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Old 18-09-2015, 05:24   #1
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St Martin St Maarten Dockage

We are looking for a marina in St Martin or St Maarten for the 2015-6 winter season. Athenea is a 60 catamaran with an 18 beam and 4 draft. Our preferences are: safety of selves and vessel, dock slip with electric and water, internet access, small town outside the primary tourist areas, restaurants and markets nearby, live-aboard community, scenic, biking, walking, snorkeling nearby. Any suggestions based on first-hand knowledge would be appreciated. Anse Marcel area looked appealing. Thanks...
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Old 18-09-2015, 15:37   #2
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

Your choices on marinas outside of the lagoon are limited. I do like Anse Marcel and the people there were quite friendly the times that I did go in; and they do seem to have dockspace available even during high-season. The big marina at Fort Louis caters to big and transient traffic and although it is in Marigot the location isn't ideal. The other marina outside of the lagoon is at Philipsburg and doesn't meet your criteria.
You have a number of choices inside the lagoon, from Marina Port Royal and Cupecoy on the French side to several on the Dutch side including the Simpson Bay Yacht Club and the docks off Island Waterworld (the name of that marina escapes me right now).
But inside the lagoon means you have to deal with the bridge opening times and, on the Frech side, a high likelihood of seeing a sign on the bridge "En Panne". The prices will reflect in-season high rates.
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Old 18-09-2015, 23:28   #3
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

Zanshin, will a 60 ft cat fit through the French bridge?
Oops, I see 18 ft beam. ? On a 60?

Anse Marcell is as dead as s dodo. Certainly little life for a season. No markets and u would need a car. But u may like the quiet life.

None of the marinas book out so o think you would be advised to go and check them out yourself.

I would go to the Simpson Bay Marina in the Dutch side of the lagoon, but as Zanshin points out the bridge only opens at certain times, 6 per day.
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Old 19-09-2015, 00:56   #4
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

Mark - there's a little market and some specialty stores in Anse Marcel now. It is the only marina that I can think of on St. Martin that is "outside primary tourist areas".
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Old 19-09-2015, 01:10   #5
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

Oops. I got twisted up with metrics. Athenea is 60' long and 30' wide. Thanks for the comments. Did the marina at Anse Marcel change ownership? Are there other cruisers living here during the season? What about around Oyster Bay?

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Old 19-09-2015, 05:49   #6
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

The width of the French bridge is 10m on paper, so with your width that would be cutting it close. The marina at Anse Marcel has not changed ownership as far as I know, it is part of the resort there. I didn't notice any boats I'd call liveaboards there, just some permanently parked vessels and some transients.

Oyster Bay is the sunsail/moorings base and there is little room in there. I believe transients can take a mooring inside if one is available, but dockage will be either not available or only available at a steep price. The entrance can be a tough one in unsettled conditions.

St. Martin is a nice place to live aboard at anchor and dinghy in, but not my first choice if I were at a dock. I've spent weeks at anchor in places like Grand Case and outside as well as inside the lagoon and MarkJ has spent months there; but we are not dock type boaters.
If you want to stay at a dock for a longer period of time for a good price while being safe and having access to shoreside facilities, you might want to look at Point-a-Pitre on Guadeloupe. I've been at that dock and it is clean, cheap, friendly and safe. If you prefer an Anglophone area then dockspace in the U.S. Virgin Islands can be had at reasonable rates in season. Antigua offers dock space as well, but at a bit higher price both for the docks and the rest of the cost-of-living.
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Old 19-09-2015, 06:28   #7
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

I was at Captain Olivers in Oyster Pond for two years. It's a good hurricane hole and very pretty at night. They have a good bar there on the docks - can't remember much about it because of their "mix your own" happy hour It's inconvenient from the airport and supermarkets but in an excellent location for St. Bart's and Orient Beach. If I was returning to St. Maarten it's the only marina I'd consider on that island.

The cost my first year was $1050 per month. They dropped it to $900 for the second because I was becoming a fixture. There are cockroaches on the dock but no rats - which is pretty normal in the Caribbean. Internet on the dock is limited but in the bar or hotel it's better. Reading your requirements I'd say it's the closest to your list.
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Old 19-09-2015, 07:57   #8
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

Palarran - do they still accept boats at Captain Oliver's/Oyster Pond Marina? I was given to understand that because of Sunsail's and Moorings expansions there's no space available.
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Old 19-09-2015, 08:51   #9
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

It's been over 4 years since I was there so really don't have any idea. It probably would depend on if you were doing a year long contract or not. Sunsail/Moorings at the time only accounted for 1/2 the dock space then so that would be a big expansion to take all the dock space. It would also be interesting to know if the resort ever sold after Captain Oliver passed away.

A note on Anse Marcel, it is risky to bring a 30' beam through the channel because of the channel markers. You basically have to split them. Also, I went through the French bridge once. My beam is 26' and there was about 2' on each side, so 30' would be really tight.
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Old 19-09-2015, 09:35   #10
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

Marina Fort Louis in Marigot is very nice, convenient to shops and restaurants, and well protected.
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Old 19-09-2015, 09:39   #11
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

Fort Louis is very convenient, shopping, restaurants, and protected.
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Old 20-09-2015, 00:30   #12
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Re: St Martin St Maarten Dockage

This is why this forum is so great, you guys rock! Thanks for all the great info and useful comments. We are still looking - the Cupecoy looks good but they haven't answered back yet. We also like to anchor but I may have to pop back up to the States for short trips and didn't want to leave my wife on the hook. It looks like we can come in from the south to Simpson Bay through the Dutch bridges.

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