Minorca attracts more boat hire online interest than Majorca. | Javier Coll

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Nautal, the leading agency for boat hire in Spain, reports that the Balearic Islands are the "mecca for nautical charter", catering for 57% of the hire market. The ports of Palma and Ibiza are accordingly the most important centres for boat rental.

In Spain generally the number of boats to rent has more than doubled since 2015. The charter market is growing three times more than the general market for recreational boats. An indication of the size of the market is the fact that there are more boats for hire that were built in 2016 than in 2007 and 2008 (before economic crisis kicked in) and that 34% of the fleet is less than five years old.

A longer charter season and also longer and larger boats are having a positive impact on the market, in which 36% of boats that are hired out are sailboats. Those up to twelve metres are most in demand, with an average weekly price of 2,500 euros in the low season. Catamarans are double this price.

Beneteau is the leading brand for sailboats and motor boats. The catamarans which are most rented are Lagoon, while Sunseeker leads the market for yachts.

Unsurprisingly, given the 57% market share, there is greatest online search interest in the Balearics. Ibiza ranks first, but Majorca is third, as Minorca has experienced a significant rise. On the mainland, Barcelona is the most sought-after destination followed by Denia, Alicante, Valencia and the Costa Brava.