Sailors' Library

The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst

By Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall

Published by Hodder And Stoughton (1971)

This 300-page account of Donald Crowhurst’s life and death at sea is one of the greatest sea stories ever told by two ace reporters at the top of their game.

They outline the build, design and flaws of Teignmouth Electron, the Victress-design trimaran, the plywood hulls of which started delaminating as she sailed into the South Atlantic. They visit the tiny hamlet in Argentina where Crowhurst landed to source plywood to repair his boat. They profile all the protagonists, including Crowhurst’s family, and piece together with exacting detail the false logs Crowhurst kept in a bid to mask his fraudulent voyage. They conclude he jumped overboard once his mind failed, brought on by the stress of the web of lies he’d spun in order to try and extricate himself from an impossible situation.

I read the book years ago and have pestered everyone since to read it. Whether you be a sailor or a landlubber, this is a book you will not easily forget.

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