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Corsica and North Sardinia

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ISBN:
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Status:
17990
Marchment, John
Paperback
978-1846235535
Imray
2014
216
3rd
Q M
On Review
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Review Date: 
27/11/2014

Corsica and North Sardinia are wonderful cruising grounds with sufficient ports and anchorages to keep a yachtsman happy for a season or two or even to make a permanent base. The only downsides when cruising in this area are the high prices, crowding in the ports and the very frequent mistrals which howl through the Straights of Bonifacio which separate these two areas. So, a prime requirement for a pilot is that it should highlight the secure anchorages where you can weather a mistral without taking out a mortgage!

 

This beautifully produced pilot covers all the ports and most of the possible anchorages. A good reason for buying it is the profusion of chartlets, which coupled with the Imray medium-scale charts could be adequate for navigation.

However there are some perverse omissions and failures to update, mainly regarding anchorages, for example:- two of the most secure and popular anchorages in Corsica - just east of the ferry dock in Porto Vechio, and off Plage du Taravo just east of Porto Pollo - are not even mentioned. These will/should be updated soon via the RCCRP (RCC Pilotage Foundation) “Continuing Updates” area found at www.rccpf.org.uk

 

So, buy this pilot for its chartlets and almost complete coverage, but checking with the Cruising Association’s Captain’s Mate, if you can, may be advisable before choosing your destination if a mistral is forecast!

 

Tony Montgomery-Smith

 

 

Ionian

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17987
Heikell, Rod & Lucinda
Paperback
978-1846235764
Imray
2014
270
8th
Q GR
On Review
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Review Date: 
26/11/2014

This eighth edition of the Heikell’s highly regarded pilot will not only guide you safely to all the marinas and ports of the Ionian, but will also entertain you with plentiful background notes on the history and myths of the region. This beautifully produced pilot has clear chartlets for nearly all the ports and anchorages, and is very reasonably priced.

 

However, I do have a few reservations: it appears to me that their focus, in contrast to Rod’s excellent Italian Waters Pilot, is on marinas and harbour walls, rather than places where you can anchor off. An example from our recent cruise from Argostoli to Corfu is that although there is a symbol on the chartlet no mention is made of the excellent anchorage off the market in Argostoli neither is there any text about another very good anchorage immediately north of the fishing harbour in Preveza (though, again, there is a symbol on the chartlet).

 

In the section on ‘getting there’ this revision also misses the fact that Ryan Air conveniently fly to Kefalonia and Corfu. The section on formalities does mention the imminent new tax  but not that you no longer have to arrive at an entry port, only one with port police; nor that the DEKPA, or equivalent, is now needed for boats over 7m but only needs stamping once a year.

 

So, this is an essential pilot to have on board if cruising in the area especially if visiting for the first time BUT keep an eye open for the ‘Updates’ on the Imray website as things do change in the time taken between the revision compilation and publication.

 

Tony Montgomery-Smith

 

The Anatomy of Sail (The Yacht Dissected and Explained)

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Status:
18020
Compton, Nic
Book
978-1-4729-0275-7
Bloomsbury
2014
192
C2
In Stock
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Review Date: 
28/10/2014

With its heavyweight feel, high quality production and beautiful photography this large format book evokes an immediate connection with the classic vessels which are its main subject. Beautifully produced and packed with clear, well composed and informative photographs it reflects the author’s background in boat building and as a former editor of Classic Boat magazine.

The author steers more towards art than science and his book would certainly find a place in the collection of anyone who values lovely photographs of beautiful objects, not just yachts. It would be useful for someone new to yachting who wanted an enjoyable and wide-ranging introduction to sailing boats and their constituent parts; or someone interested in an overview of yacht design development.  It is divided into sections each describing a type of a yacht or one of its features going as far as life-saving equipment, cleats, lights and tenders - all well photographed and described.

With the title ‘The Anatomy of Sail’ I expected the book to be a detailed technical work; full of figures, tables and diagrams which would explain how a sailing yacht is put together and how it works but this book does not do that. The text is written in a conversational and subjective style. The author makes some comments which clearly reflect his own views but which others might question. This could form the basis of an interesting debate in the clubhouse but I would have liked to have seen more evidence or references to back-up some of his statements.

This is the first edition and given its quality and purpose I hope there will be more. Like most of the yachts it portrays, later editions will benefit from lessons gained from their predecessors.

Ray Kay