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Old 19-01-2012, 12:10   #1
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Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

While still a ways off Im looking for recommendations for cruising guides to the windward and leeward islands. Planning to move aboard in July in Annapolis and depart after boatshow bound for BVI to start. PLanning to spend entire winter then not sure where for hurricane season.
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Old 19-01-2012, 13:07   #2
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Re: Caribbean Cruising guide recommnedations

Check out Frank's site. Best prices on cruising guides I have found. BVI, USVI, Windward, Leeward. Don't forget your Drinking Man's Guide! Ordering is via email (no online forms), but he responds quickly. I am aware of lots of positive feedback, including my own. These particular guides are the only ones with which I am familiar, so can't really comment on which ones are "best". That's a bit subjective anyway.

Sales Page BVI books

Browse the rest of his site for great info on BVI, in particular.

Good luck!

Jeff
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Old 19-01-2012, 13:40   #3
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Re: Caribbean Cruising guide recommnedations

Gosh, so many threads about cruising guides going on at the same time.

Be careful - watch the dates of when the guides were actually written (not printed). The most accurate and best information will be found on websites and blogs. Much of the information changes. Getting the info online has many advantages and really should be the first step.
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Old 19-01-2012, 16:12   #4
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Re: Caribbean Cruising guide recommnedations

Street's for reading, Doyle's for everyday use.

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Old 19-01-2012, 17:55   #5
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Re: Caribbean Cruising guide recommnedations

doyle's guides are what 90% of cruisers use
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Old 19-01-2012, 20:50   #6
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Re: Caribbean Cruising guide recommnedations

I would suggest Doyle's are 95% - and - he has a website for up to the minute corrections and additions - See: Chris Doyle Guides Homepage
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Old 21-01-2012, 08:13   #7
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

Bluewater Books in Ft. Lauderdale carries a good selection of guides for that area. They will also have the most current editions. Doyle's Guide to the Leeward Islands has been many cruisers favorite. The folks over at Seaworthy Publications put out some nice guides and like the Lewis' That publish their own Explorer charts, the charts in their guides are self surveyed and published. Chuck
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Old 22-01-2012, 08:48   #8
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

Ditto on Doyle's guides to the Windwards and Leewards--they're great--but he doesn't cover the Virgin Islands. We used Nancy Scott's guide there. As Barnie suggested, Street's guides are fun to read, but you'd still need to have up-to-date guides.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:09   #9
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

We just did the Windwards from Martinique to Tobago Cays and back. We had about 5 different guides/references with us for evaluation. Our favorites were the Doyle guide (lots of details about facilities, eats, etc.) and Stephen Pavlidis' "The Windward Islands" (lots of cool home brewed charts and historical info).

Funny, we met this jovial British (I think) fellow on a cool looking custom catamaran in the harbor of Laborie, St. Lucia. After we had talked quite a bit about his cat, the strong winds, etc. We found out he was Chris Doyle, the author of the guide book. Earlier, he had also waved us off a mooring ball saying it wasn't maintained very well. Ironically, the reason we were grabbing it was because his guidebook recommended the mooring. How's that for "real time" errata from the author?

Here's a picture of Chis (right) and one of our crew Sheven (left). The other picture is of his catamaran anchored behind us.

There are a bunch more details about our 2 week charter in our blog (linked in the signature line).
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Old 07-09-2013, 13:23   #10
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

Is Doyle's still the consensus?

Will be doing some Leeward to Windward Island time in April and May.

I know the skipper has all he needs, including years of experience, but I would like a little knowledge before I step aboard.

Or should I just peruse Noonsite and ActiveCaptain and print what strikes my fancy?
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Old 07-09-2013, 15:21   #11
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

Doyle's is the "gold standard" from BVIs down to Grenada and beyond. His sketch charts and sailing directions are so good that I didn't bother buying paper charts.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:59   #12
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Doyle's is the "gold standard" from BVIs down to Grenada and beyond. His sketch charts and sailing directions are so good that I didn't bother buying paper charts.
That's good enough for me.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:55   #13
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

Sorry, my mistake. He doesn't cover the BVI's. I used the Scott guide for the USVI and BVI. Doyle is the best for the rest, to coin a phrase.
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Old 08-09-2013, 18:36   #14
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

Another question.

On Doyle's site it has (for example) a cruising guide for the windward islands, appears to be soft cover and is the 2013-2014 edition for 32.95.

Amazon is a go-to place for books and it has a 2011-2012 for 205.44.

What could be up with that? Anybody know?

Some I see appear to be spiral bound which I prefer so as to "fold flat" to whatever page I want to see.

???????????????
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:09   #15
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Re: Caribbean Cruising Guide Recommendations

They're all spiral bound and lie flat, or fold back completely--very convenient in the cockpit. He updates the Leeward and Windwards guides in alternate years, but that's not much of a problem, 'cause nothing much changes quickly down there. His site has a page where cruisers can post updates, and Chris does, too.

Amazon does that crazy pricing thing from time to time on many products. Just ignore it and buy the current edition wherever you can get it the cheapest. You probably won't find a discount for the current editions. Landfallnavigation.com is a good source, but no discounts.
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