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Eastern Tunisia: Hauling Out in Monastir

By Dave Elliott of SY Scarlett — last modified Nov 26, 2013 01:08 PM

Published: 2013-03-27 00:00:00
Countries: Tunisia

We have just returned from 10 days in Monastir.

Tunisia_Monastir DockMarina Cap

We stayed at Marina Cap in Monastir, it was safe, warm, clean and friendly. The marina is very secure from wind and waves, the power and all facilities work. French is the number one language, but English is widely spoken.

The rate was 17 Euros a night for a 13m boat, including power and water. The water is safe to drink and tastes ok, not great but better than de-sal.

Diesel is 55 cents a litre, a 3kg gas bottle fills for 3 Euros. You can buy 20 litre jerry cans for 2.5 Euros each.

Tunisia_Monastir_traveliftBoatyard

The haul-out yard which is within the marina complex.

We had the boat hauled out on a modern lift, polished topsides and decks, hull pressure washed, sanded, two coats of good quality anti-foul applied and then placed back in the water inside 4 days. We stayed on the boat with power and water for that time. Total cost 500 Euros. The largest boat they can lift would be about 50 foot and the widest beam 5.5 metres.

Contact Mohamed for a quote at the boat yard on marineservicemir@yahoo.it. He will organize a price for haul out and work at the marina. We found his work to be fast, on-time and exactly to cent as quoted. The staff were friendly and the work was exactly as required. You can stay on the boat, work on your boat or stay at a motel overlooking the Marina for about a double at 30 euro per night. If you wish there are modern apartments alongside, very clean and nice for 32 Euros a night.

I suggest strongly bringing your own anti-foul. They supplied ours and it was not good quality.

Catamarans need to go to the Port de Peche a mile to the East. Here they can pull out a boat of 500 tonnes and a beam of 9100mm. The work there is good and the rates cheaper, but it is far from pretty.

We had canvas work done (again contact Mohamed), all the seams on the dodger, sail bag and zips replaced. We had new drop down sides made for the bimini. The work was done well inside 6 days, delivered and installed at a fraction of the cost of Italian prices.

This yard was recommended by all the French and we were extremely happy with the outcome. 500 Euro was the total cost, 4 days on the hardstand, 3 coats of antifouling rolled, fresh water-blast, sanding, polishing of hull and topsides. Recommend tipping the worker 5 Euros and he will work twice as hard.

Sail-maker, Hedi Chafroud of Elvstrom Sails in Monastir. His phone no. is 00 216 226694757 and speaks good English. New sails for a 50 footer her out of the back door of Elvstrom Sails, Dacron, Mylar laminate, top line material. Jib n Main 6000 euro.

Monastir Town

The town is close by, it has a sensational market, with cheap fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance. The fish, poultry and spices are great as is the bread. A large baguette costs 12 cents. Lunch of chick pea soup, bread and lemon sherbet was 1.5 Euros per couple. Beer is expensive, wine is too. Take your own into the country.

When in Monastir, don't miss the fish market.

Taxis are so cheap but they will try to rip you off if you let them. You can travel for 5 minutes at least and only costs half a Euro (make sure the meter is running).

There is a big open air 2nd hand clothes market on Fridays, you must go once to see it. If you walk further in the back blocks you will see horse and carts still being used for carting building equipment. The people away from the tourist area are really quite nice and helpful.

Dentistry is really cheap, we both had crowns made, about $250 (that's the dentist recommended by the lady in the marina office). We had to have physio with a sports centre $10 per hour.

Recommend meals (very good value and great variety) at the big hotel "Monastir Centre" (all you can eat and also serves alcohol) starts at about 7pm. Much cheaper than eating at one of the marina restaurants. Remember you can't buy alcohol on Fridays and not all supermarkets sell it.

Formalities

It costs 100 Euros for a two week visa for non EU citizens, which is granted by the Customs on arrival. You need a manifest of all electrical goods, alcohol and cigarettes. We applied for an extra 3 month visa at another office in the first week of being in Monastir (5 euros per week which you pay at the end of your stay).

Spirits are very expensive, and hide them well, as the customs and police are keen on them and will ask for whisky. We did not give gifts and I declared 0 alcohol, tobacco and herbs.

Local Customs

We did not encounter any graft or corruption, the shop keepers in the market were friendly and did not rip us off. I did not see a gun anywhere and felt safe the entire time. My partner did not feel any negative thoughts towards women and was comfortable wearing T shirts and shorts, which was pleasant as the weather was sunny, calm and 24 to 27 degrees every day.

Conclusions

Go - you will like it and you boat will come out looking very spruce indeed.

Dave Elliott
SY Scarlett

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