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Kathy Parsons
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Reviews > Boaters (page 1)


Reviews from Boaters, Marine Writers and other Experts
(page 1 of 2)

Here is what cruisers, marine writers and French language professionals are saying about FRENCH FOR CRUISERS

Jimmy Cornell,
author of the
best-selling books "World Cruising Destinations "
"World Cruising Routes"



"Noonsite" website logo

" [FRENCH FOR CRUISERS] is particularly helpful for sailors cruising the Caribbean where French is widely spoken from Haiti in the west to Martinique in the east, but just as useful for anyone heading for the South Pacific, to French Polynesia and beyond.

Personne ne doit partir en voyage sans ce livre !... (No one should leave on a voyage without this book)."

Chris Doyle

The Cruising Guide to the Windward Islands

"Cruising Guide to the Windward Islands" Cover

“In Martinique, the language is French. And though an increasing number of people speak English, it is by no means a bilingual society. Some knowledge of French is very helpful.

A new book is also of great help. It is called FRENCH FOR CRUISERS by Kathy Parsons, and unlike most phrase books, it is thoroughly researched, beautifully laid out and comprehensive – it even includes boat and engine parts.”

Don Casey
author of the
"Do-it-Yourself" books
This Old Boat

Sensible Cruising


"Kathy Parsons' FRENCH FOR CRUISERS and SPANISH FOR CRUISERS are not just seemed-like-a-good-idea books that relieve you of a few dollars only to fill up the bookshelf.

... Tightly focused on the communication needs of the cruising sailor, these books are the next best thing to having a bilingual companion when you go ashore.

In some ways they are better because they include hundreds of technical and local words that are likely to be unknown even to someone conversationally fluent.

A well-found cruising boat has aboard all the tools necessary to maintain the boat. FRENCH FOR CRUISERS and SPANISH FOR CRUISERS belong in this category."

Bruce van Sant
author of
The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South, Tricks of the Trade
and Guide to Spanish Virgin Islands

"With SPANISH FOR CRUISERS Kathy blasted through the language barrier. Now she does French! -- ordering the chaotic in cruiser-friendly easy look-up format.

Get out and meet the world while cruising. Wiggle your eyebrows, wave your arms, point to things and words and have fun, but do it with Kathy's single source for communicating cruisers."

Douglas Bernon
s/v Ithaka,

contributing editors,
Cruising World

“For cruisers sailing in foreign-speaking countries, Parsons’ language guides to boat gear, maintenance, repairs and getting around safely are the equivalent of linguistic ground tackle: absolutely indispensable.

This book is simply the finest resource for English speakers who are muddling along in French-speaking waters.”

Gwen Hamlin
S/V Tackless II


"The Admiral's Angle" - Latitudes and Attitudes - July 2009

"Today’s cruisers are very lucky. In additional to all the primers, language programs and Lonely Planet phrase books, we have Kathy Parsons’ SPANISH FOR CRUISERS and FRENCH FOR CRUISERS.

... What makes her books so special is that she gives us strategies for jumping right in, for making the most of what little we may have, and then she provides the vocabulary that applies to our very particular lifestyle, words that are rarely in regular dictionaries and certainly not in tourist phrase books."

Tony and Sandy Bullard




in the
Seven Seas Cruising Association Bulletin

June 2007

"The Seven Seas Cruising Association Bulletin" Cover

Repairs in Iles de Saintes (Guadeloupe - FWI)

[The starter has to be fixed, and Tony Bullard needs to surrender it to a guy on a small cargo boat who will take it over to the mainland to get it fixed.]

I figured out I should go to the commercial dock and find a ... cargo ship named "La Parisienne" and ask for a crew man by the name of Maxou. ... Maxou came onto the pier and I quickly learnt he could not speak a word of English. So I pulled out my communications life saver, Kathy Parsons's FRENCH FOR CRUISERS.

... I pointed at phrases in the FRENCH FOR CRUISERS book. By pointing at the mechanic section of the book and pointing at the starter and saying "démarreur" which means "starter" and "réparer" which means "to repair". I got the point across to Maxou.

[Next day] we biked over to the commercial docks at 1400 and waited ... There was no sign of "La Parisienne" ... Using my copy of FRENCH FOR CRUISERS again I learned that the boat was due in shortly.

... Maxou jumped off the boat and communicating with FRENCH FOR CRUISERS he quickly told (showed) me that the starter was not fixed and that the mechanics had not even seen it yet, but that he would call him. On Friday ... another crew ... told me the mechanics was fixing the starter and it would be ready for Monday. I asked (pointed) how much it was going to cost me ...

On Monday afternoon the "La Parisienne" showed up at 1500 and my starter was on board and repaired."

Magan Lewis

French for Cruisers
Customer Reviews

Must have for cruising French Islands

" Kathy has got it all. We used this guide in the French islands in the Caribbean and we knew what we were ordering, could ask for certain foods or products at the market, find the boat parts we need replacements for, and explain what the engine was doing.

Kathy's pages help to make complete sentences. Nouns are nice but who wants to go into a market and just say "ham". How about "I would like twelve thin slices of ham"?

Didn't need to know all the names for the pastries (although many are in the book). With Kathy's help I could point to the case and say "this one, no the one behind it, yes, that one"!

Asking directions was possible. Understanding them wasn't a bad experience either! grin. Occasionally we would find detailed weather reports posted on land. Hoorah! We could read them.

Not a bad book for landlubbers visiting the French islands either."

Pam Wall,
Circumnavigator and
Outfitting Manager at West Marine
Pam Wall

"[FRENCH FOR CRUISERS and SPANISH FOR CRUISERS] have everything a sailor needs to communicate in a Spanish or French-speaking country.

They are not only easy to understand, but they give us sailors all the vital words we NEED to know for our boats !

... They are just as important as any spare part, electronics, or cruising guide. "

Ti'Ponton: The Sailor's Guide to Martinique / Le Guide du Plaisancier en Martinique

"Ti'Ponton Sailor's Guide" Cover

“A practical and easy to use phrasebook, nautical dictionary, and conversation guide very helpful for anyone cruising the French islands"

Web log of


(Pointe-à-Pitre - Guadeloupe - FWI)

“Using our new FRENCH FOR CRUISERS really helped us navigate in restaurants and with marine businesses.

Lisa worked with the local canvas shop to design a sun awning system that works great, but she was nervous when placing the order which was entirely in French. She also took a walk-in appointment to get her haircut and ended up with one of the best haircuts she had ever had.

David ordered food and asked for the bill like an old pro. We rented a car for a day, and he found the way to several rum distilleries without any problems! "

Melanie Neale

Books & Charts

November 2005

"Bluewater Books & Charts " logo

"The SSCA Annual Gathering: A Success

... Kathy Parsons was there, discussing cruising the French Canals. Her books, FRENCH FOR CRUISERS and SPANISH FOR CRUISERS, are wonderful--we can't keep them on the shelf."

Jean-Michel Rousset
director of
Alliance Française de la Grenade
(Grenada - West Indies)

"Alliance Française" logo

"Although the author's method of representing French phonetics does not conform to the scientific standard (which would require previous knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet), the method invented by the author is certainly substantive, rigorous and effective."

Sally Erdle
Caribbean Compass

“Kathy Parsons’ FRENCH FOR CRUISERS will have you ordering that tilt friction nut for your outboard in Martinique or asking the fisherman in Les Saintes to gut that snapper for you, at the flip of a page.

This book is a must-have tool for any Caribbean or world cruiser."

Web site of

Dances with Dragons


“I really like the French island supermarkets. They have a good selection of all foods, although all the labels are in French. 

... I have been cooking for my family since 1971 and can recognize cuts of meat easily. However, in a French grocery store where meat is prepackaged and frozen into individual cutlet size steaks and then again wrapped in another layer of packaging with a label, I need to take the FRENCH FOR CRUISERS guide with me!  ... "

James Baldwin
s/v Atom
S/V Atom
French for Cruisers
Customer Reviews

“FRENCH FOR CRUISERS, Kathy's newly completed follow-up to SPANISH FOR CRUISERS, is at the top of my list of books I wish I'd had when I began my first circumnavigation.

... The numerous silent letters in French words makes their pronunciation exasperatingly difficult for English speakers. Kathy solved this problem better than other phrase books I've used, by arranging columns with the English subject on the left, French spelling in the center with silent letters in light gray color, and a easy to understand phonetic pronunciation column on the right. "



More Reviews from Boaters ...

Reviews in the Nautical Press ..


Reviews > Boaters (page 1)