Karl William Heckman

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Watertight: the Book

Now Available
Books & eBooks


How I Survived the Submarine Service without Losing My Mind 


Are you a U.S. Navy submariner? Remember how it really was, not the Hollywood version played out in the movies?

Reconnect with your own history and remember what it was like to put to sea for the first time,  experience your first dive, revel at your first surfacing.

Have you wondered what life is like for submariners? Wondered what you have to do to get on that submarine? Wondered how a hundred men deal with each other trapped together in a steel tank for months?


Wonder no more!  I'll lay it all out for you. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and as reported by a first reader, you'll snort coffee out your nose. Irresistible, eh?

Over twenty years in the making, Watertight, an Amazon Best Seller, is available in hardback and eBook versions for Kindle, Nook and most others, except Apple.


Click on the Buy Now button above
to purchase one or more copies of Watertight from this site.
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Books purchased through the Buy Now button above will be
signed and shipped by the author.
Books purchased through Amazon.com will be unsigned.


Click here to buy the book on Amazon.com, Hardcover or Kindle. It's an Amazon Best Seller and Prime eligible!

Buy Watertight eBook

Click on this Buy Watertight eBook button to buy and download the eBook as EPUB or PDF for $9.99. You'll be redirected to Gumroad. Thank you for your purchase.


What readers say about Watertight:

"As a former nuclear submariner I am always skeptical of "reality" books about submarine service. The author here hits all major points. A good read!"


"This is an extraordinarily well-written tale about the responsibilities and dangers of the submarine service, written by a Nuclear/Electronic Tech with all the experience and intelligence called for to live and work in a most unusual environment and to explain what it is like to live and work there. This is not a combat action tale like Gene Fluckey's Thunder Below, but rather a description of the day-to-day demands of peace-keeping under water. It has a lot to say about the personalities of the men who earn the respect and trust of the men around them in an environment where Nature is on all sides of them trying 24/7 to crush them."


"Karl's book is an entertaining look into the mostly-very-serious business of the nuclear submariner. I had talked to Karl over the years about those experiences, but never thought that I would have so much fun reading about that part of his life. Karl does a great job of taking us undersea with him, making us feel the heat, smell the smells, live the fear at times and yet enjoy the sheer hilarity of a bunch of men living in such close quarters for long periods of time. Rounded out with some narration of personal family life ashore, and the toll that a submariner's life takes on the family, this book is a must-read."


"As a former nuclear Machinist Mate, I enjoyed reading a submarine memoir from the perspective of the engineering space. Accurately depicts the author's naval career as well as many others. Those who served in Mr. Rickover's Navy, will enjoy this account."


"Mr Heckman, please continue writing. I felt as though I was right there in the sub with you guys. As an Army lifer I always wondered what it might be like in the other services. Your narrative and technical descriptions are terrific. At times I felt as tired, greasy and dirty as you all must've been, the total electrical failure scared the crap out of me and i hated your ORSE ordeal as much as I hated the IG inspections and AORSAs we suffered in the Army."
Well done! Now write another, please."


"Actual belly laughs throughout this entertaining read!"


"I have always wondered what it would be like on a submarine. Let's be honest, submarines are weird, kind of creepy, and rather amazing, if you stop and think about it. Some of our brightest minds are running around under water, undetected, in a metal tube propelled by a nuclear reactor. This books is laugh out loud funny and does a great job portraying life on not just a submarine, but two of our most famous spy submarines."


"Loved this book! Hilarious and well-written. I don't have any experience on subs but felt like I was there!"



Click here for the YouTube channel

Click here to check out the Watertight Facebook page

Naval Nuclear Power School history and curriculum.

History of the S1C Windsor site where 14,000 Navy Nukes trained.

RC Division SSN 575, Somewhere in the Pacific 1986
Promoted to First Class Petty Officer 1985


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An audiobook of Watertight is in production; I'll send a note when it's available. Thank you for your interest.


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Watertight: The Book