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Old 02-10-2015, 21:11   #1
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Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

My boyfriend and I will be sailing from Key West to Belize next year and I've been searching posts for tips on where to stay once we arrive. Also, I will likely be staying on the boat for a few weeks alone and curious if anyone has any information on which marinas are the safest?
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:34   #2
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jennifer.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:24   #3
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

Safest in terms what, violent crime, petty theft, hurricanes?
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:27   #4
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

Response to your other post:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/....php?p=1928635
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:47   #5
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

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Originally Posted by Jen_A22 View Post
My boyfriend and I will be sailing from Key West to Belize next year and I've been searching posts for tips on where to stay once we arrive. Also, I will likely be staying on the boat for a few weeks alone and curious if anyone has any information on which marinas are the safest?
I've heard Ambergris Caye is saf(est) area.
But be sure to check your boat's insurance policy. I know ours (Pantaenius) doesn't allow us to go to Belize
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:16   #6
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

In Belize you don't have a lot of choices. Either Cucumber Beach, just south of Belize City or the marina in Plancencia. Both are safe in the marina. We never had any concerns anywhere in Placencia. I did not know there was a marina at Ambergris that had enough water depth for most boats. Chuck
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:57   #7
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

There is a new marina just north of Placencia, it looks pretty nice. There is a new very small marina in the Placencia lagoon too and of course the city docks.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:00   #8
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

very little choice in marinas. live aboard for few weeks may not be comfortable or even possible. nothing in Ambergris Caye. I urge you to not only double check marina facilities but the details of the neighborhood. I haven't seen it but I've heard the attitude towards solo women is not good. generally Belize is not geared to cruisers. the waters are shallow and treacherous, markings are limited and there may be some regulatory hoops to jump through. the diving is great but your marina will not be close to the reef. you might consider a visit, do some diving and then move to a better cruising port in Mexico or Honduras or maybe Cuba.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:04   #9
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

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very little choice in marinas. live aboard for few weeks may not be comfortable or even possible. nothing in Ambergris Caye. I urge you to not only double check marina facilities but the details of the neighborhood. I haven't seen it but I've heard the attitude towards solo women is not good. generally Belize is not geared to cruisers. the waters are shallow and treacherous, markings are limited and there may be some regulatory hoops to jump through. the diving is great but your marina will not be close to the reef. you might consider a visit, do some diving and then move to a better cruising port in Mexico or Honduras or maybe Cuba.

What?? That is a pretty negative view of Belize.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:26   #10
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

Ambergris Caye inside the reef is very shallow and no real marinas. People are wonderful, food is great and the fishing is world renowned. Last time I was there,, there was a sailboat anchored just inside of the reef. I searched for a place to dock my boat and unless you are on a shallow draft cat is doesn't exist. Heading there in a few weeks without my boat for some fishing.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:46   #11
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

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I've heard Ambergris Caye is saf(est) area.
But be sure to check your boat's insurance policy. I know ours (Pantaenius) doesn't allow us to go to Belize
No, Ambergris is one of the most densely developed places in Belize and has one of highest incidents of crimes against tourists in the country (logical of course because thats where the majority of clueless toursists go) and the anchorage suxs. I dont like Ambergris, but Im probably in the minority.

There are no marinas on Ambergris, there are docks where you might arrange to tie up for a while, maybe,...and get bounced around by the constant boat wakes.

Exactly the wrong choice for a single female.

Roberts Grove in Placencia would be my first suggestion. Extremely well sheltered (on the lagoon side), on site 24 hour security, all the amenities of the resort (two resturants, a bar, gift shop, internet access, and a pool), nice beach on the sea side, friendly helpful staff. A bit far from town, but for security thats a plus. I used to live aboard there...pleasant place, no worries.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:48   #12
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

Years ago, I cruised the area in a Gulfstar 50, inside the reef. Draft was 5 1/2 feet and we left muddy trails at times. Follow the guides and it should be fine. Though I do not know its status now, Key Chapel had a nice small sheltered harbor with docks. I believe it sold and am not sure if it is ok now. Cay Caulker has a lot of Hippie free style people and was friendly then. We just followed carefully all the markers from significant ones to palm fronds in the water.
There were good guides available then. I would check for publications about Western Carribean. They should be available with more information than some offered in this thread, unless the situation has significantly changed. Placencia was also a good place.
Good luck and enjoy, Belize is an interesting place and I hope you can find up to date info which can offer better help than my out of date ones.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:11   #13
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

Sapodilla Lagoon would be another place, just a little north of Placentcia, but it's only an anchorage. There is the makings of a big new marina just off the lagoon, but it is not open for business yet; IGY will be managing it when it opens.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:25   #14
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

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Originally Posted by Dave22q View Post
very little choice in marinas. live aboard for few weeks may not be comfortable or even possible. nothing in Ambergris Caye. I urge you to not only double check marina facilities but the details of the neighborhood. I haven't seen it but I've heard the attitude towards solo women is not good. generally Belize is not geared to cruisers. the waters are shallow and treacherous, markings are limited and there may be some regulatory hoops to jump through. the diving is great but your marina will not be close to the reef. you might consider a visit, do some diving and then move to a better cruising port in Mexico or Honduras or maybe Cuba.
Hmmm, did'nt like Belize I take it?

True, there are limited choices of marinas, but the choices are safe, comfortable, and very much viable for short-term, or even long-term, liveaboard. I used to liveaboard in Roberts Grove and have friends who've lived aboard for many years in Cucumber Beach (Ive spent quite a few nights there too). Both are perfectly good choices for the OP, though Roberts Grove is nicer and she wont have to go into Belize City to provision. Going into Placencia, from Roberts Grove, to provision is a much shorter and much more scenic trip, and Placencia is only slightly more risky than Disnelyland. You can even ride a bike into town (dont even think about that from Cucumber Beach). Placencia is a nice place to hang out too, as is Maya Beach just up the road. Belize City on the other hand is a bit more dicey and I dont recommend hanging out there without some local knowledge. She would likely get less cabin fever at Roberts Grove too, because at Cucumber Beach you are much more islolated and stuck in the marina.

Yes, the local boys will likely pay some attention to her, but they are not usually overly aggressive about it. There are hundreds of single young female travellers who visit Placencia, and the rest of Belize, every year and very rarely have any serious problems. Most Ive heard of were due to foolish behaviour like stumbling home drunk from night clubs in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. I've had several attractive single female friends who've lived long term in Placencia without serious incidents. My wife used to stay there alone when I was traveling or out on charter, and go out at night with friends, never even a hint of an issue.

For a two week stay there are no unusual regulatory hoops to jump thru....I suggest you (OP) dont go looking for them either.

There are plenty of hazards to navigation in Belize, and few nav aids, plenty of shallow, but plenty of deep too...you just have to know where it is.

Dont recall diving being one of her requirements, though true it is great in Belize.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:41   #15
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Re: Needing advise on safe marinas in Belize

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Originally Posted by stevebein View Post
Years ago, I cruised the area in a Gulfstar 50, inside the reef. Draft was 5 1/2 feet and we left muddy trails at times. Follow the guides and it should be fine. Though I do not know its status now, Key Chapel had a nice small sheltered harbor with docks. I believe it sold and am not sure if it is ok now. Cay Caulker has a lot of Hippie free style people and was friendly then. We just followed carefully all the markers from significant ones to palm fronds in the water.
There were good guides available then. I would check for publications about Western Carribean. They should be available with more information than some offered in this thread, unless the situation has significantly changed. Placencia was also a good place.
Good luck and enjoy, Belize is an interesting place and I hope you can find up to date info which can offer better help than my out of date ones.
I used to captain a GS 50 all over Belize, great boats. That draft does create a few limitations, but surprisingly few. People always associate Belize with shallow water, and there is plenty, but often just a few boat lengths away is deep water...you just have to know where and you can go almost anywhere in Belize with 5.5' draft.

Caye Chapel is technically private, but they are friendly have sometimes allowed folks to dock there, but its not officially open to the public. Not sure how the change in ownership has effected it.

Freya Rauchers guide is the best navigation reference for Belize. All are also welcome to my supplental notes (including a section on Marinas!). Link: https://db.tt/2rECT7Qi.
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