Thanks to its beautiful landscapes and amazing escapades, Panama is a world-renowned hotspot for superyacht adventures. No stranger to maritime business, this Central American country is well-equipped with a host of luxurious marinas that could be the perfect fit for your private vessel.
However, choosing the right berth is vital to ensuring the best time is had during your stay in Panama. From ensuring your privacy and security to considering the local amenities, making sure the marina you choose is a perfect match can be quite a challenge. That's why we’ve compiled a list of 10 very important things to consider when choosing your superyacht berth.
This may sound obvious, but your berthing location should be considered carefully. Think about what your guests want to get up to while you're moored here. Are there any specific sites they’d like to see while in Panama? Are they looking for lively nightlife? It is important to make sure that the marina and surrounding areas offer up what they're looking for while you’re not out at sea. Even if they don’t plan on leaving the vessel every day, it is worth checking there are at least a few recreational activities that they're interested in, even if that's just a nice bar or restaurant.
Slips can vary from marina to marina, but most commonly you’ll find a single or double berth setup. Single berths provide dock access to both sides of the yacht allowing for easier access and more privacy whilst on board. Whereas, a double berth could be the better option if your vessel is on the larger end of the scale. The majority of marinas are flexible to your personal needs and can offer alternative mooring options if you are unsure about being able to manoeuvre your vessel into your allocated berth. However, if you know your yacht is +200ft, you will be limited to berthing at Vista Mar Marina, while staying in Panama.
When choosing your berthing marina, it can be handy to have some on-site amenities and deliveries at your disposal. Whether it is yacht provisioning or waste disposal, docks will often offer a range of services to make your stay more comfortable. Some facilities to consider are:
Comprehensive security measures and CCTV are some of the main benefits of mooring at an established marina in Panama. However, it's also important to consider which other types of security (e.g. 24/7 on-site staff and electronic gated access) are available for the most secure yachting experience.
If you enjoy socialising, then looking for a marina with a good yachting/sailing community can really enhance your experience. It gives you a chance to meet and socialise with like-minded people from around the globe. Additionally, some marinas offer onsite clubs, such as watersports or sailing, for you to try new things or expand your knowledge.
Whether you're an experienced sailor or new to the yachting industry, there may come a time that you need a little assistance. That's why it's important to choose a marina you trust!
You can often find specialist marinas that offer external cleaning and maintenance services to help keep your vessel in pristine condition. Ranging from a wash and wax to fibreglass repairs and paint touch-ups, life on the water can be harsh on your yacht so having these options available can be a huge benefit.
If you’re planning on yachting in Panama, you may wish to consider the transportation facilities at your chosen berthing site. Do you need a private runway (airstrip) to fly in direct from Panama city? Perhaps you're arriving by ferry or helicopter? Either way, it's important to check what transport options are available to ensure a smooth arrival.
With smaller yachts using similar power levels to a city tower block, having shore-based power while docked is an important necessity. Marinas will need to make any required preparations to deal with the high consumption, we recommend establishing whether your desired marina is prepared or not before making a decision.
You may find that berthing costs do not cover all of the services you require, including holding tank pumps which may come at an additional cost. So, before choosing a yacht berthing location, we recommend researching all of the costs that could come with mooring at a specific marina. Once you know the full cost, weigh up the amenities and services you get for that price to assure you’re getting good value for money.
We cannot recommend Panama enough as your next yachting destination. Sandwiched between the Caribbean and South America, it boasts glorious coastlines, sprawling rainforest-covered mountains, and wildlife that would make David Attenborough swoon.
Its maritime history goes back centuries, so Panamanians are not strangers to catering for a huge range of people and their vessels.