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  #1  
Old 09-19-2004
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Best source for cruising guides?

With so many people/companies offering various cruising guides I thought I''d ask what might be considered the best overall source. i.e. those with minimal advertising, maximum chartage (and ''hand drawn'' approaches, etc.), lots of ''secret/inside info'' and good descriptions.

I''m particularily interested in the best guides for W. FL, Keys and the Bahamas.
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Old 09-21-2004
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Best source for cruising guides?

M:

It''s my impression that what makes a guide ''best'' is in the eye of the beholder. E.g. some love the C. Young SE USA guides; they love his folksy chatter, his constant (some would say ''relentless'') references to food and restaurants, and his smattering of historical anecdotes. Others find ''real'' cruising info in his guides to be slim while most of the content - for them - is irrelevant and unhelpful.

I''d suggest the answer will likely rest more with you than with what some of us think. Having said that, especially once you leave the USCG/CoE nav aids of the USA, highly reliable, scaled sketch charts or ''chartlets'' (e.g. the Pavlidis guides, which soon will be encompassing most of the Caribbean) are what might be considered a mandatory minimum in any guide''s content. Opinion still varies about whether waypoint info is ''good'' or can lead one astray (e.g. VanZant offers bountiful WPs, not one of which have I been disappointed by, while Pavlidis only offers offlying WPs and feels to offer more is irresponsible on his part). My preference is FOR waypoints, but then I develop alternative ways to verify their accuracy (cross-bearings or soundings, e.g.) when using them. So...lots of room for personal judgement, it seems to me.

Jack
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Old 09-21-2004
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Best source for cruising guides?

I''m in 100% agreement with you. I prefer more ''objective'' info such as chartlets, approach sketches, etc. than an author that ''prattles on'' (ala C. Young).

For example, I have one of C. Youngs guides and find it much less useful than the ''Yachtsmans Guide'' series. Conversely, I''m not a big fan of all the advertising in the Yachtsmans guides either.

I don''t have any VanZant guides. I''ll check em out. Thus establishing my preferences might there be other authors/publishing houses to recommend?
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Old 09-24-2004
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Best source for cruising guides?

My vote for Caribbean guides would be VanSant (the entire run from the SE U.S. to VZ but absent any info of the Central/Western Caribbean), and the blossoming number of Pavlidis guides (Bahamas, T&C, Puerto Rico and soon the Windwards and Leewards, plus Trinidad).

I find the Imray series varies greatly and think those with European cruising goals need to shop volume by volume before purchasing. Both editing and writing is good in some, lousy in others.

Maybe this is just old fashioned, but I don''t find much beyond the Waterway Guide regional guides to be necessary for the U.S. East Coast.

Good luck on the reviewing and purchasing and cruising!

Jack
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