Cruising is often defined as “doing boat maintenance in exotic places.” If you’re planning to sail to Spanish-speaking countries in South America and the Caribbean, there is a new book out by author and cruiser Kathy Parsons that will make the inevitable boat maintenance part of your cruise much less frustrating.

Kathy, who has had years of experience teaching Spanish, compiled this book during a recent cruise of Central and South America. Kathy says, “I’ve seen how frustrating it is for most cruisers to communicate in Spanish-speaking countries. Dictionaries and travel phrase books don’t have the specific boating and mechanical vocabulary and phrases we need. Ideally, you want to feel comfortable maintaining and repairing your boat with the help of the local economy. You want to be able to take advantage of the inexpensive skilled labor and often excellent local materials available in these countries.

The vocabulary in this book has been extensively tested by cruisers and reviewed by Spanish-speaking mechanics, boatyard owners, canvas workers, and shopkeepers. Spanish for Cruisers provides the essential boating, hardware, and mechanical vocabulary and phrases that are impossible to find in any other single source.

The book is divided into 25 sections, such as Materials, Hardware, Electrical, Talking to Mechanics, Refrigeration, Sails, and Tools. There are also sections on basic conversation, pronunciation, and asking for directions. The format is well laid out with many diagrams, a complete index, an extended back reference cover that can be used as a bookmark, and a soft plastic spiral binding that allows the book to lie flat.

Spanish for Cruisers: Boat Repairs and Maintenance Phrase Book  by Kathy Parsons (Adventuras Publishing; 1999)