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Old 09-05-2008, 07:46   #1
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Panama for Cruisers ?

I have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a small marina in the Bocas Del Toro area of Panama. Actually I'd be building it from scratch and living there on my boat while doing it.

I'm curious as to how people perceive the area, and how many of you cruisers out there would like a "cost attractive" alternative "hurricane hole" to Trinidad/Tobago or the Rio Dulce in the western caribbean.

We'd be looking at thirty slips or so, and have a wonderful, natural basin with which to put in the marina area. We'd be pricing the slips at well under what the two commercial marinas in the area are charging, and selling lots adjacent to the slips (each lot to come with a dock). There is an airport nearby. Everything would be very green and eco friendly, with a large part of the adjacent land set aside as a forest preserve (one of the reasons I'm interested in the project.)

At any rate, the location is 9 north, so it's well out of the hurricane belt and insurance policies would be placated. There would be someone on the ground 24/7, but the area is very primitive and crime is pretty much non-existent. The local indians are wonderful. Would this area be an attractive alternative to any of you old salts out there wintering in Rio Dulce, Trinidad/Tobago or south America?
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:11   #2
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Starfish,

i lived in Panama in the 70's and have been waiting to return for years. Please send more info as you can, also lat/log..

Steve
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:08   #3
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Okay,

Steve, will do. We're flying down in a few weeks to finalize some things (Materials, permits, etc.) I'm trying to figure out how many boats we might get in for hurricane season.
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:57   #4
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Yes, please keep us informed as things progress. This sounds interesting. We're interested in getting to Panama once we start cruising in about a year. Especially interested to learn more about the lot with dock idea.

Cheers
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:04   #5
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Starfish,
Mangomuffins here... still running our clinic here in Bradenton Beach... so far so good.
We are still interested in re-location possibilities so keep us informed. Make sure you get photos that you can post.

good luck!!

mm
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:34   #6
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Isla Solarte, Bocas Del Toro, Panama

Hey Mango!

Here's the site. It's the top of the photo.


http://www.bocasdeltoro.net/webimages/guapa.JPG
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:46   #7
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Hi Starfish:

Looks nice let me know when the lots w docks come available. Also is there American style Title Insurance avaialble in Panama?
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Old 09-05-2008, 13:47   #8
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Marina in Panama

If you create a "mailing list" we would like to be on it. Is there someplace to sign up?

Regards!
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Old 09-05-2008, 14:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starfish62 View Post
...I'm trying to figure out how many boats we might get in for hurricane season.
Quote:
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... We'd be looking at thirty slips or so, and have a wonderful, natural basin with which to put in the marina area. We'd be pricing the slips at well under what the two commercial marinas in the area are charging, and selling lots adjacent to the slips (each lot to come with a dock). There is an airport nearby. Everything would be very green and eco friendly, with a large part of the adjacent land set aside as a forest preserve (one of the reasons I'm interested in the project.)...
I'd guess 31, or more.
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Old 09-05-2008, 15:47   #10
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I'm curious as to how people perceive the area, and how many of you cruisers out there would like a "cost attractive" alternative "hurricane hole" to Trinidad/Tobago or the Rio Dulce in the western caribbean.

Perception of area: Panama: A dump with a canal going through it with a 6 week to 2 month wait.
Perception of Bocas Del Toro: Never heard of it (and you didnt explian well where it is etc).

We are heading to Panama soon (unless plans change etc) and intend to clear in a Colon (so well named) and get the agent onto the job getting us a date for transit. Most dates are now 2 months!!! Then we will bugger off an go cruising somewhere or do some cheap labour refitting (varnishing, polishing, even cheap sails in Panama).

So I think there is a very captive audience for a good, economical marina in the area! It looks beautiful from the photos! If you can add to nature with a NON-ripoff business then you could be on a winner

I forgot to add that Shelter bay marina looks expensive, and the panama Canal Yacht club looks, ummmmmm, wellllllll......
Mark
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Old 09-05-2008, 16:38   #11
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Perception of area: Panama: A dump with a canal going through it ...
I suspect you don't know much about Panama.
Try a Google on < San Blas Islands >, then < Isla Solarte >, then < Bocas Del Toro >. You might be surprised what the region has to offer.
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Old 09-05-2008, 17:05   #12
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I suspect you don't know much about Panama.
You're right I only know what someone else knows when they are from 10,000 miles away. I'm not trying to sound like a jerk but there are vast tracts of this world that we all know so little about. Untill we have visited them, of course! It's certainly one of the reasons to cruise: To go find these places and learn
But look at it in my perspective, Panama is a $2,000 2 day trip to save thousands of miles and inhospitable weather that joins the Pacific to the rest of the world. With all the difficulty involved with the transit, and all the politics over the the 100 years (first ship in 1914, but first thought of decades before) its behoven on those that wish to educate us about another area to help us out with more and better info

I'm not staying in Colon for 2 months, so I will investigate and report back Learnedly!
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:43   #13
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Steve,
I also lived in Panama in the 70's and am planning on sailing back. I sailed on the schooner Chief Aptakisic for several years on both coasts. The entire country should not be judged by Colon. Panama is an awesome place. The San Blas Islands in the caribbean, the Perlas islands in the Pacific, and the beautiful mainland in between. Bocas Del Toro had not been "dicovered" yet when I was there so I'm not familiar with it.
Starfish,
Please provide more details of your project, I am interested as well.
Dave
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:02   #14
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Starfish,

You may have all of your slips filled before you even go check it out
Looks really nice!!
Looking forward to your full report and details

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Old 10-05-2008, 11:12   #15
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The anchoring around Bocas is good and with PamJam (water taxi) don't need to even use your dinghy.

Also at anchor the breeze is better and fewer sand flies and mosquitoes so I would prefer to pay to anchor than to have a slip for free.
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