Review: Beacon to Beacon

beacontobeacon8Comprising over 300 pages of maps, aerial photographs and essential boating information, the Beacon to Beacon Directory is one of the best resources a boat owner on the south east coast of QLD can have onboard.

Covering the Qld coast from Gladstone in the north to the QLD/NSW border town of Tweed Heads in the south, Beacon to Beacon is bound in a sturdy spiral bound style that lends itself to constant use. It’s a clever design that reflects the rough treatment this type of publication encounters. It is built to withstand being handled by the often-wet hands of the small boat owner, but is equally at home on the fly bridge of a large superyacht.

But the Beacon to Beacon is more than just a good looker. Published by Maritime Safety Qld, and in its eighth edition, Beacon to Beacon is slightly different to most cruising guides. It is short on text, but long on maps and photographs. But don’t let that deter you, as the maps and photographs are of the highest quality.

There are over 135 colour aerial anchorage photographs, which enable boat owners to gain a greater understanding of navigable waterways. These aerial photographs clearly show the fascinating seabed geography, such as sandbars and shoaling patches. Used in conjunction with the detailed maps, the navigator can approach unfamiliar waterways with confidence.

Containing over 140 detailed maps, the directory is invaluable for close quarters navigation, particularly in the somewhat congested waterways of the Gold Coast. Though depths are distinguished simply by shaded tones, actual surveyed depths are not shown, requiring the navigator to use his/her onboard depth sounder in conjunction with maritime charts for accurate soundings. Suggested coastal passage routes are shown with landfall waypoints, essentially offering leisure craft operators a safe track, well away from shipping channels.

qldbeacontobeaconmapTrailer boat operators will find that the directory meets their needs when boating on inland lakes and waterways. Many pages are devoted to freshwater dams and lakes with maps showing navigable details. Essential information on boat ramp locations is indexed to map references.

And, like any good self respecting directory, there is a comprehensive index at the back as well as easily navigable colour coded pages linked to a contents page at the front.

Verdict: Highly Recommended