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Old 15-02-2009, 07:37   #1
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Anyone Use Y&J Agency, Panama Canal ?

Hello cruiser forums.

Has anyone used the Y&J Agency in Panama for a canal transit and would you recommend them to other cruisers? How did you find their services?

Many thanks,
Panama bound!
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Old 16-02-2009, 00:40   #2
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Hi, you dont need an agent.
If you are coming through from the Caribbean go to the Panama Yacht Club and use Tito and the boys there. They are not agents but run you around to all the ofices, fill out the paperwork etc for only $40. One office in particular would take a month of Sundays to find even with a GPS.

They arrange tires for fenders (required) and the correct mooring lines (required) for $115


Mark
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Old 16-02-2009, 06:08   #3
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Hi, thanks for the info, but I am looking to see if anyone has used this agent. We would like to use an agent for our own reasons and am looking for a referral. Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2009, 13:13   #4
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FYI, we did end up using Yara and Y&J Yachts and we have yet to receive our $850 buffer back (after more than 6 months!). The agent is claiming that her business partner stole her funds and she is unable to repay us. Please, if you use an agent, use only one that comes highly recommended.
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Old 13-11-2009, 18:46   #5
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Bit out of date, Mark. The PYC has closed and has been bulldozed! Also, the canal authority no longer accepts payment by credit card, it has to be cash or bank transfer. Whilst it's certainly still possible to 'do it yourself' it seems like it's becoming increasingly more difficult. I'll post here after I've transited through, hopefully the beginning of March next year.
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Old 14-11-2009, 14:45   #6
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Troutbridge: Trust me on this one - do it yourself. I was like you and figured an agent would be the easiest - and for that I didn't mind paying extra and I ignored the same advice I am giving you now. In the end, it was actually much harder, more stressful and longer because of our agent. The process seems very daunting, but in reality it is no harder than checking into a foreign country and getting your boat inspected and then making a simple bank transfer.

In three easy steps:
1) When you arrive at the Shelter Bay Marina, take a taxi to the admeasure office in Colon. Even if you don't speak Spanish, the cab driver will know the "admeasurer office." Once inside, everyone speaks sufficient English, there is usually no wait and you can normally schedule your admeasure date for the very next day. The measuring process is easy and very straightforward. At the arranged time the admeasurer will arrive at your boat and take a measurement of the boat (complete of all protrusions, like davits, etc).
2) Once you are measured you take one final taxi to the "ACP transit office" to pay. This is a simple bank transfer and the bank is right next to the ACP transit office.
3) Once paid, the last step is to call the ACP office (they speak english) to receive your actual transit date and time. That's all an agent will do for you, and from here it is up to you to get tires, lines and line handlers anyway as your agent does not help with this - and to transit, of course.

To pay an agent anywhere from $300 to $500 to do this seems rather wasteful in comparison. While Colon is not the nicest of all towns, you are not going there at night and the taxi drivers are very helpful and know exactly where to take you.

To see more advice on how to get tires, where the best transit location is and other random facts, click here to see our blog and a video of our crossing.
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Old 14-11-2009, 17:43   #7
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Excellent video!!!!!!!

Everyone who is going through should watch this video. It shows each phase very well. Brought back every moment for me.

Well done guys! Really slickly made video
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Old 15-11-2009, 10:16   #8
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If you need bodies to transit (don't remember the required number, but it was more than really needed. mostly just bodies to fend off when things got moving a bit.) ask at the marinas. usually folks know people who are wanting to do a transit for the experience and can hook you up.
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Old 15-11-2009, 13:30   #9
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Another agent we recommend you avoid: Caroline (Tina) McBride operating under various agency names.

We transited the canal from Pacific to Caribbean on August 20, 2008, and finally received our buffer fee back on June 29, 2009. At least we got it back! She cited "complications with the bank and the Panama Canal", computer hard drive failure, and the economic crisis as excuses but I really think the delay was due more to her disorganization than external factors.

We strongly concur with those posting here that you do NOT need an agent. Follow the 1, 2, 3 steps in 3Eagles post #6 above and you'll have little trouble and save yourself agent fees of up to $500.
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Old 15-11-2009, 17:16   #10
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If you need bodies to transit ask at the marinas. .


We needed some extra people as there weren't to many cruisers about so I emailed a few backpacker hostels in Panama City... well we were quite deluged with enthusiastic "Inga from Sweeeeeden" types.

You need 4 line handlers, and 1 skipper. But you have to put them asll up on the boat for 1 night and feed them 3 meals so I got an extra person so the Non-Inga chic on board wasn't worked off her butt

Oh, you need to feed the Advisor too.

As skipper, even though most cruisers go as line handlers on other boats first, it would be an utterly amazing thrill to go through the first time on your own boat. We line handled before our transit, so the big thrill was on someone elses boat. That said, its still vital for cruisers to line handle for other boats - what goes around, comes around. But perhaps line handle for someone after you have taken your own boat through.

It is one of cruisings unique, memorable experiences
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Old 26-06-2012, 12:45   #11
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Re: Anyone Use Y&J Agency, Panama Canal ?

Dont use them. The CEO of Y&J Yachts, Ms. Yara Mandrian, is running a scam.
These people got ripped off from them.
wwwsailblogscom/member/honeymoon/?xjMsgID=84899
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