen to take her to sea once more. But the war is not progressing well for Britain, and his hopes of remaining in Malta are shattered as Kestrel is moved closer to the action. And so begins a story that covers two seas and one ocean, as well as a cross-country trek through enemy territory, a closer look at the French prison system and a reunion with several familiar faces.


Turn a Blind Eye. Old Salt Press, 2013. 315 pages

Autumn, 1801. Newly appointed to the local revenue cutter, Commander Griffin is determined to make his mark, and defeat a major gang of smugglers. But the country is still at war with France and it is an unequal struggle; can he depend on support from the local community, or are they yet another enemy for him to fight?


The Guinea Boat. Old Salt Press, 2015. 306 pages

Set in Hastings, Sussex during the early part of 1803, The Guinea Boat tells the story of two young lads, and the diverse paths they take to make a living on the water. Private fights and family feuds abound; a hot press threatens the livelihoods of many, while the newly re-formed Sea Fencibles begin a careful watch on Bonaparte's ever growing invasion fleet.



Bone, David William (1874-1959)

The Brassbounder : A Tale of the Sea. Duckworth, 1910. 293 pages

Adventures of an apprentice aboard a 19th Century sailing barque. A "brassbounder" is a youthful apprentice whose parents pay a premium for his appointment to a vessel, where for three years he does the work of an ordinary seaman, eats no better and gets no more pay, on the theory that he is learning to be an officer. This "brassbounder" who tells this story sailed from Glasgow round the Horn and back, meeting the dangers of storm and fog.


'Broken Stowage'. Duckworth, 1915. 286 pages


The Lookoutman : A descriptive account of mercantile marine steamship types. Harcourt, Brace, 1923. 220 pages


The Queerfella. Duckworth, 1952. 288 pages



Bonehill, Captain Ralph (1862-1930)

A Sailor Boy With Dewey. Mershon, 1899. 250 pages

Oliver Raymond, a young civilian entrepreneur, tries to save his father's business from the ravages of the Spanish conquerors of Manila and the rebellious Tagals the local population. Caught between both sides, alternately captured by both and also beset by the evil intentions of his villainous captain, Oliver and his chum Ken persevere and eventually end up with Commodore Dewey during the battle of Manila Bay. For young readers.


The young naval captain, or, The war of all nations. Thompson & Thomas, 1902. 211 pages

A future war against the United States (now encompassing all of North America) by all the nations of the world, which is fought by submarines. Also published under the title: Oscar, the Naval cadet, or, Under the sea : an interesting and instructive story of adventures on a submarine boat.



Bonfiglioli, Kyril (1928-1985)

All the tea in China: which tells how Carolus Mortdecai Van Cleaf set out to seek his fortune in London Town, on the high seas, in India, the treaty ports of China, and even in darkest Africa, and how he found it, predictably, in a place which has no longitude and precious little latitude. A (distant) prequel to the Charlie Mortdecai novels.. Pantheon Books, 1978. 258 pages

Inspired by a shotgun blast in the seat of his breeches, Karli Van Cleef quits his native Holland to seek his fortune. He sees that true opportunity flowers in India's fields of opium poppies and the treaty ports of China. So he takes a birth in an opium clipper hell-bent for the Indies.



Bonham, Frank

War Beneath the Sea. Crowell, 1962. 263 pages

Young Keith Stockton serves aboard the submarine Mako during World War II, growing from boy to man and learning to face danger and responsibility.


Deepwater Challenge. Crowell, 1963. 192 pages

A youth tries to pay off his family's debts through abalone diving but finds himself forced to take greater risks than he intended.



Bonnecarrere, Paul

Ultimatum. Ballantine, 1976. 202 pages

Strange crew steals big oil tanker, threatens to flood the entire coast of the western Mediterranean with oil unless their demands are met.



Borodin, George [pseud. George Sava] (1903-1996)

Friendly Ocean. Staples, 1946. 179 pages

Personal dramas of a group of passengers on a merchant ship in wartime.



Bostrum, Hank

Ocean Black. Kensington, 1995. 310 pages

18,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific, billionaire industrialist Paul Deride has hit a motherlode of manganese. But the only way to retrieve the precious ore is through a series of strategically placed nuclear detonators that could trigger a massive earthquake along California's San Andreas fault.



Bostwick, Ronald

The Iron Ring. Avon, 1963. 181 pages

Iron Joe Ring, the mustang ex-UDT captain of the worn out minesweeper DEAN patrolling the Korean coast during the Korean War, is finishing up his 20 years in the navy. He and the DEAN will be retired in 20 days. Before he hangs it up, he wants to destroy a railroad tunnel along the coast through which the Chinese are running their supplies to the front.



Bosworth, Allan R. (1901-1986)

Storm Tide. Harper & Row, 1965. 268 pages

Aboard one of the first steam-powered whalers in the mid-1800s, the captain must contend with the rivalry of a fellow captain and former mate who has impugned his courage, and the owner of the ship -- a woman who joins the expedition to "rescue" her native half-sister from life among Pacific island "savages."



Boulle, Pierre (1912-1994)

The Whale of the Victoria Cross. Vanguard, 1983. 182 pages

Translation of: La baleine des Malouines. During the Falkland Islands war, a British ship takes a whale, first mistaken for a submarine, as a mascot. An admiral recommends the whale for a medal and the Home Office thinks the entire fleet has gone bonkers. An odd novel.



Bowling, Tom [pseud.]

The Antigallican. Oldcastle, 2008. 283 pages

Jersey fishing captain, Jean Cotterell is rescued by a French frigate - the Hortense - off the Grand Banks of Nova Scotia in May 1794. His fishing vessel has foundered and he is the sole survivor. The Hortense is part of Republican Admiral Jan Van Stabel's great fleet of over 100 ships bringing corn to France. Lord Howe's Channel Fleet is off Brest, hoping to intercept them. A planned sequel A Ship Aground has never been published.



Boyd, Dean

Lighter Than Air. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961. 249 pages

Lighthearted novel about life in the US Navy's blimp service during WW II. It follows the collisions between a pompous blimp expert, dragooned into service as the squadron commander, and a maverick Alaskan bush pilot, drafted in as a blimp pilot, who is wooing an uptight minister's daughter, serving as a Navy nurse.



Bradley, David [pseud. David Williams] (1950- )

The Lodestar Project. Pocket, 1986. 279 pages

When the Blue Fin vanishes into the Caribbean with his wife and daughter aboard, Alex Walker is mystified, until he discovers a Pentagon cover-up that spread from the ocean around Key West to the White House itself. In shockwaves of instant death, two American submarines have also vanished, wrecked in top-secret Navy tests. Now, with the help of a smart, sexy reporter and an expert in deep-sea sound waves, Walker is racing against the U.S. Navy to raise the Blue Fin from the depths. In the menacing waters of the Bermuda Triangle, the final battle begins - a battle that could expose the most awesome weapon ever unleashed beneath the seas.



Brady, Cyrus Townsend (1861-1920)

The Quiberon Touch; a romance of the days when "The Great Lord Hawke" was king of the sea. D. Appleton, 1901. 410 pages

Lieutenant Philip Grafton fights the French navy in 1754 under the command of "The Great Lord Hawke". Good sea battles, and a little romance, too.


In the Wasp's nest, the story of a sea waif in the war of 1812. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902. 327 pages


Woven With the Ship, a novel of 1865, together with certain other veracious tales of various sorts. J.B. Lippincott, 1902. 368 pages

American Civil War tale.


The Two Captains: a romance of Bonaparte and Nelson. Macmillan Co, 1905. 413 pages


On the Old Kearsarge, a story of the civil war. C. Scribner's Sons, 1909. 289 pages


The Island of Surprise. A.C. McClurg & Co, 1915. 317 pages

Romance, adventure and danger on islands in the South Pacific.


Waif-o-the-sea : a romance of the great deep. A.C. McClurg & Co, 1918. 318 pages

The adventures of the crew of a whaling ship.



Brahms, Caryl (1901-1982) and Sherrin, Ned (1931-2007)

Benbow Was his Name : a story of tall ships in battle compiled from the literature of the sea and fashioned into a novel. Hutchinson, 1967. 209 pages

First written for the BBC as a radio, and then a television play, it concerns Admiral Benbow's 1702 battles with the French in the West Indies during which his officers refused to engage the enemy, their subsequent courts martial and Benbow's death from his wounds.



Bray, Donald

Between Two Shores. Kimber, 1983. 242 pages

A sea captain sets his heart on commanding a French commerce raider at the same time as he becomes enthralled with a French girl whose name he doesn't even know.


The Captain's Wife : a Captain Davy story. Kimber, 1985. 268 pages

Captain Ned Davy and his tough little wife, Genevieve, sail to India in the 1780s to rescue a British spy.



Breslin, Howard (1912-1964)

The Silver Oar. Crowell, 1954. 310 pages

Story of life in the Massachussets Bay Colony in the 1680s, loosely based on truth. Smuggler is shipwrecked, taken in by town, then resumes his trade.



Briggs, Marie

Cocos Island Venture. Borden, 1950. 214 pages

Lighthearded stories of a girl's sailing trip to and from the Cocos.



Brinkley, William (1917-1993)

Quicksand. Dutton, 1948. 255 pages

Story of a young American naval officer who falls in love with a lovely Italian girl. Unfortunately there is a wife back home.


Don't Go Near the Water. Random House, 1956. 373 pages

Hilarous story of public relations men who get drafted into Navy without corrupting effect of training, then wind up smack in the middle of the war in the Pacific.


The Ninety and Nine. Doubleday, 1966. 393 pages

Adventures of the nine officers and ninety men of LST 1826 ferrying between Naples and Anzio in World War II.


The Last Ship. Viking, 1988. 616 pages

The guided missile destroyer NATHAN JAMES, the last US ship afloat after a nuclear holocaust, heads for a Pacific island haven.



Brinton, Henry (1901-1977)

Death to Windward. Hutchinson & Co., 1954. 192 pages

A sailor recuses a young girl washed overboard from a yacht.



Brockway, Fenner (1888-1988) (Baron Brockway)

Purple Plague: A tale of love and revolution. S. Low, Marston, 1935. 310 pages

The terrible Purple Plague strikes an ocean liner, dooming it to ten years at sea while the disease runs its course and social revolution ensues aboard ship.



Brookes, Ewart (1901-1975)

Proud Waters. Jarrolds, 1954. 360 pages

When a RNVR officer is is ordered to take command of a minesweeper at a base close to the German-occupied French coast, he accepts the post reluctantly. The ship was known to have a sullen crew and a young lieutenant smarting under the injustice of a previous commander. But, as he discovers, the task of minesweeping is as essential as it is perilous


To Endless Night. (aka The curse of the trawler Charon) . Jarrolds, 1955. 239 pages

The CHARON was unfortunate to kill a man as she was launched. Bad luck dogs those sailing in her, especially her skipper. She is taken up as an ASDIC trawler for the Royal Navy at the outbreak of WW II and her erstwhile skipper, in greatly reduced circumstances, eventually finds himself back on board. The pre-war fishing and her war-time service is interestingly told but all in all a depressing story.


Nor On What Seas. Jarrolds, 1956. 247 pages

Tug salvaging a broken tanker; drunken captain, attractive wife, devil-may-care tug mate boards ship to attach tow.<



Brooks, Kenneth F.

Run to the Lee. Norton, 1965. 185 pages

Not great literature, but a very satisfying tale about a run down the Chesapeake Bay in a snowy gale on a schooner that turns from a race for profits, to get a load of coal from Balto to Solomons and an equally profitable cargo of oysters back, to one for survival.



Brooks, Peter

World Elsewhere. Simon & Schuster, 1999. 224 pages

Based on an actual round the world voyage of a French ship in the 1770s. An 18th century voyage of exploration to Tahiti through the eyes of a French prince who has gone to sea to make his fortune. Tahiti is paradise and he falls in love, but one day the ship's captain announces they are going home. What should the prince do?



Brown, Jamieson, (1916-2009)

Destroyers Will Rendezvous. Jarrolds, 1959. 287 pages

Three Australians find adventure and a different way of life as naval officers on loan to the Royal Navy during WW II.



Bruff, Nancy

The Manatee. E. P. Dutton and Co., 1945. 251 pages

Nantucket, whaling, romance, and dark secrets.



Brunner, John (1934-1995)

The Great Steamboat Race. Ballantine Books, 1983. 568 pages

Mississippi steamboats race to from New Orleans to St. Louis. Purely historical change of pace from a noted SF author.



Buchanan, Bill

ClearWater. Berkley, 2000. 475 pages

USS Submarine is hijacked. A new technology which can track a trail of clear water in the ocean is the only hope to locating it.



Buchheim, Lothar Gunther (1918-2007)

The Boat. Knopf, 1975. 463 pages

Translation of: Das Boot. Autobiographical novel looks at the Battle of the Atlantic from a German U-boat perspective. Revisionistic, boasting a humane submarine commandant who deeply regrets the necessity of sinking civilian vessels, professional, competent officers and a crew of decent, often unwarlike men nicknamed the "children's crusade" because of their extreme youth.



Budrys, Algis (1931-2008)

Scream at Sea. Fantastic, January-February, 1954

Short story. A grifter is adrift on a lifeboat with a cat. Only one can survive. Collected in Blood and Burning (Berkley, 1978).



Buff, Joe

Deep Sound Channel. Bantam, 2000. 354 pages

Lt. Commander Jeffrey Fuller takes his stealth submarine, the USS Challenger, on a covert mission to destroy a South African biological weapons compound with the aid of a Navy SEAL strike force.



Buffett, Jimmy

Tales of Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fiction. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1989. 230 pages

Stories set on the Gulf coast, Florida Keys and Caribbean, the nautical ones seem to be more factual, but considering the title...


Where is Joe Merchant? . Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992. 382 pages

A rock star committed suicide, or did he? According to the tabloid headlines, he's very much on the move. Follow a fictional gumbo of dreamers, wackos, pirates, and sharks on a wild chase for the truth through the Caribbean.



Buffett, Jimmy and Buffett, Savanah Jane (Jimmy's daughter)

The Jolly Mon. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988. 32 pages

Childrens picture book about a Bob Marley-esque sailing singer.


Trouble Dolls. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991. 32 pages

A girl searches for her missing scientist father.