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Old 30-09-2010, 11:44   #1
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ICW & Bahamas Guides

What guides do folks recommend for a journey south through the ICW (Chesapeake-NC) and then over to the Bahamas? We're taking off soon and need to stock up. Will one for each be sufficient or do you recommend getting several?
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Old 30-09-2010, 11:48   #2
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For the Bahamas get Pavlidis' guides and Explorer Charts. Don't know re ICW as I'm still using my charts from 1990. Not much has changed except depths and they're always changing. Also a lot more high rise bridges which is good. For anchoring in the ICW Skipper Bob's little publication is good.
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Old 30-09-2010, 12:08   #3
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For the ICW we have the Waterway Guides and Claiborne Young's books. They both have web sites too. We also have Skipper Bob's. We haven't been to the Bahamas yet, but we're going this fall. We also have Steve Pavlidis' guides and the Explorer chartbooks. They are supposed to be essential. We also have Steve Dodge's Abacos guide. More information is better, but you have to draw the line somewhere....

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Old 30-09-2010, 12:10   #4
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For Bahamas, I like the Explorer charts for maps. I prefer Dodge's guide for the Abacos and Pavlidi's guides for the rest. Wilson's guide isn't a bad overall book. I like his yellow pages section.
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Old 30-09-2010, 12:18   #5
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One other thing if you're thinking of buying the Yachtmans Guide to the Bahamas, don't. This publication is the worst one going and sorely needs updating.
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Old 30-09-2010, 12:40   #6
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Have only done the Abacos so far, but the Explorer Chartbooks are great, right on. Have used the Dodge guide some, and the Yachtsman's guide a little. I got the previous year's Dodge and Yachtsman's guides on sale, and don't think they're as necessary as the Explorer chartbooks or that the info in them is as good. That could be because 1) they're not, or 2) they're older.

With that said, I feel better reading 2 or 3 sources before making up my mind.
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Old 30-09-2010, 14:09   #7
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There's sort of two types of questions being answered - charts vs guidebooks. For charts, all you need is whatever charts your chartplotter uses. The Explorer charts are far and away the best paper charts to have for the Bahamas. For guidebooks, why have any of them? They are all outdated, terribly biased based on advertising, and don't give much real input from real cruisers. Not only that but they cost a fair amount.

Instead, ActiveCaptain is free. Offline versions are available on a variety of different products so you don't need an internet connection - even on the iPhone and iPad. The data is better than the tainted material in the guidebooks designed to push you to high-priced ads.

It is 2010 after all...
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Old 30-09-2010, 14:18   #8
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For information and resources for the ICW see Cruiser's Net . For information and resources for the Bahamas see Welcome to Seaworthy.com! .
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Old 30-09-2010, 14:43   #9
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I agree that the Cruisers net is great for undated conditions on the ICW. Skipper Bob's is a must have and Claiborne's guides are excellent. In the Bahamas, Dodge for the Abacos and Pavlidi's for the Exumas and beyond are the books to use. Explorer Charts are a must. You will not have WiFi readily available in all of the Bahamas so forget about web sites like ActiveCaptain on a daily basis.
In the Bahamas, the explorer charts get you there, the guides get you into the anchorages. Both are necessary.
This is coming from a sailor who has done the ICW and the Bahamas multiple times.
Enjoy the adventure.

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Old 30-09-2010, 14:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain View Post
There's sort of two types of questions being answered - charts vs guidebooks. For charts, all you need is whatever charts your chartplotter uses. The Explorer charts are far and away the best paper charts to have for the Bahamas. For guidebooks, why have any of them? They are all outdated, terribly biased based on advertising, and don't give much real input from real cruisers. Not only that but they cost a fair amount.

Instead, ActiveCaptain is free. Offline versions are available on a variety of different products so you don't need an internet connection - even on the iPhone and iPad. The data is better than the tainted material in the guidebooks designed to push you to high-priced ads.

It is 2010 after all...
Sorry can't agree with your selling pitch. First you should have paper charts, even if only for backups. Relying totally on electronic charts is simply foolish. Second your denigration of cruising guides is indicative of one that has not read the Pavlidis guides. There is no advertising and they contain invaluable information about the Bahamas. His charts are quite accurate and very helpful and all his guides are a pleasure to read.
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Old 30-09-2010, 15:01   #11
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Vasco,
couldn't agree more
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Old 30-09-2010, 16:38   #12
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Thanks, all - this is really useful advice!
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Old 02-10-2010, 17:41   #13
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Stupid question, the one not asked?...right?

New to forum, hope everyone has some patience. my sister and I really want to cross to the Bahamas. We have a 20' keywest single engine. We would leave from Sebastion, Fl. is it a pipe dream or is it possible.
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Old 02-10-2010, 18:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
For Bahamas, I like the Explorer charts for maps. I prefer Dodge's guide for the Abacos and Pavlidi's guides for the rest. Wilson's guide isn't a bad overall book. I like his yellow pages section.
FYI, Wilson's guidebook has been purchased by Waterway Guide. The book has been in production under Waterway Guide for the 2010 and 2011 season. Chuck
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:56   #15
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bwhite6683
Many have done what you want to do and there are other threads on this site that can help you understand how and when to do it. Search the site for" crossing to the bahamas" and you should find some good info. IMHO I would go further south before making the crossing. Lake Worth as an example. You want the shortest distance and the least effects of the gulf stream in making the crossing.
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