It's been a long time since I transited the canal
and I don't remember the details of the paperwork. Generally speaking, in Central America
and the Caribbean
a crew list must be presented when entering the country. When leaving the country a new crew list is presented, along with a copy of the old one; a copy of the new crew list will be presented at the next entry. When leaving, if the new crew list does not include all those on the entry crew list there will usually be questions asked. In some places just saying that the missing crew had left by air is sufficient, but in others the captain is expected to have alerted the port captain as to the departure at the time the crew leaves, and have them removed from the crew list. Again, I don't know where Panama fits in this range.
Some places, like Gibraltar
, are used by shipping
companies for changing ownership
because of the legal
and tax environment
. Others are more difficult. Sales tax is just one potential problem. In some places it might be required to import
the boat first. These are things that the broker, or if not used a lawyer, should advise about. Of course if taxes
were owed then the sale doesn't magically exempt the PO from tax liability. In practice boat sales between foreign owners does happen without issue in places where the law could be a problem.
As far as leaving, I would go to the port captain with the new owner and remove yourself from the crew list. You may need your airline ticket as proof of your departure.