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Old 10-06-2009, 14:05   #1
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Panama Canal - Latest Changes

Having Just in arrived in Panama with the expectation of being here for a week or 3 while various officials sort my life out for me I have been very pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the whole system.
By 'other country' standards things here can move quickly,we arrived Mon PM and are now (wed) awaiting our canal clearance day, 3 days ,maybe not a record but not too shabby.
A few things to note-
things here are becoming edgy, poor people are getting poorer here so be extra vigilant , we weren't but the local cycle riding police officers escorted us to a super market on calle 13(the wrong part of town) and waited for us to complete our stock up,(very cheap compared to other Caribbean country's) and to get into a taxi heading to the marina before going on their way.
Another important thing to note is it is much easier and cheaper to use a local agent, we are using Rudy who comes highly recommended by other cruisers. contact him by email at whityacht@hotmail.com
The other and much more important thing is that the bank that handles all of the transactions for the Panama Canal Authority no long take credit card payments only CASH, this was only very recently introduced and is not in the Guide books.
Last but not least is the demise of the Panama Canal YC,it is no long in existence so the only marina open at the moment is the Shelter bay marina.
Nice with good facilities and great internet connection.
I am not connected to any of the above business's just a satisfied customer.
Happy cruising
Mark
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Old 10-06-2009, 14:29   #2
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The brutal closing and demolition of PCYC has been covered here awhile back, Mark, but thank you very much for your up-to-the-moment report regarding transiting of the Panama Canal. It's always nice to have timely, first-hand reports from the location in question.

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Old 10-06-2009, 16:15   #3
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What does it cost for a 40' sail vessel to transit the canal?
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Old 10-06-2009, 17:25   #4
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The cost for any yacht upto 49' 11"9/10 is $1500 of which $891 is the refundable 'Buffer'
Upto 80' $1700
Upto 100 $2000
> 100 $2500
the refundable Buffer is the same for all boats.
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Old 10-06-2009, 18:41   #5
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I thought it would be more expensive than that. Still, you have to have $1500 cash on hand even though you get $891 back. I was stationed at FT. Amador on the Balboa side 1968-1970. My barracks was right on the canal just up from the Balboa Yacht Club. Didn't see many pleasure boats going through back then.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandlmaunder View Post
... The other and much more important thing is that the bank that handles all of the transactions for the Panama Canal Authority no long take credit card payments only CASH, this was only very recently introduced and is not in the Guide books...
Thanks for the timely and informative report, Mark.

More, according to Noonsite (as of May 19/09):

... It seems that the options for payment are to hire an agent, to pay by cash, or to have your bank make the payment by telegraphic transfer...
... The instructions we were given to make a telegraphic transfer were to have our bank send the funds to Citibank N.A. New York ABA: 021000089 SWIFT: CITIUS33 for credit of Citibank N.A. Panama account number 10991266 beneficiary account number 0550305054 in the name of Autoridad del Canal de Panama, reference “skipper’s name”, “vessel name”, SIN number...

More Details ➥ Noonsite: Transit Fees for the Panama Canal
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Old 12-06-2009, 14:40   #7
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Interesting, Thanks mark i didn't know they quit taking credit cards, how much are the fees and stuff downthere, if my plan goes right I might be down that way may of next year.
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