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Old 15-09-2016, 13:29   #1
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Panama Canal Agent Reference

Hi ya'll. Would like to see some references for an agent to help us through the Panama Canal procedure. Planning on going through approximately December 2016. Does anyone have a personal reference? Thanks in advance.
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:48   #2
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Try and get a reference on the line handlers your agent is going to use. Some of them are jerks, you will be spending 2 days with them. You would be better off with some friends helping anyway.
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Old 15-09-2016, 14:23   #3
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

There's no need to use an agent or paid line handlers. All the info you need to sign up for a transit is available online. There's plenty of cruisers who will share line handling duties. It is far better for you to go through ad once before you take your boat through.
Here's some articles on not using an agent to go through
We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Agents | Blue Water Sailing
We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Agents, part 2 | Blue Water Sailing
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Old 15-09-2016, 15:05   #4
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Yep. Agents are optional and must be licensed by the PCA.

The marina can help you finding one.

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Old 16-09-2016, 08:28   #5
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

I've always used Roy Bravo - he gets me through quickly, hasnever given me a bad line handler and always saves me money on the cruising tax (so far)
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Old 16-09-2016, 08:32   #6
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvimatelot View Post
I've always used Roy Bravo - he gets me through quickly, hasnever given me a bad line handler and always saves me money on the cruising tax (so far)
There is no Panama Canal Cruising tax. Are you referring to the cruising permit to clear into the country with customs and immigration?
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Old 16-09-2016, 08:58   #7
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Paul L. has it right. I went through four times trading labor with other yachties to get four line handlers for my own transit. Very exciting. Try to tie up to a tug for easier transit.
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Old 16-09-2016, 08:59   #8
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Roger de Hoyos is a long time friend of many of us here in Panama. He is a licensed Canal Agent, and also will take you shopping to find elusive boat parts. I can't recommend him highly enough. Call him on WhatsAPP +507-6717-0645
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Old 16-09-2016, 09:02   #9
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Also, try meeting local cruisers when you get to Balboa. Many of us love to be line handlers. We used one experienced professional guy (Tito) who also rented us fenders and lines. The rest were family. It was great!
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Old 16-09-2016, 09:36   #10
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Bonded agents who we've used at least once and can recommend, who perform multiple tasks, safe you time and cut red tape for you:
Pete Stevens a Brit well respected, been helping yachts here 25 yrs: Delfino Maritimo Agency 6735-7356. Pete is often booked solid, so call early.
Rogelio (Roger) de Hoyos former PCYC manager, great guy, operates Canal Transit Agency: cell 507-6717-6745.
Tina McBride of PanamaCanalTransits.com 6673-2999.
Roy Bravo, excellent services, see contact below.
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Old 16-09-2016, 09:49   #11
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

We've used Tina McBride twice. She's very, very good. We got through in just a couple of days each time.
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Old 16-09-2016, 11:26   #12
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Roy Bravo is low key, patient and worth the price. You have enough to worry about without doing it yourself.
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Old 16-09-2016, 12:02   #13
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

Thanks so much for all your responses! Very helpful
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Old 18-09-2016, 09:01   #14
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pirate Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

When I went through in 97 (I know a long time ago) the taxi driver took me to the places where I needed to go. I filled out the forms myself and scheduled the person who did the admeasure and final papers to transit. It was really easy and I saved, at that time, $850 for a ships agent. I gave the taxi driver $100 and he was happy too. We had a steering casualty approaching the first lock and I had to abort the transit until we got it fixed. However they did charge me additonal fees in that I had to reschedule the transit again. (new pilot etc) As for line handlers I met some Canadian guys that were looking for an adventure and they came on board. We rented the lines from the line source and all was well. In the transit, we were side tied with other sail boats and on one lock with a tug. It took about 11 hours and we were through the canal in Colon. We even had a stop to wait for another ship at the last lock. All in all aside for the steering causalty, it was an easy procedure. The taxi driver was great....
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Old 18-09-2016, 19:25   #15
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Re: Panama Canal Agent Reference

I have a side question. We'll have crew arriving Panama City for a transit starting in Colon. What is the best way to get from Panama City to Colon?
Thanks for the Agent info.
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