Books on Traditional Sail
Books on sailing are legion, but good books on traditional sail are rare. Here's a list of sailor's references for traditional rig, many written in period as well as the few modern works available. I've also included some first-hand accounts of life at sea during the age of sail. See also the books of sea shanties.
Traditional Sail References
The Schooner: Its Design and Development from 1600 to the Present David R. MacGregor. This comprehensive history describes in detail the development of the beautiful rig and gives examples of all if its variations. Heavily illustrated with plans, paintings, and photographs, this new paperback edition will delight every maritime enthusiast.
Hand, Reef and Steer by Tom Cunliffe. Now available in paperback, this is one of two must-have books on traditional gaff rig, and the most readable. If you do any work on a gaff-rigged boat, you want this book!
The Gaff Rig Handbook: History, Design, Techniques, Developments by John Leather. This is the most detailed and comprehensive book on gaff rigging. An excellent resource.
Seamanship in the Age of Sail: An Account of the Shiphandling of the Sailing Man-Of-War 1600-1860, Based on Contemporary Sources. By John Harland, Mark Myers (Illustrator)
First-hand accounts of shipboard life
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. An excellent first-hand account of life on a tall ship in Age of Sail.