Made Simple for Cruisers

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Cruising Books by Commander TL Sparks, Retired Navy   

NEW Training Schedule! Updated 12NOV2014

Volume I - Cruising Starting from Scratch 

What you need to know about Cruising.  The book identifies everything else you need to know about cruising besides the basic sailing or boat driving.   There is a lot more to Cruising than boat driving.

Volume II - Communications Made Simple for Cruisers 

NEW - 2nd Edition Now Available: What you need to know about Cruising Communications.  Cruising Communications includes: Telephone; VHF radio, HF SSB communications and email; DSC; International Telephones; Sat Phone; EPIRB; and even SPOT.  ates are available under "Communications" Tab on lower right side of the page.)

Volume III - Icom IC M802 Made Simple for Cruisers

This book provides step by step procedures that anyone can follow to program and use the 802 radio's many functions.  It includes pictures and charts to help simplify the process.  Even if you cannot program your VCR or your cell phone, this book will guide you through each procedure and make you an 802 pro.  If you are just now buying a new SSB, you only need Volume V below.  (Updates are available under "Icom IC M802" Tab on lower right side of the page. )

Volume IV - Radar Made Simple for Cruisers 

 New - 2nd Edition Now Available:  This book focuses on how a cruiser/single handing cruiser might best use their radar to remain safe and sane while cruising.   This book provides many examples to aid the cruiser in learning the basics needed to be safe and sane at sea. 

Learn the single handed method using your EBL and the Ace of Spades with the King of Diamond to make sure you are on a safe course while single handing.  Learn how to use the 3 minute rule, 6 minute rule in conjunction with your radar to rapidly understand contact information, without a calculator.

Volume V - Icom IC M802 Starting from Scratch

This book is for anyone that is planning to buy and install HF SSB radio on their boat.  It includes planning, licensing, buying, installing, setup, email, and testing.   This book also includes enhanced procedures from my popular “Icom IC M802 Made Simple for Cruisers”  The only book you need for the Icom IC M802 HF SSB radio to help you with the purchase, installation, and ultimate daily use this great Icom radio.   

This book also contains $120.00 of coupons to help reduce the cost of your new Icom IC M802 System.  That in effect makes this book more than free when you use the coupons.   (Updates are available for HF SSB under "Icom IC M802" Tab on lower right side of the page. )



Volume VI - *A New Ham I Am!* Made Simple for Cruisers

Now Available 

An New Ham I Am - Made Simple for Cruisers bridges the gap between getting a license and using the license.  

There are two different types of Hams.  There are “Hams who go Cruising and Cruisers who become Hams.”  

A frequent comment by cruisers who become Hams is:  “Now that I have a Ham License, I don’t know what to do with it.   The (course, books, or questions on line) did not teach me anything about operating my radio.”


HF SSB communications nets provides excellent practice in using and understanding the anomalies of HF SSB radio and meet other cruisers. 


Cruisers are frequently in foreign countries, may not speak the local language, understand the culture, or laws.  If you need help getting to know other cruisers in your area can be really important.   If you are cruising you will need help at some time. 


When you have a Ham License, you become the “resident radio expert”.   As a result, this book also contains some of the basics for using the Marine Band frequencies including methods of calling for help in an emergency.