Jimmy Cornell reviews the new edition of the Southeast Asia Pilot

The Southeast Asia Pilot, by Andy Dowden and Bill O’Leary – 4th edition – Published by Image Asia (

Born as the Andaman Sea Pilot a quarter of a century ago, the fourth edition, published recently as the Southeast Asia Pilot, now covers a vast area all the way from Burma to Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

This is the fastest developing cruising area in the world and the authors, Andy Dowden and Bill O’Leary, who have a long cruising experience of this region, have been able to draw on the contribution of a number of equally experienced sailors who have brought their own font of knowledge to the areas they know best.

For this edition, the sections on Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Vietnam, the Andamans and Singapore have been fully revised and updated, while a complete new chapter, including 49 selected anchorages in Indonesia and Palau, has been added.

Part one covers repair facilities and marinas in the main cruising destinations. Individual locations in popular areas in each of the twelve countries featured in the guide are dealt with in great detail, with valuable tips, be it the most picturesque anchoring spots, the best local restaurant or where to seek shelter in strong winds.

Thailand   Phuket area

The practical information contained in this well-thought out guide has been obviously written by cruisers for cruisers. Each destination includes details of ports, marinas and anchorages. Each entry is accompanied by a coloured chartlet, every one of which has been updated for this edition, showing all essential details such as GPS coordinates of recommended anchorages, distances between popular places or dangers to avoid. Approaches to frequented ports are illustrated by larger plans and feature lights and buoyed channels. A simple to read diagram shows the various services and repair facilities available at each location.

Having cruised the area between Phuket and Langkawi with the help of the previous edition, I look forward to putting the current guide to good use when I return in late 2015 with the Blue Planet Odyssey round the world rally.

Jimmy Cornell

Southeast Asia Pilot is available from major marine booksellers in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand and online at

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