Panama Canal – Quick Reference & Check List for Master

Panama Canal – Quick Reference & Check List for Master

To Masters – Panama Canal Pre Arrival Questionnaire















Panama Canal Check List

 Vessel complies with her Max Allowable TFW draft for transit?

 Vessel complies with her Min Allowable TFW draft for transit? (in ballast)

 Both forward anchors are fully operational?

 Forward and Stern winches working properly?

 Both radars working properly?

 Gyro compass working properly?

 Gyro repeaters working properly?

 Wheelhouse RPM indicators working and located properly?

 Wheelhouse RPM indicators illuminated?

 Bridge RPM indicators working and located properly?

 Bridge RPM indicators illuminated?

 If propeller variable pitch, indicators (pitch) working properly?

 Wheelhouse rudder angle indicator working properly?

 Rudder response complies with the regulation?

 Mooring ropes available and placed in drums (fwd & aft) – wires are not acceptable by the ACP

 Vessel fitted with 6 mooring ropes located fwd & aft? Bridge windshield wipers (blade type) working properly?

 Vessel complies with minimum visibility forward (water surface)? 2 ship’s length – calculated in TSW

 Vessel’s whistle working properly?

 Blue steering light properly located?


Bunkering Information

At Cristobal

All vessels are only allowed to take bunkers at Cristobal inner anchorage, inside breakwaters. When arriving by the Caribbean Sea, either for transit or not, all vessels requires a pilot to proceed to the inner anchorage

The signal station (Port Entry Coordinator) will inform to the master of the vessels when is to proceed to the breakwaters entrance in order to pick up pilot to proceed to designated area depending on the availability of space). The normal procedure is that the vessels are shifted to inner anchorage the day before vessels is scheduled for canal transit at any time depending on the traffic on the area and availability of space. Vessels that are only calling Cristobal to take bunkers would be shifted to inner anchorage subject to space availability.

At Balboa

Bunker operation at Balboa is only performed at Pacific Explosive Anchorage. (West anchoring area) Pilotage to bunkering area at Pacific Explosive Anchorage is not compulsory neither for vessels arriving from sea nor those proceeding from the Canal (outbound from Miraflores Locks). Master is to make contact with the signal station at least 8 NM to the sea buoy; Port Entry Coordinator will instruct the Master where to anchor, position will depend on the availability of space. Vessel can start bunker operations at any moment provided the vessel has Radio Practique GRANTED regardless her transit program date/time.

Information required in advance (Cristobal or Balboa side)

After bunkering, master is to contact the agent and the signal station in order to report/confirm actual drafts in TFW