NAUTICAL businesses in Minorca have reported that boat sales have increased by 17 percent on the island this year, whilst figures have fallen elsewhere in the Balearics.

But an industry spokesman warned yesterday that the figures are a little “deceptive” because although the ports of Mahon and Ciutadella might be laying claims to booming business, 30 percent of the increase in the registration of new vessels in fact relate to a change of ownership or an alteration in the name of boat.

The spokesman said the true picture was that the boats that are being sold are of an ever diminishing size.
Maritime authority chief in Mahon, Jose Luis Ortega said that although pleasure craft activity has been on the increase in Minorca's major ports, it doesn't translate into the business profits that the industry would like to see. “Sales of smaller vessels don't promote company growth,” he explained. “Some are only just over 2.5 metres long, the legal minimum for registration.” But he said that 237 new boat registrations in 2010 compared to 198 in 2009 had to be a “positive” development.