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Old 13-04-2009, 18:51   #1
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St Martin French vs Dutch

Anybody been to St Martin lately? What is the costs for about a week there on the Dutch side and/or the French side? Is there sufficient room in the Lagoon on the French side or is it jammed packed with boats? How about the marinas - IWW or Simpson Bay or others - do you pay the Lagoon charges if you are at one of the marinas?
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Old 14-04-2009, 05:50   #2
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Anybody been to St Martin lately? What is the costs for about a week there on the Dutch side and/or the French side? Is there sufficient room in the Lagoon on the French side or is it jammed packed with boats? How about the marinas - IWW or Simpson Bay or others - do you pay the Lagoon charges if you are at one of the marinas?
We were there 1 year ago exactly...

Dutch side charges for entry to Simpson Lagoon, the French side doesn't.

The 'line' dividing the lagoon is clearly visable because there is a heap of yachts on the french side and bugger all on the Dutch side. But there is still and all ways will be plenty of room.

Simpson Bay was meant to cost $10 per week (or day?) but no one ever could charge you as who would know you are there?

I dont know if you pay the lagoon charge when at the marina.

I would never anchor in the Lagoon again... its much better in Simpson Bay, Pillipsberg, or Marigot and Grand Case etc.

Have fun there and Budget Marine may seem expensive but its cheaper than anwhere else for the 10,000 miles westward.........
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Old 14-04-2009, 07:43   #3
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I'm sitting in the lagoon right now. The palce has emptied out as most of the large boats have left in the past two weeks; we leave at the end of this week. The water in the laggoon is cleaner this year than previous years but still wouldn't swim in it.

Last year the fees were raised on the Dutch side for bridge entry. I pay $80 to enter (fee is based on boat lentgth) + a weekly fee of about $12. You don't pay the weekly fee if you are in a marina. Only local fishing boats are exempt from the bridge fee. This weekly fee applys in Simpson Bay as well and pays for garbage disposal. The local Coast Guard boards all anchored boats and checks paper work. I was boarded twice this winter. Even in high season, there has been plenty of room in the marinas and anchorage as the recession has definately affected traffic. The mega yachts were really impacted as charters were way down. You can enter the Dutch bridge and anchor on the French side but must go to Marigot to clear in.

The French decided this year to charge a fee for anchoring in Marigot Bay but not their side of the Lagoon. Go figure. The bridge is free but the channel thru the lagoon is less than 6-7 feet in places. You cannot get wifi on the French side. Becuse of $12/wek fee on the Dutch side, the French anchorage is much more crowded.

Marigot Bay, Simpson Bay, and Great Bay at Phillipsburgh can be very uncomfortable. A friend of ours had a horrible night in Marigot with breaking waves running thru the anchorage. The French emptied the Bay one week last year because of forcasted weather. 82 boats went thru the French bridge that day.

Captain Oliver's Marina in Oyster Pond is relatively inexpensive. It is right on the border on the East side of the island. The guides say the marina is on the Dutch side but the rest of the complex is on the French side. The entrance thru the reef can be challanging. A charter boat went up on the reef the week of the Regatta and broke apart. The crew walked ashore.

Any repairs can be done on the island that you could have done in Annapolis or New Port. Labor is much cheaper. It cost me half what it would have cost at home to have the bottom painted. Riggers, sail makers, elctric and diesel mechanics are in the Lagoon.
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Old 14-04-2009, 16:07   #4
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. The entrance thru the reef can be challanging. .
Puts hairs on your chest!

Mine turned white

We went through there with huge breaking waves..

Only do it on nice calm days and stick like glue to the markers!
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Old 14-04-2009, 16:42   #5
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I've chartered there a couple times. Once for a week, once for two. I always anchored out or picked up a free mooring. The charter base was at Captain Oliver's. The reef was reasonably marked the few times I was there. Swell was, big and bouncy. I found the restrooms at Captain Olivers to be in very poor state of repair when I was there. The bar/restaurant was nice and reasonably priced. Groceries seemed comparible to the VIs or Bahamas. A few items are subsidized. French wine was very reasonble which was much appreciated. Restaurants varied quite a bit, btu I found many affordable options. Bummed to hear about the new anchoring fee in Marigot.
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