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Old 09-13-2010
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Panama Canal

This has been under discussion elsewhere on here but here are (I hope)some interesting observations.
I have read the handlining transit info.published by the Panama Canal as well as various articles to be found online but have never seen a yacht transit the Canal that is until this evening(UK time)
A new series of programmes called "my crazy family gap year"
Tonight a trip transatlantic;trans caribbean;transPacific in a 45 foot Cat with wife and very young children.
It showed some very good footage of centre lockage thru the Canal.
First comment of note-the lines were neither one inch diameter as demanded by the Canal Authority-more like 3/4.
They were soft polypropelyne film lines such as are used as tie downs on trucks.
The Lock walls were no worse than your average granite harbour wall-I would be quite happy with my fenders;a couple of ball fenders and a rubbing board as is often carried over here in the UK by those of us used to mooring/drying out along side harbour walls.
The current generated by flooding and emptying the lock was no different to that generated in any lock-a greater volume of water but equally a bigger space for it to occupy.
The height of the lock walls were no different to several of the locks on our local ship canal-The Caledonian Canal-the grandfather of all the worlds ship canals.
All in all the transit itself appeared very simple and straightforward.
Costs and buerocracy are a different matter.
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Old 09-16-2010
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It is very easy to transit the canal. We just went through in June. Ask the advisor to let the outside boats with their engines. It will make your life a lot easier. Being a big cat you will most likely be the center boat, or a tug tie.

The cost is very cheap compared to the alternatives. We found the lake beautiful, and the locks fun. Not to mention living a wee bit of history. Be prepared to speak Spanish well if you do your own paperwork. You will save several hundred dollars, but wait months for your buffer return check.

Stanley is the most reasonable broker, and very kind. He goes way above his duties to help you.......i2f
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