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Balearic Islands: Boating industry stable in 2023, more SeaHelp deployments for private boats and in the charter sector

Balearic Islands: More SeaHelp missions on private boats and in the charter sector

The Balearic Islands are – and will remain – one of the most popular vacation destinations for German-speaking Europeans, at least according to the latest report on the leisure boat market 2023 published by the National Association of Nautical Companies ANEN. This trend is confirmed by SeaHelp, which has a total of three bases in Mallorca.

At the end of each year, ANEN, the National Association of Nautical Companies in the Balearic Islands (Spanish: Asociación Nacional Empresas Náuticas), looks back on the previous boating season and summarizes the results in the report on the recreational boat market. This year’s recently published report, based on data collected by the Directorate General of the Merchant Navy, covers the period from January to October 2023.

According to the report, 597 recreational boats were registered in the charter sector in the Balearic Islands in the first ten months of 2023, exactly the same number as in the same period a year ago (2022: 598 boats). This means that – statistically speaking – three out of every ten recreational boats registered for charter in Spain in 2023 are registered in the Balearic Islands, the province with the highest market share.

Barcelona follows in second place by a wide margin, with an increase of 9.5 percent in 2023, and Girona in third place (up 8.3 percent). According to the ANEN report, a total of 2,003 charter boats were registered across Spain between January and October, which corresponds to growth of 7.5% compared to the first ten months of 2022.

The Balearic Islands recorded a slight decrease in the number of newly registered leisure boats in 2023

Looking at recreational boat registrations as a whole, i.e. those intended for rental and those for other (private) purposes, the Balearic Islands have recorded a slight decrease of 1.7 percent so far this year compared to the same period last year (as of October 2023; 1,023 registered units), according to the report; nautical charters accounted for 58.4 percent of total recreational boat registrations in the Balearic Islands.

“The nautical market is reducing its turnover, a behavior that can be observed internationally”, Jordi Carrasco, General Director of ANEN, is quoted by in this context; however, the behavior of the rental market in Spain reflects the fact that sailing continues to be increasingly integrated into seasonal leisure plans. The trend that he had been able to observe throughout 2023 is thus continuing, which would point to figures very similar to those of 2022 at the end of the year.

In general, the Spanish nautical market remains stable with 5,844 registrations

In general, the nautical market remains stable – with a volume of leisure boats amounting to 5,844 registrations in the year to November. There were 204 more registrations than in the same period in 2022. 65% (3,808) of the total number of boats registered were for private use and 35% (2,036) for rental. The rental market is therefore growing by seven percent compared to the same period last year.

According to the report, the “strong growth” in registrations in Malaga (14.6%) and Madrid (11%) stand out among the most important provinces for the nautical market. The Canary Islands also recorded “very positive” registration figures, with +78% of registrations in Las Palmas and +53% in Tenerife.

SeaHelp operates three bases in the Balearic Islands; growth in deployment figures in 2023

The report also states that Catalonia continues to hold the largest share of the nautical market (19 percent); in Barcelona there was an increase in boat registrations of +3.7 percent and in Tarragona even +13.8 percent.

The nautical breakdown service SeaHelp, which operates a total of four bases in Spain (three of which are in Mallorca), can also confirm this trend. “This year, we have seen an increase in the number of charter boats and privately used pleasure craft compared to 2022,” says SeaHelp Managing Director Wolfgang Dauser. The most common reasons for the missions were battery problems, followed by technical problems and dives to free anchors from the bottom.

SeaHelp Operations Center Spain / Balearic Islands
Calle Ramon de Montcada 17
07180 Santa Ponsa | Spain
HELPLINE: 0043 50 43 112

24h EMERGENCY CALL EUROPE: 0043 50 43 112

In an emergency, SeaHelp’s rescue boats can be called using the practical SeaHelp app or the free emergency number for Europe 0043 50 43 112 (or the alternative emergency number for Europe 00385 919 112 112).

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