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Published in April 2004 by Sheridan House. 224 pp. Maps, Line Drawings.



Also available online from: or Barnes & Noble  at a discount.


“Peter has accomplished what only a small fraction of sailors take on: he has brought an older, neglected sailboat back from an eventual death. Peter invested mechanical talent and elbow grease. His reward was an affordable, beautiful, and fully functional cruising sailboat... Because he writes beautifully, shares his personal insights, and is so remarkably self-aware, Peter Baumgartner takes his readers with him on a voyage of boat ownership and the fulfillment of a dream. It is a tale well told.”

        — Karen Larson, editor of Good Old Boat Magazine


" ...On the other hand, the remaking, fine-tuning and equipping of a yacht into exactly the kind of vessel that suits your purpose is one of the most satisfying aspects of owning a boat. I was forcefully reminded of this the other day by a curious book called London Goes To Sea...Not only does Baumgartner obviously love the sea and nautical and natural history, he also takes enormous pride in having retrieved an abandoned 27ft Cape Dory in Massachusetts for $10,500, and in having restored it to its former glory..."

        —  Victor Mallet in The Financial Times Dec 18/19, 2004


       “London Goes To Sea is Peter J Baumgartner’s candid and captivating account of restoring an aging fiberglass sailboat over the course of four years and then reintroducing it to its native New England waters. Baumgartner’s precise records illustrate every trial and triumph of the restoration process, and his careful attention to errors made along the way provides crucial insight for anyone considering a similar project....”

        —  from the Publisher.


"This straightforward and tender book documents the fulfillment of Baumgartner’s dream. In 1998, realizing he “needed a boat,” the author bought Loon, a 27-foot Cape Dory sloop that had languished neglected in a backyard for 20 of its 21 years. He painstakingly restored her, renamed her London (after the city where he spent several years as a boy), and returned her to the waters of New England. In a series of daysails and cruises – many of them single-handed – over the next several years, he and London bonded as only a boat and a skipper can. Readers of London Goes To Sea can share in that process. The book also describes the joys (and occasional misadventures) of cruising between Block Island and Maine, and gives a detailed account of the costs involved in restoring and maintaing an older sailboat."

        —  Joe Myerson in 'Offshore' October 2004


"...As a committed non-sailor, I can acknowledge that Peter Baumgartner’s tales of sailing and sailboat restoration captivated me from beginning to end. You don’t have to understand the nautical terms to enjoy the book. You don’t have to spend time on the water to share his experiences, especially when they are presented with such narrative skill and self-deprecating humor. This is a great story !"

        —  Andy Koppel Non-Seafarer


“To have the courage to recognize your passion and to pursue it is a rare virtue in our time. Peter Baumgartner is passionate about sailboats, and about the restoring of one long-neglected boat, and about sailing the coves and bays and inlets of the New England coast. His determination and dedication are inspiring....”


        — William L. Simon, author and producer of the documentary: "Setting Sail: The Star Of India Goes To Sea" and the author of the best-selling "The Art of Deception" .


“With a Thoreau-like enthusiasm for natural solitude and quiet anchorages, the author shares his delight in simple cruising, and his ingenuity in maintaining his 20-year old boat on a modest budget. Detailed expenditure logs and eight pages of bibliography provide more detail than most readers will need, but there are occasionally powerful evocations of experiences we all know, such as coming ashore after the last autumn sail 'On the dock, conversations are quick. We all want to talk, but everyone is in a hurry, captured again by the impatient land'. Subtitled Restoring and Sailing an Old Boat on a Budget, this is not a reference handbook, and carries no index. But the chapters on the books and websites he consulted will be useful to many CA members. Perhaps many of us could produce a book of equivalent experiences; Peter Baumgartner has had the diligence to do it. ”

        —  UK Cruising Association


"...Peter is a gifted writer who has the ability to make even the trivial and mundane seem interesting. His pleasure in and enthusiasm for this project and his cruising adventures shine through on every page. He has successfully parlayed his experience with London into a tale that will appeal to anyone who loves to tinker with, or sail in, older boats, and to all who are familiar with New England waters from Rhode Island to Maine. "London Goes to Sea" is a book I recommend, especially to those on a limited budget who dream of cruising but are held back by insecurities about their technical and sailing skills. Read this book and you may find the inspiration to live your dreams! "

        —  Nigel Calder in Sail Magazine’s ‘BoatWorks’ Fall 2004

London Goes To Sea: Restoring and Sailing an Old Sailboat On A Budget

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