Once a beautiful bay, rimmed with sandy beaches and naturally wooded hillsides, Simpson Bay is now a thriving metropolis with traffic congestion, pollution and a new causeway under construction.
Boaters should be aware that dredging and pile driving is taking place in Simpson Bay Lagoon for the construction of a cross-lagoon causeway bridge, intended to relieve traffic congestion in Simpson Bay. The causeway is being constructed from the north of Yacht Club Port de Plaisance to the airport runway. The completed causeway will be a maximum of 28 feet off the water.
Vessels currently wishing to transit the lagoon should stay within the marked channel and exercise caution with regard to the construction.
Upon completion of the bridge (expected time end of 2013), vessels with a mast height of more than 28 feet will be restricted to the opening of the centre part of the causeway which will act like a swing bridge.
The Immigration Department is in the Police Station located adjacent to the channel into Simpon Bay Lagoon. Clearance Office open Monday-Friday 0800-1200 and 1300-1700, Saturday-Sunday 0730-1530. Closed Public holidays. Clearance is possible in advance
Bridge Opening - Simpson Bay (Dutch side)
This is the main access into and out of Simpson Bay Lagoon from the Dutch side of the island. The Bridge is located in Simpson Bay and will accommodate vessels up to a maximum beam of 56 feet (17 meters) and a maximum draft of 17 feet (6 meters). Wide beamed vessels must request pilotage.
When the bridge is closed there is 8.6 feet (2.6 meters) clearance in the port channel and 8 feet (2.4 meters) clearance in the starboard channel. Note: Clearance may vary depending on the state of the tide.
There is a 3mph speed limit for all vessels using the access channel, and within the lagoon all marinas and yacht anchorages are deemed "no wake zones".
As is customary every season, in order to accommodate the Yacht/Marine sector, the bridge opens six times during the day in order to handle the vessels that make use of several marinas in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
Bridge Opening Times - December-May (Daily Seasonal)
Outbound 0900, 1100, 1630. Inbound 0930, 1130, 1730
Bridge Opening Times - May-November (Daily)
Outbound and Inbound 0930, 1130, 1730.
Call Bridge Operator on VHF Ch 12 for permission to enter or leave Simpson Bay Lagoon. Outbound traffic precedes inbound traffic.
Users of small craft are requested not to transit the bridge channel during bridge opening hours. Boats docking at the BBW dock should not be maneuvering in the channel during the bridge operational hours.
Small sea craft must make use of the port channel when passing under the bridge. Jet ski owners and rentals are requested to inform users that they must put their waterspouts off when passing under the bridge. This prevents corrosion of the iron structure of the bridge.
Captains and owners of vessels after docking their vessels in the lagoon should immediately come to the window of the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority & Immigration to clear in their vessel, crew and passengers and pay the necessary bridge and harbor fees and dues.
Bridge Opening - Sandy Ground Bridge (French side)
This bridge is the main access into Simpson Bay Lagoon from the French side of the island. Access is from Marigot Bay and the bridge will accommodate vessels with a maximum beam of 32 feet and a maximum draft of 10 feet. There is a 10-foot clearance when the bridge is closed. There is a 3mph speed limit in the channel.
Bridge Opening Times
Mon-Sat 0815, 1430 and 1730. Sunday 0815 and 1730.
For information call Bridge Operator 690 690 87 20 43 VHF Ch 16
Note: The bridge is now operational after being repaired. (May 2013).
Last updated May 2013.