Although the process of arranging your Panama Canal transit is not too difficult, an agent can smooth the way and make things happen more quickly. The more expensive ones will organise everything and cover your buffer deposit, but you can also just ask an agent to provide lines and fenders and do the paperwork yourself.

Tasks the agent will help with:

  • Booking the Canal transit and getting your details into the system
  • Arranging the Admeasurer
  • Arranging linehandlers
  • Sorting out all the paperwork and copying of documents
  • Delivering lines and fenders to the Causeway, Colon or Portobelo
  • Guaranteeing your payment (covering the bond)
  • Arrange confirmations of timing for the transit
  • Handle immigration and customs
  • Obtain a cruising permit

As well as dealing with the Panama Canal arrangements, many of these agents will also assist with clearing in and out of Panama, finding needed parts and services, and even driving you around the city in search of anything you want.

If you email all of your documents and details to the agent ahead of time, they can often arrange an Admeasurer to inspect your yacht soon after you arrive.

Official agents will be registered with the Canal Authorities. Unofficial “agents” are often taxi drivers who understand the procedures and where the various offices are located but will be unable to assist should any problems occur during transit.

Whilst official agent fees may be a little higher, this includes some insurance against problems.

Agent Contacts

Stanley Scott

Rogelio de Hoyos (Roger)

Tina McBride Yacht Services

  • +507-6617-7889

Centenario & Co. SA

  • +507-6676-1376 Erick Galvez
  • [email protected]
  • Facebook: Centenario & Co S.A. Ship & Yacht agent Panama

Emmanuel Agencies SA

Tito (Atlantic side)

Agents might also help you to obtain lines and fenders without providing the whole transit service.

Many yachts stop at Shelter Bay Marina to prepare for the transit, and they will have most information you could need about your adventure. 

The Facebook group Panama Cruisers is a good resource for asking questions and reading about other yacht experiences.

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