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Old 29-07-2009, 08:51   #1
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Mediterranean Cruising Books

Any recommendations on the best and most detailed crusing handbook for the Med. I am looking for something that covers the smaller and less frequented areas.
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Old 29-07-2009, 10:39   #2
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Hi Matey,
Use the web and check out the Pilot Books produced by Imray or the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation. Both have a huge range covering just about every part of the Med.
Good luck
JOHN
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Old 30-07-2009, 02:53   #3
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You might look here:

Imray nautical charts and nautical books from Imray ...

I personally use this one: Adriatic Pilot
bought 4th edition on eBay for 18 EUR - like it a lot
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Old 31-07-2009, 15:58   #4
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:59   #5
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We sail in the Med since 6 months and we use the pilots books of Imray. Note that the last editions arer sometimes 3 or more years old. So I suggest that you complement your collection with the Imray Almanach that was published in 2009. It covers the entire Med, but obviously has less info per place. Note that the Raymarine Platinum cards include pictures and pilot book (very general).
PS: if you read french have a look at our site www.ovnijad.com where we comment the marinas we visited so far.
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Old 02-11-2009, 23:20   #6
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Mediterranean Cruising Guides

Thanks for that - we reached the same conclusion and now have them on board. I have to say that although these books are good, after our times in the Caribbean we still find them dissapointing in comparison with the likes of the Chris Doyle guides, especially in respect to information on anchorages and shore side services available. Two other items we find mildly annoying in comparison with the western side of the Atlantic are weather forecasts and responses from Marina's. The availability of Sirius, direct weather satelite feeds, and access to endless weather radar systems, weather buoys and the like without the need for any internet connection makes the Navtex (though basically adequate) seem a very poor relation in comparison. The accuracy of the navtex forecasts as a result do not compare well - its hard to beat real time images and information and a little suprising that Europe is so far astern in this respect. Getting marina's to respond to emails in the Mediterranean has so far proved almost impossible - regardless of language used. Whilst so far, we have only experienced the western Med, we have yet to find a Marina (apart from Smir in Morocco) that will respond to a email asking about berthing or local information. Again this compares very poorely with the Western side of the Atlantic and Caribbean where responses are generally prompt and informative.
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Old 02-11-2009, 23:58   #7
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Thanks for the thread as we too will be headed for the Med next year after deciding to spend yet another year in SE Asia. I don’t know why governments and individuals spend as much money as they do on building marinas and then hire unqualified personnel to operate them. Here in Malaysia while comparatively everything is cheap, the marinas are not well managed. They too do not return emails enquiring about the availability of berths. The one exception to that is Sutera Harbour Marina in Kota Kinabalu. Annie Johnie, the marina manager is on top of everything and I would frequently see her there after hours still working.
Most of the many new marinas being built here are for the purpose of enhancing the ambiance of a development of high altitude condo buildings and hotels. Apparently the inhabitants like looking down on boats. Therefore the management of the marina is low on their totem pole of priorities. One new marina has been offering free berthing just to get boats in the slips but offer no support. The marina is part of a much larger development.
Maybe a comprehensive marina guide is in order for the Med and SE Asia. Before some of you jump on this and say it is all part of cruising………..I do know that. But it sure would be nice if I knew there was a slip or at least an anchorage at the end of a passage.
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Old 03-11-2009, 00:37   #8
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Comparisons

Yes the management of marinas in the parts of the med we have visited so far is a major problem and apart from collecting money, the term management is an obvious misnomer! We were stunned by the marina we visited in Gibraltar. Pretty much as you described - designed around a high rise condo system. If the condo owners wanted boats to look down on they had a pretty poor view. We reckoned about 30% of the boats had not left their berth for at least three years and looked a complete mess - more like a junk yard with broken down motorbikes and the like on deck. Just berthing alongside some of these boats was a worry. On the other side of the pond most marinas require boats to be maintained to a high standard otherwise they are removed! There seems to be a quite different mentality to boat maintenance here. I know its a generality but if you walk down the wharf in Portland or Camden in Maine or even Falmouth in Antigua all the boats will be sparkling. Hard to say that about what we have seen so far in the Med. Equally the chandlery's are few and far between and most have less stock than a small chandlery in Joly Harbour, Antigua. Worse, what they have is poor quality and very expensive. I guess we have been spoiled by four years over there and ten years in the South Pacific but we are suprised at the dusparity in Europe AND wait until you run into the non unified EEC (EU) regulatory mess.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:40   #9
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Regarding the marinas in the Med, where we are cruising since 6 months, you find all types. From the 5 stars ones to the ones that have rotten pontoons. Some of the good ones are state owned others are private. The price vary as well a lot. For a 41 f. boat you will pay in the summer around 200 € per day at Puerto Portals, in Majorca, while at Palau, Sardinia, it will cost you a quarter of that amount. Obviously the service is different. In Portals they speak several languages while in Palau it is only in Italian!
For the moment we intend to spend the winter in Palau, because you can visit the beautiful islands of the Maddalenas and have a good base in case of bad weather (this night we had Force 8!). The rate is in this season for a 41 f. some 5 € per day. Including water and electricity, and they have decent showers. The village is still animated and you find all you need, except foreign press. Compared to the close by Porto Cervo, the marina of the very rich,founded by the Aga Khan, it is a dream! Indeed what is the use to have shops of Prada, Bulgari, Luis Vuitton, etc if they are all closed. In Porto Cervo we could only find a coffee shop open!
If you read French, you will find in our site comments about around 50 marinas and places we visited so far.
www.ovnijad.com
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:21   #10
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Med Anchorages

I am sure there are the full range of facilities around the Med - we are just making a start.

One thing would be very useful and that is to find a good reference with details of anchorages around the Med. Do you know of any books that concentrate on anchorages rather than marina's. As you will probably gather we generally prefer to be at anchor!
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:32   #11
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Hi Jim,

There is not to my knowledge one book with all anchorages listed but think you'll find most of the Imray Pilots (get one per country to get down to details) do cover anchorages as well as harbours / marinas. Plus you will find some local publications -eg in Croatia 777 Islands is much better detail than UK published Imray.

Plus of course the web. Today more than ever one can find places via Google Earth and get down to see current pictures of locations - or simply ask regional questions on sites like this. All that will be much more current than any printed book.

Cheers
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:43   #12
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Cruisng info in the Med

I think you might be mistaking the Mediterranean Sea for a lake bounded by one or two countries - instead of a substantial body of water bordered by many independent states, which, not incidentally, have centuries of conflict behind them!

There are the pilot books, mostly written by Rod Heikell, which most people use - supplemented by updated info from other cruisers, websites, google earth and their own adventurous discoveries! A key source is the Cruising Association, which is the British main club for wanderers, which has a very active Med section working on a broad range of info. (Indeed I am overdue my contributions on southern France and western Italy.) It is a membership club, which any cruising sailor can join, though some of the info is freely available.

It is worth noting that there can be very rapid change - both in facilities and in the weather! Ports silt up, or new marinas are built, often beyond the timing of a print run. As for the weather, having previously always sailed in the UK, I have found much of the western Med harder to predict on an hourly/daily basis. The complexities of the weather systems, the impact of nearby land and the varying depths of the sea bed all contrive to make this afternoon's wind direction and sea state tricky to predict, even if the overall trend for the month is absolutely spot on!
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Old 03-11-2009, 18:20   #13
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We cruised the western Med in 2008 and the Caribbean in 2009, so have compared marinas in both areas. We actually had very good experiences with marinas in the Med. Yes, seldom did they ever answer an email, but calling them almost always got a friendly and helpful response. Costs generally were from 30 to 50 euros a night and that includes staying in Monaco.

We used Rod's pilot books for each area or the other Imray pilots and found them to be very good and acturate. We did anchor out quite a bit, but not as much as the Caribbean. In Italy the anchorages were crowded when we would arrive but then at 6 pm most boats left and we often had beautiful anchorages with only 1 or 2 other boats.

We also found the weather information on Navtex to be excellent and miss having as good forcasts in the Caribbean - without needing an internet connection. Maybe it's just what you get used to.

We enjoyed sailing in the Med and would love to return someday...when the US$ gets stronger!
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Old 03-11-2009, 18:24   #14
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If you would like lots of suggestions for anchorages in the Med, just post the question on the YBW forum (Liveaboard Link - Yachting and Boating World Forums) . It's a UK forum with lots of boats in the Med and any questions I asked about marinas or anchorages were answered by many people.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:32   #15
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Hard to say that about what we have seen so far in the Med. Equally the chandlery's are few and far between and most have less stock than a small chandlery in Joly Harbour, Antigua. Worse, what they have is poor quality and very expensive.
You mustnt have looked very far, Given that most marine manufactuer, ie electronics etc are european, my experience is the opposite. I found teh carribean very difficult to get good chandlery. My experience is based on the western Med, and certainly in France you can get any chandlery you want , and there are huge chandleries in many ports.

As to weather, well sirius is a nice to have, Navtex is great reliable. Equally there are good VHF broadcasts as well.

Yes marinas do not reply on email, they rarely reply to snail mail. I dont know why, so best use the phone or VHF.

My experience is that most med marinas are reasonably well managed, expecially french ones. I wouldnt agree about badly maintained boats either, perhaps you have had One bad experience. The Meds the centre of the boating world. in summer probably more peolpe afloat here then anywhere else in the world, relax and enjoy the pastis.
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