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To choose the "right" marina, you can spend hours on the phone quizzing dockmasters or rely on those little chartlets in the cruising guides or trust the veracity of the marina ads. Or you can turn to the Atlantic Cruising Club's Guides to Marinas - complete with bound-in searchable CD-ROMs. For more than a decade, the Atlantic Cruising Club has been providing highly detailed, objective marina information to the East Coast boating consumer. The latest Guide - the Seventh Edition - has now grown to six regional volumes covering Bar Harbor, Maine to Padre Island, Texas - and is being published sequentially over the next eight months. These are consumers' guides - marina advertising is neither solicited nor accepted and there is no charge to the marinas for inclusion.
The new edition has been expanded to an 8 «" x 11" format to accommodate the addition of both photographs and 50% more information than in the Sixth Edition -- up to 300 facts on each marina. Every facility is now rated on three scales - 1-5 Bells for cruiser services, 1-2 Travelifts for boatyard services and a Sunset for very special places. The "Review" section is comprised of three densely packed paragraphs (Setting, Marina Notes, and Notable), each chock full of even more useful information. Marina information covers contact info, marina operations, rates, services, facilities, megayacht services, navigation information, boat supplies (chandleries, propane, ice, CNG, bait), and boatyard capabilities (rates, certifications, specialties, etc.). The very detailed "what's near by" sections cover restaurants (names & price ranges, too), lodgings (rates), recreation (from golf and tennis to swimming and bowling), entertainment (cinemas to museums, tours, and live theater) , provisioning (including the nearest chain supermarkets, gourmet shops, farmers' markets, fishmongers, etc.), general services (from bookstores to hardware stores to full-service laundries), transportation (rental cars, courtesy cars, airports and limos, cabs, bike rentals, water taxis, ferry services, local busses, rail, etc.) and medical services (from 911 to hospitals to massage therapists to vets).
The Atlantic Cruising Club's Guides to Marinas are delivered in both print and CD-ROM formats (in one package). Each volume includes over 1,500 photographs - one of each marina in the Book, and 4-9 full-color photos of each on the CD-ROM. The easy-to-use CD-ROM allows boaters to search on over 100 fields-location, rates, ratings, reported depths, etc., etc., etc - and it stores in a sturdy clear vinyl sleeve in the back of the book. Both the Book and CD-ROM have been designed with easy navigation in mind. A Regional Map shows all 230 marinas covered in the ACC Guide to New England Marinas and 12 sub-region maps locate the marinas in a particular area. On the CD-ROM, the map is in full-color and all the marina "buttons" are "hot"; just click to display that marina's Report. Or use the very flexible CD search tool which makes searching on over 100 data fields very simple. For instance: "Show me all the marinas in Mid-Coast Maine that have slips with at least 6' of reported depth at MLW, charge less than $1.50 per foot, and have at least a 3 Bell Rating." Or "Show me all the marinas on the southern shore of Cape Cod that have a supermarket within walking distance, that welcome pets, and that have handicapped access to the docks." Or "Show me all the Marinas in Boothbay Harbor that have both dockage and moorings, heads, showers, laundry and a restaurant on-site." Or "Show me all the marinas in Western Narragansett Bay that have 50 amp pedestals, an on-site diesel engine mechanic, cable TV, a pool and a pizza parlor that delivers." Or "Show me. "
Finally, an extensive Addenda covers Suggested Reading, with a 3-page list, Pump-out and no-discharge zone regulations for the region, the current state of Wi-Fi, an introduction to the major recreational maritime organizations plus an index that lists all the cities/towns, harbors, rivers, bays, and marinas covered in the book.