Republished from www.sailingview.co.uk
For what must be a limited audience there are a number of options on which publications you can buy to help you plan and execute an Atlantic crossing and subsequent cruising on both the Caribbean or Atlantic side.
One must is the Imray Chart 100 2006: Atlantic Ocean Passage Chart which is ideal for planning and tracking progress on a north Atlantic crossing.
Another strong buy for me is World Cruising Routes: 1000 Routes from the South Seas to the Arctic: Companion to World Cruising Handbook written by Jimmy Cornell. This does exactly what it says for an Atlantic crossing it’s most certainly overkill but the dream factor and the detailed knowledge it imparts on the routes across Atlantic (and every other Ocean highway and byway) makes it highly valuable.
I personally wouldn’t buy World Cruising Destinations: An Inspirational Guide to All Sailing Destinations either for an Atlantic crossing or world cruising. While it is a solid detailed guide your better off checking on the likes of Noonsite which has end user and destination content posted by country making it much more up to date. Noonsite was started by Jimmy Cornell but is now owned by the Company behind the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers).
You’ll clearly need a set of cruising guides but for the basics including passage advice, routing information, landfalls and routing the latest version of the The RCC Pilotage Foundation Atlantic Crossing Guide. This does cover a lot of information in a concise focused tome and you could consider forgoing World Cruising Routes but you’d be missing out on the day dream factor. Very nicely presented and put together. The RCC also publish free information on their website together with a number of routes specific to an Atlantic crossing which is well worth checking out.
The de facto guide to routing and weather information and patterns comes with the Atlantic Pilot Atlas: Pilot Charts and Regional Weather Conditions for North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean. If you can take a look at this before you buy I’d recommend you try to. It comes in a spiral bound form and is LARGE (a couple of A4 pieces of paper side by side). It has month by month weather charts showing historical wind, pressure, cyclone paths, prevailing currents etc as well as pilotage information. Unless your planning to cross outside of the recommended seasons or would like the printed material I personally wouldn’t recommend it for a standard Atlantic crossing. For me it’s information overkill which is a) hard to store b) expensive c) contains info held in freely available Pilot guides (with the original information from the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency) or you can work through what has been interpreted into Jimmy’s or the RCC guide. In its favour itt is a one stop shop.
Your First Atlantic Crossing: A Planning Guide for Passagemakers is another one I’d recommend doing without. It is written in a narrative style and if you want that I’d recommended checking out one of my solo recommendations. I’d take the RCC pilotage guide as a preference.