Yachting’s Golden Age

Black and white photographs from the last quarter of the 19th centrury capture the grandeur and scale of a glorious time in yachting’s history, but often fall--for lack of a better term--to convey the color of the period.

In Ed Holm’s coffee table book, Yachting’s Golden Age (Knopf), a thoroughly researched text complements the 102 monochromatic photographs, giving readers a strong sense of what sailing was actually like in those years. The book gives equal time to all facets of the sport, from the dog track-like atmosphere of the sandbagger circuit to the grandeur of the New York YC’s annual summer cruise. A number of interesting and occasionally humerous anecdotes add depth to some of the more famous yachting figures of the day.

Like most of wooden boats captured within its pages, Holm’s book does not come cheap, priced at $60. Unlike most of those vessels, Yachting’s Golden Age should flourish in this age of fiberglass, carbon, Kevlar, and color photography.