The Panama Canal was constructed in the beginning of the XX century, connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific Oceans. The first journey through was conducted in 1914. Although it is not an easy one, roughly 14,000 ships yearly transit through the canal today.
If you have chosen to transit your own private yacht through the Panama Canal, there are some important things not to be neglected before embarking on the journey. The most significant matters shall become time and expenses, as traveling through a system of locks might come out really time-consuming, expensive and stressful. Still, the transition might become a unique adventure and even the most epic story to be told for the rest of your life. Here are some details to think over, before you decide upon a journey.
In terms of time limits, the journey through Panama Canal solely might last up to eight to nine hours. An intricate system of locks should be passed on your way through, guiding your private sailboat from one ocean to another.
Prior to that, there is obligatory paperwork to be done, along with the vessel screening (to make sure your boat complies with size regulations etc.). That is why you have to consider in advance the time your boat will be docked at either the Pacific side marina or Caribbean side marina to await your turn before transit. Average waiting time varies, but be prepared that it normally takes several days at least.
As to the paperwork, The Panama Canal Authorities demand an advance notification of 96 hours to accommodate the arrival for vessels desiring to transit the Panama Canal. If you are planning on transiting the canal without hiring an agent, you will need to call to the Admeasurer’s office (English is spoken by all canal officials) to arrange a time and location for your boat’s measurement. You have to go through measurement and payment first, before entering the ACP system to get a transit date assigned, as it cannot be reserved in advance.
If dealing with documentation yourself, you need to fill in a form stating where you are and when you would like to get measured. Then, an official Ad measurer will come out, to measure your yacht according to canal regulations. Once the process is completed, you will receive a form to be proceeded to a bank for an official deposit. Once you are measured and your money is deposited, you will call the official schedulers office and make an appointment for transit. Again, be prepared that paperwork might take from three to seven days.
Money wise, the price to pay for closing the Canal naturally varies depending on the size of your yacht. For small vessels of up to 15 metres LOA, the price makes around $1,875; for larger ones of up to 30 metres LOA it makes around $ 4,275, etc. Furthermore, you should consider extra transit fees including long lines, car tires and making sure you have line handlers on board.
Finally, depending on your appointment time and your port of entry you can expect to depart in the afternoon, around 1pm or 2pm. You will be assigned an official advisor from the Panama Authority to join you on-board, provided everything is going as planned. Thus, you need to provide hot meal and drinking water for your advisor. He or she will serve as your sailing mentor, attempting to get you through the canal as quickly and efficiently as possible. Still, you might end up having to stay the night for some unforeseen reason. In that case, expect to pay up to $500 dollars extra to dock.
On your journey, You will go through a series of locks (12 in total) composing is a system of levels that lift a ship up 85 feet to the main elevation of the Panama Canal and back down. Each lock is around 300-metre long and can be filled and emptied in 10 minutes. Once you have transited through all of them, you can continue on to either the Pacific or Caribbean side ocean.
All in all, if you decide to cross a Chanel on a private vessel, below are some tips for a smoother canal transit (Yachting World):
• Start researching information in advance, at least 3 months ahead, for comfortable preparation.
•It is better to keep the yacht’s decks clear. Move or stow items to keep the area around bow and stern cleats as clear as possible.
• Ensure all fairleads are fair to start. Re-leading takes time you may not have if currents start spinning the raft.
• Stern lines took the most load. Consider running them to a cockpit winch with the stern cleat as a guide to provide better control and mechanical advantage.
• Prep line handlers well. Hold a crew meeting. Make sure they understand how critical it is to be alert: they should not expect to use a GoPro or post on social media during transit.
• Repeat instructions from the adviser. It confirms you have heard and are responding to the action called for. It may serve to clarify the adviser’s intentions when issuing rapid instructions.
• Engage your adviser. Talk through manoeuvres in advance, asking for clarification on next steps and understanding actions they will want you to take before they need to happen.
Celebrating its 150th anniversary, Benetti revealed groundbreaking designs and eco-friendly initiatives during the "Shaping the Future" press conference at Hotel Hermitage in Monaco.Veranda Deck™ Revolutionizes Main Deck LoungeBenetti introduced the innovative "Benetti Veranda Deck™," disrupting the conventional boundary between interior and exterior on the main deck. The Veranda Deck opens up space on three sides, creating a seamless blend between the lounge and the stern. This concept debuts on the Motopanfilo 45M, a steel project paying homage to the iconic yachts of the 1960s, with the exteriors designed by RWD and interiors envisioned by Lazzarini Pickering Architetti.B.Yond 55M – Igor Lobanov’s VisionCollaborating with Igor Lobanov for the first time, Benetti presents the B.Yond 55M. Born from Paolo Vitelli and Stefano Righini's innovative vision, this vessel caters to intrepid owners desiring global exploration without compromising luxury. Lobanov's design focuses on fluid shapes inspired by luxury automotive aesthetics, offering a visually compelling experience.Project LIFE 85M – Espen Oeino’s TouchWith Espen Oeino handling exteriors and Francois Zuretti crafting interiors, Project LIFE, the 85-meter megayacht, epitomizes Benetti's commitment to inventing new lifestyles. Offering large, reconfigurable meeting spaces on each deck, the yacht boasts a revolving lounge, embodying a new era of social entertainment. Equipped with cutting-edge technologies, including hybrid solar panels, Project LIFE is designed for reduced consumption.Project ORO 85M – Valentina Zannier’s EleganceValentina Zannier's collaboration with Benetti on Project ORO focuses on sophisticated purity, with soft lines and three-dimensional movements defining the exterior style. Zannier's interior work creates a harmonious interplay between contemporary surfaces and classic details, evoking a sense of timeless elegance.Green InitiativesBenetti reaffirms its commitment to environmental responsibility, offering hybrid or diesel-electric propulsion across most of its range. The company aims to optimize energy consumption through innovative solutions, such as a Power Management system and advanced air conditioning and heat recovery systems. Benetti has also signed an agreement with Eni Sustainable Mobility for the supply of HVOlution, a biofuel with over 80% reduced CO2 emissions compared to traditional fossil fuel.Giovanna Vitelli, Chair of Azimut|Benetti Group, expressed pride in these advancements, emphasizing Benetti's mission to provide cutting-edge yachts to the market. The company's partnerships with leading designers and focus on sustainability reflect its commitment to shaping the future of yachting.Founded in 1873, Benetti is the oldest Italian shipyard specializing in luxury yachts. They design, build and sell composite vessels from 29 to 44m and steel and aluminum boats from 37 to over 100m. Their fleet consists of five categories: Class, Oasis, B.Yond, B.Now and Custom, to meet all the needs of the market, and they belong to the Azimut|Benetti Group, the largest privately owned luxury yachting group in the world.Credits: Benetti
September 29, 2023
In an enlightening session at the Yacht Club de Monaco, Nautor Swan hosted the Swan Maxi Talk, showcasing the maritime craftsmanship behind their renowned Maxi yachts. The distinguished panel included Nautor Swan President Leonardo Ferragamo, CEO Giovanni Pomati, CTOO Michelangelo Casadei, and Head of Product Marketing Vanni Galgani, providing insights into the creation of these stunning vessels.President Ferragamo shared a unique perspective as both a shipyard President and a passionate sailor. He emphasized the role of technological innovation as the driving force behind the desire for new Maxi yachts, transcending considerations of dimensions and layouts.CEO Pomati delved into the meticulous process behind crafting Swan Maxis, offering news about the sold second hull in the Swan 128, equipped with hybrid propulsion. The event marked the introduction of the latest addition to the Swan Maxi Family: the Swan 100, a collaborative effort of Frers, Micheletti, and Poggi.Pomati highlighted Nautor Swan's comprehensive range of Maxi sailing yachts, featuring the 88, 108, 128, and now the 100. He described the Swan 100 as an evolution, not revolution, emphasizing the brand's commitment to continuity. Naval Architect Germán Frers spoke of Nautor Swan's evolution, maintaining the brand's heritage. Lucio Micheletti's design focused on a light, safe deck setup, and Misa Poggi's interiors showcased Swan's adaptive approach.The Swan Maxi Talk concluded with Pomati teasing a future flagship, the Swan 148, underscoring Nautor Swan's ongoing commitment to Maxi yacht evolution.Nautor Swan was founded in 1966 in Pietarsaari, Finland. The builder entered the superyacht market in 1999. Since then, the yard has continued building high-performance sailing yachts in three different lines; ClubSwan, Swan Yachts and Maxi Swan Yachts. Credits: Nautor Swan
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September 29, 2023
Heesen Yachts has pulled back the curtain on their latest masterpiece, Project Grace, a 49.9-meter steel superyacht poised to redefine timeless elegance. Presented at the Monaco Yacht Show, this vessel boasts a captivating blend of simplicity and sophistication in its exterior profile.With its engineering phase successfully completed and the hull thoroughly tested, construction is slated to commence next summer. Project Grace, encompassing 449 gross tons, features a Fast Displacement steel hull, promising unparalleled comfort in various sea conditions. The project's naval architecture is credited to Van Oossanen Naval Architects, while the exterior and interior aesthetics spring from the creative minds at Harrison Eidsgaard.Inspired by elements from the natural world, Heesen Yachts has incorporated its hybrid technology for intelligent power management and silent cruising capability. Additionally, modern luxury products like Rolex watches, Range Rovers, Beats Headphones, and cutting-edge technology have influenced various aspects of Project Grace's design.Designed to accommodate up to 12 guests across six staterooms, this superyacht also offers spacious quarters for a crew of up to nine members in five cabins.This superyacht project epitomizes Heesen Yachts' commitment to refined craftsmanship and functional simplicity. It will be powered by twin MAN engines, providing an impressive range of 3,800 nautical miles. Heesen Yachts is a Dutch ship building company that specializes in custom-built superyachts in aluminum and steel from 30m to 70m in size. Founded in 1978, it has launched more than 170 yachts since its inception.Credits: Heesen Yachts
September 29, 2023
Ares Shipyard is setting sail into the luxury yachting sector with the launch of its new brand, Ares Yachts, unveiled at the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show. Ares Shipyard is recognized for its commitment to quality, holding certifications to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 standards, along with being the sole Turkish shipyard awarded the Zero Waste Blue Certificate.The newly launched Ares Yachts brand will benefit from the advanced facilities of its parent company, boasting carpentry, composite, metal, and electric workshops equipped with cutting-edge technology. This combination of state-of-the-art production sites and skilled craftsmanship positions the new yachting brand for success.SpitfireChairman Kerim Kalafatoğlu expressed the company's ambition: "We have already been recognized as being both Turkey’s fastest-growing company and its largest exporter of military and commercial vehicles. This makes it the perfect time for us to expand our offering and show the superyacht industry what we are capable of!"SimenaAres Yachts has already embarked on exciting projects, including the construction of the 61.61-meter steel-hulled cruising ketch Simena, designed by Taka Yacht Design and Design Unlimited. Simena, equipped with hybrid propulsion, is set for delivery in December 2024. The 50-meter motor yacht Spitfire, designed with Lateral Naval Architects and Bannenberg & Rowell Design, is another notable project. Ares Yachts also has Project Atlas, a 54-meter fast-displacement explorer motor yacht with Hot Lab, in the pipeline.In addition, Ares Yachts is developing a new range of vessels spanning 65 meters, 75 meters, and 85 meters, characterized by advanced diesel-electric systems integrated with pods. The brand is exploring alternative energy sources such as methanol during the engineering phase in collaboration with Lateral Naval Architects.SimenaAres Yachts is currently in the tender phase of selecting partners for exterior and interior designs for this innovative range. Going forward, the brand will focus on full custom projects above 500 GT and up to 90 meters in length. As Kalafatoğlu emphasizes, "Whether it’s a sleek and modern superyacht or a majestic ocean explorer, we aim to redefine what is possible on the big blue."Founded in 2006 by the Kalafatoğlu family, Ares Shipyard has established a stellar reputation for producing naval, utility, and support vessels, having delivered over 230 vessels to more than 15 countries. Their extensive facilities in Antalya, Turkey, include a 40,000 sq. m air-conditioned production area, four hangars, and a dedicated furniture factory, with the capability to construct vessels up to 90 meters in length.Credits: Ares Yachts
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