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Old 03-08-2010, 19:53   #1
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Any Info on Panama Canal Charges 2010 ?

My wife and I have traversed the Panama Canal but 20 some years ago on the Good Ship Bacchante...are thinking about buying a cat in the Carrib and would like any info on what the current rates/proceedures, etc. now are for the Canal.......Thanks
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Old 03-08-2010, 20:10   #2
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You may want to follow this link to the Panama Canal Authority website. The link is to the maritime operations section that explains costs, procedures and has general information as well.

Maritime Operations - PanCanal.com
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Old 03-08-2010, 20:17   #3
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I'll just throw in a thought here... especially going Carib > Pacific... consider using an agent. Takes a lot of the running around and BS out of the immediate situation once you're there.
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Old 03-08-2010, 20:40   #4
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I'll just throw in a thought here... especially going Carib > Pacific... consider using an agent. Takes a lot of the running around and BS out of the immediate situation once you're there.
...but it won't be as much fun.

I just did it myself and it wasn't a hassle...well, not much of a hassle and I didn't have any arguments with an agent, like I overheard at Shelter Bay, about over charges or "Why am I paying for this?"

Tires can be found in the dumpster area, lines, if you need them, can be rented from Victor (runs the Travelift at Shelter Bay).

It's not a problem at all...and the ACP does send a check for the buffer.

All in all the transit was around 650-700 bucks , or so, plus food for the crew.
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Old 03-08-2010, 23:22   #5
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Every taxi-cab driver has at least one relitive working for the ACP (Panama Canal Auth.). And is trying to become an employee.
Several Taxi drivers cater to the small boat owners who transit the canal, and as soon as you set foot ashore you will be approched by one. He can quide you thru Immigrations/customs, and every nuance of your transit. Get several drivers in a bidding war and pick your deal. You need lines? He has a cousin.( my lines were part of the total packagej You need tires? He has a cousin.( eight used tires cost $10). You can't find cruisers to be line handlers for free or backpackers at the hostel to be linehandlers for the adventure, no problem cause he has cousins.

He will also become "your" taxi-driver. Call him for all of your taxi needs as the word will be passed around that you are his client.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:55   #6
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There is a good article (8 page spread...) in the May 2010 edition of Yachting World on transiting the canal. Has a bit of info about agents/advisors & costs etc.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:38   #7
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We came through on Father's Day this year. We paid a total of $1060 for a broker. It was hassle free, and we didn't have to put up the buffer. The buffer is $850 more just in case anything goes wrong with your vessel during the transit.

Since we don't have a new mailing address as of yet, and sometimes the buffer check can be as late as 2 months. We felt it was easier to hang onto more of our pocket money, and pay the extra fee.

Our broker was Stanley. I can't find his card right now, but will post it when I do. Stanley was very helpful in other areas also. He went above & beyond his duties as a broker. He also did it with a gracious smile.......i2f
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:29   #8
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Yeah, I know you can do it without. I've done it without too. It's certainly possible. IMO, though... the agent is worth it. Prices vary, end-user experiences vary (some good, some bad) and opinions vary. It certainly can be done without. And I suppose I'm looking at it from an efficiency point of view (delivery-style) as opposed to a cruising style - where you have plenty of time for all that aforementioned 'fun'. And this is, after all a cruisers forum, not a delivery forum...

So I shall reword my suggestion to say - In my experience, I found it more efficient and well...less 'fun' to use an agent. If you are looking for the full experience of dealing with the ACP and Panamanian Government yourself, by all means, go for it. It most certainly adds flavor to the experience of the transit, and you'll find a great sense of accomplishment in doing it yourself. If you get my drift

Good luck either way, and enjoy - it's a great ride.

Rob
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Old 16-11-2010, 22:00   #9
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We came through on Father's Day this year. We paid a total of $1060 for a broker. It was hassle free, and we didn't have to put up the buffer. The buffer is $850 more just in case anything goes wrong with your vessel during the transit.

Since we don't have a new mailing address as of yet, and sometimes the buffer check can be as late as 2 months. We felt it was easier to hang onto more of our pocket money, and pay the extra fee.

Our broker was Stanley. I can't find his card right now, but will post it when I do. Stanley was very helpful in other areas also. He went above & beyond his duties as a broker. He also did it with a gracious smile.......i2f
How do you get in touch with a broker?
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Old 16-11-2010, 22:13   #10
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[QUOTE=wadda;496605
All in all the transit was around 650-700 bucks , or so, plus food for the crew.[/QUOTE]

Gee, for not much more, you can take a two-week cruise between California and Florida with gourmet meals and much live entertainment aboard a cruise ship. And they make-up your cabin every day too!

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Old 17-11-2010, 09:21   #11
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Stanley is well known. We ran into him at the first office we stopped at. There is a list of brokers, and you can probably google it. sstanley is the first part of his e-mail I believe. I think his full name is Stanley Scott?.......i2f
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Old 09-01-2011, 00:58   #12
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Does anyone know what the waiting times are like going North to South?
I believe it gets quite crowded around March, I'm just trying to work out when the boat needs to get to the canal.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:06   #13
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Can't answer for that month, but we had no wait in June. Might want to get in touch with a broker, or the Balboa Y.C. and ask...........i2f
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:33   #14
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Thanks I think there is a crowd in March because cruisers are lining up for a Pacific crossing to avoid the Hurricane season.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:23   #15
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Thanks I think there is a crowd in March because cruisers are lining up for a Pacific crossing to avoid the Hurricane season.
Based on my obervations during my 3 1/2 months docked at the Pedtra Megual Boat Club within the canal, 100 yards from the lock, this is what I learned.
There are to many varibles to consider when scheduling transits, to predict what the situation will be in three months.
The number of commericial ships using the canal will depend on the state of the world economy, and the mix of commercial ships that will transit on a given day will effect scheduling.

Sometimes they must close a chamber for maintainence and I would expect that the current construction, for expansion, will have an additional effect.

While the locks operate 24/7, large container ships (Pana-max), Cruise ships, Military ships, and other large auto carriers and larger tankers all transit during the day. Canal tugs take priority.
Recreational boats are treated as an after thought, and only transit during the daylight hours.

The canal operates ONE WAY ONLY and changes direction every six hours. From 6am to 12n all traffic is going from the Pacific side to the Alantic side.
All sailboats going from West to East, begin their transit after 6am and usually complete their transit in one day, so thay must begin early. Those going from East to West begin their transit after 12n, and usually overnight within the canal.
During a normal heavy rain all movement thru the locks stops.

An interesting fact: It takes the same amount of water to lift a ship as it does a small boat. The water used is not recycled.
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