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Tropical Cruising Handbook is now on MAHINA EXPEDITIONS Suggested Reading List for their 2002-2004 Expeditions

Cruising World 

" Supported by decades of cruising and writing experience, the authors deliver a rare gem -- an instructional book that is as inspiring as it is sensible and comprehensive. Combining plain language with helpful lists, photographs, tables, and illustrations, the book offers refreshing insights into a range of low-latitude topics -- from outfitting your boat for warmer climes to piloting through squalls and coral reefs."

The editors, Cruising World Magazine, November 2002

Ocean Navigator

 "Vast and hard-earned knowledge . . . informs every page . . . This book clearly demonstrates that sensible, safe voyaging in the tropics is an achievable goal."

Tim Queeney - editor, Ocean Navigator

Read Ocean Navigator's full review online


"If you foresee low-latitude voyaging in your future, Tropical Cruising Handbook is sure to be of great use to you. Written by Mark Smaalders and Kim Des Rochers, the book covers navigating and anchoring in coral waters, tropical weather systems, passage-making, maintaining your boat and gear, tropical illnesses and health hazards, route planning and other important topics."

The editors, Sea Magazine, November 2002

Good Old Boat

"...Tropical Cruising Handbook condenses much of the information you'll need into one compact source with some terrific references you'll want to look into before you go. ... I was specifically interested in Mark and Kim's information about necessary customs and immigration permits and procedures and their list of resources which should be valuable to anyone planning a voyage. This is information which does not seem to be otherwise available in one neat package. ... Perhaps the best part for anyone considering a lengthy cruise is the comprehensive review of popular tropical cruising destinations including currents, geography, weather, culture, formalities, and health and safety issues. Areas reviewed in this fashion (with helpful planning charts for reference) include the West Indies, Central America, the Caribbean areas of South America, the South Atlantic, The North and South Pacific, the North and South Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. ...The book provides a nice primer on tropical ecosystems (coral reefs and mangrove forests) and weather patterns along with storm tactics for heavy weather. It discusses navigation and anchoring strategies with a specific focus on coral reefs - perils for you and protection for them. There are basic discussions of sails, sailing strategies, route planning, passagemaking, and "green cruising." Another chapter sums up methods for providing ventilation, shade, and drinking water while also reviewing provisioning, laundry, and dealing with tropical pests such as roaches and mosquitoes. Mark and Kim also offer an extensive discussion of metal corrosion and a brief review of boat and engine maintenance and necessary spares....If we were heading south ... Tropical Cruising Handbook is one reference I'd study before leaving and take along with me when the docklines were finally untied."

Karen Larsen, editor, Good Old Boat, in Good Old Boat Newsletter, October 2002

Boat Books (New Zealand)

Each year adventurous sailors are drawn down from relatively high latitudes to find the warm and embracing environment in between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This region, however, brings its own unique challenges to navigation and life generally aboard a cruising yacht. This book provides the knowledge and the skills needed to meet the challenges set by the new environment. The authors have many years of experience living in and cruising the Tropics and their book is a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow text. It covers weather and sea conditions, tropical seamanship, visual and intuitive navigation, anchoring among reefs, passage-making, dealing with heavy weather, and boat maintenance in tropical environments.
Domestic factors are covered too: the treatment and prevention of tropical illnesses, including injury from tropical flora, fauna and marine life, and dealing with port officialdom. The tropical cruising fraternity very warmly recommend this book as an indispensable addition to the cruising yacht's technical library.

Boat Books New Zealand, 15 November 2002

Cruising Helmsman

"The idea flow is easy to follow and is backed up by excellent illustrations. In particular, the the treatment of tropical weather and cyclones was among the most understandable I have encountered because it was so clearly written and illustrated... The writers are geographers with a huge knowledge of their environment and a gift for clearly conveying their knowledge, enthusiasm and concerns... [C]ontains a wealth of information, plus excellent tables and diagrams... [A] handbook must be authoritative, comprehensive and have excellent indexing. This book scores highly on all counts and I thoroughly recommend it, particularly (but not solely) for those beginning their tropical cruising."

David Kerr - writing in Cruising Helmsman (Australia, June 2002 issue)

The Islands' Weekly

"Don't go cruising in the tropics without Tropical Cruising Handbook ... it's great reading even if you're an armchair cruiser and don't plan to sail away anytime soon. It's written in a warm, straightforward style by two people with many years of experience. Through every chapter ... runs an authoritative current of responsibility, good  sense, and good manners that every boater - indeed every traveler - would do well to emulate."

Leta Currie-Marshall - writing in The Islands' Weekly (July 9-16, 2002)

Additional reviews will be posted as they become available

© Mark Smaalders and Kim des Rochers, 2002.