Spain is lagging behind its Mediterranean neighbours when it comes to boat ownership. The government is trying to encourage more people to splash out and buy a yacht. Compared to Italy and France, Spain is well behind. According to a survey announced yesterday by the government in Spain there is one boat per 300 residents while in France the figure stands at 48 and in Italy 72. According to the government Spain is catching up but it still has a long way to go. “Last year we registered 10'000 new yacht licences,” said a government spokesman. He went on to say that Spain had some of the finest marinas and yacht-clubs in Europe. In the Balearics the nautical industry is buoyant. The local government is anxious to conserve old crafts and techniques used in the construction of Llauts, (typical local fishing boat). The Council of Majorca has set-up its own workshop where apprentices are taught the art of boat-making. The only draw-back at the moment is the lack of moorings. The local government for environmental reasons is refusing to give planning permission for large marina developments.

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