Panama is about to get a whole lot more appealing as a cruising stopover and destination. Visiting cruisers often bypass Panama, or get out of there as quickly as possible once through the Canal, because of the lack of support available. There are few options to anchor near Panama city, almost no available marina berths anywhere, no appropriate chandlery facility, no modern structural repair facility, no sailmaker, no rigger and infamously poor service in this sector. The industry is spread around a city that no foreigner can navigate and there is no doubt that a marine precinct is long overdue.
Enter Marina Scene Panama Ltd., run by Mike Barker and Richard Zaleski, who provide services to the cruising community including rigging, electrical, hydraulic and refrigeration services to a New Zealand standard. Says Mike, “It does not surprise me that most cruisers do not choose to stay in Panama, despite its great beauty as a tour destination, as the service to them is execrable. I had visited many times over the years as a ship’s captain and yacht and ship delivery man and experienced disappointment on a scale not appropriate to Panama’s position as the center of the sailing world, so made the decision some years back to stay and do something about it.”
Marine Scene’s long term goal is to create a state-of-the-art facility that will put Panama on the world cruising and world yachting events map. The solution is to construct a proper, full service marine facility, Panama’s first, at Vera Cruz, near the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal near the Bridge of the Americas.
Marine Scene recommends that cruisers planning to have work done in Panama contact them in the first instance to discover what services are available to them and where to go to source their needs.
For much more information, including a complete list of marina features, go to www.noonsite.com.