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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Op - Ox

Optic, Oliver [pseud. William T. Adams] (1822-1897)

Boat Club series

  1. The Boat Club, or, The Bunkers of Rippleton : a tale for boys. Lee & Shepard, 1854. 252 pages

    The author uses a 12-oared gig; a boat which requires absolute coordination and cooperation from the rowers, to make the point that that groups in society need discipline. The Bunkers of the sub-title are a bunch of rebellious boys who make life miserable for many on the shores of an upstate New York Lake. After his son Frank has a run-in with the Bunker's, Captain Sedley, a retired and well-to do shipmaster, decides to form a boat club for his son and his friends. In the course of learning to row the boat, they learn cooperation, discipline and courage and, of course, manage to outdo the Bunker's with their undisciplined and rebellious ways. For young readers.


  3. All aboard; or, Life on the lake. A sequel to "The boat club". Lee & Shepard, 1855. 256 pages






  5. Now or Never; or, The Adventures of Bobby Bright. M.A. Donohue, 1856. 186 pages

  6. Try Again; or, The Trials and Triumphs of Harry West. W.B. Conkey, 1857. 209 pages

    reprinted as The Boy Who Did Right.

  7. Poor and Proud; or, The Fortunes of Katy Redburn. Lee and Shepard, 1854. 274 pages

  8. Little by Little; or, The Cruise of the Flyaway. Lee and Shepard, 1860. 280 pages



Sailor Boy series

  1. The Sailor Boy; or, Jack Somers in the Navy : a story of the Great Rebellion. Lee and Shepard, 1863. 336 pages

  2. The Yankee Middy; or, The Adventures of a Naval Officer : a story of the Great Rebellion. Lee and Shepard, 1865. 332 pages

    Reprinted as: The Adventures of a Midshipman.

  3. Brave Old Salt; or, Life on the quarter deck : a story of The Great Rebellion. Lee and Shepard, 1866. 330 pages



Yacht Club series

  1. Little Bobtail; or, The Wreck of the Penobscot. Lee and Shepard, 1872. 333 pages

  2. The Yacht Club; or, The Young Boat-Builder. Lee and Shepard, 1873. 340 pages

    A ripping good who-dun-it, taking place on Penobscot Bay. A really good introduction to sailing, boat-building and yacht racing for the young reader. And an excellent moral into the bargain. For young readers.

  3. Money-Maker; or, The Victory of the Basilisk. Lee and Shepard, 1873. 361 pages

  4. The Coming Wave; or, The Hidden Treasure of High Rock. Lee and Shepard, 1874. 353 pages

  5. The Dorcas Club; or, Our Girls Afloat. Lee and Shepard, 1874. 368 pages

  6. Ocean-Born; or, The Cruise of the Clubs. Lee and Shepard, 1875. 368 pages



Great Western series

  1. Going West; or, The Perils of a Poor Boy. Lee and Shepard, 1875. 320 pages

  2. Out West; or, Roughing it on the Great Lakes. Lee and Shepard, 1877. 361 pages

  3. Lake Breezes; or, The Cruise of the Sylvania. Lee and Shepard, 1878. 325 pages

  4. Going South; or, Yachting on the Atlantic Coast. Lee and Shepard, 1879. 333 pages

  5. Down South; or, Yacht Adventures in Florida. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1880. 319 pages

  6. Up the River; or, Yachting on the Mississippi. Lee and Shepard, 1881. 364 pages



Boat-Builder series

  1. All Adrift; or, The Goldwing Club. Lee and Shepard, 1882. 340 pages

  2. Snug Harbor; or, The Champlain Mechanics. Lee and Shepard, 1883. 334 pages

  3. Square and Compasses; or, Building the House. Lee and Shepard, 1884. 314 pages

  4. Stem to Stern; or, Building the Boat. Lee and Shepard, 1885. 324 pages

  5. All Taut; or, Rigging the Boat. Lee and Shepard, 1886. 339 pages

  6. Ready About; or, Sailing the Boat. Lee and Shepard, 1887. 333 pages



Blue and the Gray Afloat series

  1. Taken by the Enemy. Lee and Shepard, 1889. 334 pages

  2. Within the Enemy's Lines. Lee and Shepard, 1889. 349 pages

    After successfully defending his father's steam-yacht from a group of Confederates led by his cousin from Alabama, eighteen-year-old Christy Passford, a newly-commissioned Union naval officer, is assigned to that same yacht and sent to battle in the South

  3. On the Blockade. Lee and Shepard, 1890. 355 pages

  4. Stand by the Union. Lee and Shepard, 1891. 367 pages

  5. Fighting for the Right. Lee and Shepard, 1892. 363 pages

  6. A Victorious Union. Lee and Shepard, 1893. 361 pages



Outward Bound, or, Young America Afloat : a story of travel and adventure. Lee and Shepard, 1867. 336 pages

A local nabob decides that a school ship is just the thing for bringing discipline and order into the lives of some of the scions of rich families who have a contempt for authority. The ship is built and sets sail manned entirely by the boys with some veteran sailors for supervision. In something akin to The Lord of the Flies much of society's ills become manifested during the voyage; lies, deceit, treachery, even a planned mutiny! As he describes the machinations of the characters, one gains a truly detailed insight into the mind of the manipulator and the politician. For young readers.



O'Reilly, Tom (1906-1962)

Purser's Progress: the Adventures of a Seagoing Office Boy.. Doubleday, Doran, 1944. 209 pages

Comic novel about the adventures newly minted purser - who's total seagoing experience consists of trips on the Staten Island ferry - during a long voyage on a Liberty ship






O'Riordan, Conal Holmes O'Connell (1874-1948)

The Young Days of Admiral Quilliam. William Blackwood & Sons, 1906. 349 pages

Written under his F. Norreys Connell pseudonym, this poison pen portrait has the hero of Trafalgar come off as an insufferable prig


O'Rourke, Andrew P.

The Red Banner Mutiny. Bantam, 1986. 209 pages

Novel based on the true story of Soviet navy officer who steals the destroyer STOROZHEVOY and sails it toward Sweden and safety. Set in the 1970s.






Osborne, Anne (1922-2005)

Wind From the Main. Sandlapper Press, 1972. 261 pages

Novel based on the true story of pirate Anne Bonny.






Osgood, Grace Rose (1881- )

At the Sign of the Blue Anchor : a tale of 1776. Clark, 1909. 304 pages


O'Steen, Joseph L. (1950-2012)

Nathan Beauchamp of the Royal Navy series:

  1. Falcon's Revenge. Neetso in Association with Trafford, 2003. 231 pages

    The Peace of Amiens has ended, The Napoleonic Wars at Sea have begun and Lieutenant Nathan Beauchamp of the Royal Navy is ordered home for reassignment to the rebuilding fleet. As temporary first officer of the Brig HMS Sampson, Beauchamp captures the privateer cutter Bateuse, as the Sampson sinks beneath him. Now he must stop the French Pirate/Privateer Roseau from taking British merchant ships. Originally published on an Internet pirate role-playing site.



  3. Pursuit of Honor. JADA Press, 2004. 262 pages

    A former Dutch merchantman is taken into the Royal Navy, armed, and outfitted as a pirate raider. Commander Nathan Beauchamp is given command and ordered to the Spanish Florida Keys to prevent the San Pedro's treasure from falling into Irish hands.






Otis, James [James Otis Kaler] (1848-1912)

A Cruise With Paul Jones; a Story of Naval Warfare in 1778. A.L. Burt, 1898. 262 pages

Young David Carlton is picked up from a wreck at sea by the American sloop RANGER and becomes a powder monkey under the command of John Paul Jones and the friendly tutelage of boatswain Reuben Rollins. Jones harasses English shipping in the English Channel, burns the merchant fleet at Whitehaven and defeats the English sloop of war, DRAKE in the battle at Carrickfergus, all of which events are described here from young David's point of view.



The Capture of the Laughing Mary: A Story of Three New York Boys in 1776, as set down by Eliphalet Willett. A.L. Burt, 1898. 403 pages

Captain Tom, the privateersman of the armed brig Chasseur : as set down by Stephen Burton of Baltimore. Dana Estes, 1899. 163 pages

At the Siege of Havana: The Experience of Three Boys Serving Under Israel Putnam in 1762. A.L. Burt, 1899. 358 pages

The Armed Ship America, or When We Sailed from Salem. Dana Estes, 1900. 150 pages

The Lobster Catchers : a story of the coast of Maine. E.P. Dutton, 1900. 308 pages

With Preble at Tripoli: A Story of "Old Ironsides" and the Tripolitan War. >W.A. Wilde, 1900. 349 pages

Amos Dunkel, oarsman : a story of the whaleboat navy of 1776. A.L. Burt, 1901. 370 pages

Reprinted as A Struggle for Freedom: The Story of Young Amos Dunkel, Oarsman in the Whale Boat Navy, in 1776

With Porter in the Essex: A Story of His Famous Cruise in Southern Waters During the War of 1812. W.A. Wilde, 1901. 344 pages

With Rodgers on the President: The Story of the Cruise Wherein the Flagship Fired the First Hostile Shot in the War with Great Britain for the Rights of American Seamen. W.A Wilde, 1903. 348 pages

Afloat in Freedom's Cause: The Story of Two Boys in the War of 1812, as Told by Ezra Brownrigg. A.L. Burt, 1908. 343 pages

The Cruise of the Phoebe: A Story of Lobster Buying on the Eastern Coast. Dana Estes, 1908. 370 pages

The Cruise of the Pickering: A Boy’s Story of Privateering in 1780. A.L. Burt, 1909. 318 pages

With Grant at Vicksburg: A Boy’s Story of the Siege of Vicksburg. A.L. Burt, 1910. 382 pages




Ott, Wolfgang (1923-2013)

Sharks and Little Fish. Pantheon, 1957. 451 pages

Translation of: Haie und Kleine fische. WW II novel set in German minesweepers and U-Boats.






Owen, John

The Beauty of the Ships: a Story of the Present War. Hutchison, 1940. 250 pages

A novel of Weftport (Liverpool), combining shipping business backstabbing and Nazi saboteur skullduggery






Oxley, James Macdonald (1855-1907)

The Wreckers of Sable Island. Thomas Nelson, 1891. 121 pages






Diamond Rock : or, On the Right Tack. Thomas Nelson, 1894. 302 pages

Also published as The Good Ship Gryphon. In this story for older boys His Majesty's frigate GRYPHON sails for the West Indies in 1804 with fourteen year old Dick Holden as a newly appointed midshipman. The fictional frigate puts British tars and guns on to the Diamond Rock to harass the French fleet off Martinique, a task in real life undertaken by HMS CENTAUR. Although they have eventually to surrender, Dick is a hero and as a compliment is chosen to serve with Nelson in HMS VICTORY and is present at Trafalgar.



Up Among the Ice-Floes. Thomas Nelson, 1894. 293 pages






Baffling the Blockade. Thomas Nelson, 1896. 375 pages






In The Swing Of The Sea: a book for boys. James Nesbit, 1897. 296 pages






Terry's Trials And Triumphs. Thomas Nelson, 1900. 186 pages

The battle between the Monitor and Merrimac is one of the episodes








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