It didn’t take long to get back into Spanish life out here and tuned into life on the marina. I did notice, however, that it seems very quiet for spring - a time when many yachts and motorboats undergo final preparations for the season ahead. There is usually more movement in the ports as vessels position themselves before undertaking a summer tour of the Mediterranean, or heading out of the Strait of Gibraltar for destinations further afield.
The reason for this year’s inactivity is no doubt due to the financial situation worldwide and huge pressure on Spain to resolve its economic crisis. The word on the streets is that there is little or no work about. This factor naturally influences the entire business landscape, including the marine industry. Certainly, there remains a lot of wealth on display - huge motorboats and yachts costing hundreds of thousands or even millions cruising about - but those assets are expensive to moor and maintain, and very difficult to sell or charter in the current climate.
The marinas are feeling the pinch and fees are likely to go up, prompting boat owners to hop from port-to-port looking for the best deal - a fruitless task, since all marinas are facing the same dilemma. The upshot of this is perhaps a gloomy one, especially for those with bigger craft, since mooring fees are proportional to the size of the boat.
There is no immediate solution to the marine crisis, and those who indulged their taste for gin palaces years ago, may now find the extravagance coming back to bite them.