Charles and Corinne Kanter have taken a look at equipment needs and checklists, put them together with some personal cruising stories, and come up with a book that makes for interesting reading.

Admitted “frugalphiles,” they take a look at cruising with the idea that “if you haven’t got it, it can’t break!” It is refreshing to read about someone who is living the cruising lifestyle without all the high-tech, expensive gadgets some say are essential.

The Kanters live in the Fabulous Florida Keys (their words) and cruise up and down the East Coast and to Cuba and the Bahamas. The section on Cuba is particularly interesting. As journalists, the Kanters had special permission to be there and to spend U.S. money. The authors subscribe to the theory, “when in Rome . . .’ and live, eat, and travel like the local folk do. The look into the lives of the people of Cuba is most enlightening.

Another section talks about Tristan Jones, who became a friend of the Kanters, and includes a list of the books written by him.

The book closes with a chapter designed to help readers choose good, seaworthy boats that will fit their needs. Not only does the authors’ cruising experience come into play here, but also Charles Kanter’s years as a marine surveyor.

The authors do make it sound a little too easy to earn money while cruising, and they admit to having a source of backup income. They also are biased toward catamarans, but if the reader can look past personal preferences – and one chapter that was in need of some proofreading – they will find an interesting and entertaining book, written by experienced cruisers.

Cruising is Contagious: Adventures of a Cruising Couple by Charles and Corinne Kanter (Sailco Press, 1999; 208 pages)