Shelter Bay Marina

Slip Information:
  • Total Slips: 194
  • Min Length: 30'
  • Max Length: 320'
  • Approach Depth: 20'
  • Dock Depth: 10'
Marina Phone: (507) 433-3581
30 Butner Street, 
Fort Sherman,

Shelter Bay Marina, at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal, began operations in 2005. We are very well placed to assist canal transits, and can also provide an excellent base for those wishing to take advantage of the wonderful local cruising, and sport fishing opportunities.

Undeniably, Panama is becoming a sought after destination for sailors: we are just 70 miles from one of the true gems of the cruising world, the San Blas Islands. It helps to be well south of the hurricane risk zone.

We can handle mega yachts up to 320 feet on well constructed and protected docks in clear waters. All vessels from the biggest to the 30 footers can take advantage of convenient side-ties with plenty of maneuvering room. Not only do we have the protection of the Panama Canal breakwater, but we are further protected by the cove we share with the Panamanian Coast Guard.

We have all the services you would expect from a Marina catering to experienced sailors: modern electrical services with both standard American and European outlets (60 hz). Solid wifi internet. 100 ton travel lift haul out, maintenance and storage facility. A fine Restaurant and Hotel facilities to accommodate occasional guests (and those who wish to escape from their vessels while work progresses). We provide a bus service to the local mall just outside Colon. On site there is a Chandlery ready to listen to your needs and a mini market to attend to ‘no milk’ emergencies and a place to enjoy a morning coffee and croissant while waiting for the laundry cycle to finish.

Located in a secure and protected cove the marina also has the fortune to have a National Fire Service on site. 24h Security is provided and we can attend arrivals both day and night (please give some warning if arriving at dark). The entrance to the marina is clearly marked and there is room to turn a 250 feet yacht once inside. Draft varies from 5 to 25 feet with 80% of the berths falling into the 10 foot plus bracket.

Formerly called Fort Sherman and for many years a U.S. military base, we see relics both recent and old, reminding us of former times. Further afield beside the river Chagres is Spanish Fort San Lorenzo, a jewel from the Colonial era. Also enjoy the two thousand acres of unspoiled tropical forest, nature at its finest: a birdwatchers dream.

Our two main concrete floating docks have a capacity of 100 boats ranging from 30 feet to 70 feet. Yachts up to 125 feet can be berthed on our T-head end ties, or yachts up to 320 feet and a 12 foot draft can be side tied to our floating dock designed for mega yachts. All slips are equipped with potable water and electrical power; 120, 240 and 480VAC power or 30, 50, 100 amp service. We have just finished construction of a new dock that will expand our capacity by 25%.

We have a fuel barge located on site supplying marine grade diesel (Not Biodiesel). It can hold up to 60,000 gallons and has a pumping rate between 3 and 150 gallons per minute. If you require large quantities of fuel advise the office at least 36 hours before hand. If your canal transit depends on refueling call us well in advance to be absolutely sure the barge will be ready when you need it. We can arrange to fill your gasoline jerry jugs, and propane bottles. In addition, we have a recycling tank for your waste oil and can dispose effectively of old filters and some other wastes. Normal turnaround is 3 working days.

Our 100 ton Travelift is now in full service. We also have a 60 ton Hostar hydraulic trailer to move boats from the haul out bay to our 5 acre storage and work yard as well as a 140 ft reach crane for masts.

Our friendly and helpful marina staff are committed to providing superior service from the moment you arrive. We want you to feel at home and secure during your stay with us.

Want to keep your boat on the hard? Shelter Bay Marina has a boat yard with 5 acres of storage space to keep your vessel safe and secure. Our 100 ton Travelift is 30 feet wide to accommodate wide catamarans and large yachts. Please see the “Boat Yard rate” section for details.