HAULING OUT AT PUERTO CORTEZ, HONDURAS
by Sandra S. Ullstrup, D.V.M.
Little Bit, a 31' Cal, hauled out at Puerto Cortez July, 1996. The approach to Puerto Cortez is straightforward and the anchorage in front of the Honduran Naval Base with haulout facilities is at 15 deg. 46.6N / 87deg. 56.2W. Take your dingy right to the seawall at the Naval Base, tie up in front of the naval vessel docked there and use it's lines to scramble up the 6' wall. I arranged with Lieutenant Benitez, who spoke English, to haul out just two days later. My total yard bill for in and out, and three days was $185 U.S. Payment is preferred in US dollars.
The facilities are very good for Central America. The 100 ton travel lift is in excellent condition, the yard is cement and fairly clean. They are skilled at using logs and wedges to block the boats up. Electricity is available, but at 100' away you must have your own cables and a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter. Water is close by, but the pressure is frequently low to non-existent. Absolutely clean your bottom before hauling out. No supplies are available at the yard/naval base. Some hardware stores are in town, a 30 minute bus ride, but I highly recommend bringing everything you need with you. You can hire unskilled labor at about 50 lempiras (less than $5.00 U.S.) per day. Other services such as welding or carpentry are available but approach these with caution! Other boats told me projects took much longer than expected, some workmanship was poor and the price sky-rocketed even with a written estimate. Fluency in Spanish would be very helpful if arranging for skilled services.
The July 1996 yard prices are based on tonnage and are given at left. Lay days were $13 U.S./day regardless of length or weight. You can arrange for long term storage at $120 a month, but beware; if you so much as walk into the yard to check the boat, they may tag on a $10/day live-aboard fee. For long term projects, define all fees explicitly and get it in writing.
Other significant information: in July 1996, the shower facilities were awful, but improvements were planned. You can eat and drink at the Officer's Club. At night the mosquitoes were dreadful. The base security is good, but small items left lying about may "walk away".
In short, for a quick and simple bottom job, Puerto Cortez is a great choice. I'd certainly haulout there again. For anything more involved, I'd evaluate other options before deciding on Puerto Cortez.
November 9, 2012
© 1997-2012 Phillip Landmeier