Southeast Asia Pilot by Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden

Incorporating the Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia… and more

Southeast Asia Pilot by Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden

The authors & other contributors

Bill O’Leary

Bill O’Leary

Author & photography

Bill (aka Billo’) is an Australian multi-ticketed professional mariner who arrived in Thailand as crew on the renowned racer-cruiser, Stormvogel, in 1987. He joined Amanresorts as founder of Amancruises,the first hotel-affiliated luxury yacht charter company in Southeast Asia. Over the 21 years with Aman he managed more than 60 luxury vessels and trained upwards of 150 crew.

Several years consulting for the Malaysian Government’s Sovereign Fund Khazanah Nasional lead to his current contract as General Manager Marine Operations for Desaru Developments Holdings and Themed Attractions, Resorts & Hotels. These Government Linked Companies are nation building by developing iconic themed attractions, resorts and luxury marine tourism mega projects at Desaru Coast in Johor Bahru and Datai Bay in Langkawi. www.tarh.com.my www.desarucoast.com

Granted Thai citizenship in 2013, he’s dedicated to advancing the region’s capacity for marine tourism. Bill believes sustainable development of yachting services and facilities is the key catalytic driver for economic multipliers directly benefiting local communities. His knowledge of the locations described in this guide is based on 30 years chartering, guiding, managing and delivering luxury vessels and marine-related developments all over Southeast Asia.

He’s married to Carolyn, has four third-culture-kids and calls Phuket home. billolearyphuket@gmail.com

Andy Dowden

Andy Dowden

Author

Andy is a British yachtsman who left the UK in 1981 aboard his own 46-ft sloop to cruise the world. He arrived in Thailand for the first time in 1984 after several years of cruising Southeast Asia.

In 1989 he set up a yacht services and boat building company in Phuket. He is the author of many cruising guides and notes on local waters; much of Southeast Asia Pilot is based on his 35 years of cruising the waters of east and west Thailand and Malaysia.

Still very much a key figure in the yachting industry, he is involved in the organisation of two of Thailand’s regattas, and the annual International Boatshow in Phuket. www.phuketboatshow.com

Andy lives in Phuket with his Thai wife and family.

Grenville Fordham

Grenville Fordham

Charts, photography, editing, design, layout & project management

British-born Grenville moved to Thailand in 1995 after a career in international marketing, which saw him travel the world many times over, including a 2-year spell living in Singapore in the 80s. An established international freelance writer, he’s been editor of two national magazines and is currently managing director of Southeast Asia Pilot publishers, IMAGE asia − a Phuket company he formed in 2000 which produces various information-based magazines, guides, maps and websites. www.image-asia.com

On moving to Phuket in 1998, he discovered boats, an accident that led to IMAGE asia founding the Phuket Boatshow and Phuket Raceweek (regatta), both in their 13th years as this book goes to print. In 2009, he led the team redeveloping the Ao Chalong Yacht Club (now Phuket Yacht Club) and served as Commodore in 2011|2012. With his own sailing catamaran, he spends as much of his limited free time as he can on the water. Grenville lives in Phuket with his Thai wife and daughter.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson

Andaman Islands, Mergui Archipelago, charts & photography

Paul grew up in central Africa then worked as a specialist consultant engineer in London. At 30 he retired, bought a 65ft yacht and started a small luxury charter operation in Southeast Asia. Paul’s speciality is remote area charters in the Mergui Archipelago, the Andaman Islands and Indonesia. He has built up a wealth of knowledge of these rarely visited areas.

Paul’s 100ft sailing yacht Asia (launched in 2009) brings a new level of luxury and comfort to charters in the most remote parts of Southeast Asia. This yacht offers luxury adventure charters to the dream destinations featured in this guide. Paul has many internationally published articles and photographs featuring the Mergui Archipelago, Thailand, Indonesia and the Andaman Islands. Contact Paul at: asia@boat-yacht-charters.com

Anil Thadani

Anil Thadani

vessels & logistics for Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore & Palau

Anil founded Asia’s first private equity business in 1981 and now runs his private equity business out of Singapore. He moved to Asia in 1975 after doing his Masters degree in Chemical Engineering and Business Administration at the Universities of Wisconsin and California. After nine years with Bank of America, he set up his own investment business in Hong Kong in 1981. He imported the first private luxury vessels into Phuket, Thailand in the late 80s.

An experienced scuba diver and high speed skipper in his own right, Anil has piloted six of his own vessels over tens of thousands of miles, exploring many of the destinations included in this guide. In the summers of 2014 and 2015 he navigated the North West Passage in his new superyacht, M|Y Latitude. As Latitude makes it way to Asia and the South Pacific, Anil and his crew are expected to make significant additional contributions to the information contained in this guide. For a taste of Anil’s Arctic adventures see www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1Qx8U6mu6A anil@anilthadani.com www.symphonyasia.com

Morgan Hayes

Morgan Hayes

Langkawi, Koh Chang, Koh Samui, Vietnam & Palawan

Born in England Morgan escaped to warmer climates immediately on graduating from Warsash Maritime College in 1993. Armed with his RYA|MCA YM Ocean|Instructor ticket, he worked his way through the world’s top cruising destinations as a captain, sailing instructor, flotilla and delivery skipper.

With Sunsail in 2003, he took up the challenging role of establishing and managing yacht charter bases in exotic, seldom sailed, locations. This involved the semi-annual moving of a flotilla of yachts around the Malay Peninsula, crewed voluntarily by doyens of the Asian sailing scene, keen to expand their sailing and survival skills. Some of the invaluable pilotage notes he compiled are contained within this book.

In 2014 he set up Cobra Kai Marine Services, facilitating the stay of yachts in Asia for cruising or refits. Morgan continues to captain luxury power and sailing yachts, recently visiting the Mergui Archipelago, Borneo, Palawan and the Calamian Islands, scribbling detailed pilotage notes along the way. For advice on cruising, chartering or yacht gardiennage in Asia contact: morgan@cobrakai.org.

Ricard Buxo

Ricard Buxo

The Raja Ampat

Ricard is a Spanish skipper and diving instructor who left his native Barcelona in 1992 to sail and dive the world. He spent five years working as a dive guide in Egypt, crossing the Red Sea twice and publishing numerous stories in diving magazines and a diving guide to South Egypt. In 2000 he moved permanently to Indonesia to supervise the construction of a 100-foot traditional wooden schooner. Built entirely by hand out of tropical timbers, using traditional methods, it was designed as a dedicated dive charter vessel. Since the launching of S.M.Y. Ondina (www.smyondina.com) in 2001 until now, Ricard has operated charters successfully plying the waters of the Indonesian archipelago. He currently lives in Bali, where he combines management of Ondina with publishing stories for yacht and diving magazines, and private guiding for yachts visiting Indonesia. His work, including his recently launched book ‘Underwater Paradise, a diving guide to Raja Ampat’, can be seen at www.ocean-focus.com.

Mark Holroyd

Mark Holroyd

Philippines and Butangs

Mark sailed from the UK in 1996, via Panama, arriving in Asia in 2002. He now concentrates on private and exclusive sailing charters around Asia. With over 20 years’ experience and commercial certificates, he has crewed or skippered, managed and delivered several super yachts, as well as completing many ocean passages and logging several hundred thousand miles on all the world’s oceans. He is an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor Examiner certified to teach RYA Yachtmaster and examine Yachtmaster Offshore and Yachtmaster Ocean. He spends much of his time sailing and travelling throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Contact Mark at: yachtvoyages@gmail.com www.yachtvoyages.com

David Thornburn

David Thornburn

Palau and the Western Pacific

Canadian David always dreamed of a life sailing the South Seas. After time in the Coast Guard in 1986 he helped friends sail their 40-foot ketch from Vancouver to Florida where he joined a shrimp trawler in the Gulf of Mexico. After a couple of seasons back and forth to the Caribbean on multiple yachts, he acquired his MCA Master Yachts <3000GRT.

For the last 14 years David’s South Seas dream has him captaining the 45-metre luxury private motor yacht Blue Star. He’s mastered the vessel on one complete circumnavigation and is constantly travelling back and forth across the pacific. Most of the time Blue Star is in the Western Pacific region, between Majuro, Palau and Cairns Australia – and everywhere in between. He’s a keen technical diver and passionate angler. Contact him at dwthornburn@gmail.com

Ian Hewett

Ian Hewett

Langkawi & Koh Samui

Ian first came to Phuket on a brief visit in 1993, when backpacking through Asia. He returned and stayed for a year in 1996 to work as a scuba diving instructor at various sites from the Surin Islands in the north to Hin Daeng in the south.

In 1999 he joined Sunsail and, after a variety of positions in the Med, UK and Canaries, he moved to Langkawi in 2002 to take up the position of base manager. In 2004 he moved to the Phuket base and was base manger until 2013.

Ian now works with Princess Yachts Thailand. He has a Thai wife and two young children.

Captain Ed Shiels

Captain Ed Shiels

East Malaysia

Captain Ed’s maritime career began at 15 when he joined the Royal Australian Navy. He has vast experience from charter work, diving, passenger vessels to the film industry.

Ed holds Australian USL and British MCA qualifications. He is into his fourth year as captain of a 50-metre private luxury expeditionary motor yacht engaged in an extended world circumnavigation, visiting and diving some of the remotest regions of the planet.

Prior to this, he spent six years in Southeast Asia diving and exploring some of the most remote islands and coral reefs in the region. He has captained vessels and cruised extensively in the Andaman Islands, Mergui Arechipelago, Thailand, Burma and Indonesia. edshiels@gmail.com

Phuket Tide Tables The Royal Langkawi International Regatta Phuket International Boat Show Sailing Yacht Asia IMAGE asia
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While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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