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post #11 of 22 Old 05-13-2008
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Yep . . . thanks Jimmy.

Teddy is rolling in his grave.

Didn't Panama turn around and lease control of both sides to the Chinese the week they had it givin to them years ago?


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post #12 of 22 Old 05-14-2008
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Primer on the economics of yachts vs commercial ships in the Panama Canal:

- 1 @ 45 ft yacht = US$600 revenue for the Canal Authority
- 1 @ Panamax container ship = US$125,000 +/-

Now guess who gets to go first, second, third and.....etc.

Also, yachts transit with "advisors". Advisors are usually Canal Authority tug captains or mates, dredge captains, etc. When they're working their "day jobs" they can't be escorting yachts through. Only when the "advisors" aren't needed for their primary duties are they assigned to help small boats make their transits.

In short, they fit yachts in when they can. From the perspective of a voyaging sailor, it sucks. From the perspective of the Canal Authority, it makes sense.

An aside: The bit about it taking 30 extra minutes to raft up yachts is nonsense -- the rafts are made up underway before entering the first Gatun lock and they stay together until exiting the last lock. If the advisor is doing his job there is no delay in the operation of the lock.

Last edited by billyruffn; 05-14-2008 at 11:43 PM.
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-16-2008
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BTW, just reading the documentation over at the Panama Canal Authority, and they say the minimum full ahead boat speed is EIGHT KNOTS. This is going to be difficult for most smaller sailboats to meet.

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post #14 of 22 Old 05-16-2008
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I have read both so I am not sure which is correct, 8 knots or 5? I read if you can't make min. 5 knots, you lose your delay deposit. But I've heard 8 knots too, which is insane for a lot of cruisers. It seems like getting accurate, current and detailed info about the canal is tricky.

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post #15 of 22 Old 05-16-2008
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It is EIGHT KNOTS... as seen in this PDF from the Panama Canal Authority website. From the PDF:

Quote:
k. Minimum Full Ahead Speed: The ACP has determined that the minimum full
ahead speed required for vessels in order to complete transit in standard times is 8 knots.

My guess is that if you can't make a sustained EIGHT knots, you'll lose the delay deposit...

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post #16 of 22 Old 05-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
My guess is that if you can't make a sustained EIGHT knots, you'll lose the delay deposit...
Ouch. Any idea what that amounts to?


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post #17 of 22 Old 05-16-2008
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Quote:
Minimum Full Ahead Speed: The ACP has determined that the minimum full ahead speed required for vessels in order to complete transit in standard times is 8 knots.
I think everyone is missing something. Ships are "towed" by 4 small railroad engines that are mounted on tracks. Perhaps that is where the 8 knots comes from ?

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post #18 of 22 Old 05-16-2008
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Towing a small boat at speeds higher than hull speed is at best unwise...and at worst going to cause a lot of damage to the boat. IIRC, small sailboats generally make their way through the locks under their own power.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Towing a small boat at speeds higher than hull speed is at best unwise...and at worst going to cause a lot of damage to the boat. IIRC, small sailboats generally make their way through the locks under their own power.
That wasn't my point. It was that in towing the big ships, perhaps the railroad engines can only get up to 8 knots, hence the quoted speed.

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From the Noonsite.com website:
Quote:
Fees
Transit
$500 up to 50’LOA; $750 up to 80’; $1000 up to 100’; $1500 up to 125’.

Contingent
$320 Launch; $440 Delay of Transit; $50 Moorage; $850 Buffer
Plus: $50 Security Charge and $50 Admeasurer Charge.
If you can't make eight knots, you'll probably be charged the fees in bold, since you'll have to overnight in Lake Gatun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Ouch. Any idea what that amounts to?

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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