This was the first Captain Fatty book I have read so it was an interesting experience. Blustery as a summer squall, opinionated from bow to stern, he offers us an easy reading book on things that might bore other readers if it were a technical how-to work. Instead he intersperses real life events, examples and ideas into each section so that it is not jump information in a vacuum, it is knowledge in context.
You can call Captain Fatty Goodlander cheap. He seems to me the “You Can Negotiate Anything” person of the boating scene. But under that cheapo facade he is really serious about safety and the captains responsibility over everything on the boat. If something goes wrong you as captain are to blame. Cheap is all about getting the best deal, about recycling or doing without in order to have safety and live debt free.
His advice bares on the practical side of life and sailing. He is not impressed with what is NEW on the market and he simply lays it out as it is in the real world and out on the water. He praises the boating community and curses those who are irresponsible (usually the rich in his opinion) or foolish (those who are so eccentric they bring a bad name to the boating community).
I think he is self contradictory at times, but this only makes him human. As a hiker I see how having things with you weighs you down. A boat is the same way, the more you put in or on her the less performance you get back. He himself admits, after good portions of the book retelling his life of austere times with his wife on board boats, that he has something like 8 hard drives, 5 computers and all sorts of other things on his boat now weighing him down. This is his choice of course as it would be anyone’s. But at least he admits that he has to cut back on things too on a boat. I again point this out as human nature and not to dissuade anyone from buying his books, which are worth their price tag I feel.
If you are a penny pincher than Fatty is the Captain for you. His approach is one that is tried and true, if a little bit low balling at times. You will get a boat for little bootle, but there will be sweat and hours to get it up to snuff. Still his advice would also apply to fixing up a boat that you might have damaged or that has been inherited or passed to you for free. Give him a chance to show you to the water!