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: Tom McGrath's accounts of the cruising life aboard the tiny sailboats Damn Foole and Damn Foole II have achieved cult status in the magazine Messing About Boats. With humor and a touch of irony, McGrath makes observations that resonate with cruising sailors, shoestring boaters, and others who take their boats more seriously than themselves. McGrath sprinkles his sailing anecdotes with biting social commentary; he casts a satirical eye at everything from waterfront development to the Civil War, from foreign fishing boats to the arrival of the Mayflower. Never totally dogmatic, he's frequently interrupted by members of his "spirit crew, " who argue various points of view and brew trouble in every port. Even the boat chimes in occasionally to settle debates or rescue the author from his mistakes. McGrath's ability to laugh at himself and his seamanship follies give these tales universal appeal.