Trinidad & Tobago - Profile
- Trinidad & Tobago is a republic within the British Commonwealth and its wealth derives from oil, petrochemicals and natural gas, as well as tourism. Its rich culture and many festivals refect the ethnic diversity of the population.
- These islands are a useful base for yachts since most insurance companies now require boats to spend the hurricane season south of latitude 12°40'N, (i.e. Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela). Although hurricanes have hit these countries very rarely, they are still subject to strong tropical disturbances during the period June to November.
- Tobago is the quieter island and the one for cruising, although there are some excellent facilities for yachts here also.
- Cruisers come to Trinidad for hurricane storage and service facilities with its enormous concentration of yards and people to work on boats. Yachting facilities are now among the best in the Eastern Caribbean, and Chaguaramas is where the majority of marine services and boatyards are concentrated. As with anywhere else in the world, a written estimate should be agreed upon before committing to any major repair work.
- Docking facilities have improved with the opening of a number of new marinas. Excellent sources of information are Doyle's Guide and the Free Cruising Guides.
- The Trinidad Carnival, held in the middle of Februrary, is one of the best in the world. If wishing to visit then, advance booking may be necessary to obtain a berth.
Yacht Security: Trinidad & Tobago Waters
August 2016: Boat on passage from Grenada to Trinidad approached by a pirogue with 3 men who acted in an aggressive manner. See this report from CSSN.
July 2016: A similar incident occurred once more. See CSSN www.safetyandsecuritynet.com for more details.
December 2015: Two yachts, on separate occasions, were boarded and robbed on passage from Grenada to Trinidad.
All yachts transiting these waters should submit a float plan to the Trinidad & Tobago Coastguard. See this news report for more details.
Other Security Issues
During hurricane season, up to 1000 yachts base themselves in Chaguaramas and a few years ago Trinidad did have a serious problem with dinghy and outboard thefts. However, a concerted effort by the cruising and business communities joining forces with the police and marine authorities, has improved the situation considerably and shows what can happen when the authorities do not ignore what is happening in the cruising community.
New security patrols have been put in place locally, but petty theft still does occur. Sensible preventive measures should be taken at all times by skippers and crew. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.
On both Trinidad and Tobago, sensible preventive measures should be taken by skippers and crew ashore as well as on board. Don't walk around any time of the day or night with expensive jewellrey, flashing money or on your own with expensive kit (such as fishing rods, surf boards, cameras etc.).
There always seems to be a rise in crime (in general) over the carnival season (February).
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (email@example.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.
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 October 2016.
Equatorial climate within the trade wind belt. Rainy season June to November. Almost out of the hurricane zone.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.