One of the kewlest kruising grounds anywhere is about to get even better. The Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama which features just about anything a sailor desires, is about to get a first-class boatyard. The bulldozer and dump trucks are working vigorously and the cement truck is just behind the mangroves awaiting its turn. Barring monsoon conditions, the first boats should be slipping into the 60-ton, 20-foot wide travel lift this Fall.
Owner Courtney Parks has exhibited more patience than a Chicago Cubs fan, in his quest to clear the bureaucratic hurdles and bring this facility online. Although it will be a full-service yard, he emphasizes that Bocas Yacht Services will also put out the welcome mat for do-it-yourselfers. The yard will provide skilled craftsmen for mechanical, electrical and other projects. And hull and deck painting at reasonable prices will be a specialty.
Since there is only one other boatyard between Cartagena, Colombia and La Ceiba, Honduras this new facility will fill a vital need for Western Caribbean cruisers. Approaching it will be easy, down a deep, well-marked channel dredged out for big ships transporting Panamanian bananas. And through their Marine Warehouse program, it is simple and inexpensive to order parts from West Marine.
Then when your haul-out is complete you can explore the many islands, beaches, lagoons and attractions of the kruising kornucopia that is Bocas del Toro, Panama. And more swiftly than you can imagine, two years will pass and you can sail around the corner to a boatyard that you are already familiar and happy with.
Story by Ray Jason