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About the Author

Nic Compton was brought up on boats in the Mediterranean. After gaining an Honors Degree in English at Exeter University, he tried his hand at boatbuilding for a few years. While working in Greece he bought a 32-foot (9.75 m) William Atkins double-ender, sister ship to Knox-Johnston's Suhaili, show more which he sailed back to the UK. After a postgraduate course in journalism he became deputy editor, then editor, of Classic Boat from 1994-2000. He now works as a freelance writer, contributing to Yachting Monthly, Boat International, and Motorboats and Yachting show less

Works by Nic Compton

The Shipping Forecast: A Miscellany (2016) 40 copies, 1 review
Voices from the Sea (2007) 15 copies, 1 review
Sailboats (The 500) (2003) 13 copies


Common Knowledge



The first half of the book was brilliant and for that alone I would recommend reading this book but the second half, the modern times let this book down in my opinion and because of that sadly I didn't finish this book.
DebTat2 | 1 other review | Oct 13, 2023 |
There is much of interest as each sea area has a few stories to tell but, sadly, the book gets off to a poor start. The end papers are the same, both captioned "The Sea Areas of the British Isles" and, therefore, not on any map in this book are the sea areas Trafalgar, Fitzroy, Biscay and Southeast Iceland. This is, after all, a book about The Shipping Forecast, not just about the sea areas of the British Isles - one of the maps should have shown all the sea areas.

The author is the son of a naval officer and methinks his father would have raised an eyebrow at his son's poor use of naval lingo! In the chapter Fair Isle, he mentions the sinking of the battleship HMS Royal Oak at Scapa Flow in 1939 and tells us, correctly, that 833 men and boys died - but a battleship has a ship's company, not a crew as he calls it - the battleship's boats (her whaler, her motor-boats and the admiral's barge) had a crew, but HM Ships have a ship's company. It's a pity that the author could not be bothered to name the German U-Boat that carried out this daring action - it was U-47, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Gunther Prien.

There are plenty of line drawings of ships, boats and maritime equipment but not once does the author give them a caption - sometimes one can guess but often one has no idea. Lazy editing - a pity.

I am glad that I bought only a second-hand copy as I would have been displeased to pay full price for a second-rate book that could easily have been so much better.
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lestermay | Mar 10, 2023 |
A great book on the Titanic disaster. I loved the way it would go from person to person, each telling their stories. It was fascinating to read those testimonies, knowing now everything we do about what happened. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Titanic. It doesn't answer eve
kblair210 | Nov 5, 2020 |
Great old coffee table book about the history of single handed sailing races, actually quite readable.
Chickenman | Sep 20, 2018 |

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