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Update on the Panama Canal

By Val Ellis last modified Mar 13, 2009 11:19 AM

Published: 2009-03-13 11:19:59
Countries: Panama

As of today, there appears to be a four to five day waiting period for boat transiting from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This is much shorter for boats crossing the other direction who have reported waiting times of two days. It appears that last year's delays are not happening this year. That may be due to improved work flow or fewer boats transiting due to the economy, I am not certain, and this could change in the future. Costs remain similar as in the past, $650 for the transit under 50 feet and an $850 buffer that is refunded several weeks later. Tires for use as fenders are on a shortage on the Atlantic side and costs have increased to $3 per tire. Line handlers are asking for $65 per person, which includes line rental. Lines without a line handler are a $20 rental charge.

Shelter Bay Marina is operating at over 100% capacity. They are now allowing yachts to anchor behind D-Dock and in the past week we have seen the harbor go from zero to 7 boats anchored there. Boats are also tied up to the floating barge near the marina entrance. This is due to a shortage of slips, probably a result of the Panama Yacht Club being bulldozed two weeks ago. The rate for anchoring in the marina is 40% less than the regular slip rate.

Otherwise all is well here in Panama. Our boat, Honeymoon, will transit this afternoon and we will keep in touch if we should learn anything else. Otherwise more information is available on our blog site (below).

s/v Honeymoon, Lagoon 380, San Francisco