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Old 25-09-2009, 12:52   #1
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West Coast of Mexico - Marinas

My partner and I attended a seminar at West Marine recently with a guest speaker from a Mexico Marina located in Nuevo Vallarta. He was talking about his marina and his history of sailing the Mexican Coastline. He pointed out only 1 or 2 "safe" marinas to stay at and said that the police will board your boat, you will lose your anchors due to storms, etc.

We are not planning for our Mexico trip until sometime next year. While we are refitting the boat, upgrading instruments, and learning all we can about sailing we are also doing our research on where to go and where not to go. We have 0 time constraints as we are self employed but plan on sailing Mexico for quite some time.

My question is, does anyone have any Marina recommendations for Mexico? We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area but have plans to end up in the Puerto Vallarta area or Manzanillo area. I have checked on 2 marinas located in the Puerto Vallarta area and 1 is $2640 USD per month for a 60' slip (we have a 58' Force 50) and the other is slip ownership. I was also informed that you have to rent slips from the Harbor Master and not the owners otherwise the authorities can confiscate your boat, fine you and/or put you in jail.

Obviously, we are over planning so we can be prepared as possible. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 25-09-2009, 12:55   #2
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It's been awhile since I was in Mexico, but I would let most of that go in one ear, and out the other. People here, and Lat38 with give you good , and current information. BEST WISHES in a pleasant sail south........i2f
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Old 25-09-2009, 13:28   #3
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Check out the marina at Paradise Village Resort. An American runs it. Also the brand new marina at La Cruz.
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Old 25-09-2009, 15:27   #4
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Good contact list is at First Timer's Guide to Mexico: Major Marinas . The seminar sounds nonsensical. I have enjoyed Marina Mazatlan/Marina El Cid, Paradise Village, Marina Puerto de La Navidad(ridiculously expensive short term, not bad by the month), as well as Marina de La Paz, and would not hesitate to keep my boat there or at the other marinas on the Latitude 38 list where friends have stayed. Marina Nuevo Vallarta was problematic when I stayed at Paradise because it was destroyed by a hurricane and the docks were a shambles, with boats simply tied between the pillars or hastily assembled pieces of the docks. Marina Vallarta was in disrepair, probably still so, but I had many friends enjoy their stay there. For Manzanillo, those who have stayed at Las Hadas have highly recommended it, as well as Marina Ixtapa further South. If you are talking about a Hurricane Hole, the marinas in Banderas Bay have traditionally been the safest from direct hits, and Paradise Village is highly regarded, although the new marina at La Cruz should also be very nice. Also currently have friends summering at Marina Mazazlan' and Marina El Cid.
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Old 25-09-2009, 16:37   #5
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Paradise Village is where I was speaking about. We met him and took a pamphlet. The problem is, it is a 5 star resort ALL amenities to the hotel, pool, showers, restaurants etc. This is where it is $.55 per day per foot,plus $.20 per day per foot cleaning, plus 15% tax. We were planning on long term living. This marina would cost us roughly $2600 USD per month. He is also the one that said that most of the marinas are rough. No potable water, no security, faulty electricity. I was a little disheartened to hear that but then he started pushing Paradise Village. We have been to Mexico every year for the last 5 years and we are going back in 5 weeks. We will be visiting several marinas in Puerto Vallarta while there as well as doing online research for marinas to stay at or anchor at while en route to P.V...

Thanks for the information.
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Old 25-09-2009, 17:51   #6
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When I stayed at Paradise (2007), the Clean Marina charge was just per day, not per foot. So $.55/ft/day +15% tax was about what I paid, plus electricty. There is also usually a Summer rate that is much lower for those who sign up to spend the hurricane season there, a rate that easily keeps them full. So for a 60ft boat, still $1140/month or so plus electricity, but I don't understand the $2640 that seems well over twice as much. I paid the rate I am quoting, about $26/day for a 40 ft boat/slip. Rate is now similar at La Cruz, although I have not stayed there. And at Marina Mazatlan', rates are quite a bit lower, including good power and security, marginal water. ???
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Old 25-09-2009, 18:17   #7
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I know what I did. The rates were $.55 if you stayed over 30 days, for nonpeak season and $.60 peak. I added the 2 instead of getting the average. I guess that makes a little more sense. Although it is still $300+ more then what we are spending in San Francisco. It is a bit more expensive but if you consider that you are staying at a 5 star resort. It's not conducive for long term stay unless you have money to burn. We looked at one boat in Manzanillo that said they paid a little over $200 per month not including electricity and that price was negotiable. We have a little under a year so there is plenty of time for research for surrounding areas.
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Old 25-09-2009, 18:50   #8
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Except for the Hurricane season, there are lots of good places for long term anchoring in Mexico I really liked La Cruz, and the anchorage is still there after the Marina. The Manzanillo area is in the heart of the hurricane belt, and the anchorages in the bay are noted as rolly most of the time. But the lagoon at Barra de Navidad is in the same general area, very convenient, and free. Plus has the French Baker in the morning. With the nearby marina to duck into if you need to. Long term preferences seem to be the PV area and Mazatlan', with my own preferences leaning toward Mazatlan' with its convenient transportation, activites and facilities, and lower cost of living.
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Old 25-09-2009, 19:03   #9
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Marina Mazatlan - I can thoroughly recommend as a port not to miss.
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Old 25-09-2009, 19:14   #10
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It sounds like you didn't get the best advice from the West Marine Seminar. We are participating in the San Diego/Ensenada next week and we park (Tayana 55) at El Coral in Ensenada (Hotel Coral and Marina) It is 5 star with full use of the hotel amenities for marina tenants. Prices are reasonable and much lower than the main marina (Cruiseport). Don't make any assumptions, take your time and you will find some first class choices that make sense.
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Old 25-09-2009, 19:29   #11
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Interesting note on the Ensenada/local facilities. Heard some people talking in Downwind Marine (San Diego) this week about how cheap slips are now in Ensenada if you look around, because of the combination of economy and perceived crime issues. Just looked at Cruiseport web page, and see even they have a 3 month special at about 40% of their normal monthly rate to try to fill their marina. So closer to the border seems like a good time to check around and negotiate a rate, since there are lots of smaller (and larger) marinas with lots of space. And insist on paying in pesos.
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Old 25-09-2009, 20:29   #12
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I will definitely need to check out these ports. Like I said, we are very familiar with the Puerto Vallarta area. Most of the people at the seminar were older couples that have not been to the PV area and I had the sense that the speaker (nice guy) was just concerned about pushing his property and making it sound as if anywhere else is just not safe.

Good thing we're not leaving for a while. I have a lot of preparing to do.
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Old 25-09-2009, 20:41   #13
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Makes sense because the competition is pretty stiff. One additional thought is that you may be able to crew with someone on the Baja Haha or an experienced cruiser before you go with your boat. That would take a lot of the pressure off of your "real" trip. I have some freinds that are sailing from Alamitos around Cabo and then to San Carlos in the Sea of Cortez. They are leaving within the next couple of weeks. If you like, I will connect you and then they can share the "up to the minute" news relating to the trip.
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Old 25-09-2009, 21:27   #14
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Ha ha ha...sounds like someone trying to sell their high priced Marina to me, son't buy it for a second!

Many boats NEVER stay in marina's due to the high cost, even in Mexico, and have not been borded or lost anchors.

Expect California marina prices and you won't be let down with Mexico these days....maybe the poor US and world economy will lower them a bit, but if you are looking for a cheap Marina in Mexico....let me know when you find it in the popular cruiser spots.

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Old 26-09-2009, 09:55   #15
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Aztuc, that would be great. I would appreciate any and all information. We did think about crewing for someone on the Baja Ha Ha but they are leaving the same time we are flying to Puerto Vallarta...

Rich, how is the weather there in Puerto Penasco? I told my DJ that the speaker was a nice enough guy but he has been in PV for something like 8 years and he is doing nothing that the time share people do there...pushing his property. We decided we could look at it, but if we want a resort lifestyle, we wouldn't be living aboard...we are fine with anchoring and visiting a marina for a night or two so we could recharge ourselves and the boat...

I'll still look for the cheapest marina but with reasonable standards...
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