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Old 29-12-2014, 09:27   #1
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Panama

Hello all,

I guess we should start thinking about our transit through the canal.

Does anyone have any current info on this? Tips? Agents we should use?

Is it true you need 5 line handers onboard? Is late Feb, early March a good time?

So many questions! Been doing a few searches but any advice would be amazing.

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Simon



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Old 29-12-2014, 09:41   #2
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Contact Erick at info@centenarioconsulting.com
We only had 4 line handlers and the pilot.. Erick supplied handlers, tyres and lines.. as well as sorting out the measuring and formalities.. good guy..
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Old 29-12-2014, 10:21   #3
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Re: Panama

Friends of mine transited the canal a few years ago and documented their experience on my website at Panama Canal.

John
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Old 29-12-2014, 10:27   #4
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Re: Panama

Noonsite.com — Noonsite, serch Panama on country area
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Old 29-12-2014, 11:05   #5
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Re: Panama

You need 4 line handlers. You can get these easily by hooking up with other cruisers who want to experience the Canal before taking their boats through. I strongly suggest you do the same. Once you've been through as a line handler and seen how it all works, it will be a fun trip taking your own boat through. There is no need to use an agent. All of the Canal people speak good English. You do need a local phone. We are headed back through South bound in mid-Jan. Which direction are you heading?
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Old 29-12-2014, 14:10   #6
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Re: Panama

We just did it S to N. Piece of cake even without an agent. Pretty good discussion here:

Panama Canal. For those who have never been.
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Old 29-12-2014, 18:25   #7
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Re: Panama

We used an agent, Enrique something who we contacted from Cartagena to advise an approximate arrival time in Colon. He organized 3 line handlers, long lines and a load of car tyres. He also provided a mobile phone so he could keep us updated on any change to the transit date/time. The advantage of using an agent (in our case anyway) was that if there was an unexpected transit slot then using an agent who had contacts in the Panama Canal Company helped - we went through 4 days earlier than scheduled because of this. (We were over Colon and wanted to transit asap.
It may be obvious but be aware you have to feed your line handlers and canal advisers.
Ours was a good experience but the Panama Canal Yacht Club was still open then.


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Old 30-12-2014, 06:05   #8
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Re: Panama

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Originally Posted by Gerrycooper56 View Post
...... The advantage of using an agent (in our case anyway) was that if there was an unexpected transit slot then using an agent who had contacts in the Panama Canal Company helped - we went through 4 days earlier than scheduled because of this. .....
Once you have paid for the transit, there is a 24/7 phone number for the Scheduler that you can call anytime to get a schedule update on your transit. They speak perfect English. You should call this number the evening after you pay to get your initial transit date. Then call a few days before, the night before and the morning of. That way you will always be up to date on the schedule. The agents don't get any special treatment as to dates.
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Old 30-12-2014, 07:06   #9
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Re: Panama

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Once you have paid for the transit, there is a 24/7 phone number for the Scheduler that you can call anytime to get a schedule update on your transit. They speak perfect English. You should call this number the evening after you pay to get your initial transit date. Then call a few days before, the night before and the morning of. That way you will always be up to date on the schedule. The agents don't get any special treatment as to dates.
As for "special treatment" - not sure about that as Roy Bravo of Emmanuel Agencies got me through twice, within 3 days, one Hi season, one Low. He also managed to "arrange" so that I didn't have to pay a cruising tax, sorted out all the clearance and immigration papers and was well worth the 250-odd bucks that he cost me. Tony
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:34   #10
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Re: Panama

Great advise all!
And we were thinking of going through late Feb hope that's ok.

Just tying to work out how to safely get from the BVI's to Panama around that time. Looks a bit rough.



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Old 02-01-2015, 12:50   #11
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Re: Panama

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Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Great advise all!
And we were thinking of going through late Feb hope that's ok.

Just tying to work out how to safely get from the BVI's to Panama around that time. Looks a bit rough.



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Its always lumpy down that end of the Caribbean!! Not a lot you can do about it - just soldier on...at least its all down wind! Tony
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:28   #12
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Re: Panama

Yeah that's what I've read. I guess once I'm there I can hopefully wait a bit and get a nice window South.



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Old 03-01-2015, 06:07   #13
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Re: Panama

Hi Simon. I'd take a look at the pacific odyssey rally if you're interested. If it's anything like the Atlantic odyssey it will be well organised, a lot of fun and cheaper than doing it yourself after you take into account marina fees, transit fees, galapogas applications and fees etc
http://cornellsailing.com/sail-the-o...cific-odyssey/
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:31   #14
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Re: Panama

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Hi Simon. I'd take a look at the pacific odyssey rally if you're interested. If it's anything like the Atlantic odyssey it will be well organised, a lot of fun and cheaper than doing it yourself after you take into account marina fees, transit fees, galapogas applications and fees etc
Pacific Odyssey Sailing Rally - Cornell Sailing
I don't know about cheaper, but really not that much more at $100 a foot.
Panama entry fees: US$425
Shelter Bay Marina: approx $600 depends on number of days staying
Canal Transit: $800 (under 50 ft)
Lines/Tires: $80
Panama exit: $175
Galapagos: $1260 (2 people)
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:54   #15
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Re: Panama

We looked into that rally. Looks good but again it's a timing thing. We are trying to squeeze as much time in the Caribbean before leaving.

Then again I'm not sure how many extra weeks we can do before it would be dangerous to go.

Most of these rallies seem to transit Panama around mid feb. We were hoping to get an extra 2-3 weeks and do it early March.





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