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Old 05-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #13
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 173
RE: trawler needing to be towed from Boca Del Toro, Panama to Colon, Panama & DD 453's replaced

There are good people available in Cartagena for any kind of boat work, but materials are hard to get. In Panama, materials are readily available, but good workers are hard to find. There are a lot of expats in Panama as well as many boaters who travel between the San Blas Islands of Panama and Cartagena. There are also some who do the Cartagena - San Blas - Bocas del Toro- Cartagena loop. From Bocas, depending on the speed of your boat, you are probably an overnight from Colon, a day sail to Linton or Portabella, a day sail to San Blas and an overnight to Cartagena.

If you go from Colon to Cartagena for cosmetic work, buy your epoxies, bedding compounds, bottom paint, chemicals, etc, in Panama City. Materials were hard to get in Colombia although that may have changed. There are 3 yards in Cartagena all of which can make anything you need in fiberglass, wood or stainless. They use polyester resins, but will work in epoxy (can probably buy it cheaper in Panama). Vinylester was not available. A simple thing like Acetone was prohibitively expensive and tightly controlled, probably due to the drug industry. A short take, they still "repair" stuff in Cartagena and they are very good at it, probably because new "stuff" is hard to get.

I would recommend talking to sailboaters in Bocas and Colon to get a current reading on Cartagena. Nothing is as constant as change!

We like the Centro district of Cartagena for restaurants and entertainment, did't care much for Boca Grande (Miami South) and like Panama City. Colon is DANGEROUS!
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