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Old 20-09-2019, 11:36   #1
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Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

Good afternoon everybody,

I am looking for planning advice of people who have been in this area recently to understand the regulations and as well I would appreciate if you would share a few things out of your experience cruising there as it will be our next step of our sailing journey.

Presently we are in Tobago and our plan is to head to Marquesa around March, spend the season in French Polynesia and Cook Islands and than go down to Puerto Montt in September or October.
From there we most probably would like to go through the beagle chanel, and come back north on the Argentinian cost.


Reading through noonsite it is not the easiest task to deal with the authorities of Argentina, I understand they do a thorough check of the boat ones you wanna clear out and decide if you are seaworthy. I found a translated minimum equipment list which mentions for example AIS. We have only passive AIS and not a active one, does it mean we have to upgrade here, anybody has been there recently and knows how carefully they check everything? How difficult is it to deal with them.

I am aware AIS is a good tool, but I really would like to safe this cost of an upgrade and use the money on more critical equipment which brings me to my next question:

Which kind of equipment did you consider essential and a must to have on board, for the passage from French Polynesia to Chile our boat is already prepared (heavy weather gear), I am more looking for the things you need or is nice to have to cruise Patagonia.

How do solar panels perform down there, maybe compared to the Mediterranen or Caribbean? Does a wind generator make any sense, or are the bays where you anchor to calm to get some output.

Thanks a lot already for all your inputs.
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Old 20-09-2019, 13:43   #2
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

We sailed direct to the Falkland Islands from Uruguay to avoid Argentina. We did visit Buenos Aires earlier and we had no issue with inspections from Prefectura. I have been told that Prefectura will inspect your vessel for required equipment in Mar del Plata. I have also heard that in other ports there are no inspections. I don't know about Ushuaia.

During summer, in the semi-arid regions east of the Andes, there is plenty of sun. During the winter we struggle to get all the solar we need. I understand it rains a lot in the canals in the summer, so sun there could be an issue.

In the Falklands, good oversized anchors are a major comfort. In the canals you will need long lengths of rope, normally polypropylene, to tie off to shore.

We rely heavily on our Iridium Go for weather forecasting.

We plan to head to Chile next, but are taking our time in the Falklands.
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Old 20-09-2019, 14:04   #3
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

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Originally Posted by Fliegerfahrer View Post
Good afternoon everybody,

I am looking for planning advice of people who have been in this area recently to understand the regulations and as well I would appreciate if you would share a few things out of your experience cruising there as it will be our next step of our sailing journey.

Presently we are in Tobago and our plan is to head to Marquesa around March, spend the season in French Polynesia and Cook Islands and than go down to Puerto Montt in September or October.
From there we most probably would like to go through the beagle chanel, and come back north on the Argentinian cost.


Reading through noonsite it is not the easiest task to deal with the authorities of Argentina, I understand they do a thorough check of the boat ones you wanna clear out and decide if you are seaworthy. I found a translated minimum equipment list which mentions for example AIS. We have only passive AIS and not a active one, does it mean we have to upgrade here, anybody has been there recently and knows how carefully they check everything? How difficult is it to deal with them.

I am aware AIS is a good tool, but I really would like to safe this cost of an upgrade and use the money on more critical equipment which brings me to my next question:

Which kind of equipment did you consider essential and a must to have on board, for the passage from French Polynesia to Chile our boat is already prepared (heavy weather gear), I am more looking for the things you need or is nice to have to cruise Patagonia.

How do solar panels perform down there, maybe compared to the Mediterranen or Caribbean? Does a wind generator make any sense, or are the bays where you anchor to calm to get some output.

Thanks a lot already for all your inputs.
Hello,
Coming in from the Pacific to Montt or Valdivia make sure you have sent a pre arrival form to SAG... the quarantine people... several days in advance. Also start sending daily position reports to MRCC Chile once in their area of responsibility. An advance email to whatever marina you wish to go to is also a good idea. Give one hours notice of arrival to xxxx Capuerto Radio on VHF16 ( working ch 14 ).

In Montt - not sure of Valdivia... Armada, PDI, SAG and Aduana will come down to your boat. PDI will give you and your crew 90 day visas which can be renewed for another 90 days 'in country'... after that you will have to make a visa run to Argentina.

SAG will do a quarantine check and the Aduana will give you an 'admision temporal' for your boat. They were giving them for 12 months but reports suggest that this may now be 120 days. Either way ... renewable out to 2 years.

You can get pretty much anything in Montt with the exception of three things... edible locally canned green peas... you can sometimes find good french ones in Jumbo, baked beans ... although a weak Mexican equivalent can be found, and you will never ever find chutney..
You would probably enjoy the german butcher out at Nueva Branau..

Prior to sailing from any Chilean port you will need to get a 'Zarpe'... simple enough.. I have had a couple of cursory inspections in Montt.

Autumn / winter is the best time to go south... Leaving Montt in April is good.
In summer lots of rain and NWly wind, along with overcast and high humidity.

Much less wind and rain in winter coupled with often brilliant visibilty.

Equipment?
Shore lines can be bought from Gandara, I have 2 full coils and two half coils, make sure they float. I stow mine in 'bolsas para verduras'.... 50 cents each from Weitzler.
The 'Italian Book' and the RCC Guide.
A kelp knife,
Good warm gloves and boots and hats that keep your ears warm... sunscreen.
A good heater and a well insulated boat are good to have... double glaze your windows to avoid condensation.

A wind gen is of little use ... as you say you are trying to tuck into somewhere out of the wind. Solar works good in the cold. I also have a small Honda for when stuck in a gloomy caleta for a week or so.

Plenty of fuel bidones filled to the brim with petroleo.... I reckon on motoring 1000 miles of the 1400 miles between Montt and Williams and v/v.

Be aware that replenishment of anything south of Canal Moreleda is essentially impossible... apart from diesel in Puerto Eden. Foodwise... best store for two or three months in Montt.

Argentine officialdom? There is a reason I haven't visited Argentina in the last ten years. Popular mythology says that you have to go to Ushuaia as you can't buy stuff in Williams. This is rollocks... you will find pretty much everything you need in the shops in Williams and what they don't have they can bring down from Punta Arenas on the weekly ferry.

If you do store in Ushuaia any meat, veg, and fruit will be subject to Chilean quarantine when you get back to Williams.

If you are concerned about inspections etc in Argentina just clear out of Puerto Williams direct to either the Falklands or Uruguay.

You want to visit Argentina? .. Catch a bus.....

Cheers,
Ping
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Old 20-09-2019, 18:12   #4
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

Thanks Ping, I enjoy reading your posts on South America.
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Old 21-09-2019, 03:54   #5
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

Wow, thanks a lot for this long and detailed description. Now we got a lot think of and how to arrange ourself, as to be honest I thought it is better to cruise down there in the summer month, somehow winter in Patagonia sounds scary ;-).

Are you both still down there?
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Old 21-09-2019, 05:06   #6
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

Currently in Valdivia... heading up to Iquique and the Ecuador... then back down to Montt next autumn. An Aduana run.... boat has been in the 'Southern Cone' since 2004 apart from a spin back to NZ for refit.
No matter what time you go south you should overwinter down there to get true value... no tourists, snow down to sea level, great time to be out and about around Isla Gordon..... and did I mention the clarity of the air?

Not scary in winter... just days are shorter... is all... oh .. and colder.

There is of course good weather in summer and bad weather in winter.... talking the stretch between Golfo de Penas and Cabo Froward... west of the Andes. Ushuaia/Williams have a different dryer climate as all the rain has fallen west of 'the divide'.

A wind gen will pay its way in the Falklands but I would not rely on it to keep batts topped in the Channels...

May......
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Old 21-09-2019, 05:18   #7
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

Do you see many small yachts down that way Ping?
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Old 21-09-2019, 05:25   #8
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

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Originally Posted by DawnTreader View Post
We sailed direct to the Falkland Islands from Uruguay to avoid Argentina. We did visit Buenos Aires earlier and we had no issue with inspections from Prefectura. I have been told that Prefectura will inspect your vessel for required equipment in Mar del Plata. I have also heard that in other ports there are no inspections. I don't know about Ushuaia.

During summer, in the semi-arid regions east of the Andes, there is plenty of sun. During the winter we struggle to get all the solar we need. I understand it rains a lot in the canals in the summer, so sun there could be an issue.

In the Falklands, good oversized anchors are a major comfort. In the canals you will need long lengths of rope, normally polypropylene, to tie off to shore.

We rely heavily on our Iridium Go for weather forecasting.

We plan to head to Chile next, but are taking our time in the Falklands.
Re my comments about SAG inspections and pre arrival reports.... we did an Aduana and shopping run to the Falklands two years ago. Didn't send a pre arrival report to Williams as had no email addy... didn't get inspected when we got there... but then you don't arrive with you boat stuffed full of fruit and vegies from Stanley
That said I don't think Chile and the F.I. have biosecurity issues with each other.

An aside ... on that trip we bought pineapples in Puerto Williams to take as gifts for friends in the islands... they were rather wary of them.... must have thought they were abandoned RG ordance from '82. As you know... the sell pineapples in the islands by the slice....

What you should leave the Falklands with is **lots** of 'anglo' tucker... as mentioned above some stuff is rather rare in Chile. Stuff like sauces and pickles, CHUTNEY... I miss my chutney, peas as mentioned, Mars bars, licorice allsorts?? dunno why but people always seem to miss their licorice allsorts....

Another aside.... Irish and German butter is readily available in Williams... and cheap..... as are polish gerkins... the big ones...
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Old 21-09-2019, 05:46   #9
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

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Do you see many small yachts down that way Ping?
Cheers
Define 'small'...

Have seen an engineless wooden H28 from NZ.... they say he came out the other end a changed man. A French MiniTransat.... he was lost north of Le Maire...

Used to see a fair number of double enders from the USWC in the low to high 30s. Not so much these days.

Most yachts are around 40 foot... lots of Ovnis...

Bigger yachts are becoming more common, there are at least two Garcia Expedition 45s in country at the moment...one laid up just across from us here in Valdivia, one on the patio in Montt.

What is becoming more common is the really big stuff... at least they can't get into the good caletas...
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Old 21-09-2019, 05:59   #10
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

Thanks Ping, It is interesting to hear about small boat adventures. The H28 would have been an adventure with no engine.
Itís interesting hearing that the boats are getting bigger down there as well. I am starting to hear more often that a 40 foot cat is to small for cruising/living and a 50 footer would be better.
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Old 21-09-2019, 07:02   #11
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

It's always interesting to hear about Ping's exploits in what appears to be a fairly COLD environment. I've often wondered what the allure is for Ping's chosen cruising ground.

And the food issues cracks me up.....funny what Ping craves, I'm REALLY surprised Vegemite hasn't made the list. Our Australian nanny would have paroxysms of frenzy when the vegemite ran out.
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Old 22-09-2019, 01:34   #12
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

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Define 'small'...

Have seen an engineless wooden H28 from NZ.... they say he came out the other end a changed man. A French MiniTransat.... he was lost north of Le Maire...

Used to see a fair number of double enders from the USWC in the low to high 30s. Not so much these days.

Most yachts are around 40 foot... lots of Ovnis...

Bigger yachts are becoming more common, there are at least two Garcia Expedition 45s in country at the moment...one laid up just across from us here in Valdivia, one on the patio in Montt.

What is becoming more common is the really big stuff... at least they can't get into the good caletas...
Does anyone else fire up Google Maps after reading a Ping post ?

I've just explored the whole coast of Chile when I should have been working
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Old 22-09-2019, 02:18   #13
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

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Does anyone else fire up Google Maps after reading a Ping post ?

I've just explored the whole coast of Chile when I should have been working
Absolutely, no chance of us getting there but a great way to spend Sunday morning whilst it is lashing down with rain outside in England.

Never ceases to amaze me that I can read something instantly that someone has written half a world away, ask a question and get a really good answer with lots of info straight back.

Pete
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Old 22-09-2019, 03:43   #14
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

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It's always interesting to hear about Ping's exploits in what appears to be a fairly COLD environment. I've often wondered what the allure is for Ping's chosen cruising ground.

And the food issues cracks me up.....funny what Ping craves, I'm REALLY surprised Vegemite hasn't made the list. Our Australian nanny would have paroxysms of frenzy when the vegemite ran out.
Vegemite should have made the list but then the thread would have promptly gone right off topic and degenerated into a Marmite/Vegemite war that would have made the multi/mono wars look very tame.

Truth is I just forgot....

I found TimTams in a little shop in Puerto Aguirre last year...
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Old 22-09-2019, 15:39   #15
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Re: Planning advice for Chile and Argentina

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Vegemite should have made the list but then the thread would have promptly gone right off topic and degenerated into a Marmite/Vegemite war that would have made the multi/mono wars look very tame.

Truth is I just forgot....

I found TimTams in a little shop in Puerto Aguirre last year...
Haha....Well that explains the food.....but what about the cold and wet?

I mean no disrespect, and I hope I'm am not being inappropriate.....but I really would like to read the reasons why you choose to cruise in what many would consider an inhospitable environment.

I'm thinking, maybe like Dockhead you just HATE being hot!.
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