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Old 26-04-2007, 16:01   #1
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Panama Canal Toll ?

What is the toll for crossing the Panama Canal?
I read somewhere that it was increasing to $1500/yacht, but I think the info was from 1998.

How does this typically work.....do they wait for a bunch of yachts to accumulate and then run them all through together? If so, it sounds like there could potentially be a long wait?

Is there anything trickly about sailing from East to West via the Canal?

Thanks,
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Old 26-04-2007, 16:42   #2
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Most everything you want to know about the Canal at

Welcome to the Panama Canal - PanCanal.com
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Old 11-10-2007, 19:54   #3
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Originally Posted by Limpet View Post
What is the toll for crossing the Panama Canal?
I read somewhere that it was increasing to $1500/yacht, but I think the info was from 1998.

How does this typically work.....do they wait for a bunch of yachts to accumulate and then run them all through together? If so, it sounds like there could potentially be a long wait?

Is there anything trickly about sailing from East to West via the Canal?

Thanks,
They have now started the "expansion" of the Panama canal, but I do believe it will still be very tricky to cross the canal by going east /west as the "waterway" is pretty much north / south except for the Gatun lake on top (80-85 feet above sea level). However I believe there is only 3-4 feet difference from low to high tide on the north side compared to around 15 feet on the south (Pacific) side. :-)
-Sorry for being such a smart-*ss on my very first comment. -
I love the forum here and thanks to you all for all the good information and education I have received so far.
I would also say that the Pacific side of the canal (in Panama City) is a far better alternative to "spend time" if you have the choice. If you do go ashore in Colon, be very very carefully in town, as it can be very dangerous even during the day time hours.
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Old 11-10-2007, 21:31   #4
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Update on Panama Canal Transits

Created by doina. Last modified on 2007-05-10 15:53:00
Countries: Panama

David Wilson has sent us the following update on Panama Canal transits. He also mentioned that yachts arriving on the Caribbean side may now proceed directly to Shelter Bay marina (VHF channel 74) where they will be visited by a Panama Canal admeasurer.
At the moment, southbound transits (Caribbean to Pacific) start late in the day and the yachts anchor for the night in Gatun Lake. The course advisor (pilot) comes back in the morning and the transit is completed the second day. Northbound transits (Pacific to Caribbean) are started early in the morning with the intention of doing the transit in one day. Yachts that cannot make eight knots are unable to cross Gatun Lake in time to make it through the Gatun Locks before dark and will have to anchor for the night in the lake. In this case the yacht owner may be charged for a launch that needs to take off the advisor and bring him back the following day, a delay fee and also a mooring fee. Such charges are not imposed if a two day transit is decided beforehand by the Panama Canal Authority.
The fees for yachts up to 50 feet LOA are $600 plus a $850 buffer fee. The latter covers unforeseen costs and is normally returned within six weeks if no additional charges are due. Northbound yachts that had completed the one day transit in two days normally have to pay an additional $810. Such yachts that cannot complete the transit in one day must pay $320 for the launch fee, $440 for the delay of transit plus $50 moorage, a total of total $2260.
Larger yachts up to 80 feet pay a basic fee of $750. The basic fee for yachts up to 100 feet is $1100 and those up to 125 feet pay $1600.



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Old 13-10-2007, 17:39   #5
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OH MY GOD! Is that in Pesos?

I never even dreamed it could cost so much to get through there. Its legal piracy. I'm sorry, thats just wrong. May they all burn in hell. When I go, I'll hire a big helocopter to pick up my boat and fly it over... it probably costs the same.

OK, I'm done whining now.
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Old 13-10-2007, 22:39   #6
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OH MY GOD! Is that in Pesos?

I never even dreamed it could cost so much to get through there. Its legal piracy. I'm sorry, thats just wrong. May they all burn in hell. When I go, I'll hire a big helocopter to pick up my boat and fly it over... it probably costs the same.

OK, I'm done whining now.
You can always sail around the horn at an additional risk and cost.
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Old 13-10-2007, 23:45   #7
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Originally Posted by Aquah0lic View Post
OH MY GOD! Is that in Pesos?

I never even dreamed it could cost so much to get through there. Its legal piracy. I'm sorry, thats just wrong. May they all burn in hell. When I go, I'll hire a big helocopter to pick up my boat and fly it over... it probably costs the same.

OK, I'm done whining now.
No, WaterSot, that's not pesos. The Panamanians long ago pegged their currency (the Balboa) to the American dollar at par; that is, one Balboa equals one American dollar. This gave their economy a stability unmatched anywhere from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego.

In the current "weak dollar" era, however, as the American dollar sinks in purchasing power against most of the world's other currencies, the Balboa sinks with it. Also, not surprisingly, as a tiny nation with one major resource - the Panama Canal - for which they are now 100% responsible, Panama must maintain this priceless entity with currency that just doesn't buy what it once did.

If you're shocked at the escalating cost of something like a Panama Canal transit, wait 'til you see how the cost of virtually everything in the US (except, maybe, real estate) goes through the roof over the next few years. When a central bank inflates the supply of money and credit (at an annualized rate of about 14% before the freeze-up in the credit markets in August, and more than 50% annualized after the freeze-up) beyond an economy's requirements, the "value" of every single unit of that currency diminishes.

The poor Panamanians have the worst of both worlds - a currency tied to a devaluing currency, and no "reserve currency" status. Increasing the rates for Canal transit has only just begun.

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Old 14-10-2007, 03:38   #8
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850 bucks is not that expensive really for a once in a lifetime experience. The 2 grand + version is only if you screw up and tell them that you want to do it in one day (or blow an engine along the way). They pick up and drop off the advisor for free if it is an arranged 2 day transit. Problem is you have to tell a wee fib and state that you can make their minimum speed. Everyone knows whats going on, but you have to say it. Marinas on both sides if you want them. Pacific side is flash and newly built. Moorings on Pacific side with boat to pick you up, but they can be filled (were when we went through). Haul outs available on pacific side, and atlantic. Can slap on bottom paint etc. Something I hadn't thought of is that you can wind up transiting at night (just the first locking bit, not the lake and down locking).

Cheers,
Brian
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Old 14-10-2007, 06:51   #9
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There may come a point at which it's cheaper to go the long way. I don't know if it's here yet, but when it does the canal will become a luxury for anyone but the large freighters and tankers.

Honestly, there are a few things I'd like to see near the southern route anyway. So, for me, it'll probably just be worth it to take that route once I get to that point some day.
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Old 14-10-2007, 07:48   #10
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It's a long way around and a very tough slog down the east coast of S.A. It will make $850. look like a dime.
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Old 14-10-2007, 08:31   #11
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There are two other routes besides the canal and Cape Horn.
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Old 14-10-2007, 10:04   #12
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Truck it. Boat Transport.
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Old 14-10-2007, 10:13   #13
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No, the other two.
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Old 14-10-2007, 14:54   #14
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And, soon to be three.....
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Old 18-10-2007, 10:36   #15
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And, soon to be three.....
That route provides complementary ice box refills.
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