The Missing Centimetre

(18 customer reviews)


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My aim in writing The Missing Centimetre was to inspire others – to make anyone who had ever dreamed a similar dream feel at least a little bit more confident about making that dream a reality.

When we first started talking about taking time out and going on an adventure we found very few books or other guides to help us along the way. By being truthful about the worries we had and difficulties we faced, as well as the eventual triumph and transformation we felt, we hope we might help some of you come to believe that it is possible to live a bigger life.

In our case, we snipped one short year out of the measure of our lives to make a voyage by boat, but the big questions we faced, about careers and family and, ultimately, what life is for, should be familiar to everyone – sailors and non-sailors alike.

As well as providing inspiration, I hope I’ve told a good story that will draw you in and keep you reading. We had a great time, visited some beautiful places and met some wonderful people. I am keen to hear what you think of the book.

Price: 220 sek (aprox. 25€)

18 reviews for The Missing Centimetre

  1. Manlio Laschena

    It’s not common and easy to find a book like this. You will feel in the boat with this splendid family and with them you will experience the reality of a dream become true. I have read the book no-stop .. and at the end the natural question is “what next” ?

  2. Kate Jenkins

    This is a fabulous book. If you have ever though about taking time out but were afraid to make the leap – read this. It is part travelog, part blue water sailing manual (great advice without the lecture), but mostly it is a delightful and thoughtful exploration about why we all need to do something different at some point in our lives. Leon Schultz writes with intelligent and gentle wit about his family’s time out, the places they visited, the friends they met and his whimsical musings on why anyone would want to sail across the Atlantic to those distant shores.
    You don’t have to sail to enjoy this book as it is beautifully written and utterly readable. But watch out – it will make you want to pack your bags, hand in your notice and set sail!

  3. Juliet, Suffolk

    Couldn’t put it down. A great story, with wonderful advice for anyone planning a similar trip, or just dreaming…

  4. J. Copson “John Copson”

    The title is perhaps a little ambiguous but not at all when you read the book. If you are like me, once you have started the first chapter you just won’t want to put it down again. Unlike most sailing adventure stories you don’t need to know anything about sailing or boats to enjoy this book. However, that is not to say that it wouldn’t appeal to the most hardened “yachtie” equally as well! In short, I loved “The missing centimetre”, I even felt that I became part of the crew, and in my opinion it really has the makings of a future sailing adventure classic. So I am really pleased that I have a first edition – Buy a copy, I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

  5. Blue Bob

    Just recently read this book. For highly experienced blue-water sailors (not me) this book would be maybe a little ‘boring’, but would maybe make them smile as they remember their own learning times . . . BUT for most of us who are interested in blue-water sailing and want to learn more (the less experienced, willing to learn, sailor type), this is a GREAT book! Full of life & laughs, lots of good tips, a very enjoyable read! I enjoyed it a lot . . . well written, lots of good pictures, and good information about places visited from Norway, through Scotland, Ireland, Portugal . . . Caribbean, Azores. I was quite sad when I got to the end of the book, I wanted it to go on . . . Thanks to Leon Schulz for a real-life adventure story!

  6. Amy Brown “armchair adventuress”

    The Missing Centimetre is a gorgeous book, full of beautiful photographs, that chronicles how an ordinary family from Sweden leaves their safe and secure lives–jobs, house, school, family and friends–to seize their dream of a sailing adventure across the Atlantic. It becomes the trip of a lifetime and a life-changing experience, for all of them. This book is for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to go after a dream, to take that leap. Leon Schulz writes with honesty, humor and great insight into the search for greater meaning to our lives that we all seek. Once I joined the family on their boat, from the very first pages, it was difficult to put the book down and a pure pleasure to read. For those who are seriously contemplating a long sailing cruise, it has the added plus of many practical tips.

  7. J. Taylor “Wild Alliance”

    I picked this book up from the London boat show this year and wondered whether perhaps anyone was able to provide a different angle to a story that has become more common in our sailing world than perhaps Drake, or Lin and Larry Pardey could ever have imagined. Leon Shulz writes his narrative with a sense of wonder that anyone who has ever cruised past their own back yard will surely recognise. His humble, engaging, and life-affirming approach to his families “Missing Centimetre” at once brought back a time in my families life that was truly special. From the stepping into the unknown, through the set-backs, challenges won, and bonding experiences of his families year he will surely win over any of you on the verge of finding their own “crowded hour”. Dare yourselves to be persuaded by this passionate, entertaining, and beautifully presented book full of practical insight without the technical overload.

  8. Sophie

    Beautifully illustrated and well-presented, The Missing Centimetre: One Family’s Atlantic Sailing Adventure chronicles the experiences of one family during a year-long cruise from Sweden to St Lucia in the Caribbean, and back home again. Leon Schulz gives a delightful, sympathetic insight into the process that led his wife, Karolina, and their two children, Jessica (11) and Jonathan (9) from day-dreaming of things that might be, to actually casting off early one grey June morning.
    Leon’s gentle humour and philosophical musings take the reader on a journey through the sights, sounds and companionship of life on-board and on-shore. It’s a memorable voyage, from the fjords of Norway to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and we meet many colourful characters along the way, including the amazing Herb Hilgenberg, philanthropic weather forecaster extraordinaire.
    Although written with blue water sailors in mind, The Missing Centimetre is a book so beguiling that land-lubbers with no desire to go to sea will be seriously tempted to take the plunge and turn their own dreams into adventure – whatever they may be.

  9. Michael 007 “jupp007”

    The impressive message of this book is found in the description of a vision and how it turns into reality.

    The way the entire family jointly ponders over their dream, which, for them, is a year-long sailing trip, and how it slowly develops and becomes more and more detailed, despite the fact that, in the beginning, it is believed to remain a dream forever… – all this is described so comprehensibly by Leon Schulz.

    Many readers will recognize the thoughts about a big project as well as about life in general, but also about the following alignment between dream and feasibility.

    And here one finds the real strength of the book: Leon Schulz not only describes how a dream comes true, but also about all doubts, which inevitably come with the realization of a dream. He encourages the readers in a humorous, understandable and exemplary way, explaining how to realize such a dream.

    The way, in which a firmly rooted Swedish family turns into a “blue-water-crew”, which, amongst others, sails in the wake of “Captain Jack Sparrow”, is not only easy to follow and to understand. At the same time, the book is an esteeming and easy to read encouragement, how dreams can come true.

    The fact that interesting, detailed and competent information about technical, as well as personal issues, are included for the becoming “blue-water-sailor”, enhances the value of the book.

    Unfortunately, the book is, so far, only published in English, but the easily understandable text makes it a good read also for readers not having English as their first language.

  10. Mrs. S. J. Grandy “Sally Grandy”

    I am an amateuer sailor and go along with my husband who loves boats, yachting and cruising. On every trip we take our four mini pirates aged between three and nine. I was really keen to read this book as it was about a family who decided to take the plunge and go on a years long sailing adventure. It truly inspired me and the theme of the book is to grab life and see the world. The author talks about the practicalities of going and the route that led them to decide to take a year out. I would highly recommend this to others. It wasn’t a particularly long read and I felt that they skipped over some detail of the sea passages but they described in detail about the lifestyle and the people you meet while venturing on a trip of a lifetime like this. It will encourage you to leave the ratrace (and these freezing December temperatures) and head off to crystal clear waters….Bon Voyage

  11. Paul

    Leon Shulz has written a book that had me competely engrossed from the moment i picked it up to read on Christmas Day.

    I have read almost every blue-water sailing book available and most of these are about the technicalities and the challenges that we encounter when blue water sailing. What i found so refreshing about this book was the authors emphasis on the emotional aspect of live-aboard sailing. He achieves what i have tried to do so many times when explaining to my friends why i want to leave my comfortable lifestayle behind and sail off accross the oceans.

    My advice is that you have friends, family or maybe your wife who needs convincing to join you on your adventure, then give them a copy of the book and wait for them to be inspired by this great read.

  12. Bernie

    Leon did a great job in putting together a down to earth nuts and bolts sailing chronicle for the entire family to enjoy. Not only did Leon give some interesting sailing tidbits along the way, but it was a great motivator for me to see what it took to get Leon and his family committed to breaking away from the “rat race” – he showed it can be done – no excuses! With the wife reading it now, the dream may become a reality sooner rather than later!

    I was hooked from page one and, having sailed to many of the same places that Leon mentioned, it made the read that much more enjoyable! A definite “must read” for the “armchair” sailor as well as those already on the water.

  13. helen

    Excellently produced book with a very easy to read style.
    Fascinating story of this family adventure as well as being full of good advice on sailing matters.

  14. nmccubbin

    Leon Shultz book is both an enjoyable read for anyone interested in long distance cruising under sail, and a great tool to those dreaming of taking off for a year or more.
    It paints an engaging picture of long-term cruising, with lots of information for everyone interested in the classic Atlantic circuit. Although the good is emphasised over the bad, the overall presentation is realistic, and fits our own experience of cruising 5 months/year for 17 years.
    It was fascinating to follow the decision making process that lead to the family making an abrupt right turn, for Maderia (some 500 miles away) instead of going on down the Portuguese coast to Lisbon.
    While it makes no pretense of being a textbook on sailing, or a cruising guide, it includes lots of information that will help the reader form his/her own opinions of the information in the textbooks and sailing magazines.
    There is fine humor in several spots, such as when an English cruiser picked up a ringing payphone in Les Saintes, and passed it to Leon to deal with an irate Frenchman who thought he was calling someone back in Paris. Leon is a Swede who speaks perfect English and German, but his schoolboy French makes for much more fun than comprehension.

  15. Tony Hayes

    Leon Schulz has written a great book. I read it in almost one sitting, as did my wife: an unprecedented happening in our family. The power of Leon Schulz’s book is not only is it an utterly engaging and informative account of a ‘normal’ Swedish family taking themselves on a year’s Atlantic sailing sabbatical, but with great clarity you hear his voice, see what he’s doing, and appreciate his thinking. For anyone who has a sneaking suspicion that crossing an ocean in a small boat under sail is a dream too far, Leon Schulz’s book will crystallize the dream and help it to reality. The book has great photos, to boot.

  16. Nick Dawkes

    Got this for christmas and could not put it down, well written and interesting. Thoroughly recommend it for anyone who has either a passing interest in sailing or like adventure.

  17. Code Monkey

    We were on our 2nd week of bare boat chartering in Croastia when one of my crews mentioned this book to me.

    “No – i had never heard of this book” was my reply. He promptly bought this book for me on Amazon using his smart phone as we were moored in a secluded bay.

    I devoured this book – totally. The writing style of the author takes some getting use to. After all, he is not a professional author. And he is no professional sailor either.

    This book is NOT:
    1. about how to decide whether to take a year off your regular life to go sailing.
    2. about how to learn blue water sailing.
    3. about how to plan your sailing routes.
    4. about how to live with your spouse and children on a small boat.

    It is basically a diary of how a working family man guided his family into an adventure of a life time. They shared their tears, fears, joys and rewards through the printed pages. He does not pretend to know-it-all, or have perfected the art of sailing.

    I particularly enjoyed the “human-factor” in the book – family members making decision together, new-found friends enjoying the presence.

    I am now looking at buying my first boat after reading this book. Be warned.

  18. alfrediversen

    The Missing Centimetre is an excellent book, and it was a huge inspiration to me and my family.
    One of the best bluewater books I’ve ever read.

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