SAILING has become so popular in the Balearics that a yachtmaster's licence has become the most sought-after maritime permit on Majorca.
Years ago, a simpler version of the licence to sail vessels up to 6 metres in length was the one most applied for but now enthusiasts are opting for a more rigorous permit which allows the holder control of a 12-metre boat with motors that are powerful enough to embark on journeys as far as 12 miles out to sea from the Island coastline. The yachtmaster's title also means that skippers can sail from one Balearic Island to another. As well as providing results of a medical check, applicants must be at least 16-years-old and (in the case of being under 18) have the permission of their parents to undertake the training course.
Yesterday, more than 100 students aspiring to captaincy, sat their theory examinations at the Balearic University in Palma.
The test consisted of 75 questions included ones on maritime safety, avoidance of collision, marker buoys and mechanical issues. Apart from the written exam, students need to undergo 16 hours of practical experience and acquire knowledge of the use of a two-way radio.