Published: Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Southeast Asia Pilot – the definitive guide to sailing in Southeast Asia – celebrated 25 years in print with the launch of the fifth edition at Royal Phuket Marina's monthly Grow Boating Industry Night in Thailand Oct 7.

Anchorage Guide Southeast Asia Pilot Celebrates 25 Years In Print 1

(Image: Image Asia - Southeast Asia Pilot)

The event marked 25 years in print for a publication that started as Sail Thailand in 1991, grew in stature as Andaman Sea Pilot in 2004 and matured in 2009 as Southeast Asia Pilot – each time spreading its wings and covering more of the region’s vast cruising area.

Over nine editions, the book has been in print a couple of years after the first yacht charter was established in Thailand, and has kept pace with the rapid growth of leisure yachting and cruising, not only in Thailand but everywhere from northern Australia to India’s Andaman Islands.

During its journey, the makeup of the team responsible for creating it has changed significantly – with authors Bill O’Leary and Andy Dowden the only two remaining from the original team of Phuket yachting pioneers. As the geographical scope of the book has increased, the knowledge and experience of contributing sailors throughout the region have become a cornerstone of the book.

“We must thank all the individuals who have contributed to the latest update, all professional mariners with in-depth knowledge of their own patches of ocean. We could not do it without them!” says Dowden.

Now running to 300 pages, with over 600 stunning locations illustrating several recommended anchorages in each, the fifth edition sees major updates to the chapters on Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines (Palawan), Indonesia, Raja Ampat and Palau – with lesser updates to Myanmar, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Andamans and Singapore chapters.

Many new charts and updates to almost every other chart in the book are features of the fifth edition, as is the introduction of GPS coordinates for every anchorage in every chapter. 

This edition also sees the introduction of drone photography, which promises to deliver an increasing number of fabulous birds-eye views of anchorages in forthcoming editions.

The previous edition, in 2013, saw the introduction of an e-book / App for Android and iOS mobile devices; this format will be repeated for the new edition, due to becoming available during 2016, after the first shipping of hard copy books is completed. The digital version offers buyers the opportunity to acquire individual regional chapters as an alternative to buying the complete book.

Southeast Asia Pilot is published by Phuket-based publishers Image Asia, also the founders of Thailand’s first international boat show in 2003 and a hugely popular low season regatta, Phuket Raceweek, in 2004.