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Tropical
Cruising Handbook


A complete guide to low-latitude voyaging

by Mark Smaalders
& Kim des Rochers


Heading for the tropics?

Tropical Cruising Handbook equips cruising sailors with the knowledge and skills they need to master the challenges of sailing the tropics. With the help of more than two hundred illustrations, Mark Smaalders and Kim des Rochers fill you in on:
  • Weather patterns and sea conditions, generally and region-by-region
  • Reef navigation, anchoring, and other key tropical seamanship skills
  • Tropical passage planning and passagemaking
  • Equipping a boat for tropical sailing
  • Maintaining gear in tropical environments
  • Preventing and treating common tropical illnesses
  • Avoiding injury from hazardous marine life
  • Route planning in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans


  • Whether you want to circumnavigate the tropics or simply gunkhole the Bahamas, Tropical Cruising Handbook arms you with the expert advice and information you need to plan, prepare for, and realize your tropical adventure.

    Each year, adventurous cruising sailors from around the globe, drawn by the promise of balmy breezes, picture-perfect scenery, exotic cultures, and unparalleled sailing conditions, set sail for the region lying between latitudes 23.5 degrees north and south of the equator. But the majority of cruisers hail from higher latitudes, and while many are accomplished temperate-water sailors, few are prepared for the unique weather patterns, living conditions, and navigational hazards they'll encounter in the tropics.

    Tropical Cruising Handbook provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to meet those challenges. Drawing on their years of experience living in and cruising the tropics, Mark Smaalders and Kim des Rochers have written an accessible, easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive reference covering weather and sea conditions, tropical seamanship, visual and intuitive navigation, anchoring among reefs, passagemaking, and dealing with heavy weather, as well as boat maintenance in tropical environments, prevention and treatment of major and minor tropical illnesses, avoiding injury from hazardous marine life, safety and comfort in port, and dealing with officialdom. You'll also find helpful guidelines on how to enjoy yourself without harming or offending the environments and cultures you'll encounter. Finally, there is detailed, region-by-region coverage of tropical cruising grounds for use while planning a voyage to rough out itineraries around the vagaries of wind and weather. Hardcover, 150 illus. 384 pgs. Pub. 2002


    CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT



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