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 Raiatea - Profile

Location

Raiatea lies about 130 miles NW of Tahiti (or 25 miles from Huahine or Bora Bora) and is the second of the Society Islands in geographic size, population, available supplies and marine services.

It has rugged mountains, deep water bays and a myriad of anchorages protected by a barrier reef. Nearly every part of the coastline is accessible by boat, which makes Raiatea interesting if avoiding rough weather by cruising to the off-wind opposite side of the island.

The town of Uturoa serves as the administrative center for the Leeward Islands. It has modern dock facilities and is a good place to work on the boat, to leave your boat for a while and to provision before your departure for the Cook Islands.

Position 16°43'46.31"S, 151°26'34.20"W (Marina d’Uturoa entrance)

Clearance

Uturoa is the Port of Entry.

It is NO LONGER compulsory for all yachts visiting French Polynesia to visit Papeete Customs and Immigration to complete the clearing-in process.

Yachts can now clear in or out of FP with the “gendarmes” offices (French Police) at the ports of entry in the other islands (Marquesas, Tuamotus, Gambiers, Australs etc.) and complete all customs and immigration formalities in the one place.

The Gendarmerie Nationale in Uturoa can deal with Immigration and Customs. Their office is close to the Post Office on the NW side of the town directly on the main street.

Full details can be found at French Polynesia Clearance.

Last updated July 2014.

Docking

Note that the leading marks and main marks between the pass and the port are lit.

There are three public Marinas in Raiatea: Two in Uturoa and one in Apooiti. There are also mooring buoys that are for public use, some paid, others not.  These are mostly useful in the dry season ,April to November.

Uturoa’s main marina/public dock

This is mainly for the local fishermen, loading/unloading, ferries and access for big cruise ships and is located in the centre of town.

It is divided into two areas: a well-protected part for fishing boats and ferries; and a very exposed part for visitors. Sailboats are only allowed to dock in the latter part. There is no power supply or water connection.

Wash from the fast fishing boats and ferries are sometimes a hazard if staying on the dock here, as well as strong easterly winds. Keep in mind, there are some steel rings directly attached to the pier’s concrete wall. The nearby Shell Gas Station does not offer water for visitors.

Security:
There is no security on this public dock and there continues to be incidents of thefts from boats here (both unlocked and locked) as well as dinghy and outboard theft. It is recommended not to overnight on this dock, however if it cannot be avoided be sure to secure everything on deck as well as the dinghy engine(s) and the dinghy itself, and remove anything of value from view. It goes without saying that you should lock the boat up at night and when going ashore.

Uturoa marina north
This is the home base of Dream Yacht Charters and is usually overcrowded with permanent residents. However, there are two moorings in front of the marina entrance which can be used if free and by liaising with Dream Yacht Charters.

Security
Take care if leaving your dinghy at this marina. Even chained and padlocked dinghies/outboards get stolen. It may be wise to appoint a watchman.

Advance reservations for any of the Marinas are only possible for permanent residents.

There is a small marina at the boatyard Chantier Naval, but only for their customers waiting to get pulled out of the water.

Anchorages
There are a number of, safe, secluded anchorages around the island. Baie Haamene on the west coast offers a secure holding in mud. In front of the northern Uturoa marina (Dream Yacht Charters) is a good and not too deep spot for a sandy anchorage. There are numerous places before the reef on the west and east side of Raiatea for anchoring depending on the wind direction. It is recommended to get the exact spot information from locals or a good map. Faaroa Bay is a popular destination and there are now 3 mooring balls mid-channel (in front of the restaurant) and 3 more and a dinghy dock at the bottom of the bay. Anchoring in mud is possible too.

Last updated January 2017.

Marina Apooiti
Raiatea , B.P. 165 - 98 735 Uturoa, Raiatea
Tel:+689 40 66 35 93 Fax:+689 40 66 20 94 ,VHF Channel 68 or 12
All facilities, laundry, fuel, WiFi, bar, restaurants, yacht charter companies and a dive school. This is located shortly after the airport in a westerly direction and is the home base for Sunsail Charters, Moorings and Tahiti Yacht Charter. It has a visitors dock with power (220V, 50 XPF each KWh) and water. Other services include laundry, fuel, WiFi, bar, restaurants, yacht charter companies and a dive school.
There is limited space for visitors (4 to 5 boats). The area is well secured and there are some shops a 15 min walk away.

Yacht Clubs

Yacht Club de Raiatea
Marina d'Apooti
Tel:(689)40 66 42 20
Contact: Yves Robert. Nautical center focussed towards sailing instruction (Hobie Cat 16' & traditional outrigger sailing canoes).
Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 27, 2015 12:35 PM

Posted on behalf of SY Domino:
Motu Aito - 16°42.742S - 151°26.466W - We anchored at Motu Aito, the artificial motu across from Uturoa. This has become somewhat of a controversial anchorage with the locals. Long-term cruisers, especially the ones who have registered their children in Uturoa schools, have elected this site as their quasi-permanent anchorage. The locals have a tendency to see them as “squatters.” The main issue is with local water taxis and shuttles who use the channel north of Motu Aito, a channel often obstructed by the yachts at anchor. Fed-up with the not-so-nice attitude of a few cruisers, the locals are asking for a ban on this anchorage. It would be nice if the city installed mooring balls, just as they have in other places, or designate a safe anchorage for long-term cruisers. But for now, we can still anchor at Motu Aito.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 01, 2014 05:29 PM

Posted on behalf of SV A-Train (Vancouver, BC)
In need of some main sail repairs, we found in Noonsite, information on a highly recommended shop called Voilerie Aveia in Raiatea. The owner is Régine Faux and we met with Regine and dropped off our sail a few days ago. We received a quote via email in less than 24 hours and pricing is very reasonable.
We will post more feedback when the repairs have been completed.
Gwen and Russ Hobbs

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