Staff Reporter

ALL the leisure ports in the Balearics are fully booked until October, according to the Balearic Yacht Clubs Association, which held its Annual General Meeting in the Arenal Yacht Club.

The association, which has 24 Balearic yacht clubs affiliated, estimates that there is a deficit of 6'000 moorings on the islands, especially for large yachts (over 12 metres).

This lack of space has this year led to the “loss” to the islands of boats on their way to Valencia to take part in the Americas Cup.
During their A.G.M. the Association talked about the legislative processes which affect both the ports controlled by the Balearic government and those controlled by the State.

To date there have been 11 concession renewals by the Balearic Government's Ports Department under the new Regional Ports Law.
New requirements for services and infrastructures have been established and the charges have been revised. All these requirements had to be met before the concession could be renewed for a period of 30 years.

Association sources said that the yacht clubs which had renewed their concessions are charging more for the larger boats, and they will use this money to “subsidise” the moorings for smaller boats, whose owners, it is assumed, are not so well off.

The Yacht Clubs Association also said they were interested in the Spanish Ports Law, which is being modified, because it gives the right to withdraw concessions, just as the Balearic Port Law has done, in terms of fiscal benefits and the duration of the concessions.

Those clubs which come under the Balearic Port Authority are Portitxol, Club de Mar, the Club Nautico in Palma, and the Club Nautico in Mahon.
Although the yacht clubs want more berths, environmental groups are opposed to new yacht clubs or extensions to existing ones, claiming that they will cause irreperable damage to the ecosystem of the seabed.