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Old 22-09-2013, 08:34   #1
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Panama City, Panama Bareboat?

My wife, oldest son and I will be in Panama City, Panama the first 2 weeks of November. I'm looking for a bareboat charter from there for 4 days to a week to get in some sailing and explore the area.

Sadly I'm not having much luck finding a charterer. Any suggestions or people that I can contact? Anyone know of any private folks that would be interested in chartering bareboat?

I have previous experience as skipper on a number of charters in the PNW from Vancouver, BC plus La Paz, Mexico and from St. Lucia through the Windward Islands on boats ranging from 35' monohull to 43' catamaran.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 22-09-2013, 11:50   #2
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We have cruised Panama for a couple of seasons now and I know a few people in the charter biz here, no one I know of that does bareboat. Lots of boats running charters around Bocas del Toro and the San Blas...most of them of questionable legal status I think...probably why you have a little trouble finding info on the net...many are doing pick up charters for the backpacker crowd under the radar.

I will look up and post the web sites of a couple of folks that I know.

Update:

I know the guys that captain these two boats, have never worked charters with them, but their guests seem happy.

http://www.sailing-charters-panama.com/

http://sailingmexico.net/

Also you might touch base w Captain Jack out of Portobelo for suggestions. Very knowlegeable guy who knows most folks in the charter biz in Panama.

http://captainjackvoyages.com/
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Old 22-09-2013, 17:58   #3
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Re: Panama City, Panama Bareboat??

If you are in Panama City, it will be easier trying to find a charter on the Pacific side and go to the Perlas islands. I don't know of, and have never heard of, bareboat charters in Panama, but they may exist.

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Old 23-09-2013, 20:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
We have cruised Panama for a couple of seasons now and I know a few people in the charter biz here, no one I know of that does bareboat. Lots of boats running charters around Bocas del Toro and the San Blas...most of them of questionable legal status I think...probably why you have a little trouble finding info on the net...many are doing pick up charters for the backpacker crowd under the radar.

I will look up and post the web sites of a couple of folks that I know.

Update:

I know the guys that captain these two boats, have never worked charters with them, but their guests seem happy.

http://www.sailing-charters-panama.com/

http://sailingmexico.net/

Also you might touch base w Captain Jack out of Portobelo for suggestions. Very knowlegeable guy who knows most folks in the charter biz in Panama.

http://captainjackvoyages.com/
Thanks belizesailor I will check these out. Greatly appreciate the local knowledge. Not sure yet if we will get to Bocas but it's one option we're thinking about.
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Old 23-09-2013, 20:18   #5
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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If you are in Panama City, it will be easier trying to find a charter on the Pacific side and go to the Perlas islands. I don't know of, and have never heard of, bareboat charters in Panama, but they may exist.

Mark
Appreciated colemj. Like you said nothing turning up for bare boats. We have nearly 2 weeks this trip so Perlas on a charter and a trip to Bocas might both fit in. Thanks.
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Old 28-09-2013, 15:32   #6
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If you do book a charter, I highly recommend the San Blas islands. We spent a few months cruising there this year and loved it. Unique indigenous culture, almost 400 islands, great snorkeling/diving. Lots of reefs so local knowlege is a plus.
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Old 28-09-2013, 17:50   #7
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Re: Panama City, Panama Bareboat??

The Kunas have been kicking out the charter boats for the past year, so may be difficult to find a charter. The cattle boats running from Colombia seem to be OK, but the Kunas seem to know all the local charter boats.

Your best bet there will be Portobello and see if someone is running a charter under the radar. Captain Jack's would be the place to find info.

On the other hand, the Perlas are very nice and if you like to fish, the fishing out there is excellent.

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Old 28-09-2013, 18:40   #8
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Still many boats running charters in San Blas, they have just invited those to leave who were not complying with their laws.
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Old 28-09-2013, 18:53   #9
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Re: Panama City, Panama Bareboat?

Having spent the past 2.5 years there, I can definitively state that their laws explicitly forbid charter boats. They have not enforced them until this year. We just left there and will return soon. Meanwhile, friends there now have told us charter boats are still being chased out. I know most of these boats and know most are gone now. There are still charters, but they are flying under the radar. It is a large area and easy to hide quietly as a charter, as some have learned to do.

Here is a recent notice by a company that used to run charters in the San Blas: Budget sailing charters in the San Blas islands, Panama | Panama City Hostels - Mamallena backpackers, Panama City

A few charters operate with Kuna captains and are legal.

Again, the ones that operate out of Portobello rather than the San Blas are more likely to be un-harrassed. Captain John's is the place to find those.

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Old 28-09-2013, 20:24   #10
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As you point out in your post, those running with Kuna captains are legal so clearly not all charter vessels are explicitly forbidden.

Just recently left the San Blas...still charter boats working there.
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Old 27-01-2014, 22:03   #11
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Re: Panama City, Panama Bareboat?

I can't imagine anyone offering bareboat charters in the San Blas given the poor charts and ubiquitous reefs.

Try Andromeda Yachts for charter info on the Pacific side.
www.andromedayachtspma.com
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