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Which woman made the first solo transatlantic crossing? Who saved thousands of lives with the invention of navigation lights? And what is the story behind the invention of the compass? Many of us know the story of modern sailing pioneers - Dame Ellen MacArthur and Francis Chichester, Claire Francis and the challengers of the Americas Cup - but what about those unsung heroes who invented the mechanisms and technology which enabled sailors to speed across the oceans and navigate more safely. From cloud classification and screw propellers to radio telephones and the measurement of tides, this collection of stories will inspire and intrigue sailors everywhere.