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Old 04-01-2012, 18:28   #1
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Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Hi all
We have purchased a yacht in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and plan to sail it across the Pacific this year. We need to get some boat work done before we commence le grande voyage and have been advised that Cartagena in Columbia is the best place to get this done, in terms of cost and quality of labour.

We'll be sailing to Cartagena at the beginning of March and have heard that conditions for this trip at this time can be quite hairy! Does anyone have any experience of doing this journey at this time of year? We'll be stopping briefly in Colon and the San Blas islands on the way.

Also any feedback on the current state of Club Nautico marina in Cartagena would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers
Jo
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Old 04-01-2012, 18:57   #2
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

better bet is miraflores yacht club in the canal if you are going to the pacific!

Pedro Miguel Boat Club
Tel507) 232-4148 / 4509
http://pmbc.ws/, pmbc@pmbc.ws
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Old 04-01-2012, 21:41   #3
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Jo -
Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to CF.
I just came from Shelter Bay on Dec 25. We had difficult time against the current (much stronger than expected) and some wind on the nose last night before Bocas.
I heard good things about Cartagena and it will probably my yard of choice in near future. Shelter Bay may be an option if you can do the work yourself and have the tools and materials.
Atoll - I had to miss the Pedro Miguel Boat Club while transiting the canal. Do they still exist? It looks like their page is from 2003.
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Old 04-01-2012, 21:48   #4
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misiu View Post
Jo -
Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to CF.
I just came from Shelter Bay on Dec 25. We had difficult time against the current (much stronger than expected) and some wind on the nose last night before Bocas.
I heard good things about Cartagena and it will probably my yard of choice in near future. Shelter Bay may be an option if you can do the work yourself and have the tools and materials.
Atoll - I had to miss the Pedro Miguel Boat club while traniting the canal. Do they still exist? It looks like their page is from 2003.
not sure though,nick on "jedi" will have current info as he is there.

a bash to cartagena is not advised for newbie, sailors or experinced ones speacially if they are planning on going the other way anyway....
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:44   #5
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Pedro Miguel Y C was closed by the Canal a few years ago. Shelter Bay is decent place to haul. Baloboa YC on the Pacaific side has low cost rails./
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:57   #6
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

I assume Flamenco would be very good but VERY expensive
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:25   #7
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pirate Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misiu View Post
I assume Flamenco would be very good but VERY expensive
Its bloody excellent mate... and there's Good News... its free here....
Flamenco Dancer Seville Spain.mpg - YouTube
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:53   #8
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

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Its bloody excellent mate... and there's Good News... its free here....
Flamenco Dancer Seville Spain.mpg - YouTube
How about bottom pressure wash? Free as well?
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:00   #9
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pirate Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

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How about bottom pressure wash? Free as well?
Yup... thats the guy sitting on the bench wailing...
as he builds up the pressure...
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Old 05-01-2012, 18:23   #10
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific2012 View Post
Hi all
We have purchased a yacht in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and plan to sail it across the Pacific this year. We need to get some boat work done before we commence le grande voyage and have been advised that Cartagena in Columbia is the best place to get this done, in terms of cost and quality of labour.

We'll be sailing to Cartagena at the beginning of March and have heard that conditions for this trip at this time can be quite hairy! Does anyone have any experience of doing this journey at this time of year? We'll be stopping briefly in Colon and the San Blas islands on the way.

Also any feedback on the current state of Club Nautico marina in Cartagena would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers
Jo
Can you explain what kind of work you need done? For much Colon is a better choice.


Club Nautico is a heap of rubble.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 05-01-2012, 22:07   #11
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Thanks for the useful (and if not useful, at least amusing) replies!

Nick, the work we need to get done is:
Antifoul the hull
Replace corroded seacocks
Replace plastic window on canvas Bimini
New kitchen worktop (not essential)
Get life raft and epirb serviced

Do you know if Shelter Bay/Colon has the required facilities and craftsmen? Presumably with the boat on the hard at Shelter Bay we could get someone from Colon/Panama city to come over and do the work??

Interesting that a year after it was meant to be completed, club nautico is still a pile of rubble. Does this mean it's not functioning as a useful marina?

Cheers
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific2012
Thanks for the useful (and if not useful, at least amusing) replies!

Nick, the work we need to get done is:
Antifoul the hull
Replace corroded seacocks
Replace plastic window on canvas Bimini
New kitchen worktop (not essential)
Get life raft and epirb serviced

Do you know if Shelter Bay/Colon has the required facilities and craftsmen? Presumably with the boat on the hard at Shelter Bay we could get someone from Colon/Panama city to come over and do the work??

Interesting that a year after it was meant to be completed, club nautico is still a pile of rubble. Does this mean it's not functioning as a useful marina?

Cheers
Lets see, antifoul is standard yard job. The rest you need to do yourself or hire contractors. All materials need to be ordered from Marine Warehouse in Miami for best price. You can do that before arriving and have it shipped ocean freight (cheap).

Assuming fiberglass boat, I would suggest you install bronze thru-hulls with flanged adapters, both made by Groco and shown in detail by member Maine Sail here: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/s..._primer&page=2
You install a bronze ball-valve on the adapter for which I would also select Groco. Study the link above, it's worth it.

The plastic window... there is a sail/canvas maker atound who might have the material but I would order it to make sure, plus you get exactly what you want.

Kitchen top, there is a good shipwright employed by the marina (Ramon). But you would need to supply the new top material, so needs to be ordered.

Life raft and Epirb service is no problem in Panama but NOT possible in Cartagena I think.

I would not do these jobs in Cartagena. The only reason to do any of hem there is cost which will be lower. But getting the materials there (from US because not available locally) is a challenge and the yards are messy and hard to deal with.

Your problem is going to be that he high season is starting so that things will get busy everywhere. There is no economic crisis in these countries, so you might have to wait your turn.

EDIT: Club Nautico... the dock master is now manager in Colon, does that answer your question?

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:05   #13
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific2012 View Post
Antifoul the hull
Replace corroded seacocks
Replace plastic window on canvas Bimini
New kitchen worktop (not essential)
Get life raft and epirb serviced

Do you know if Shelter Bay/Colon has the required facilities and craftsmen? Presumably with the boat on the hard at Shelter Bay we could get someone from Colon/Panama city to come over and do the work??
Of the items on your list, you would NOT be able to get the bimini and liferaft/epirb work done in Cartagena. These are easily done in Colon - where there are several canvas makers and a liferaft/epirb service center in the free trade zone. Panama City has canvas supplies and is a cheap bus ride away. The corian guy in Cartagena, who has been so good in the past, has developed a recent reputation of taking people's money and not delivering.

I certainly would not travel to Cartagena in the winter season just to paint the bottom and service seacocks (and possibly get a new counter). You don't mention your boat, but if you have a catamaran, you won't be pulling out in Cartagena.

On the other hand, Cartagena is a fantastic city, and worth the trip just to visit it (but in the spring, when the weather is better for the trip).

Mark
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:57   #14
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

Thanks for this invaluable advice Nick and Mark. I think we will change our plans and get this work done in Shelter Bay as you both suggest.
There was a great document on the Club Nautico website that was compiled by cruisers, which detailed names and contact details of recommended people to use for everything you could possibly need in terms of boat maintenance. Do you know if a similar document exists anywhere on the web for Colon/Panama City?

Cheers
Jo
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Old 07-01-2012, 19:21   #15
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Re: Bocas del Toro to Cartagena

The Yahoo South Bound Group has the 2011 Panama City Cruisers Guide posted under Files!Country!Panama
southbound_group : The Southbound Group
Great info on Balboa and Panama City, not much on Colon.
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