The West Indies Pilot Vol. 1 is subtitled, 'Comprising the Mainland Shores of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, From Punta Penas in Venezuela to Cape Sable in Florida, USA, with the Adjacent Islands'. It is bound in blue cloth with the title, sub-heading and edition written in gold on the front. The spine has the title and a précised sub-heading written horizontally, which appears upside down from the front. At the top of the spine is the number 70 in digits, which can be read left-to-right when the book is standing up on the shelf. Although the front end sheet is fastened to the board, it is detached from the first flyleaf. Nevertheless the binding remains strong as it has three internal bands. There is a notice, on pink paper, attached to the back of this flyleaf, referring to a supplement and notices. Another pink 'Important' notice has been attached to a map, which precedes Chapter 1. The front end sheet itself has a list of available Notices and a table to be filled in by the Navigating Officer. Throughout, the book has numerous maps, charts and tables, as well as glossy pictures of the coastlines and light-towers. All are black and white line drawings, ie. there is no colour used in the book.
There is shelf wear on the edges of the boards and some discolouration, with slight foxing, of the page edges. However, the corners of both boards and pages are badly bumped and dog-eared respectively. The head cap of the spine is visibly torn and the tail is crumpled. It seems the book has been used for the purpose for which it was intended. Despite dog-ears, the page faces are clean and there are no annotations. The book will remain open during use, so the binding is loose, but the text block is secure because of the aforementioned bands.