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Johor Bahru, Danga Bay Marina: Comments from Cruisers

By Val Ellis last modified Mar 31, 2014 09:44 PM

Published: 2013-09-05 00:55:00
Countries: Malaysia , Singapore

Also, see comments published at the bottom of the report, independently by cruisers.

Published 05 September, 2013

The marina entrance has now changed significantly. Probably the best approach is to the west of the dredges. DON'T go between them and the reclaimed land as before, as they are tied to steel drums attached to the shore. Keep 100 metres to the west in 2 metres of water.

Crime
My wife & I were bicycling back to Danga Bay from Little India in JB (about a 20 min. ride & well worth it for the roti) when 2 young guys on a motor bike grabbed her bag out of her milk crate on the back of her bike. Luckily it was not locked in as we had discussed a few minutes before. She would have been dragged off her bike and possibly run over by following vehicles..

Since this incident we have attached covers over our crates.  The police say that Penang & JB are the worst for crime in Malaysia. Last week a woman died when she had her bag snatched by a motorbike gang and hit her head. BE CAREFUL.

Paul Carne of SY Pelican V

Published 11 February, 2013

Approach

Once the marina is in sight, head directly east to the ’ main’  shore .  Across the bay you will see lines of yellow tubular floats with breaks in between the lines.  Pass through the break in the line nearest the shore.   For the approach to the marina you will need to motor parallel to the shore, between the shore and the floats (ie, they mark a passage).  We were surprised at just how close to the shore we needed to be.  Our approach was at low tide and there was only about 2 metres of water in the channel. Dredging works are ongoing.

The marina is undergoing dredging works as many of the berths are very shallow.  You should consult before attempting to moor.  You need to be flexible about where you wish to moor as your boat may have to be moved to accommodate the dredging works.  We were moved the day after we arrived because there was no-one available to consult on our arrival late Sunday evening.

Marina Facilities

Berthing is at a flat rate of $100rm/week regardless of size of vessel.  Water is free.  Electricity is tariffed at .50sen/kwh.  The docks have security gates and there are security/police patrols day and night.  Overall, security seems very good.  There is an additional charge of $50rm/week for leaving your  boat unattended.

The marina office, on the second floor of the complex, has a casual lounger area outside of it for yachties  to use. There is also has a book swap library and chart room (with TV and lounge!) on one side of the office and on the other side of the office are the toilet and showers facility. These are clean and well maintained but there is only one shower in each.

A list of services is provided on arrival.  It includes 3 laundry services.  One has a large stainless steel collection box with phone numbers next to the showers and this service collects/delivers laundry 3 times/week.  Rates:  2.50rm/kg clothing 4.00rm/kg sheets/towels.

At night time, some of the restaurants have live music/djs  playing and this can get quite noisy.  Generally, the noise winds down by around 11pm (later on weekends). The southern docks are quieter.

Pot luck Friday nights have also been introduced and we are having a CNY boat lighting competition with lights provided by the marina.

A daily shuttle service to Danga City Mall has commenced (not Sundays and PH’s) – leaving at 10.00am.  As this is a trial, the shops visited may be varied in the future.

Local Amenities

Danga City Mall has Pasar Raya Superstore (a good supermarket but not for fresh provisions). Metrojaya, a stack of electronic and computer stores, a spa retreat, gym, 10 pin bowling. Indoor archery, paintball, clothing and other small shops, Chinese medicine  centre, and  (of course)  food court.

The best nearby stores for food provisioning are Giant and Kipmart – north on the main road – by taxi less than 10rm and by bus around 1.50rm one way.

There are restaurants and food stalls in Danga Bay development.  The food at the ones we have tried is a little more  expensive than we are used to but good.

Conclusion

Overall, the marina is well located and well maintained.  The staff are friendly and helpful. Under new management, there seem to have been a number of positive changes recently and more are anticipated, over the forthcoming months.

Kevin & Trish Comer

Published 30 December, 2009

(01 Deg 28.5' N, 103 Deg 43.5' E) which is only two miles west of the causeway to Singapore will be an excellent alternative to Sebana Cove or some expensive Singapore marinas. By April 2009, a 50 berth floating pontoon marina will be ready, with an additional 50 berths planned at the second stage. Currently, there is ample room for any number of yachts to anchor in 4.0 to 7.0 meters with excellent holding in mud/clay.

Going There :
Yachts going north or south via Malacca Straits, to/from Langkawi and Phuket might want to consider the following: Avoid the hassle in Singapore of having to find either of the two check points on the water, and waiting to clear in/out with the Immigration/Customs patrol boat and still then having to go into the city to check in/out with the Port Authority, and pay SGD$30.00 port dues and hefty marina fees....and running the gauntlet of shipping channels and newly reclaimed sand fill areas extending 4.5 miles out to sea, which are not of course on current charts or C-Map. OR...for yachts travelling to/from Bali, avoid adding another 80 miles return leg by diverting to Sebana Cove and then dealing with costly and time consuming return ferry rides to/from Singapore.

Alternatively it's now possible, if your height of mast is less than 25 meters from waterline, to sail 13 miles up the western arm of Johor Straits, going past Raffles Marina and under the centre span of the Tuas Bridge, (a.k.a the "Second-Link" bridge), which has a minimum vertical clearance of 25 meters at HWS, which is shown clearly painted above the centre span and confirmed on C-Map. (Maximum range of Spring Tides at this location is 3.0 meters). Proceed upstream, staying away from the Singapore coast and keeping close to the Malaysian mainland all the way, to waypoint Lat 01.27.778 and Long. 103.43.354 , which is near several large fisherman houses on stilts on the right and just after a floating fish farm on your left as a turning marker to enter Danga Bay. From the entrance you can also see the roof line of the complex noted above and four 14 storey apartment blocks which are part of the Danga Bay development.

Enter the bay staying close to the eastern shore, which has several small fishing boat jetties and keep clear of some drying rocks and sand banks on the western side of the entrance and marked by a prominent red light beacon which is mid-stream as you enter the bay. There are no other navigational hazards in the bay. Contact the Marina staff at Channel 74 and a member of the marine staff will come out in a dinghy to welcome you and give you a choice of the best places to anchor or park in the marina.

Marina Facilities :
- Free Water
- Cheap Berthing Rates (Management might consider free for short term)
- Fuel Supply
- 24 hours Security
- Shore Supply

Danga Bay Facilities :
- Free hourly City Shuttle Bus Service
- Affordable Restaurants and Food Stalls
- Toilets and Shower Facilities
- Shopping Mall
- Hypermarkets within 4 km by road (Giant)
- Hospital within 5 km by road
- Auto spares and parts facilities within 2 km radius

Immigrations and Check In :
Check in can be done with Immigration at the Immigration Complex, 4 kms away by road and with the Harbour Master (Jabatan Laut), which is 1km along the waterfront from the anchorage, towards the causeway. Customs are only required for check out and issue of Port Clearance after check out with Harbour Master. Immigration check out is not required if stopping at further Malaysian ports, or until final check out in Langkawi for Phuket or other destinations. As in all Malaysian ports there is no charge for check in or out. Passports receive a new entry stamp, which is good for three months stay in Malaysia, each time you return across the causeway from Singapore.

Contact Person: Donny Lim (+6 017-777 2228) or Capt Sabri (+6 013-740 0250)
Email: info@dangabay.com or dlim_my@yahoo.com
VHF channel 74

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hmacread
hmacread says:
Mar 30, 2014 10:10 AM

The marina is very well located, within a short and convenient bus ride from fresh food, hardware stores, supermarket (Giant) and JB town. We left the boat to go for a two week overland trip to come back to a rat, who had eaten its way into the boat via our timber companionway door. Other problems include termite infested dock pontoons and the newly opened waterfront 'LIVE' nightclub which plays loud base-y music until 4am most nights of the week. Also the land reclamation which is ongoing nearby has lead to very poor water quality. For us these things combined led us to cutting our stay at Danga bay short, we informed the management of these problems and things may well turn around. In the short term be forewarned before staying there.

Hugh & Katie
SV Elizabeth Jane II