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Old 15-10-2012, 09:16   #61
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

Agreed! Except about the accuracy of the line throwers. One of ours must have been new, as he missed 3 times before he got it to the boat. The line then broke about a foot from the end, so I now have a genuine Panama Canal monkey-fist as a souvenir.

We also used Roy Bravo with Emmanuel Agencies as our agent, and was very pleased with the service. I know that it's possible to save some money if you act as your own agent, but the hassles of getting back and forth from the various places you need to go - especially when you are new to the area and don't speak the language very well, made it an easy decision for us.

We just went through a couple of weeks ago, just before the rates went up. Got a nice photo from a friend who happened to be visiting the Miraflores locks when we went through
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Old 21-10-2012, 16:26   #62
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
I would add that boats who cannot make at least 7.5 knots should plan a two day passage, since they do not let recreational vessels routinely transit at night.

(snip)

Finally, if you hire line handlers, the Standard Line Handler fees run about $65 - $75 for one day and $120 for two days (Per person), which you pay directly to the line handlers at the end of the passage (Not before).
I understand you get a new adviser each day?

Since line handlers are not allowed to disembark does that mean they must stay on board overnight?
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Old 21-10-2012, 16:31   #63
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

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Originally Posted by Breezy View Post
I understand you get a new adviser each day?

Since line handlers are not allowed to disembark does that mean they must stay on board overnight?
Yes. That's one reason why it is nicer to get other cruisers as your line handlers.
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Old 21-10-2012, 16:54   #64
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

Looking back I realized I answered my own question (if they cannot disembark of course they would have to remain overnight). Duh.

Anyway, the reason I asked was because I just have a 32' boat and after living aboard as a solo sailor for years I simply do not have room to sleep 5 people below. With any semblance of comfort anyway. I barely have enough room for me anymore!

I've been seriously contemplating abandoning the Caribbean due to increasing piracy, crime, countries digging into my pockets deeper and deeper, etc.. I've heard good things about the Sea of Cortez but transiting the canal seems pretty complicated for lil 'ol me.
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Old 21-10-2012, 17:06   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezy
Looking back I realized I answered my own question (if they cannot disembark of course they would have to remain overnight). Duh.

Anyway, the reason I asked was because I just have a 32' boat and after living aboard as a solo sailor for years I simply do not have room to sleep 5 people below. With any semblance of comfort anyway. I barely have enough room for me anymore!

I've been seriously contemplating abandoning the Caribbean due to increasing piracy, crime, countries digging into my pockets deeper and deeper, etc.. I've heard good things about the Sea of Cortez but transiting the canal seems pretty complicated for lil 'ol me.
The canal is easy. You can find other cruisers to help you through and if you check the bulletin board at Shelter bay you could find some backpackers to help if nothing else. You definitely do not need an agent on the Pacific side, though in Colon I wouldn't want all that cash on hand for Citibank.

The Sea Of Cortez is great, it is far less populated than the Caribbean, and is much much different, but it is nice. The canal is one overnight. It's easy to throw a tarp on the boom and have your line handlers sleep on deck (so long as they know ahead of time). Don't be intimidated by the canal, on the way North to the SOC you will find bigger challenges than that.

If you are tempted, go for it.
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Old 20-04-2015, 10:58   #66
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

I know this is an ancient thread, but we transited the canal a few weeks ago and our canal agent was Roy from Emanuel agencies.

I cannot say enough good things about Roy.

He returned my first email within minutes and was incredibly helpful through the entire process.

He showed up with brand new lines and brand new ball fenders, not tires in trash bags.

He under promised and over delivered. He processed ALL of the paperwork on both ends and even showed up on Easter morning and processed our zarpes to exit Panama.

This is the best customer service I have ever had in my life. For how much time he put in helping us, his fee seems very, very low.

I wish every customs and canal agent was this good.

Captain Mike
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:11   #67
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

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Originally Posted by Breezy View Post
I understand you get a new adviser each day?

Since line handlers are not allowed to disembark does that mean they must stay on board overnight?
I recently transited from Caribbean to Pacific. We left Shelter Bay about 5pm, entered the first Gatun lock about 7pm; reached the mooring buoys in Lago Gatun about 10pm. Advisor departed on a pilot boat that picked up him and two other advisors from the two other sailboats going through with us (all three boats rafted together in the locks at both ends of Lake Gatun). I hired 2 linehandlers from the bulletin board at Shelter Bay; my agent was a third and a crewmember was the 4th. Sleeping? I can accommodate 3 inside the cabin; the other 2 slept on the cockpit seats - both had Outward Bound experience and indicated that they preferred to sleep outside whenever possible so that worked out well.

The agents take good care of you, so don't worry about how complicated it is to do a transit - it is actually much easier than you might think. I used to "transit" the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle frequently, and the Panama Canal is very similar, just bigger, and there are a total of 6 locks instead of 1 in Seattle. I thought the "complications" of a PC transit were way over-rated. The main thing is to arrive at one or the other end of the Canal with a pile of cash - the bank where you have to pay $1850 ($891 is a deposit that will be wired to your bank after the transit if you don't bang into anything during the transit) in CASH - no checks or credit cards are accepted. Maybe some agents make the payment for you and accept other forms of payment but the Canal Authority and its designated bank insist on cash. Total cost for a boat under 50' will be about $1500 (plus the $891 deposit that you will get back). The dangers of Colon were also over-rated IMHO - we had no problems using cabs that we hired at Shelter Bay and the shuttle bus the marina operates, plus cabs from the shopping center where the shuttle bus drops you off. But we went into the city only during daylight hours, and did not wander around on foot except inside the big shopping center on the outskirts of the city.
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Old 20-04-2015, 12:15   #68
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

You said: "Agreed! Except about the accuracy of the line throwers. One of ours must have been new, as he missed 3 times before he got it to the boat. The line then broke about a foot from the end, so I now have a genuine Panama Canal monkey-fist as a souvenir."

They have targets set up along side the Canal that they are supposed to be using to practice throwing the monkeys fists. We experienced no problems, but one line handler with lots of experience insisted that I cover a horizontally mounted solar panel with cushions in case the monkey fist thrower missed. They did not miss however, nor did any monkeys fists break off.
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Old 21-04-2015, 16:06   #69
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

The agent may have made it easy, but the reality is it is easy to sign up for a transit yourself without an agent, so why pay an agent?
Also, you can pay your transit fee via a wire transfer and never need to go into the bank.
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Old 21-04-2015, 17:58   #70
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
...
Also, you can pay your transit fee via a wire transfer and never need to go into the bank.
As an aside -- which bank allows you to initiate a wire transfer without visiting a branch office?

I've wanted to but our bank swears up and down they don't let anyone do that.
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Old 22-04-2015, 04:20   #71
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

Did the passage about 6 weeks ago. Dufour 525. Strongly recommend you push for an alongside rather than taking lines from shore. We linked alongside small ferries by insisting and it was pretty easy going. Otherwise you can have issues as you go up, or down on the lock sides. American tourists on the ferries are pretty niave, we scored several beers on the way through. Agent was excellent, forget the name. Certainly needed him the find the first mooring buoy in Gatung. Not a great place for swimming, seemed to be a lot of crocodiles hanging around!,,
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Old 22-04-2015, 11:01   #72
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

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As an aside -- which bank allows you to initiate a wire transfer without visiting a branch office?

I've wanted to but our bank swears up and down they don't let anyone do that.
You can contact the the Canals bank wire office to get wire-transfer instructions at customerdeps@pancanal.comThe bank wires go through Citibank, NY
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Old 22-04-2015, 11:06   #73
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

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Originally Posted by Jimmyhenry View Post
...... Agent was excellent, forget the name. Certainly needed him the find the first mooring buoy in Gatung. Not a great place for swimming, seemed to be a lot of crocodiles hanging around!,,
I assume you mean adviser here, not agent???
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Old 03-05-2015, 17:42   #74
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

Hi,
I'm currently in the south Caribbean.I own a Beneteau First 435e.
I plan to make my way thro the canal in January 2017 after having a full season in the Caribbean.
What do you provide and what are the costs to get from the Atlantic across to the Pacific.
If you prefer you can reply to me direct on
Michaelesullivan20@gmail.com
I look forward to hearing from you.
Michael Sullivan.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 22-07-2015, 13:48   #75
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Re: Panama Canal Passage

Just found this thread started by Roy Bravo years ago. Just to chime in, I used Roy Bravo with Emmanuel Agencies, S.A. For my last two delivery Transits through the canal this year. Top notch service, all canal agents are not equal and Roy goes above and beyond and for a price that represents good value. Just my 2 cents.
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