Since 2004, award-winning author and historian Stan Grayson has regularly contributed stories to WoodenBoat magazine about the many yachts, small craft, designers, boat builders, and sailors who’ve captured his imagination. This collection of twenty articles from Grayson and the pages of WoodenBoat presents a wide-ranging and insightful account of American yachting history and some of its fascinating characters.
Readers will voyage back to the early days of the famous Herreshoff Manufacturing Company; experience the fascinating 1895 America’s Cup race; share a morning’s scalloping on Martha’s Vineyard with the last of America’s catboat fishermen; meet the innovative C. Raymond Hunt, who conceived the revolutionary deep-V powerboat; and gain an insightful look at Captain Jousha Slocum, the first man to sail alone around the world. In these and other pieces, Boat Crazy offers a delightful kaleidoscope of engaging stories that give readers a sense of time, place, technology, and personality. In a newly written behind-the-scenes introduction for each piece, Grayson discusses why he found the topic important and shares interesting research tidbits and reader reactions.
Key to Grayson’s work are the primary source materials on which his writing is based. Each piece found in Boat Crazy combines Grayson’s painstaking original research with the patient, step-by-step work of an experienced history detective, a journalist’s curiosity, and a writer’s love of language. Readers will emerge from this book with a deeper appreciation for both America’s yachting past and for those who are working today to preserve and interpret it.
Stan Grayson is an award-winning writer widely known for his books and articles about American yachting and small-craft history, and the American automobile and marine engine industries. After receiving a master’s degree in English from Pennsylvania State University, followed by Army service in Vietnam, Stan pursued a career that has included stints as a newspaper reporter, photographer, and automotive industry consultant, but most of all as a writer specializing in yachting history. His work has appeared in Automobile Quarterly, Nautical Quarterly, Yankee, and WoodenBoat, among other publications.
His best-known books include Ferrari, the Man, the Machines, Catboats, The Wianno Senior Story, a Century on Nantucket Sound, and A Man for All Oceans, which was the recipient of a John Lyman Book Awards Honorable Mention. Author Nathaniel Philbrick noted: “Grayson casts a revelatory light not only on Slocum but the times in which he lived and sailed.”
Grayson is also a recipient of the Golden Cassette Award from the American Television Association, and the Edgar B. Caffrey Award by the Salem Antique & Classic Boat Festival. The Caffrey Award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the recognition and preservation of New England’s maritime heritage.
Matthew P. Murphy is editor of WoodenBoat magazine.