Comments on Docking in Panjim, Goa

Published 16 years ago, updated 5 years ago

I read with some interest your article on the upsurge of yachting interest in India, and the mention of several marinas either planned or underway. We are presently in Panjim in Goa, tied up to a tempory marina/floating pontoon. The local company involved in this installation are extremely eager to satisfy the needs of cruising folk like us, but are sadly lacking in the required experience to satisfy our needs, but have the common sense to enquire what we want/need and have no hesitation to ask advice and involve us when required.

After much aggravation with the Captain of Ports (who doesn’t want us here!), it took approx. 5 weeks to get the pontoon sited. We are still waiting for mains ac electricity to be connected! The local company have been promised the world by the local contractors, but these promises are the ones that fail to deliver!

The pontoon and three yachts were also hit by a local tripper boat 2 weeks ago. The three yachts were damaged with various levels of seriousness. A local motorboat was also hit. This tripper boat had no captain on board, the crew were inexperienced (they raised their dragging anchor before starting the engine!). The tide was ebbing which coupled with the strong current down the Mandovi River caused the tripper boat to drift at some 5 knots downstream onto the boats and pontoon before the boat achieved steerage. By this time the tripper boat had a line around her prop and was lying heavily on two of the three yachts. The pontoon was also being dragged underwater due to the engine still being in gear!

I had to go on board the tripper boat to make the crew take the engine out of gear, which took some time as they didn’t speak much English!

As an aside, one of the three crew jumped overboard and swam ashore! The tripper boat was eventually towed off by a local fishing boat, organised by locals!

Panjim is a lovely location to monsoon. The people are very welcoming and friendly. There are countless restaurants to suit all pockets and it is a “wet” state so cheap alcohol is available. Supermarkets are thin on the ground but once found supply all the basic needs.

To sum up; the local population want yachties, as we put a fair bit of cash into their economy. However, the “Authorities” are more reluctant, as they see problems (where I do not know). The floating pontoon will be a success when all services are installed. I hope that it will stay in position for a good few years and provide monsoon shelter for many more yachties visiting India.

Jerry & Caz Flint

Yacht Mandarina

I read with great interest your article on marinas in India.

We are currently moored on a temporary pontoon on the Mandovi River at Panaji (Panjim). Permission is being sought to allow a more permanent structure here but the Captain of Ports is adamant that it will be removed when we all (11 boats as part of Vasco Da Gama rally) leave after the monsoon.

Further, the Captain of Ports has laid large mooring buoys in the only other anchorage in Verem Bay. There is now nowhere for yachts to safely go in Goa.

We have met the Minister for Sports and the Minister for Tourism who both “say” they are keen to develop marinas, but they did have an audience of yachtsmen. We often hear things in India reflecting what the speaker thinks we want to hear, not what they really mean.

I am aware that Gautam has put money into the project and very much hope that the Captain of Ports (COP) will change his mind.

Currently, the pontoon is being operated by One Stop Travel and Gautam (Marine Solutions) are planning to take over in October. There are 12 yachts on the pontoon for the monsoon period. We are still awaiting an electricity supply but we do have a water tank, filled on demand, and garbage disposal. There are public toilets and showers all over the city.

I hope that the pontoon is developed further into a proper marina. Goa is a super place to break your journey to or from the Red Sea or just to visit in its own right.

If we do hear of any further developments we will let you know.

Tim Moore & Chris Brown

SY “Reckless of Hamble”

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