Southeast Asia Pilot - don't go there without it

Cruising grounds in the South East Asian Pilot
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Sailing in South East Asia any time soon? You'll want to acquire this bible, and its latest edition (the fourth) has just been launched in Phuket. The celebration included many of Phuket’s elite captains and core sailors, who gathered to celebrate the essential cruising guide, Southeast Asia Pilot.

South East Asian Pilot book cover
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The latest edition encompasses over three million square miles and covers the area from the Andaman Islands in Indian territorial waters to Darwin, Australia. In total, the guide offers 244 pages featuring 533 cruising locations with charts and illustrated recommended anchorages in each locale.

The sections for Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Andamans and Singapore have been overhauled and updated, Pilot co-founder Bill O’Leary explained to the gathering at Royal Phuket Marina.

'New chapters for the Philippines, with a whole new section focusing on Palawan, as well as Indonesia, including Raja Ampat, and Palau in Micronesia are now included,' he said.

The tome includes hundreds of detailed new charts with GPS anchorage positions, stunning photos of the locales and the latest cruising information for popular sites.

Explaining the inspiration for the first edition of the Pilot that surfaced in 1989, Mr O’Leary recounted a conversation with fellow Pilot founder Andy Dowden during which the unforgettable – but all too common – question was asked: 'Did you hit that rock, too?'

Thus the Pilot was born, mainly as a guide for local captains and visiting yachtsmen taking Sunsail charters from Phuket, but now the bible for visiting sailors as well.

Since then, the guide has grown to include expanded coverage of cruising grounds in the area, changed its name to the Andaman Sea Pilot, and been expanded again, becoming the Southeast Asia Pilot that it is today.

Twelve countries are now included: Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia and India’s Andaman Islands are all covered in some detail. Introductory notes on Palau and the Hermit Islands are included as potential stopovers from the Pacific.

All the information required to pass through or cruise and explore by yacht is presented in an easy-to-reference style. The authors have compiled the information over more than three decades of personal experience in the region and have invited a number of well qualified voyagers to update facilities and opportunities in these rapidly developing cruising destinations.

That part of Asia is continuing to develop rapidly and more facilities are being built to cater for the growing demands of cruising sailors. New input is critical to the regular updating of the information within these pages.

The authors welcome comments, which can be e-mailed to: pilot@image-asia.com

The pilot is authored by Andy Dowden & Bill O’Leary and can be accessed by http://www.southeastasiapilot.com/!clicking_here.