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Old 18-07-2011, 08:48   #31
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Re: Panama

Yes a small boat could cost more than $4,000 to transit Panama Canal.

I have heard a country to the north in Central America does transport yachts by road cheaper than Panama Canal. But I don't know through which country.

The reason why the Panama canal fees can stack up is that if the Admeasurer doesn't think the boat can do the lower threshold speed of 4 knots then the boat must be towed through the canal, but only by a Canal Tug. So more than paying for the pilot you pay for the whole crew of the tug plus the hiring charge of the tug.

The other way the costs can stack up, especially for boats that fall in the 4 to 8 knot category (Everyone who does 6 knots lies and says they can do 8 which is accepted.) is breakdowns. If you breakdown you start again and pay another full transit fee.
For a 28 footer its near US$800.
A firend of ours took 4 goes to get through so paid 4 x $800 plus the $850 buffer (which he got back) plus no line handlers would go with him after the first time debacle so he paid about 3 x $200 for the 4 people as he was solo.
So his total costs were about $4,000.

Older, shitty and smaller boats can end up paying a lot of money! The transit is 30 NMs at TOP speed so breakdowns can happen.
The max speed I was required to do was a little over 7 knots for about 30 minutes and then 6.5 knots. I did zip it up to 8kn just to show the pilot we could do it.

So if I was in a smaller boat I would make some enquiries about the road transport. If someone is running boats over the isthmus one would think the prices could be very low because labor price is low and fuel is cheap.

Mark
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Old 18-07-2011, 08:58   #32
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Re: Panama

thankyou markj--i was figuring i could have 5kusd in hand and see if i could make it on that--mine being in the shittier boat category, on occasion, depending on pending repairs list... my basic quoted rate per the canal site is 1850, IFF i am under 50 ft with measuring, which could well come lil close--with sprit and overhanging mizzenboom----i plan on fastening that overhang to mizzen mast for slightly less length overall....i CAN motor at 5 kts....at 2800rpm.......
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Old 18-07-2011, 09:20   #33
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Re: Panama

I did my transit at under 5 knots the whole way. The advisior directed me to take two shortcuts: the monkey cur and the banana cut. When I arrived at the Caribbean side I had to tie-up to a large mooring ball and wait 1.5 hours for my turn to use the three locks down. But I had started my transit two locks up on the Pacific side.

The adsmeasurer had me hold one end of his tape measure, wink, wink. I had told the admeasurer that it was acceptable if the advisior brought his girl friend for the transit.

The taxi driver, who was my agent, was cousins with the admeasurer and advisior. One day he took me home for lunch with his parents. I had taken my taxi driver/agent to dinner at a local T.G.I.Fridays. Best investment I did in Panama.

This was typicial of my experiences with the locals of all the third world countries I visited.
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Old 18-07-2011, 09:44   #34
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Re: Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the prices posted inthe canal site do NOT take into account the line handlers, pilot and other incidentals..... need to consider that.. under 50 ft is 1850 plus incidentals. makes ABOUT 5000 DOLLARS, OF WHICH SPOZEDLY SOME IS RETURNED TO YE POST TRANSIT, ACCORDING TO MY SOURCE WHO HAS TRANSITED MORE THAN 4 TIMES. sorry about caps i typo i do not type.
How accurate is the above?

We transited in 2004. It cost us roughly 500 USD in a 26 footer. Friends handled the lines for us as we did for them.

There was a deposit too and this got returned into our credit card ACC.

b.
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Old 18-07-2011, 10:45   #35
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Re: Panama

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
How accurate is the above?

We transited in 2004. It cost us roughly 500 USD in a 26 footer. Friends handled the lines for us as we did for them.

There was a deposit too and this got returned into our credit card ACC.

b.
It cost us about $1000 all up in 2008.

Liine handlers are NOT as easy as some suggest!
Some cruisers get snooty about it and dont want to do it; at the end of the season there are few cruising boats so hard to get them; some boats you wouldnt put a dog in let alone volunteer for a 2 day, 1 night excursion and to be fed by them.
We went through in June at the end of the season so we emailed all the Backpacker Hostels and spread our catch of Backpackers through our fleet of cruisers. The backpackers LOVED it! You really only need one or 2 handlers so the dim-witted people just got to have a free ride, free food and free trip back to where they started.

Our 2 advisors were great. Both did the job as a part time extra money thing and one of ours told us all about the histroy of it... even better than the best tour guide.

Photos below: Night time 3 locks. Its a party!!!!!! The Advisor is wearring the life jacket.
Daytime: The guy at the wheel is a Backpacker; the older guy and girl are cruisers; Nic; and the young guy in the white Tshirt is the Advisor.
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