The woman who made the first solo transatlantic crossing, the invention of navigation lights, the story behind the invention of the compass, how Francis Beaufort devised the Beaufort wind scale, and why William Petty invented the catamaran in 1662 -- it's all in here, and much more. Many sailing and naval history buffs know the story of modern sailing pioneers, but what about those unsung heroes who invented the mechanisms and technology which enabled sailors to speed across the oceans and navigate more safely? This fascinating book reveals the extraordinary stories behind the apparatus which many take for granted. Readers will learn how the Frenchman Boulanger produced the first binoculars in 1859, enabling sailors to spy landmarks more effectively; and how William Armstrong earned sailors' gratitude by devising the yacht winch. From cloud classification and screw propellers to radio telephones and the measurement of tides, from the sextant to the first fiberglass boat, this collection of stories, with a foreword by Ben Ainslie, Olympic gold medal winner, will inspire and intrigue sailors and would-be sailors everywhere.