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  #1  
Old 06-11-2013
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Alternative to Panama Canal

Nicaragua gives Chinese firm contract to build alternative to Panama Canal | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Old 06-11-2013
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re: Alternative to Panama Canal

It was my understanding that the engineers wanted to build the original canal through Lake Nicaragua but this alternative lost out for political reasons. I will believe this canal when there are ships passing through. Making a profit on a $40 billion investment is pretty tough especially with the seasonal alternatives of the Northwest and Northeast Passages becoming more viable each year.
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Old 06-11-2013
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re: Alternative to Panama Canal

Any one know if when re construction on the panama canal will be totally completed and how construction is currently effecting sailboats passing through?
Any one know good agent(s) for arranging deckhands etc. for this transit?
I thought the new canal's benefit is to be the absence of locks, larger dimensions allowing VLCCs and open 24/7 365. This would make it cost competitive as insurance and fuel costs would be less.
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Old 06-11-2013
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re: Alternative to Panama Canal

I doubt it would have the strategic effect the article is talking about... seeming to be quite skewed against the Americans.
The USA has given up control of Panama and Panama is the country that will be in deep do-do when this new canal gets the final go-ahead.

I think we can see the stupidly high transit prices free-fall like a lawyer from a snakes bum.

For the USA the benefits will be in cheaper freight and most importantly another political hot [potato can be shoved in the "we dont give a damn, run it how you like as we can use the Chinese canal!".

Finally, Oil is going by the way of the Cape anyway. As oil is on longer term contracts hedged by futures prices it doesnt really matter if those ships ever use a central American canal. They aren't going via the Horn afaik.


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Old 06-12-2013
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re: Alternative to Panama Canal

The new locks were well under construction when we went through and have no impact on existing lock operations since they are not that close to the existing ones. Panama operates 365 24/7 just not for yachts who moor (you could have a small squared dance on the mooring 'ball') in the lake after a late afternoon departure. The only real advantage of this new canal would be the size of the locks which are much larger than even the new Panama locks. Transit fees would go down, at least for ships that could use Panama. I am very skeptical about this new one.
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Old 06-12-2013
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re: Alternative to Panama Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
I will believe this canal when there are ships passing through. Making a profit on a $40 billion investment is pretty tough...
Agree completely.

On the other hand, just the threat that an alternative could be built might be enough to get the Panamanians to re-evaluate their pricing. That certainly would not be a bad thing.
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Old 06-13-2013
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Re: Alternative to Panama Canal

The problem for us though is that the Panama operators will drop the cost of transits for ships but to drop the cost for yachts is not going to happen because it amounts to relative pennies.

And one thing is for sure - nobody is going to invest $40b to keep their popularity with sailors up
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Re: Alternative to Panama Canal

thanks gentlemen- can you share the pragmatics of doing this transit from east to west. arrangements, costs, best time of year etc. Our hopes are to shake down our boat this year and then either do the north atlantic gyre staring in New England going clockwise ending in eastern Carib followed by south pacific. Wonder if better served by just heading to Annapolis doing the 1500 then heading to panama. Your thoughts and experience appreciated.
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Re: Alternative to Panama Canal

Outbound, in terms of planning your journey it makes sense to think about what your plans are after you go through the Canal. Sit back with a beer and Cornell and you will see that the sequence of when you can go where.

Costs for doing Panama vary a lot depending on how much of the work you pay for (agent, hiring line handlers, lines, fenders, etc) and size. Price goes way up at 50' (I noticed you are close) and they measure. Our 45 footer measured at 48.5' because of Monitor. Davits could be a big issue.
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Re: Alternative to Panama Canal

Thanks for the good advice. Been trying to think about this as one big trip which is wrong headed. Given life issues if done will be done in stages. I'm a wimp and want no part of hurricanes or typhoons. Agree Jimmy's the man. Fortunately my davits swing down using a halyard. When locked upright they sit forward of the end of the sugar scoop. We are really 46' LOA with another foot for the anchor bowsprit. of course would have ding (walker bay with folding transom) deflated and lashed on foredeck so wouldn't signify. Have no interest in circumnavigation but was hoping to see NZ with Thailand as last stop before meandering back east. Boat too tall to trunk so would transit canal west east at end of voyage to regain carib. Wife has interest in heading to Azores then med northern shore then back. Hard to think about this as it's all still very intimidating.
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