Onboard Yankee Girl, why did Gerry Spiess carry 20 sparkplugs, 48 cans of tuna, 30 gallons of distilled water, 26 cans of Dinty Moore beef stew, 16 pounds of beef jerky, plus 35 pairs of shorts and T-shirts, 10 pairs of pants, 28 long sleeved shirts, 2 belts, 5 caps, and 2 foul weather suits, among many other items? The answer is that he was planning on a 60 day crossing of the North Atlantic, but had to provision Yankee Girl for 90 days for an emergency. The remarkable Minnesota sailor planned to be prepared as he could be for any emergency. For more info, click on http:/​/​smallcraftadvisor.com/​our-blog/​. You can get a full appendix of all items carried onboard this amazing 10-foot boat in Along Against the Atlantic (Gerry Spiess with Marlin Bree) and read about his later Pacific crossing in Marlin Bree's Broken Seas.

Gerry's record voyages in Yankee Girl are in book form: The voyage across the North Atlantic is in the book, Alone Against the Atlantic (Control Data, now out of print) and in Broken Seas (Marlor Press, currently available). The latter book is by Marlin Bree and the material on Gerry's Pacific Crossing is contained in the chapter, Ten Feet Across the Pacific.

From Alone Against the Atlantic

Many of us grow up with dreams we never realize. We don't take time to live with them, or let others discourage us. We listen to the choruses of "why bother?" and "what will you gain from it?" and never experiece the joys of achieving goals we set for ourselves.

I believe that everyone should have a dream and strive to reach it. People's dreams can be big or small -- it doesn't matter. What matters is that a dream come true can change a person in some undefinable but vital way.

And sometimes -- here's the best part -- one dream will lead to another, and, another, until finally the act of dreaming becomes an endless cycle, a limitless horizon as vast as the sea itself."

--Gerry Spiess
(copyright 1981 by Gerry Spiess and Marlin Bree)


"At once an adventure story and a human document you sail through as with an exciting novel, feeling the excitemehts, living the frustrations, and dodging the elements." -- Cornish Life (England)

"A fascinating sea story." Saint Paul Pioneer Press

"Will be read and re-read by would-be sailors for years." -- Library Journal,

"Adventure with a captivating style, realism and keen observation." -- The News (England)

"The inspiring, true story of one man's dream, from its birth to its glorivous fulfillment." -- Reader's Digest

"Amateur seamen will identify with Spiess because the work is detailed in depth, with nary a knot missing. The voyage of Yankee Girl was across 3,800 miles of the North Atlantic; it wasn't easy. Spiess fought a constant battle to keep his little boat afloat in roaring seas and raging storms, while his endurance was being continually tested, lacking sleep, aching with fatigue and pain, but most of all; the depression of absolute lonliness. Spiess, thanks to his expert collaborator Bree, gives the reader a feeling of being aboard as the author seems able to recount every arduous moment of his extensive journey. It's an inspiration to anyone who feels challenged by a dream and a hope, but for would-be or present sailors, the book's a must. --West Coast Review of Books

One of the two best real-life adventure books this year.
--Midwest Bookwatch

Alone Against the Atlantic by Gerry Spiess with Marlin Bree...is the compelling and emotion-filled type of book which really hits home for the readers. Excellent use of suspense and foreshadowing.
--the Bulletin


Fall layup or storage? Use the downloadable and free fall layup checklist in this updated version of the Boat Log & Record This all - in - one boat record and logbook with engine maintenance record helps a boater to maintain in one place a season -to - season working record of a boat and its needs. It's the largest and most complete boat log and record for amateur boaters ever published. Includes special Emergency section dealing with transmitting a Mayday Message and how to deal with Man overboard. Plus other ways to boat safely and have more fun on the water. Free checklist here for fall layups or storage.
Fiction: A boater gets caught up in a daring around-the-world sailboat race ---and finds murder! "Full of remarkable characters and daring feats."--Cruising World.
Here are masterful tales of seafaring on the world's largest freshwater lake, including the last hours of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Join Marlin Bree in his solo voyages -- including a storm that gives Superior the reputation as being one of the world's most dangerous bodies of water.
A catamaran sails at midnight and is hit by a surprise storm along the Shipwreck coast. At the helm, the author fights for control and he and the crew search for the entryway off the lake. Exciting adventure. In a special chapter, as he sails near the sunken vessel, he takes a new look at the last hours of the Edmund Fitzgerald. If you like rugged adventures and are intrigued by Lake Superior's legends, history and folklore, here's a special book that will fascinate and sometimes surprise you.
Boating, great maritime adventures, storms at sea, maritime tales and survivals
Why did the Edmund Fitzgerald sink? Find yourself in the big freighter's wheelhouse as the Superior storm is at its worst. Or, find yourself aboard a leaky old wooden boat heading out into Lake Superior as an ice storm descends in a race to find a missing friend. Or, dive into murky waters to discover a mysterious old schooner sitting on the bottom still intact. A storm hits! Now come aboard a 10-foot home-built plywood sailboat trying to make it across the stormy South Pacific. Join the author aboard his sailboat trying to survive the storm of the century, with 134 mph. downbursts. Here are seven true tales of maritime adventure and survival from the waters of the world to stir the blood and fire the imagination--all told with a mariner's insight! And more. With illustrations, charts. Now the winner of seven writing awards!
Nonfiction: Excerpts & pix!
Roaring out of nowhere, a huge storm tore onto Lake Superior and catches a lone sailor and his small wooden boat in a wall of wind. Join Marlin Bree in the cockpit of his small sailboat as he fights to save his boat. The author goes on to complete a special voyage along the picturesque north shore of Lake Superior. A classic boating tale. "Equals any oceanic adventure." -- San Diego Log
Fiction: Lots of cartoons & laughs!
Okay, gang: let's face it: our boating world is funny sometimes. It's filled with good hearted people and a lot of other folks ranging from full-of-it skippers and too-party-hardy crew members. Here's a handy book you can keep on the old chart table to let you have a laugh at everything from the marine head to nautical terminology. Not for everyone, but you know who you are. Ho. Ho.
On June 1, 1979, Gerry pointed the bow of his tiny boat east and set sail out of Chesapeake Bay to cross the treacherous North Atlantic. He had hoped he had designed and built the smallest practical-sized sailboat capable of surviving on the open seas -- 10 feet long. Fifty four days later, after battling raging storms, physical pain, loneliness and islolation, sleeplessness and the never-ending racking of the ocean, Gerry pulled into the English port of Falmouth--the smallest craft to make that astonishing ocean crossing.

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Alone Against the Atlantic: The all-time magnificent maritime adventure!

Yankee Girl and skipper Gerry Spiess arrive triumphantly in Falmouth, England, after a momentous 54-day journey across the North Atlantic.

A national best-seller by Gerry Spiess with Marlin Bree

By Gerry Spiess with Marlin Bree

On June 1, 1979, Gerry pointed the bow of his tiny boat east and set sail out of Chesapeake Bay to cross the treacherous North Atlantic. His destination was England.

He had hoped he had designed and built the smallest practical-sized sailboat capable of surviving on the open seas. After six years of planning and one year of construction, Yankee Girl was born -- 10 feet long and 5 1/​2 feet wide.

Fifty four days later, after battling raging storms, physical pain, loneliness and islolation, sleeplessness and the never-ending racking of the ocean, Gerry pulled into the English port of Falmouth.

Yankee Girl, the stubby little boat he had built in his garage out of used plywood, had carried him safely across nearly 3,800 miles of the treacherous North Atlantic. Upon his triumphant return to the United States, he was hailed as a hero.

Alone Against the Atlantic is the exciting and inspiring account of Gerry Spiess's solo voyage. It details his years of meticulous planning and preparation, his frustrations, he doubts, his commitment, and, his faith. It is the story of how one man achieved a goal he had set for himself.

But it is far more than an ordinary adventure tale: it is an intimate portrate of a man who dared to dream and make his dream come true.

The book includes over 50 photographs, drawings, a map of Yankee Girl's transatlantic route, and appendicies that detail the amazing amount of equipment aboard Yankee girl, including navigational equipment and charts, communications equipment, safety and emergency equipment, tools and equipment, provisions, and clothing, toiletries, personal items and medical supplies.

The hardcover edition of Alone Against the Atlantic became a national best-seller and went on to thrill millions of readers around the world in Reader's Digest Condensed Books editions.

What ever happened to Yankee Girl?

Two years after her Atlantic crossing, Yankee Girl set out from Long Beach, California, to cross the world's largest ocean -- 7,800 miles to Sydney, Australia. The remarkable story of Yankee Girl's crossing to Hawaii is told in Marlin Bree's book, Broken Seas: True tales of extraordinary seafaring adventures You can learn more about this record breaking sail by clicking on Broken Seas (on right).

The ten-foot micro cruiser's specs tell some of the story. Note that she weighs only 750 pounds empty, but upon departure (both Atlantic and Pacific crossings) she displaced 2,200 pounds.