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Puerto Lucia, Ecuador – Comments from Cruisers

By Sue Richards last modified May 14, 2009 06:37 PM

Published: 2009-05-14 18:37:21
Countries: Ecuador

Herewith an update about Puerto Lucia, Ecuador. We have been in this harbour now for four months, two of them we were in Europe. First the security is good and the people are very friendly. Nothing to say about that, however you have no choice as there is no other secure port in Ecuador where you can get in with a draft of 8 feet or more.

We do however have the following negative comments about Puerto Lucia:

  1. The surge in the port is very often untenable, cleats are coming almost off the deck, on the pontoon many are already gone or broken, so there are not enough cleats to tie up and to secure your boat.
  2. Your warps chafe so you have to replace them regularly, in spite of protection with hoses. We lost several good lines.
  3. The restaurant is only open at the weekend, and even then closes very early.
  4. Showers are regularly very dirty.
  5. The pontoon is very dirty and never cleaned.
  6. We experienced poor or no wireless internet connection at all on board.
  7. We feel the marina is very expensive for Ecuador. On top of the marina price, you have to add US$ 5 a day for living on board. For our 48 footer we paid almost US$700 a month.

During the time we were there, I spoke several times to Mr. Gallo, even on board of my boat and showed him the broken cleats, broken and chafed warps and drew his attention to the bird-droppings on the pontoon.

Other boats are complaining too.

Francis and Christine
SV Aquarius
syaquarius@yahoo.fr
Under way to Peru and Chili now, discovering the canals of Patagonia

Marina Puerto Lucia sent noonsite the following comment:

“We believe said observations are unfounded. This is an isolated case, we have not received similar comments in the past by hundreds of sailors from different parts of the world that have visited us.

In addition, the sailor who gave this information, which according to him was here more than four months, during this time he never directed these comments to us.

We know our costs and rates are very competitive, far below the international average in countries similar to ours”.

Additional report received 7 April, 2009
The fees at Puerta Lucia are only high when you take into account the continual swell coming into the marina - causing mooring lines to snap and chafe, the crude oil leaching up from the sea bed - ruining any mooring warps which get into the water, the raw sewage that comes into the marina from time to time, the lack of any chandlery services associated with the marina plus the absolute lack of knowledge that the marina staff have of what is available around the area.

When we arrived in June, Puerta Lucia said that diesel would arrive within a month. When we left the first time in February they still didn't have diesel. The second time we arrived the fees had increased etc., and again they said they would have diesel. Before we left they didn't.

They also tried to stop us from purchasing diesel locally. We and other yachts had to smuggle diesel into the marina for our trips across the pacific. It would be good if they do have diesel in the marina, at a reasonable price.

Andy and Linda Thornton

Marina Puerto Lucia sent noonsite the following comment:

In Ecuador, at the inland gas stations, it is against the law, and penalized heavily, to sell and purchase subsidized fuel for use in other than vehicles. Smuggling, transporting, and using contraband fuel puts in jeopardy the marina as well as the vehicle and the persons involved -at least- to heavy fines.

Since the third week of February 2009 the Ecuadorian government authorized Puerto Lucia YC to sell fuel in our marina to domestic and foreign vessels at international prices.

Presently, we dispatch diesel at US$1.75 and gasoline at US$2.00 per US gallon. Prices will vary.

Fees: every client is advised on our fees, either by e-mail before they arrive, or at the first contact with the marina.

Additional report received May, 2009
(We were at Puerto Lucia Yacht Club in Ecuador at the end of last year). We had our boat there for over a year. We traveled Ecuador and Peru from here and then returned to the US for about seven months to work. We had the boat hauled out on the hard for almost all of that time. I can't imagine a safer place to leave the boat than Puerto Lucia. In addition, the climate was perfect for the extensive work we did on our teak decks and numerous other projects.

The concern most folks have about this port in Ecuador is the question of how long you can leave your boat here... The entire time we've been here this has been a topic of much conversation. What I can tell you is that no boat that we're aware of has really had a problem when the time finally comes to get the Zarpe and leave. Since we returned, at least five or six boats who overstayed the six month time frame have left without any hassle or incident. We had to have an additional inspection by Customs and the Port Captain to get our Zarpe but it was very simple. It cost about $50 when all was said and done. They wanted to know why we had been here longer than six months and we were a bit creative, but truthful. The rules here are not black and white. There a bit fluid and you need some patience and a sense of humor. Every boat's experience varies but in the end, it always seems to work out.

If we had it do over again, we would not hesitate to leave the boat here and in fact, it was the perfect place. We've heard very good things about Puerto Amistad but felt more comfortable with the boat on the hard for that long rather than on a mooring. Ecuador is a wonderful place. Full of many kind and generous people and we would not hesitate to recommend leaving your boat at Puerto Lucia.

Mark & Brandy Fox
s/v Restless

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