29-03-2006A. SEPULVEDA

The Spanish association for nautical businesses is reporting that 2,644 pleasure boats were registered during the first six months of the year, which denotes a 15% increase over last year.
The data, says the association, can be interpreted both by the peak demand that there is because of the proximity of high summer and by general growth patterns in the national economy. The upward trend in demand is expected to continue, though this demand is principally for smaller craft that attract lower costs and lower tax: almost 90% of the registration has been for boats up to eight metres in length.
Nevertheless, there has also been a 17% rise in registrations for boats between twelve and sixteen metres. In percentage terms, this is the highest increase for the different categories, though the actual number of boats registered was only 68.
The Balearic Islands are leading the way in the number of registrations.
An increase of over 15% (424 craft) and with a market share of 16% place the islands ahead of Barcelona where the increase to 296 registrations was up by 10% (to give a market share of just over 11%).  Girona comes third with 182 registrations but a much higher percentage rise: up 31%. 
There has also been a steep rise in the number of charter boats (including jet skis) that are registered for hire. 333 such craft were registered in the first half of the year, an increase of over 50%. In June alone, the increase was 60%.

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