St Martin - Profile
- 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.
Announcement by Police Force of Sint Maarten (Korps Politie) - 26 November, 2015
In light of the recent terrorist attacks in France and with the high alert French President Hollande has issued for all French territories, the authorities of the Dutch side of Sint Maarten have decided as a precautionary safety measure to also increase their security at major points of entry to the island, such as airport and harbour. 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. These security measures will continue indefinitely.
Yacht Security Information and Reports
2016: 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the Noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated January 2016.
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.