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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Books on navigation and offshore passages
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-02-2006 12:35 AM
sailaway21
Books on Navigation

Bowditch, vols 1 & 2, the American Practical Navigator, is the bible of marine navigation. Used editions are fine, it takes so long to update it that they don't come out with a new one but every ten or twenty years. This is not the best book to learn celestial navigation, there are many previously mentioned that are better or at least more concise. But this is the sum total of navigational knowledge accumulated over the past two hundred years. Vol. 2 , old ho 9, used to be just Bowditch tables and has now been changed to include articles as well, primarily piloting oriented. Once you see how easy bow and beam bearing are you'll wonder why nobody talks about them. Vol 2 will teach you that and alot more. Think of Bowditch as your dictionary-it'll help you with everything else you read. Guy
09-19-2006 07:26 PM
KarlTomasik
British Admiralty Routes for the World

Thanks for everyone's help, but I still have a question about the British Admiralty Routes for the World--is this still a valid reference book, or has World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell replaced it? Is it worth buying the 1973 edition for $30, or do I need the 2004 edition?
09-10-2006 08:10 PM
KarlTomasik Yes, we do have Chapman's! As well as This Old Boat and a number of other assorted nautical titles, charts, the MapTech Embassy Guides through Chesapeake, etc. I've been meaning to pick up the Skipper Bob book as well as the Doyle guides to the VIs. I'd also LOVE to make it to the SSCA table at the Annapolis Boat Show, but I doubt we'll be there in time. We kind of wanted to wander around and enjoy everything rather than make it to Annapolis in four days. But when is the boat show? The beginning of October, right?
09-09-2006 10:47 PM
sailandoar
Reeds

Nautical Almanac (pick one -> east/west/carribbian): tide-pilot stuff -radio weather fax freqs - current tables/charts - etc
Nautical Companion: nav-piloting- rules_of_road-etc-celestial sight reduction procedure -weather
Astro Navigation Almanac: celestial tables - formulas for pocket calc sight reduction instead of tables - etc

If I could only have these three books it would be enough!
Granted I would want 50 more, but these three would do it.
09-09-2006 04:52 PM
cassycc36 I took a coast guard auxilary piloting class and it was great. the united states power squadrons also teaches navigation classes including celestial. the textbooks are clear and laid out logically. I bet you could find copies of those on the internet without actually signing up to take a class. This may sound silly but do you have Chapman's?
09-08-2006 12:32 PM
camaraderie FoxGlove...read the book, did the trip and met the man in Luperon. Lots of good stuff, but lots of opinion also which you need not follow depending on your boat and sailing preferences and the weather forecast.
Example: The day we left Luperon bound for PR...we had Chris Parker's forecast and knew our boat and decided to go well offshore and cross the Mona passage in one shot. Result...easy passage and no problems. Four boats that left the harbor with us following VanSant's advice all had a rough voyage complete with equipment failures and a lightning strike.
Next time...the reverse might be true. The point is that VanSant is revered as "the expert" and indeed has a lot of experience BUT you are the captain of your vessel and should never make decisions based on one source. I would also warn that VanSant is a resident of the DR and paints a much rosier picture of conditions there than we found.
09-08-2006 10:17 AM
foxglove
Vansants

My I suggest "the Gentleman's Guide to Passages South" by Bruce Vansants. I have read it but have never used it for voaging, yet!!

The information seems usefull. While most bash to windward day after day, Vansants has suggestions for using fronts and land effects to ease the pain as well as suggestions for the best anchorages. He also gives advice about which charts are the most reliable.

About $30
09-05-2006 08:15 PM
camaraderie Hi again...Suggested for the trip south:
Maptech Chart Kits for the East Coast
Dodge Guide to SE U.S. Inlets (if you plan to do any offshore instead of ICW)
Skipper Bob's Guide to Anchorages on the ICW. (Gives hundreds of anchorages and RATES them. Also provides latest bridge openings and shoaling info. ) See his website for updates!
The above are all you NEED for the ICW but the Midatlantic and Southern ICW guides are also quite useful for finding out about on-shore facilities and marinas and repair services.
Suggest you get your charts then Go on line to Skipper Bob's and the BoatUS East Coast Alerts forum and mark them up with the latest shoaling & nav aid info. For instance...Ernesto moved or trashed a lot of navigation aids in NC...the charts do NOT reflect this!
For Bahamas...Explorer Chart Kits ONLY!! Dodge Guide to Abacos if you're headed there.
Headed south from there: CYC charts, now distributed by Maptech supplemented by:
Pavlidis Turks & Caicos Guide which includes chartlets for the DR . Wavy Line chart for the DR is best.
Pavlidis Guide for PR is excellent.
Doyle Guides for VI, Leewards,Windwards are excellent and waypoints match up to the CYC chart waypoints.

This is all you need to get south navigation wise. Suggest attending the SSCA gam at the Annapolis boat show and you may be able to pick up some of this stuff on the cheap! Good luck with your plans.
09-05-2006 07:23 PM
KarlTomasik Thanks so much for everyone's advice. We've been out and about, sailing, buying the rest of the stuff we need--you're right that I maybe should be focusing on what we're going to need in the next several months rather than future offshore passages.

Then again, we have fast, reliable internet access now, through which we can buy used books, as well as an address to which things can be sent. I suppose we can always pick up books as we go, but it seemed like a good idea to buy the basics now.

I am also trying to find the best Atlantic coast, Caribbean, and ICW cruising guides, and paper charts from Chesapeake down. We're hoping that we can do some trading as we go--I've heard people talk about that, but I'm not sure how much it's still done.

I'm still trying to find the best easy celestial navigation guide I can, and trying to decide whether or not to bring sight-tables. I've found that inter-library loan is fantastic for reviewing books before deciding whether or not to buy them, and just a great source of information in general. Right now I'm reviewing the Dashews' GIANT Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia, Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes, as well as trying to make sense of some sight tables.

And we're new members of the SSCA, as of this month. We have some of the Calder manuals, a lot of Pardey books, but I'm still trying to decide if we should buy things like a hard copy of Bowditch.

Thanks again for all the help,
Melissa Jenks and Karl Tomasik
09-03-2006 08:51 AM
sailandoar
Offshore passages

Check out this web site: One of the best I have seen for offshore information.

http://www.morganscloud.com/

We publish this site to share some of what we have learnt in 100,000 miles of offshore sailing and 14 years of sailing in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic .. ....

Phyllis Nickel & John Harries
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