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Post Info TOPIC: Cartagena is fast becoming "the" place to stop for yachts prior to making their way to the Panama canal


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Cartagena is fast becoming "the" place to stop for yachts prior to making their way to the Panama canal
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Cartagena is fast becoming "the" place to stop for yachts prior to making their way to the Panama canal.

The government is trying hard to encourage this influx of visitors and there are plans to build two new marinas. In addition the Club Nautico is also being upgraded.

Bahia de Cartagena is a well-protected anchorage. Entrances to the bay are through the large ship channel - the Boca Chica strait, or the northwest entrance - Boca Grande (Escollera).

The Boca Chica entrance is the easier and is the one used by most recreational sailors.

The Boca Grande entrance tends to be used by yachts coming from the north and east but should be approached with caution. The Colombian Navy has re-installed the red & green lighted posts to mark the small vessel channel at the Boca Grande entrance, however reports received April 2011 state that the red buoy is lit but not the green one. Guaranteed "official" depth is about 8 feet, greater depth might be possible if there is limited swell and conditions are not otherwise unfavorable. Cruisers report the echo sounder never going below 3.2 metres. Advice is to follow the marked channel and don't cut corners.

Last updated August 2011.

 

Clearance

 

All vessels approaching Cartagena (5 miles from entrance at a minimum) should call CARTAGENA PORT CONTROL on VHF CH16 or 14. They have good English speakers on hand (who can also assist with emmergency calls).

Anchor in the inner bay. This is the area inside the Peninsula of Bocagrande adjoining the Island of Manga (where Club Nautico is loacted) and the Historic Centre. It is not advisable to anchor near the entrance at Bocagrande.

If you have any need to call the Coast Guard sometimes it is better to use Cartagena Port Control to relay the message since they allways have competent English speakers on hand.

No contact should be made to the Port Captain except through your nominated clearing agent (Agencia Maritima) on arrival.

There are now several English-speaking agents here (see agents listed under General Services) or visit the Club Nautico website and download the sidebar "A cruiser's guide". The information includes the names and contact numbers of several customs clearance agents. Expect to pay US$75. Contact via the Club Nautico.

It is no longer necessary to visit the Customs and Immigration offices in person. These agents help with all the required paperwork and procedures.

The fees normally amount to between $75 and $205 US (vessels below 30 tons). The cruising permit (cetificado de permanencia) issued and charged by the Port Captain's office is valid for 2 months from the date of issue (usually around 10 days from arrival). The renewal (after this 2 month period) of this certicate would be valid for a further 6 months.

See New Fees for Formalities in Colombia for more details.

Vessels staying for a period of less than 8 days have not had to pay this additional "Cruising permit" charge. This could change.

The customs authorities are happy to receive approaches directly from cruisers making no charge for the required Temporary importation paperwork. The clearing agent can of course handle this but there might be a minor cost saving from doing it yourself. By contrast, Clearing agents are obligatory with both the Port Captain's office and Immigration.

Last updated June 2012.

 

Port Captain
Centro, Edificio Vimbrco, Floor 6
 
 

 

Docking

 

Bahia de Cartagena is a well-protected anchorage.

It is advisable to anchor in deep water (10m+) with a long scope as the sudden southerly squalls can cause dragging in shallower water. The holding in the shallower water closer to the marina is reported to be poor.

If berthing in the marina, be aware that it can be very rough. This is a harbour with a lot of speedboats and water taxis. Wakes are constant during daylight hours. The swell in the marina during the southerly squall was frightening to watch. You need very stretchy dock lines and you must make sure that your spreaders are not matched up to the boats beside you.

There has recently been a decrease in dinghy thefts in the Bay of Cartagena, possibly due to better crime control by the officials and more awareness on the part of cruisers. Infomation about thefts is broadcast immediately by VHF channel 68 (Monday to Saturday at 8 am).

August 2009 it was reported that there is a dangerous submerged concrete post on the bay side of the Club Nautico entrance. It's marked with a white plastic container.

The marina is currently being re-build. As a result, there are no toilets and only primitive temporary showers and no resturaunt or bar. You can use the dinghy dock, rubbish disposal, wifi and showers (such as they are) for 40,000 pesos a week (about US$20).

Last updated June 2012.

 

Club Nautico
19-50 Avenida Miramar Manga , Cartagena Colombia
Tel:(57-5) 660-4863 Fax:(57-5) 660-4863 ,VHF Channel 16
Med-style mooring with 16 berths available. Work on-going to upgrade docks. Dinghy dock (approx. US$25/week including water). Club house still under construction (therefore no showers, restaurant & bar currently). Yachts anchoring off can use the club facilities for $2 per day. Contact club for repair facilities. Welcoming to visiting yachts. Wi-fi has been upgraded and is currently free - charges expected soon. There is a cruiser net on VHF channel 06.
Last updated June 2012.

 

Club de Pesca de Cartagena
Isla Manga
Tel:(57-5) 660-5578 Fax:(57-5) 660-5576
Services: Secure slips, moderate-size synchro lift (30 ton), fuel dock, showers, phones, restaurant. Located in a fort built in 1749. Private yacht club. Premium location. Secure.

 

Manzanillo Marina Club
Calle Malaga Diag. No. 53-76 (Sector Zapatero) , Bosque , Cartagena
Tel:(+575) 669 4180. Mobile: (+57) 313 537 8723 Fax:(+575) 669 4180 ,VHF Channel 78
Family run marina and shipyard, contact Maurice Lemaitre. 40 ton travel lift (beam 20 ft). Dry storage, liveaboard slips, moorings and anchorage near docks. Power, water, showers, fuel dock, laundry service, 24 hr security. Recommended by cruisers. English spoken.

 

Todomar Marina
Cra 2a #15-364 Bocagrande , Cartagena
Tel:(57-5) 665-4177 Fax:(57-5) 665-5118 ,VHF Channel 72
Services: limited number of slips, fuel dock.

 

Yacht Clubs

 

 

Club Nautico
19-50 Avenida Miramar Manga , Cartagena Colombia
Tel:(57-5) 660-4863 Fax:(57-5) 660-4863 ,VHF Channel 16
Med-style mooring with 16 berths available. Work on-going to upgrade docks. Dinghy dock (approx. US$25/week including water). Club house still under construction (therefore no showers, restaurant & bar currently). Yachts anchoring off can use the club facilities for $2 per day. Contact club for repair facilities. Welcoming to visiting yachts. Wi-fi has been upgraded and is currently free - charges expected soon. There is a cruiser net on VHF channel 06.
Last updated June 2012.

Club de Pesca de Cartagena

Isla Manga

 

Tel:(57-5) 660-5578 Fax:(57-5) 660-5576

 

Services: Secure slips, moderate-size synchro lift (30 ton), fuel dock, s



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