Two-Time Winner of Boating Writers International's Grand Prize Award!

The author has been awarded two Boating Writers International Grand Prize awards. One was in 2004 for his magazine article, the Day All Hell Broke Loose, and the other was in 2008, for the magazine article, The Old Man and the Inland Sea.

First Place The remarkable story of the Last Battle of the Grampa Woo (Ensign magazine) won First Place in the 2009 Boating Writers International Writing Contest. To read this chilling adventure yarn, click on Magazines.

Marlin Bree accepts the 2008 West Marine Writer's Award from Boating Writer's International President Kim Kavin (left) and Laurie Fried, Director of Community Relations for West Marine. Bree holds the crystal trophy and a presentation check for $5,000. More details inside.

New Award: Marlin Bree won a second place BWI writing award for his Ensign article on Courage of the Sole Survivor.

New Award: Marlin Bree won a BWI 2008 second-place writing award for his Ensign article on rebuilding Persistence's transom.

The Old Man & The Inland Sea by Marlin Bree won a First Place award in the 2007 BWI Annual Writing Contest and was awarded BWI's highest honor: the 2008 West Marine Writer/s Award. Check out the PDF article, other stuff by clicking on magazines.

AWARD Marlin Bree's The Passion of Mike Plant was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the 2005 Boating Writers International excellence in boating journalism contest. The award-winning magazine series was based on a chapter in the author's book, Broken Seas.

Technical Writing: Marlin Bree was awarded a Third Place award in the Technical Writing Category in the 2006 Annual Writing Contest by Boating Writers International for his Small boats, big challenges: Lessons and statistic crunches from successful mini-cruisers. It was published by Small Craft Advisor magazine.

Award! The author won a third place award in the 2003 Annual Writing Contest of Boating Writers International for "excellence in boating journalism" for his first-person story of how he met his "Storm of the Century." The same story went on to win the top award Boating Writer's International gives to a boating writer -- The West Marine Writer's Award.

This web site is the recipient of a 2002-2003 and the 2003 -2004 Golden Web Award.


A voyageur's tale of sailing solo, occasionally in dark seas, on Lake Superior. A lovingly written story.
--Baltimore Sun

How does a 20-foot centerboard sloop take on Superior, the largest Great Lake, the deepest, coldest and deadliest? Like a fly in a roomful of swatters...Marlin Bree is often whumped back inside the infrequent breakwaters by almost daily thunderstorms. Fascinating.
--Sail Magazine

Bree and his Persistence dared greatly, struggled greatly and had a worthy run, told with touching candor. Bree is at his best when the lake was at its worst.
-- Wilmington Evening Journal

Captures the feel and wild spirit of one of the most beautiful but treacherous bodies of water in the world.
-Star-Tribune, Minneapolis
Reviewed by Ken Wisneski

His evocative narrative is both an adventure --
he encountered several fierce storms -- and an anecdotal history of the lake, with tidbits on Indians, voyageurs, miners, sea captains and colorful local inhabitants, as well as tales of wind, weather, icy (and sometimes frozen) water, and shipwrekcs. An enjoyable ramble for yachting enthusiasts.
--Publisher's Weekly

This great sea story is more than just a fine adventure. Bree packs the book with the legends that have created such a special aura around the lake, from famous shipwrecks, lost gold mines and great storms to the almost unbelievablew story of the world's richest silver mine. Not to be missed.
Flint (MI) Journal

The turbulent, wind-whipped, wave-washed story of a solo ship voyage on Lake Superior. Along the way we hear many fine and gruesome shipwreck tales and fascinating lore of the deep water. Rugged, tough..a crackling good book.
---Neshoba Democrat
Philadelphia, MS

An electrifying story...certainly the most gripping, passionate account of a voyage since Men Against the Sea. The text crackles with tension.
--Brian Richard Boylan
Author of Final Trace

Marlin Bree's writings are a delightful combination of adventure, history, and lake lore. He plies the big water in a twenty foot wooden sailboat he built in his back yard."
--Minnesota Historical Society
Reviewed by Pat Coleman

Copyright notice

All photographs, illustrations, charts and excerpts from books used on these web pages are from books and publications copyrighted by Marlin Bree. All rights are reserved, including all under International and Pan American copyright conventions. No part of this web site, illustrations, text, or photographs, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical, including e-mail, photocopy, recording, printing, or any storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without written permission from the author, Marlin Bree, except by a reviewer who wishes to quite brief passages in a review written for a magazine, newspaper or for broadcast.

Fiction: Action and Intrigue!
You are struggling at the helm of a sailboat fighting its way through high seas and facing an oncoming storm. Suddenly, you hear a noise from below. And not a good noise. The boat starts to vibrate, then shake --- as your mast heads toward the water. In a fleeting vision, you have an insight into why so many ocean-going boats are mysteriously disappearing. Dead on the Wind is a stunning new nautical about boats, murder and intrigue, set on boats roving the oceans of the world. "Full of remarkable characters and daring feats."--Cruising World.
Nonfiction to stir the blood and fire the imagination: Excerpts here!
Incredible true tales of adventure and survival, all told with a mariner's insight! Go into murky waters with divers and discover a mysterious old schooner, fully intact; come aboard the cockpit of a 10-foot home-built plywood sailboat setting sail for Hawaii; thrill to Mike Plant's incredible adventure and terrible tragedy aboard his racing boat; and find out why the Edmund Fitzgerald -- the Titanic of the Great Lakes -- actually sank as the crew battles it out to the last; and The Day All Hell Broke Loose: a lone boater survives The Storm of the Century. Now the winner of seven writing awards, Dead on the Wind will sweep you into the world of incredible true adventure and desperate survival.!
Nonfiction: Excerpts & pix!
Roaring out of nowhere, a storm with 134 mph. downbursts tore onto Lake Superior. Without warning, a lone sailor and his small wooden boat were caught in a wall of wind. Spinning out of control, author Marlin Bree fought to survive "The Storm of the Century." Join Marlin Bree in the cockpit of his small sailboat as he fights to save his boat. The author goes on to complete his summer voyage along the picturesque north shore of Lake Superior, an island chain destined to become the world's largest freshwater conservation area. A classic boating tale. "Equals any oceanic adventure." -- San Diego Log
For many sailors, gulls are a long-time fascination -- and love.Here is a special look at gulls and their games and acrobatics, as only a veteran sailor could appreciate. What? You never heard of Jonathan Livingston Seafull? "A stunning tribute to the world's most recognizable bird." -- IPG.
In 1979, Gerry Spiess set sail in his home-built plywood boat, Yankee Girl, on a voyage to England. In a best-selling narrative by Gerry Spiess with Marlin Bree, the teacher-turned-sailor and his tiny boat battle the dangers of the North Atlantic and survive capsizes, monumental storms, and, dangers --- to a new world record. A classic nautical adventure!
spring boat commissioning checklist; boat log, boat record, GPS coordinates, maintenance records
Now in its expanded fourth edition, Marlin Bree's Boat Log & Record is the largest, best and most complete way to maintain a permanent record of a vessel and its needs. Developed by a veteran skipper, this book contains space to record up to 50 cruises, including date and time, sea state, distances and navigational data --including GPS coordinates -- as well as a skipper's cruising notes. You can safely launch or retrieve your boat each season with a special checklist you can use over and over again. The book also contains equipment and insurance information, maintenance records, and a handy purchasing organizer. Here's that important on-board book that has just about everything that a pleasure boater needs and wants.
Fiction: Lots of cartoons & laughs!
Here's a handy book you can keep on the old chart table to help you cope with and have a laugh at everything from the marine head to nautical terminology. Filled with humorous illustrations and cartoons, The Dangerous Book for Boaters is a good humored guide to the waterfront with gems of marine wisdom and advice ranging from dealing with a too-party-hearty crew to proper care and handling of the too full-of-it skipper. There are looks at correct nautical dress (Ho!) and marlinspike boating -- or lack of it -- as well as ways to cope with the marine head and even ways on perfecting the art of romance aboard a small boat (Good luck!) Read this one at your own peril. Not for everyone, but you know who you are. Ho. Ho.
A gripping adventure of a small boat skipper on one of the world's most dangerous bodies of water. For one summer, ex-newsman Marlin Bree sailed alone on Lake Superior in a 20-foot wooden sailboat he had built in his backyard. Beginning in the beautiful Apostle Islands, off Wisconsin's rugged shores, Bree sailed through the islands, tying up by anchor and at waterfront docks. He writes about kind-hearted waterfront people, early voyageurs, shipwrecks, storms, gold, and an island of silver on Superior that was once the world's richest mine. Here is lake lore, history and incredible tales of seafaring on the world's largest freshwater lake. Ultimately, Bree encounters a storm that makes Superior one of the world's most dangerous bodies of water. "His evocative narrative is both an adventure -- he encountered several fierce storms -- an an anecdotal history of the lake, with tidbits on Indians, voyageurs, miners, sea captains and coloruf local inhabitants, as well as tales of wind, weather, icy (and sometimes frozen) water and shipwrecks. An enjoyable ramble for sailing afictionados." -- Booklist
In Call of the North Wind, the author sails the beautiful Apostle Islands and then voyages eastward on the open waters of Superior along the Shipwreck Coast to the head of the lake and into Canada. He meets a storm at midnight, and finds his entryway off the lake is blacked out. As he sails along the Shipwreck Coast, he reconstructs the dramatic stories of doomed vessels and heroic captains. In a special chapter, as he sails near the sunken vessel, he takes a new look at the last hours of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The Shipwreck Coast contains the historic remains of the Big Lake's first life savering station and as he sails past the rugged coast Bree reconstructs some of the incredible true adventures of the "warriors of the storm." He writes of Hiawatha (yes, there was a Hiawatha on Lake Superior, according to Indian legend), the early "Black Robes" who came to live with tribes, but under unusual hardships, and, the early voyageurs. If you are a sailor, like salty adventure, or are intrigued by Lake Superior's legends, history and folklore, here's a special book that will fascinate and sometimes surprise you.

Quick Linksto put you in touch

Adventure Dead Ahead!

How to find your way
around these pages

For a spring checklist for launching your boat, click on Boat Log & Record.

To get a quick overview, click on the book titles on the right. For example, click on Dead on the Wind (right) to learn more about this exciting new nautical novel.

Quick hint: To enlarge pictures in the center column, just click on them.

In the Blue Banner (above), there are seven categories. Click on them to see more about the author (My Bio), his boat and voyages (Das Boot), magazine articles (Magazines), boating tips (Boat Tips), his blog (Blog) and information on how to reach the author or find his books (Contact). For example, to see more pictures of Persistence, click on Das Boot.


MEET THE THE BOAT IN PERSON (Well, sort of) For close-up color photography of the author's hand-built sloop, Persistence, click on Das Boot (above). The devil, as they say, is in the details. You'll see some devilishly interesting wooden boatbuilding here.

READ SEAFARING STORIES! You can browse excerpts from the author's seafaring stories in his books such as the exciting new novel Dead on the Wind. Or browse the best-selling true-life adventure, Wake of the Green Storm. Just click the title on the right.

FREE ADDED ATTRACTIONS: Browse boat pictures and diagrams, news items, boating tips, and some choice book excerpts, which get added to from time to time. The author in particular likes these.

FIND OUT ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Click on the BIO (above) and you will get more information about Marlin Bree than you probably will want. The Bio started out short, but grew over the years, and the author apologizes about that.


Many Internet sites have a look - inside - the-book so that you can sample the book's contents. You can determine if it's a book you want to buy in paperback or download as an e-book.

Some featured Look Inside the Books:

*Dead on the Wind You can read samples from this new nautical thriller on Kindle.

* Broken Seas: True Tales of Extraordinary Seafaring Adventures. From this book came two magazine articles that won top awards in Boating Writers International's Writing Contest.

*Wake of the Green Storm: A Survivor's Tale. A rousing account of one lone sailor in the grips of the Storm of the Century. A classic tale of seafaring.

*The Dangerous Book for Boaters:A humorous waterfront guide to the ways & wiles of boaters.

Other books by Marlin Bree
and collaborators

*Kid's Magic Secrets: Simple magic tricks & why they work. (Loris Bree and Marlin Bree). A fun magic book for kids. This book was used as a set prop in the Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis movie, "Friends with Benefits." It also has consistently been rated as a #1 category Best Seller at Amazon.com.

*Kid's Travel Fun Book: Draw. Make Stuff. Play games. Have fun for Hours! This is a great take-along activity and fun book for kids when they go on trips with their adults. Keeps them occupied for hours. (Loris and Marlin Bree)

Kid's Trip Diary This is the all-time Marlor Press best-selling kid's activity book that lets youngsters easily record their thoughts and fun times while traveling. Includes games, prompts, and travel humor.

My Camp Book Campers! Take along this handy book to journal day by day and to have fun with. Write down your camp adventures, humorous happenings, camp stories and songs, and especially get the names and e-mails of new camp friends. When you return, My Camp Book will be a forever place of your treasured memories.


Gripping!Writes the senior editor of Cruising World, Herb McCormic, of the novel Dead on the Wind: "The dangerous, fascinating world of long distance, singlehanded yacht racing is full of remarkable characters and daring feats, making it an especially intriguing setting for a high seas whodunit. Marlin Bree knows this arena well, and his well crafted tale of mystery and adventure makes for gripping reading."

"Super read: In its November issue, The Ensign magazine says of Broken Seas: "Author Marlin Bree makes true sailing adventures live again...With each story, we feel the excitement of the cruise and the terror of the final moment when all might be lost. Broken Seas is a super read for those of us who dream of adventure on the sometimes cruel sea." The Ensign review was written by Stf/​C Don Dunlap Jr., SN

"Mucho Adventure," writes Small Craft Advisor editor Joshua Colvin about the author's new book, Broken Seas. "..some of the true tales in his latest volume had me sitting up wide-eyed, well past my dreamland deadline. In 216 pages, Bree manages to take the reader aboard all kinds of vessels, often in the worst conditions imaginable. Whether he's writing about Gerry Spiess' 10-footer Yankee Girl knocked flat in in the middle of the Pacific, or the storm driven destruction of the 729-foot Edmund Fitzgerald, Bree rarely lets his reader up for breath. If you enjoy this sort of thing--and who doesn't--you'll want to add Bree's new book to your library. Just don't plan to catch up on any sleep."

"A keeper" says Cruising World (Aug. 2005) about Broken Seas: "Sea-story fans will find in these pages six varied accounts ranging from a passage across the Pacific in a 10-foot sloop to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald during a Lake Superior storm. Readers who enjoy adventure narratives won't be disappointed."