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Old 07-01-2019, 04:25   #1
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Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

I've done a search for this but couldn't find anything...

If I was thinking about heading back to Australia from the Atlantic, what's the most cost effective route between oceans?

- Panama Canal
- Haul in Florida / relaunch in San Diego
- Haul in East Coast Mexico and relaunch in the Sea of Cortez?

40ft cat with a 23ft beam. The kicker is I have a dog which Australian quarantine is going to have a field day with if I go via Panama (or Mexico for that matter), hence the thinking to maybe go via the US then Hawaii, Fiji and Brisbane.

The other benefit to shipping across the US is the ability to leave the boat for a bit and head back to Aus if I decide doggo should fly instead, but that's a though for another time.

Any recommendations / suggestions / prior experience most welcome!

n
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:39   #2
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Panama Canal is definitely the easiest. Went through less than ten years ago, 37' LOA, for about $600. Didn't use agent. Even with agent, I suspect it's cheaper than trying to truck 23' beam anywhere. Your wide-load permits alone will cost more than a canal transit, not to mention haulouts/launchings, and the actual trucking.

How much can it cost to quarantine a dog?
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:39   #3
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Not sure you can ship it across land. You will probably have to ship by a freighter. I did this with a similar size cat and it was pretty simple.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:40   #4
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Trucking a 23 ft wide boat across the US would be almost impossible. Something that wide would need special permits, escort vehicles, etc. Each state has it's own regulations. The paperwork, if you could even get it done, would be prohibitively expensive. Then there would have to be a special trailer designed for something that wide.

IMO the only ways you could do it is via Panama or ship transport.

If Aussie quarantine won't let your dog in if he/she has been in Panama fly the dog home.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:15   #5
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Thanks guys! That pretty much answers that one. Are cats charged a surcharge for transiting vs monoís?

So the issue with Australian quarantine is one of cost and time. Minimum time for a dog in quarantine is 10 days and $1900 IF theyíve spent the last 6 months in a rabies-free country and had a variety of shots. Iíll have to check, but I believe if the animal hasnít met that 6 month rule, they either canít come in or have to significantly longer in q.

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Old 07-01-2019, 05:44   #6
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Yeah, trucking a cat is gonna be a problem. Ive had monos trucked in the States and the cost was very reasonable, but that was a long time ago.

Seems to me the dog is the core problem the OP is trying to solve.

Would transport via ship solve that problem? It is obviously gonna go thru the Canal...so will that still be a problem if you travel with the dog aboard, but dont let it ashore in Panama (Owners sometimes travel aboard, but dont know about pets)? The ship will almost certainly make other stops too...that would be a long ride w no shore leave for the dog.

Alternatively, can you just fly the dog back? Ive done that on shorter trips with pets to avoid all the hassles of visiting stricter ports with them, but its a long expensive flight down under (do they even allow pets on such long flights?). Should be cheaper than shipping a boat though...and avoids pet issues with other countries along the way (are S Pacific countries a hassle with pets?)

So...why not ship the dog instead of the boat?
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:45   #7
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Not a surcharge for cats but they are over width. Most 40' monos are under 12-14'. We trucked our 14' beam cat a couple times and had to prove the width as it was a big cost jump over 14'

In the USA:
- Standard legal width equal 8.5ft...no permits needed (assuming height and length are also in limits).
- Up to 14ft usually just need wide load signs and permits
- Up to 16ft usually needs a chase car (most mobile homes are 16ft as a result)
- Over 16ft usually a special case needing a detailed plan. Often limited to travel at night and only on specific routes with both chase and lead cars...sometimes police escort...I issued a permit for a press that GM was bringing in that was 24' wide...2hr drive from the ship at Muskegon to Lansing, I suspect by the time all was done and said that 2 hr drive cost them $100k.

(some generalities and variations between states but gives you an idea)

While it could be done, it's not likely to be practical from a cost perspective. Going thru the canal is likely the best option. If Spot is an issue going into Panama, best to get him off the boat beforehand and send him home or otherwise route him thru another country before picking him back up.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:51   #8
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

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Originally Posted by ausnp84 View Post
Thanks guys! That pretty much answers that one. Are cats charged a surcharge for transiting vs monoís?

So the issue with Australian quarantine is one of cost and time. Minimum time for a dog in quarantine is 10 days and $1900 IF theyíve spent the last 6 months in a rabies-free country and had a variety of shots. Iíll have to check, but I believe if the animal hasnít met that 6 month rule, they either canít come in or have to significantly longer in q.

N
No, Canal charges are based on LOA not beam.

Wow, is finding the pooch another good home an acceptable option?

I was just down under recently and found the bio-security officers in Oz & NZ to be dead serious, but professional and helpful. I suspect they would provide you a detailed answer if you contacted them.

My late wife & I cruised with pets back in 2004-2005 and we just avoided certain countries with very onerous pet requirements.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:23   #9
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yeah, trucking a cat is gonna be a problem. Ive had monos trucked in the States and the cost was very reasonable, but that was a long time ago.

Seems to me the dog is the core problem the OP is trying to solve.

Would transport via ship solve that problem? It is obviously gonna go thru the Canal...so will that still be a problem if you travel with the dog aboard, but dont let it ashore in Panama (Owners sometimes travel aboard, but dont know about pets)? The ship will almost certainly make other stops too...that would be a long ride w no shore leave for the dog.

Alternatively, can you just fly the dog back? Ive done that on shorter trips with pets to avoid all the hassles of visiting stricter ports with them, but its a long expensive flight down under (do they even allow pets on such long flights?). Should be cheaper than shipping a boat though...and avoids pet issues with other countries along the way (are S Pacific countries a hassle with pets?)

So...why not ship the dog instead of the boat?
So yep, it is possible to fly the dog back. From the UK to Aus itís something like £4k-£5k which is frankly, a ludicrous amount. Another option of course is to sail to the Carib then fly him back from the US which is much easier on him as well, as itís only a single long-haul flight (SF - Melbourne) vs the 25hr long haul that is UK to Aus.

I have to say, Australian quarantine have been amazing in replying to my emails and their calculator / auto calendar for working out import requirements for an animal is pretty good as well.

N
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:24   #10
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
No, Canal charges are based on LOA not beam.
Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:30   #11
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Does everyone have to stay together? If I understand your question correctly, the problem is with taking the dog through Panama. What about taking the boat through the canal and the dog across land? Then sail up to San Diego to pick up the dog and head down to Hawaii, then on to Australia? Or better yet, you could sail the boat to Australia and then fly with the dog.

You'd need some nice people somewhere between Florida and San Diego (a rather large population to select from ...) to keep the dog for probably 3 weeks to a couple months.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:40   #12
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

We just came through the Canal, north to south, and the cost for Canal fees and agent who supplied lines, 3 line handlers, and fenders was $1875 or thereabouts for an under 50' cat. Over 50' loa the cost goes up, and the admeasurer measures everything closely. Watch out for anchors, davits, dinghies, etc..


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Old 07-01-2019, 06:41   #13
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausnp84 View Post
So yep, it is possible to fly the dog back. From the UK to Aus itís something like £4k-£5k which is frankly, a ludicrous amount. Another option of course is to sail to the Carib then fly him back from the US which is much easier on him as well, as itís only a single long-haul flight (SF - Melbourne) vs the 25hr long haul that is UK to Aus.

I have to say, Australian quarantine have been amazing in replying to my emails and their calculator / auto calendar for working out import requirements for an animal is pretty good as well.

N
We found Oz/NZ to be uber first world...everything orderly and efficient...its been a bit of reverse culture shock returning to the colorful chaos of Central America...where problems like this can usually be solved easily & unofficially.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:01   #14
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

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Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post
Does everyone have to stay together? If I understand your question correctly, the problem is with taking the dog through Panama. What about taking the boat through the canal and the dog across land? Then sail up to San Diego to pick up the dog and head down to Hawaii, then on to Australia? Or better yet, you could sail the boat to Australia and then fly with the dog.

You'd need some nice people somewhere between Florida and San Diego (a rather large population to select from ...) to keep the dog for probably 3 weeks to a couple months.
Thatís some good thinking there... whatíd the trip be like from Panama to SD? Looks a reasonable distance and I seem to remember itís upwind a lot of the way. Itíd mean a stopover in HI as well which works for me!

N
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:01   #15
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Re: Panama or Overland Mexico / US?

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Originally Posted by jdazey View Post
We just came through the Canal, north to south, and the cost for Canal fees and agent who supplied lines, 3 line handlers, and fenders was $1875 or thereabouts for an under 50' cat. Over 50' loa the cost goes up, and the admeasurer measures everything closely. Watch out for anchors, davits, dinghies, etc..

Cheers,
Brill! Thanks for this - itís exactly the first-hand info I was after.

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