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 Papeete - Profile

Location

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and houses more than half the population of the country. It is a high, mountainous island surrounded by coral reefs.

Papeete is located on the northwest coast of the island, and now has a brand new marina aimed at transient cruisers.

Position 17° 32.10'S, 149° 35.20'W (harbour entrance)

Clearance

For details on Arrival and Departure Clearance in Tahiti (Papeete) and Moorea, see French Polynesia Clearance.

Before entering or departing Papeete harbour all yachts must contact the Port Captain on Channel 12 or 2683 kHz.

It is NO LONGER compulsory for all yachts visiting French Polynesia to visit Papeete Customs and Immigration to complete the clearing-in process.

However, if visiting Tahiti or Moorea (regardless of whether you have already cleared into FP elsewhere), it is compulsory to register with the Papeete Harbourmaster on arrival.

Moorea, whilst a seperate island, is under the same jurasdiction as Tahiti.

Last updated March 2016.

Papeete Port Harbourmaster
Tel:40.47.48.81 ,VHF Channel 12
Mr CHAUMETTE FRANCOIS. Be sure to copy all clearance requests to [email protected] and [email protected]

Docking

Papeete

You must call the Port Control Traffic Tower (Vigi Du Port) to get authorisation from the port authorities on VHF Channel 12:

A. Before entering or exiting the pass of Papeete (call 10 minutes before entry or exit);
B. Before mooring at Papeete Yachts Quay Pontoons or Papeete Marina;
C. Before any movement in the Papeete habour area;
D. Before crossing the east and west side of the airport runway ends. Call 5 minutes before each crossing. Wait for the "green light" from harbour control;
E. Before using the Lagoon channel, going to, or coming from Marina Taina area (forbidden at night).

Anchoring

Anchoring is strictly forbidden in Papeete harbour area (including in front of the church), however sailing yachts can drop anchor in the very outer limits of Taina and Faa'a navigation channel. Anchor lights must be switched on at night and yachts must be prepared to move if asked by harbour control.

The anchorage in Maeva bay, in front of the Beachcomber Hotel, on the West coast (close to the airport),  is used by some yachts staying longer. However this anchorage is remote from all facilities, not practical for dinghy landing and some thefts have been reported on unoccupied boats.

The Tahiti Water Ski Club (ski nautique club de Tahiti) uses the Maeva anchorage, so boats should take care not to anchor or drive dinghies through their waterski area.

Docking

Papeete City Marina
This new marina opened in April 2015. It is advisable to try and arrive at the marina during office opening hours (see listing below) as an access card is required to get on and off the pontoons, only available from the marina office. No reservations are possible during high season, first come - first served. The marina office will want to see the boat registration and insurance. The marina operates on pre-payment only, therefore less than a one month stay the berth has to be paid for on the first day. For a several month stay, berthing has to be paid the first day of each month.

Security: There is a 24 hour guard stationed on the docks here, the marina is fenced and gates locked, however this does not appear to have deterred thieves as break-ins and thefts continue at this marina (see reports adjacent). Best advice is to lock yourself in at night and don't leave any hatches or entries open.

Town Quay
In the past visiting yachts could also dock stern to the quay along Boulevard Pomare, a busy avenue in the heart of Papeete. However, it appears the marina now has taken up all available space here.

Although Papeete harbour can be noisy, most people prefer to stay here as it is only a few steps from the market, post office, banks, restaurants, repair facilities and the various offices.

Outside Papeete

Visiting sailing yachts mostly anchor or moor off Marina Taina. This is located on Tahiti's west coast, about 5NM from Papeete town centre, and is administered by the Papeete Port Authority. All dock spaces are occupied by local yachts, although there are a few visitor’s berths which should be booked a long time in advance, plus a visitor's quay for large yachts.

There are many mooring buoys just south and north of the marina, labelled with the letter "C", on a first come first served basis. Be aware however that whilst these moorings are checked every 3 months, they are of poor quality and have been known to break in heavy swells and high winds. Mooring fees should be paid at the Marina Taina office. Water, fuel, laundry and garbage disposal services and use of the dinghy dock are all included.

Anchoring nearby (15 to 18m depth, but good holding) can be tight if crowded, and winds can gust up to 35/40 kts during squalls or during the Ma’aramu season (SE trade wind blowing from June to September) – beware of your scope when anchoring!

There are 3 good supermarkets and ATMs within walking distance of the marina which are very practical when provisioning for long passages. Otherwise you will need to take a taxi everywhere.

The Tahiti Nautic Center Marina is located on the isthmus between Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti (about 35 NM SW of Papeete). It has haulout and repair facilities.

Last updated:  November 2018

Marina Taina
PK9 Punaauia , PO Box 13003 Punaauia , Tahiti 98718
Tel:+689 40 410225, Mobile (689)87 78 92 46 Fax:+689 40 452758 ,VHF Channel 9
Located on Tahiti's west coast, about 5NM from Papeete town center, administered by the Papeete Port Authority. All dock spaces have potable water (included) and electricity (available at a flat rate charge). Services include: 24/7 security, fuel dock, laundrette, several internet WIFI providers (prepaid card available at the Harbor Master’s office - reported to be good), 2 ship chandlers, dive center, gas bottle refills, bar and restaurant. Additional services include mail holding, taxi reservation and office services.
Near the Tahiti airport, this marina is popular with superyachts all year round as well as lots of local boats. Limited space available and booking in advance is necessary.
There are however lots of mooring buoys here. Those labelled with a "C" belong to the marina. Pay at the marina office. The quality of these moorings however are reported by cruisers who have used them to be poor, be sure to double check strength of mooring. The marina supermarket is open 24/7.
Papeete Marina
Tahiti Nui Roundabout (Seaside) , YACHTMASTER / VERNAUDON KEN , G.P.S. Position: S 17° 32'25'' W 149° 34'15''
Tel:+689 40.47.48.54 / 89.47.48.54 Fax:+689 40.43.36.12 ,VHF Channel 09
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 08-00 to 16:00 (lunch time 11:30 to 12:00) + Sat. and Sunday 10:00 to 16:00
Modern marina right in the centre of Papeete, close to all facilities. Opened April 2015. Potable water & electricity (220V) - paid for using pre-paid card, pump-out, solar showers, self-service laundry, internet (included 7h-16h - reported to be v.slow) and garbage collection extra. Laid lines. Monohulls up to 100m. Multihulls up to 22m. Toilets. Yachtmaster Ken Vernaudon. Papeete Marina will take care of all clearance for marina customers. Security 6pm to 6am although a number of yachts were burgled here in 2017 and more in 2018 (see comments at bottom of page).
Tahiti Nautic Center
PK58 Taravao, BP 7305 , 98719 TARAVAO
Tel:(689)40 54 76 16 Fax:(689)40 57 05 07
Marina located on the isthmus between Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti (about 35 NM SW of Papeete), with all facilities, laundry, fuel, WiFi, repair and haulout facilities. 15 ton cradle, chandlery, sail and engine repair, boatbuilding.

Yacht Clubs

Association de Voiliers en Polynesie
BP 43442 Papeete, Tahiti
Tel:(689)87 74 10 02 ,VHF Channel 69 "Teva 3"
Call Michel, the president on the VHF in Maeva Beach anchorage. This association was created in 1981 to help visiting cruising sailors and to protect the rights of sailors in French Polynesia. Since 97, the association tries to keep the Maeva Beach anchorage open to passing boats. It can also inform you about the "etiquette" in the anchorage and the latest security and theft problems. The association organizes and promotes events like nautical flea markets, beach cleanups, potlucks, boat parades, etc. It maintains close contacts with the written press and local television to inform the local population about cruising, living aboard, rallies and other cruising related info. AVP maintains a trash disposal container at the disposition of cruisers who are welcome to join the association or give a donation.
Yacht Club de Tahiti
PK 4.5 Arue
Tel:(689) 40 42 78 03 Fax:(689) 40 42 37 07 ,VHF Channel 06
Located in Arue, 5 km east of Papeete, the Tahiti Yacht Club is a welcoming and friendly yacht club with an active racing fleet. The Club docks are full with local boats, and often do not have spaces for visitors; anchoring space is also limited, so one should contact the club first on VHF channel 6 and ask for advice. The manager, Michel Alcon, is very helpful.
Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 24, 2018 10:05 PM

Reported by SY Jacaranda:

I am sad to report that the ongoing thefts in the Papeete City Marina are still continuing. Last week a catamaran was boarded at night with people sleeping on board and some items were stolen. From what I heard the main door was closed and locked but the adjacent window was open for air.

The marina recently moved the guard full time to the docks but this has not helped. I have lost track of how many vessels were robbed but think the count is 8-9+ over the past 2 seasons.

One of the only marinas we have had to lock ourselves in at night that is guarded, fenced and locked!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 24, 2018 11:09 PM

Hi David, the following feedback from Chuck of SY Jacaranda (who produce a very useful guide on getting a LS visa which we link to in our Immigration section):

No I can't, but I would really like to get the details so I can add to our document. I have asked a couple of boats headed there (Chile) to report back but have not heard. Mexico City French Consulate is saying No to non-Mexican residents, forcing people to return to the US or Canada to apply

I am just updating our LS document with more changes. The US is deferring all visa applications to their Indian outsourcing visa processor and its making things a bit more challenging.

-ends-

Please do report back David if you manage to find out any info. or have success getting an FP LS visa in Chile or Peru (however do check out our Peru pages as I've just posted a report by a cruiser who recently cleared into Peru and it took him 5 months and $6000 - so perhaps best avoided!).

David Vanderhoek
David Vanderhoek says:
Nov 22, 2018 03:12 AM

Hi Can anyone tell me if you can obtain a long stay visa for French Polynesia from the French consulate in either Chile or Peru?

Trishe
Trishe says:
Oct 02, 2018 12:21 AM

As anyone following the Puddle Jumpers' forum this year may have seen, multiple boats docked in Papeete Marina have once again been boarded and items stolen.
As you may see from a previous post, we were boarded at night last year and items and cash stolen. This happened to us again this year; the same pattern, with easily carried electronics stolen - my laptop was ignored, but phones and iPads taken as well as all the cash from my purse. Credit cards were left alone, but this time my driver's licence was taken (not very useful to someone in Papeete unless they are a shortish, blondish, midddle agedish Australian!!)

We were in the centre of the marina this time, not on the outer edge. The door was probably not locked, but was closed. We heard nothing of course.
The marina staff seemed shocked that we had been boarded in that position, but there have nbeen other reports on the forum since.
The police took a statement - one of our guests speaks French so that helped, but told us it is a common occurence. Youths taking phones and money was their assessment. They were helpful but didn't seem hopeful of geting things back.
Security is no different from last year, although the pontoon by the marina office is not being used officially due to building works. It would seem easy to approach the marina in a kayak or an outrigger canoe and leave the same way.

trishe

April Cunningham
April Cunningham says:
Sep 07, 2018 04:30 PM

lderamus says:
Aug 20, 2018 11:44 PM
We are currently at Marina Taina in Tahiti and can highly recommend Tahiti Crew yacht services. Responsive, nice,English speaking and efficient. Worth every penny!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 10, 2018 01:16 PM

Reported by Hugh Pilsworth of SY BlueFlyer:

In September last year I left my boat at Papeete Marina, with someone to keep an eye on her. Early this year a big swell came through the harbour and broke up the pontoon where my boat, and several others, were moored. My man moved my boat to a better location with no damage at all.

On my return I have moved to Taina Marina to have much needed repairs done. I have found several good people to do this work.
- My agent, Laurent Bernaert of PYS, phone +68987771230. An excellent Frenchman who also speaks English. A real "Mister arrange it", no problem. Immigration, tax free fuel etc.
- The man who looked after my boat for 6 months, Mike Raoult, phone +68987411124. A professional yacht skipper.
- Mat Angelin, the best rigger in Polynesia, phone +68987720502, another English speaking Frenchman.
- Last is Luc, I don’t have a second name. His phone is +68987737919. He knows everyone and can do/fix most things on a boat, including refrigeration, removing and fitting a new generator, sourcing bits and pieces. He also polished my fuel for me, no mess.

Taina is the more secure marina from the weather, though Papeete Marina is in the town. Costs during the season are much the same, but during the off season, Papeete Marina is about 1/3 of the price. For getting work done however, Taina is the one to go to.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 29, 2017 10:21 PM

Further comment from Trishe:

We have been away from Papeete for a week or so and returned to find barbed wire around the top of the fence around the 'security' gate. There have been more thefts from boats tied up to the pontoon closest to the marina office and park. The lights have been broken for at least 6 weeks now and the area is very dark at night.

Trishe
Trishe says:
Aug 29, 2017 09:51 PM

There have been a series of thefts from boats tied up at Marina Papeete in the last week. Last night we awoke to shouts on the dock (at the floating pontoons close to the marina office) but could see nothing. Checked our boat and all seemed in order. We could see nothing and no-one at that point and went back to bed. This morning I realised that my purse had been emptied of cash and that two old devices used for music storage had gone.
The shouting was traced to a boat at the far end of the pontoon where the owner had disturbed someone trying to pick the lock on their door. The thieves ran away, climbed the marina fence and disappeared into the park. Another boat next to us had a phone and wallet stolen last week.
Be aware security here is minimal. There is one guy on a bike and once he cycles past, thieves can easily climb the fencing around the gate. The staff are aware of the situation and a report is being made to police.

Golden Glow
Golden Glow says:
Aug 16, 2017 07:55 PM

We stayed at both Marina Papeete and Marina Taina in August 2017 and can offer a bit of comparison.
MP is well located in Papeete and contrary to what we had read, they welcome (and have plenty of space) for side-tying to the docks. The ferries go too fast in and out of the harbor once or twice a week at least causing huge waves that rock & roll the outer MP docks, so if you don't want that, take a berth tucked inside and closer to the Tourist Office side of the Marina. You'll have more noise from bars and dirt from the cars on the adjacent road with that choice however.
If Internet is important to you, stay at Marina Taina not Marina Papeete. MP is honest about the fact that their internet speed is dismal. Really the only reliable internet at MP is either buying the ViniSPOT connection, using a Vini data card, or going into town (best option is the cybercafe on the 2nd leve of the Vaima shopping center). At MP, there are WDG and Vini Spot options also, plus a short walk south of TM is the Town Hall/Mairie where from 8-6 there is free super-fast internet (we use ScreenTest.net or its app to compare speeds).
TM offers moorings and berths at the dock. Comparing prices, TM is more expensive than TP.
There is a large Carrefour grocery store within a short walk north of TM. At TP, you have to bike or take a cab or car to Carrefour. Getting rental cars is easy at either marina. TP is better protected from wind and swell than TM, but the moorings are sturdy at TM and withstood winds clocking 35 while we were there.
Hope that's helpful!

stefandec
stefandec says:
Jun 20, 2017 07:03 PM

I stayed at the Papeete Marina and we liked it very much (more so than Taina), since close to the town center and nice security and reasonable rates.
I had my watermaker inspected by Sopom, and although it was not a brand they service (Type Catalina by Spectra), they did some diagnostics. Even though we worked together an hour, I did not have to pay! Ask for Gilles at the counter, he is the manager of the storehouse at the bridge, though they are going to move soon. Gilles speaks french and english, and is a joy to work with.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 15, 2017 05:38 PM

Papeete is the first place from Panama that cruisers can source parts and individuals to do boat repair. There is no local VHF Cruisers net here so experienced FP cruisers Chuck Houlihan of SY Jacaranda and Julient Desmont have put together a very useful services guide (2017).
Downloadable as a pdf or viewed. online.
http://www.tahiticruisersguide.com/.
Cruisers that have been through Papeete in the last couple of years can contribute suggestions of services or individuals who they found helpful.

NewHorizon
NewHorizon says:
Dec 30, 2016 01:36 AM

The new marina in Papeete is very attractive, very close to the city center and the "roulottes" (food truck). We spent a week in August 2016 and paid about 250€ for a 52' monohull (high season prices).

spiv
spiv says:
May 20, 2014 07:36 PM

In Papeete, clearing is much simpler than you'd expect, no need to see Customs or Immigration (if you sent the form from the Gendarmes in Marquesas or Tuamotu), just go to the Yacht Master (Ken) at the new Ferry terminal and he will clear you in and out of FP and give you all info, if you stay at the floating pontoons, you can pay him as well (cash only) we paid 7500 francs for 1 night!!.

The marina Taina is slightly cheaper or you can anchor in front of the marina (best option) you can walk to Carrefour from the marina, but everything is twice USA prices....
If you want the diesel tax exemption, it is very easy, you need to go to Customs in Motu-Uta, Papeete and see Mateata with your green copy from the Gendarmes, in 5 minutes she gives you the exemption.
Once again, Ken the Yacht Master can advise you.

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