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Marina Zarpar - Cruisers Comments

By Sue Richards last modified Jan 13, 2016 11:56 AM

Published: 2014-03-19 09:05:00
Countries: Dominican Republic

Posted 19 March, 2014
From Jim & Ann Henry of SV Radio Flyer (Newport, Rhode Island, USA)

The Noonsite web site has been most informative and helpful to us as we have been cruising in the Pacific, Atlantic, Intracoastal Waterway, and Caribbean over the past few years. Right now we are docked at Marina ZarPar in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, and like it so much that we want to recommend it to your readers.

The marina is lovely, one of the prettiest we have ever seen, and the view out over the Caribbean is just gorgeous. The dockage fee is reasonable – much less than many other marinas we have visited elsewhere – and includes water as well as excellent security. There is a charge for electricity at the dock amounting to about 85 cents U.S. per kilowatt per hour. Moorings are also available at a considerably lesser rate, which includes a dinghy dock and use of marina facilities. AND there is a fuel dock.

The laundry room on site is clean and well-aired with large, modern washers as well as dryers, and the shower rooms are also well maintained. We get WiFi on our boat all the way out at the end of the pier, and a “Captain’s Lounge” with a TV and internet access is also provided.

The marina is charmingly dotted with outdoor seating, both covered and uncovered, and the onsite restaurant serves ice-cold beer, delightful  rum-and-Cokes, and delicious food. Ice is good here and can be bought by the bag if so desired.

Marina staff are helpful and friendly, and many speak English. The marina accepts U.S. dollars and credit cards as well as local currency. They even have a courtesy car that takes cruisers to a large supermarket in town twice a day. (The supermarket will bring you back.) The marina is adjacent to a beach park, and it is only a very short walk to a bus stop where you can catch a bus for 15 pesos (about 35 cents U.S.) into Boca Chica where there are many bars, restaurants, and shops, including an outstanding deli with wonderful meats and cheeses. (We have been told that almost a third of the town is Italian, and they have Italian restaurants to prove it.)

A very cordial immigration official and the Comandante have offices at the marina and were very helpful to us when we discovered that we had inadvertently left our U.S. boat document in Barahona, our previous port in the Dominican Republic. The Comandante here and the marina personnel worked in tandem to get our document back to us the very next day. We were most impressed and very grateful. The marina office also managed to procure a reliable taxi for our brother, who had to leave the marina at 4:45 a.m. Monday morning in order to catch a flight back to the States.

We have really enjoyed meeting other cruisers here from all over the world, not only the U.S. and Canada but also Grenada, Germany, France, Finland, Iceland, Poland, and Turkey. Marina ZarPar is truly a cosmopolitan community.

If you are cruising by the south shore of the Dominican Republic, do make sure to stop in at ZarPar. Your only problem then may be that you may never want to leave.

Posted 18 January 2014
From Peter Keightley of SY Azimuth (USA)

I arrived at Marina Zarpar with the intention of staying for just a couple of days, however ended up docking my sailboat, SY Azimuth, for a couple of weeks. The eager to please staff helped in making my time here productive and enjoyable. Depsite the proximity to the hustle and bustle of Santo Domingo, the marina felt modern and safe. I would recommend the facility to any yachty who is looking to perform work on their vessel in a convenient location for any extended time period.

Posted 31 January 2013
From Manuel Quemizet of SY MoMo

Our 32 feet sailing boat "MoMo" has now been laying 10 months in Zar Par Marina.

For various reasons we had to get back to Europe, and to take the decision to leave "MoMo" without any of the crew has been difficult. Arguments like; "How safe is it to leave a sailing boat a whole year in the Dominican Republic?"; "Will we find good enough guards to watch and maintain the boat?", were making us worried and insecure. But we finally, after a good talk, decided to leave "MoMo" in Marina Zar Par. We were 2 months living on board in the marina, so we had time to see how the marina works. We have had good relations with the personal who are communicative and friendly.

Ten months later we know that the boat is still there and in good shape. A good watch system is carried out day and night by sympathetic guards. We have had good email communication with one of the workers so we were able to be updated about changes and evolution on our boat. The boat has been moved several times to a mooring when the weather turned bad and then moved back to the poontoon berth.

We employed a guy to maintain the boat for starting the engine and washing it once a month and there are reliable people for that.

A good deal with the boss permitted us to get an interesting price for the whole stay.

This place is then a safe place for sailors and their vessels with a friendly general atmosphere.

Posted 17 April 2012
From Marco Urech of S/Y Habibi
Homeport Basilea Switzerland
Subject: The good and not-so-good of Marina Zarpar

See comments from Marina Zarpar at the bottom

I know there is a lot of blessing for Marina Zar Par. But I think it’s necessary to share some details. We stayed there for more than two weeks while waiting for a Visa and had some nice but also some bad experiences:

Let me start with the nice things:

  • It’s simply one of the best Marinas at the South Coast of DR - the entry looks tricky but is not – it was clearly marked. They even send a courtesy boat to assist.
  • Raul the Harbormaster is the genuine stuff we cruisers hope for. He speaks English and is a real help for most matters.
  • The security is great! You can leave the boat unattended.
  • The whole marina is really nicely made and clean.
  • They provide a cell phone with a SIM card included and you just pay for the calls you’ve made.
  • They have a courtesy car which drives you to the next city or supermarket (Olé the Supermarket is great).
  • Rubio and Teresa from the on-site restaurant are friendly guys. Their food is excellent and they finally introduced a Happy Hour!

Room for improvement:

  • We felt the laundry was expensive (US$3-4 per wash and US$1 for a 10 minute dryer), plus, the machines were not always working.
  • The advertised depth is difficult to find. During our stay boats could not get a haul out at high tide with the 70t travel lift which is advertised with 8ft or so. Watch your depth in general inside the marina and at the moorings.

Not so good:

  • We used an outside contractor, SailingDr, for some varnishing and polishing and were not happy with the results. I left with what I felt was a badly done job and a couple of hundred dollars worth of damages.

In summary:

  • A nice, clean and safe marina for visiting Santo Domingo which is just a half hour bus ride away. Nothing extraordinary, but fair for the price (at least with US prices in mind).

Marina Zarpar passed on the following comments:

The marina has no formal agreement with any workmen that operate out of the marina. Customers are free, like they are at most marinas, to use who they see fit. The marina owns the travel lift and does take the boat out of the water with the marina staff. After that what workmen they choose to use is their personal choice.

As to the depth the customer sites, he is incorrect. There is 8' to the lift that takes boats out of the water. However, that is at normal tide and not when a north wind has been blowing the wind out of the bay for two straight weeks. This pertains only to the travel lift. At the west side of the marina, slips have an average depth of 12' of water.

He is free to have his opinion of the fee for the washing and drying machines; however, electric is extremely expensive in the Dominican Republic and the laundromat is not a profit center.

(Editor’s Note: In the DR the average day-labour fee is about 50 to $100 per day depending on whether the worker is Dominican or Haitian. Many cruisers like the price but are not entirely satisfied with the results – however – you get what you pay for. Yacht finish varnish work with excellent preparation in the United States costs between $60 and $100 or more per hour. At that price you get all the preparation and a finish that is glass. In the Caribbean, outdoor in the elements with someone who is basic for $100 a day or less you get a passable job.)

Posted 14 June 2011
From Richard Brunstrom

Message:
We visited this marina in May 2011 in our Hallberg Rassy 53. I cannot praise the marina staff too highly - friendly and efficient. All entry formalities are completed on site and are extremely slick; uniquely in our experience so far we did not have to fill in a single form - it was all done for us. The boat was boarded by six officials and a cursory search took place. All extremely friendly courteous and professional. Soft drinks were accepted but beer was refused.

The marina is very well maintained and managed, and water is free. An excellent cheap bus service connects with the capital Santo Domingo the beautifully restored colonial part of which is a must-see destination as the first European city in the new world.

The marina has an on-site sailing development officer in Antonio (Tony) Torres who is outstandingly helpful and enthusiastic, and really useful as a local contact. The marina has a very good laundry and free showers which are basic but clean, an on-site cheap restaurant and bar and regularly organises a free welcome dinner drinks and entertainment for visiting crews during the winter season.

We arrived in the dark. Buoyage has just been upgraded (all charts are out of date; most particularly the leading lights have been replaced by a first rate RWG sectored light) and is now excellent (and lit) but the passage does involve passing disconcertingly close to breaking waves to starboard!. On entry to the leisure port it is essential to keep very close to the moored boats on the port side to avoid shallows to starboard. Beware using the mooring buoys outside the marina - some will allow your boat to go aground stern first when the wind changes, so seek guidance from marina staff first. Staff will meet incoming boats and pilot you in if required, and will cheerfully assist with entering the marina and mooring.

All in all an excellent place and an exciting country to which we intend to return.

Comments dated from 2009 and older have now been archived.

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 13, 2016 11:55 AM

Marina Zarpar has responded to the feedback by Mr Johnstone:

The cost of clearing in at Marina Zarpar is consistent with the rates in the country. The additional charge is to handle the service for the boat and crew (there is further information on the Boca Chica page of noonsite).

If cruisers do not want the agent service the marina offers, they can choose to undertake the task themselves.

All water in the entire DR is not potable. Drinking water is available at the marina in 5 gallon jugs for about $1.00 US. Such jugs are available throughout the DR. In additional smaller bottles of water are available everywhere. Even Dominicans do not drink tap water.

As to the shower heads, at the time this boat arrived, two heads had been removed to be replaced. The washing machines work, they are high quality industrial machines. When they break, the serviceman is called to repair them. ALL tokens are refunded on request at the office without question.

As to the marina caring, the marina cares a great deal for each guest and will do whatever is necessary to accommodate reasonable requests.

dijhnstone
dijhnstone says:
Jan 07, 2016 01:48 PM

Customs Clearance assisted by Zarpar was $265......the highest figure I've seen anywhere so far. Water is unfit to drink but no one mentions that fact or posts a sign. Laundry machines were usually not working but again, no signs. They do not refund unused laundry tokens. Shower heads are broken or missing. Annoying details like these told us every day they did not care what we thought or whether we stayed there or not. December 2015. Dave Johnstone