The nautical industry, a vital part of the Balearic economy, is riding the current storm of international instability. As Dock Express yesterday set sail on her fifth voyage from Palma to the United States this autumn carrying the last of nearly 30 yachts of all sizes from 150 feet downwards before returning to Majorca to start the Caribbean operation, superyachts were still having to drop anchor outside Majorcan marinas because of a lack of berths and room in dry dock. For boat owners and refit agents alike, all vessels have to undergo an end of season refit somewhere and Palma, with its wealth of expertise, is proving popular as usual. Industry sources said yesterday that the fact Palma is full and that re-fit teams are working flat out is a strong indication that the Balearics and global yachting industry should sail smoothly through the present crisis. Adam Taunton said yesterday that there have been no cancellations on Dock Express with regards to yachts being shipped to the US and traffic to the Caribbean is as usual. Any down turn in people travelling to the Caribbean this winter will have little effect on the yacht charter market as last year, demand far outstripped supply, so the season should be a “more comfortable one for all involved” industry sources said in Palma yesterday. Dock Express, enjoying another consecutive year of growth, currently has three transporter ships in operation and will be taking some 20 yachts from Palma to the Caribbean next month once the hurricane season is over. There have also been a number of important superyacht sales over the past month with a number of wealthy people looking to transform their liquid assets into capital - and super yachts are proving attractive investments. The international boat shows are continuing, but the industry is keen to see what happens at the forthcoming Fort Lauderdale show which is one of the most important nautical fairs of the year.

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