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WorldSouth PacificFrench PolynesiaSociety IslandsRaiatea


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16°49.08′S, 151°26.64′W
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Raiatea is the first of the Leeward Islands part of the Society Islands in a north/westerly direction, sailing from Tahiti or Moorea. It is the second largest island in French Polynesia after Tahiti and Uturoa on the north of the island is the second largest city, but much smaller than Papeete.

In some respects it is better to have repairs and provisioning done here rather than in Tahiti. A few major yacht charter companies make their base here, and there is a large repair yard called Chantier Naval des Îles which reportedly does good work, as well as several industries that service the charter boat industry. However it is an extra hop by plane or boat from Papeete and so any parts that need to be flown in will take that extra bit longer to arrive.

Almost the entire lagoon of Raiatea is sailable, making it a pleasant place for a sailing cruise as well as a provisioning stop. It has many bays and other interesting places to explore.


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See French Polynesia Weather


Typically it would be an overnight or day cruise from Moorea to Raiatea. This would be entirely downwind in the cruising season (May to November).


  • Raiatea and the smaller island of Tahaa to the north share a lagoon, and it's a daytime hop between the two (with views of Bora Bora to the north west).
  • Both Raiatea and Tahaa have many small motus which can be used as anchoring stops but most are private (although the beaches of the motus are open access).


There are no radio nets specific to Raiatea.


There are 3 navigable passes on the eastern (leeward) side of Raiatea. They are, from south to north, at 16°49.8082′S, 151°20.6756′W, 16°47.2001′S, 151°22.8127′W and 16°47.2001′S, 151°25.1476′W. All three offer reasonable shelter in the prevailing winds, are well marked (green buoy to starboard as you enter), and are sufficiently deep.

Once through one of the passes and inside the lagoon calm sailing conditions can be expected with light to moderate winds and sheltered seas. The channel is well marked, with the markings that are standard in French Polynesia being red on the landward (island) side of the channel and green on the reef side of the channel.

Assuming you're approaching from the South East (in the direction of Tahiti, it may be preferable to aim to enter the southern most pass and enjoy the sailing inside the lagoon as you work northwards up the channel.


There is a gendarmerie on Raiatea in the town of Uturoa and so it can be used as a port of entry. For other details see the page on French Polynesia.



Marinas & Yacht Clubs

  • Marina Apooiti is about one mile west of the airport, as you continue (in a north/westerly) direction around the top of the island past Uturoa
  • La Marina d'Uturoa, inside Uturoa, is really only a temporary or day stop. They can be contacted via +689 66 31 52
  • Chantier Naval des Îles sous le Vent (repair yard) has their own private marina, just a little while after Marina Apooiti, and there is another marina just north of Uturoa but it is reserved as the base for Dream Yacht Charters.
  • Down town dock in Uturoa in front of Champion supermarket. A good place to stay few days (free) for diesel/water provisioning. Marine professionals all around.


Raiatea has a number of anchorages, an anchorage guide such as South Pacific Anchorages or Charlies Charts should be consulted for a comprehensive list. Here are a few of the most useful ones:

  • Anchorage space is available just north of the northern marina at Uturoa (the one used by Dream Yacht Charters) and there are also 2 or 3 mooring buoys there that can be used with the agreement of the charter company.
  • West and South of Marina Apooiti there is free anchoring space.
  • Anchoring in any of the bays off either coast (west coast preferred during trade winds) is suitable, many bays have fish traps and/or pearl farms around them so take care.

Yacht Services and Repairs

Marine Stores

  • First Mate Electronics, contact Richard Neufeld, ph: +689 73 15 79, email [email protected]. Richard has experience in all things electrical and electronic, as well as having mechanical experience. He assisted getting an outboard engine carburettor issue resolved, and has experience in alternator rewiring, etc. Richard is a freelance operator, living on board his boat at one of the Uturoa marinas and regularly travels around the marinas in the area
  • Pacific Voiles Services, contact Nicolas +689 709 901, email [email protected] -- sail maker


Fuel, Water, & Electricity

See Marina Apooiti where water and electricity are available, and fuel deliveries may be able to be arranged.

Things to do Ashore


Many tours, such as island, moto and snorkelling tours operate in or near the town of Uturoa. There are also a couple of interesting stores in the town.

Grocery & Supply Stores

See Uturoa.


See Uturoa. There is also a small restaurant at Marina Apooiti.


There are wifi hotspots for the major carriers at Marina Apooiti, and a couple in the town centre of Uturoa. See also notes about Internet in French Polynesia.


There is a laundry room at Marina Apooiti.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Garbage can be disposed of at Marina Apooiti.


There are a small number of taxi companies in and around Uturoa but there does not appear to be a regular bus service. There is an airport near the town, with regular shuttle flights to Tahiti.


See Marine stores above.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See French Polynesia References.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit. Personal experiences?

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