Eastern Tunisia: Long Term Storage at Monastir

Published 10 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Monastir Marina: © Bob Kinnier

The following is a comparison of storage costs including tax for a 13-meter boat stored in Monastir, Tunisia for 10.5 months with no electric or water service:

In the water at the marina with supervision: $3759 US Dollars

On the hard at Monastir marina yard: 5405

On the hard at Port o Piesche: 3215

In comparison, Ragusa, Sicily on the hard: 4865

(Based on 1 Euro = US$1.39, and 1 Tunisian dollar =US$ 0.63)

I choose the Monastir marina yard, the most expensive, for the following reasons:

•       I needed to escape the EU to restart the VAT clock. To accomplish this I need to stay out of the EU until next spring when I begin cruising again.

•       Port of Piesche (see photo left) looks worse than Detroit after the riots. It is primarily a harbour for the repair of large wooden tour boats. Security would be a major concern even though it is supposed to be guarded 24/7. There were 2 nice yachts there…. Supported by 55-gallon drums as the jack stands.

•       Monastir marina has berths for about 400 boats. It is about 75% full right now with about 1/3 liveaboards and 2/3 in the water storage. It is a very nice marina in a tourist setting with reasonable security. Monitoring of your boat in your absence can be provided and is included in the above price. The harbour I would estimate is very secure in bad weather. My Slocum has a balsa core hull and I do not like it sitting in water unnecessarily, so this is not an option for me.

•       The yard at Monastir run by Mohamed was my choice… the most expensive. The yard specializes in bottom jobs and has a continuous flow of boats in and out. Everyone that I have spoken to considers Mohamed honest and his yard does first class bottom jobs using International Micron paint.

The problem is that the Monastir yard is tiny and it is cluttered…. Mohamed does not want to store boats long term as a result. Therefore I am paying his daily storage rate less 10%.

Monastir is 187 nm from Malta and Malta is 54 nm from Ragusa, Sicily. We did an overnighter rather than stop in Lampedusa. We have been here a week and can report that we feel perfectly safe…. The locals are very friendly and the marina has many apartments and a large hotel catering to Europeans in the summer. The liveaboards are extremely friendly and welcoming…. They have Saturday night get-togethers and Sunday barbeques. There is only 1 other American boat here that we have found.

Once outside the marina…. The surroundings change drastically. The Medina (Kasbah) or market is a busy dingy place with many tourist shops…. The shopkeepers do a friendly harassing job as you walk along, especially since there are few tourists this time of year. Port o Piesche was a real shocker.

Getting things done here is like the Bahamas… they are on “Island Time”. It is hard to get solid information. Everyone wants a piece of the action and therefore tend to string you along as much as possible.

We are now trying to arrange tours of the country with limited success. Are things cheaper here?…. yes and no.  Basics like groceries are much cheaper. Restaurants are a different story if you start to consider price versus quality…. My opinion is that an American restaurant is a much better deal. Taxis are the best deal of all… we ride to and from the marina to the Medina for about US$0.60.


You may also want to read – Eastern Tunisia: Hauling Out in Monastir

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