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Tampa to Panama yacht transport

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by gcsi, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. gcsi

    gcsi Member

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    I’m starting to plan next years winter adventure and have decided on gulf coast of Panama. Can anyone make recommendations about transporting a 75’ Hatt MY from Tampa to Panama? Would like to be settled in Panama by early December. I’m assuming would have to load in S Fl. and offload near the Canal Zone. What are some of the rookie mistakes I should be aware of relative to shipping?

    My initial thought is to base out of Boca Del Tora and cruise from there. Not a continual cruise, more of cruise a week or so, return to states, cruise a little, etc... Have own wings so can come and go with relative ease. Wide open to suggestions.
    Brett
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Best transport for that trip is to take on it's own bottom. By ship, the best is probably to Cartegena, Colombia which is 400 nm or so away from Bocas del Toro and getting a shipment to Cartegena would be a challenge. Easy to ship to Costa Rica but then that requires coming back through the Panama Canal. Now, you might find some freight carrier, not a normal yacht shipper, to provide better but not a path I'd want to go. There are trips every two months from West Palm to Bonaire but that puts you close to Venezuelan waters.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's not true. It's easy to ship to Colon, as it's right on the routes ALL of the shipping companies use to ship from FL to the West Coast. Easy for them to dump 1 yacht off in Colon and keep going. I recently shipped a new 62' Princess down to Panama on United Yacht Shipping for a Panamanian owner. Loaded it in Fort Lauderdale and unloaded it in Colon, Panama (East side of canal). You want to get an agent to handle the booking through the canal and the measurements and such (once they have measurements on file, they don't have to do that again), rent the lines from the booking agent they were like 1 1/4" and 75' long or more. We got really lucky and were able to tie up tight to a tug boat in all of the locks, so once we were secrured to him, we didn't have to mess with anything like keeping the lines tight. We used Enrique Plummer for the agent. I flew down and ran the vessel through the Canal to Panama City for the owner, then we did a trip to the Pearl Islands which were nice, but nothing like the Bahamas. Bring LOTS of fenders and big ones. Both for the canal and the marinas, most of the marinas have A LOT of surge in them. Bring a lot of lines and some heavier ones than normal and 50' long.

    I'd do the Central America route to Panama personally, UNLESS you want to enjoy the trip down, then go the USVI, BVI etc route.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I forgot about your trip and United. I was just looking at Sevenstar and their subs.
  5. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Member

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    About ten years ago we shipped several sportfishermen from FLL to Golfito where the crews would meet them and take to final destinations. This was on Dockwise - expensive $20,000 per vessel. We brought another one down on her bottom to Guatemala's Rio Dulce for the price of fuel - much faster and cheaper.
  6. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    If you factor in fuel costs, canal authority admeasures and fees, hours on machinery, wear and tear on paint and varnish, maintenance and salaries for delivery crew your savings are minimal.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Rio Dulce is a hell of a lot closer than Panama is and a lot closer than Gulfito. It's only about 850 NM. I'm shipping a yacht back from Panama to Fort Lauderdale. It's going out end of February.
  8. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Member

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    They did it for a WHOLE lot less than $20G
  9. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Member

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    Rio Dulce is just a fuel stop from Tampa. Easier than running ALL the way to the BVI and down. GLF requires canal transit. Dulce does not. The boat was sent overland from Dulce to Pacific coast. We've done it several times. Wear and tear is minimal.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We've strayed way off the OP's needs though. He's Tampa to Bocas del Toro. Less than 1400 nm. A lot of different ways to go. My choice would likely be the Cayman Islands as an intermediate stop. Gives you runs of 800 and 700 nm or so. Cancun gives you runs of 500 and 900 or so.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, Key west to Cancun, Cancun to Belize City or Placencia, Placencia/belize city to Roatan, then there's one stop on the eastern side you can pull into of Costa Rica for fuel and then Panama. farthest distance is less than 500 NM. I forget how much as it's been a decade since I looked into it.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    He doesn't need all those stops, depending on what speed he runs. Yes, I know the coastal route, but I was just giving him a quick delivery route. Either way, it's not a long trip.

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