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By No owner — last modified Sep 30, 2017 08:41 AM

 St Martin - Profile

Facts

Hurricane Irma – the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history - ploughed over the top of St. Martin in early September 2017. The storm had a sustained wind speed of at least 185mph. St. Maarten/St. Martin suffered significant damage, however the clean-up and rebuilding effort has been amazing in its speed and efficiency considering the many challenges.  Marine services, bars and restaurants have been opening daily, although many buildings suffered serious damage and will not be operational this season.

The Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten (on the Dutch side), which suffered severe damage, is now open to  commercial flights, even as people on the island continue to struggle for basic needs.

The best source for the latest post-hurricane updates is this site launched by the St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA): https://www.caribbeanyachtingupdate2017.com/

The 2018 spring Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta will still go ahead as planned.

Hurricane Relief, Support & Resources

St. Martin Facts

  • One of the northern Leeward Islands, St Martin is part of the French overseas départment of Guadeloupe, while Sint Maarten, which occupies the southern half of the same island, is Dutch, part of the Netherlands Antilles.
  • Both tourism and yachting have developed at a great rate during the last decade.
  • Port Lonvilliers marina is the best hurricane hole on the island, being completely enclosed and offering protection from every direction.
  • Overall, repair facilities and chandleries are somewhat better on the Dutch side of the island. There are more cruiser bars and cheaper places to eat out as well.
  • NOTE: Both sides of the island use the IALA-B (green to port) buoyage system.

Security

Security Controls
Following the 2015 terrorist attacks in France and now the devastation following the hurricane, cruisers will find that security at ports of entry to the island has been increased. Joint controls by the Customs, Immigration, Border Protection Service and Police Department at the border crossings between both sides of the Island will be part of this plan of approach.

Yacht Security Information and Reports

Locked dinghy and outboard thefts continue to be a problem in the Lagoon, particularly on the French side. Be sure to lift and chain and lock your dinghy and outboard at night and sleep with your doors and hatches locked.

February 2014: Multiple crimes against cruisers. See Report.

December 2013: Several anchored yachts were robbed at night while in Simpson Bay. Police admitted this has been an ongoing problem for the last 12 months. See Report.

December 2012: A female skipper was attacked ashore and robbed after checking-in at Marigot Bay.

June 2012: Since May, a great deal of thefts from yachts in Marigot Bay and Marina Fort Louis (mainly electronics, dinghies and outboards).

May 2012: Over 30 dinghies have been reported stolen on the local cruiser's net in Grand Case over the last month, many from boats at anchor during the night along with outboards.

April 2012: There has been a spate of dinghy thefts from the dinghy dock at Marigot Bay.
See reports adjacent.

Dinghy and outboard thefts, plus opportunist theft from yachts, is a common occurrence in St. Martin and appears to be on the increase. Yachts visiting St. Martin should take every available precaution, including good security mechanisms on the dinghy, and possibly consider not being away from the yacht after dark.

Sadly it seems that petty theft and crime against cruisers has also spread ashore. Cruisers should be sure to find out the whereabouts of un-safe neighbourhoods from fellow cruisers beforehand and to not walk ashore alone.

Based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.

Also be sure to check the Noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Last updated September 2017.

Weather

http://www.antiguamet.com/
Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Office providing public weather forecasts for Antigua & Barbuda, the Leeward Islands and the BVIs.

SMX Cyclone (in French - marine weather & cylone warnings)

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Anse Marcel * , Marigot Bay * , Oyster Pond *

* indicates port of entry

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 30, 2017 08:41 AM

An update from Island Global Yachting (IGY):

In the wake of Hurricane Irma and Maria, the IGY Yacht Club at Isle de Sol and IGY Simpson Bay Marina, are currently under repair.
As of September 19th, 2017, the airport in St. Maarten was not open to commercial carriers, however, was accepting private aircraft and humanitarian relief flights.
St. Maarten has several hotels that remain open, however due to the airport being closed, are currently being used as relief centers.
Several banks are open and welcoming customers with some having cash withdrawal limits in place.
All IGY Caribbean marinas will be partially operational for the the upcoming 2017/18 Winter Season and are expected to include crew amenities such as; the gymnasium, swimming pool, and food and beverage outlets within our facilities gated locations.

rochero
rochero says:
Mar 18, 2017 12:37 AM

Here is the link to a practical guide to Saint Martin I wrote on my blog.
http://www.altitudezero.org/2016/05/petit-guide-pratique-de-saint-martin-pour-le-plaisancier/

CANNONBALL
CANNONBALL says:
Feb 14, 2017 01:51 PM

I'm trying to get into Bobbys marina in Great bay. But my boat is restricted by a 3.8 m (12,5 ft) draft. Does anyone have a detailed chart available mapping the channels recently updated. Cheers, SY CANNONBALL

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 03, 2016 04:01 PM

Posted on behalf of Christian Kleitsch - 26 October, 2016
Just came back from a sailing trip from/to St. Martin (Marigot). The fees for the clearance in Marina Port la Royale are something between 7-8 Euro.
Very important! You have to clear out even if you sail to St. Barths (and then further)! Otherwise you cannot clear in, when you come back to St. Martin.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 25, 2016 05:28 AM

Clearing in at St. Martin (French side)
The French authorities have given Island Water World in Marigot - next to the Tourism Office - the official program to clear in.
They have a Dinghy pier in the lagoon, right next to Geminga Boatyard and adjacent to the Marina Port La Royale.
Opening Times in season: Monday to Saturday 8.00am-5.00pm

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 21, 2016 09:16 AM

Good information from Ken Goodings - Caribbean Navigator Facebook Page:
Another daylight dinghy theft in St Martin, French side. Chain used was 3/16 inch stainless, that's less than a quarter inch or just under 6 mm. Please consider using SS chain at least 8-10 mm or 5/16 - 1/2 inch. Heavier SS chain is perhaps just plain less prone to quickie thefts, especially in daylight with people around.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 18, 2016 02:42 PM

It has been reported to noonsite that on the Security section of the St. Martin Cruisers Net this morning, a boat reported being boarded by 3 people with French accents this morning about 3:30am.
They are anchored in Marigot Bay near the channel to the lagoon.
The men who boarded stole electronics and threatened the boat owners. They came to the boat in a hard dinghy and had trouble starting the motor (without a cover) when they left.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 14, 2016 03:07 PM

Posted on behalf of Lisa Torkelson - 4 January 2016:
I just checked in today at the Marina Port La Royale's Capitanerie. Unlike Noonsite's Nov 2015 update, there still is a working Customs computer and I used it today as in the past. The change is that only marina guests and those anchored just beyond the mooring balls can check in there (choose 'LAGON de Marigot' on the clearance port). Anchoring near Cadisco is in this zone, but it wasn't clear how far this extends. Fee is 7.80 Euros. Otherwise, you're supposed to go to the ferry terminal (where the fees are higher I understand). I don't know if Ft Louis' jurisdiction covers Marigot Bay or other areas, but they charged us $20 to leave a couple years ago.
The confirmed hours of Port La Royale's Capitanerie are 8:30am - 12:30pm, 2:30pm - 5:30pm.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 09, 2015 10:19 PM

The fee for entering through the Dutch side bridge depends on length.
12 meters or less is $7 US.
The costs go up if you are larger.
Every week you stay on the Dutch side costs $20 US.
Dutch C/I is at the Bridge and you actually see 2 people (not 3).

It costs 5 Euros each day to anchor in Marigot Bay on the French Side with an initial charge of 20 Euros when you first arrive, if you anchor in Marigot Bay. There is no charge for anchoring anywhere else on the French Side, either outside or inside the Lagoon.

The channel from the French side bridge has shifted because of hurricane Gonzolo and varies because the marks are also missing. It is best to enter through the Dutch side bridge and then go through the new Causeway bridge to the French Side. There is no charge for the French Side bridge.

Most people come in the Dutch Side and then decide either to anchor or just proceed to the French Side and check in, once in the lagoon. Or you can just anchor in Marigot Bay with lots of room (because of the daily charge).

We left Sint Maarten/St. Martin 3 days ago so this information is current.

MBujnoch
MBujnoch says:
Feb 27, 2014 02:06 AM

The morning opening time for the Sandy Ground Bridge (French side entrance to lagoon) has been changed from 0815 to 0900. There is no monitoring of any VHF channel by this bridge. Best bet to verify times is to hail Shrimpys (morning net controller) on channel 10.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 18, 2014 08:24 PM

Jan. 17, 2014 - French bridge currently experiencing problems and appears to not be opening (our friends had to go out the other bridge yesterday). Dutch Bridge has new times not shown in cruising guides and most web sites. New times effective Nov 15 are posted here www.smyc.com/content/new-simpson-bay-causeway-bridge-opening-hours (these match what the Dutch bridge authority gave us last week).
SY Day Dreamer

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Anse Marcel
Marigot Bay
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