The highlight of the nautical season opens in Palma this week, the Floating Boat Show. Taking place at the Moll Vell in Palma it is one of the Mediterranean's biggest “floating exhibits.” The fair officially opens tomorrow and yesterday exhibitors were working around the clock to get everything ready on time. Overall it consists of 360 boats (actually in the water), and 1'000 on land. There are over 750 exhibitors representing 20 nationalities and countries. It's a real showpiece event and will be open until May 5, by which time organisers expect up to 50'000 people to have passed through its gates. As an added development this year “super-yachts” are being incorporated, and you only have to look around the local marinas to see why. Majorca, thankfully, has a number of the so-called super-yachts moored mostly at Palma's Club de Mar and Puerto Portals. The timing of the show couldn't be better. The nautical industry which generates many thousands of millions of pesetas for the local economy, is just getting into full gear. The first shipload of yachts from North America has arrived and there is a greater amount of activity in local marinas. The only low point this year is that the Balearic government has recently introduced a freeze on the construction of new marinas which some fear will stall the future development of the industry in the Balearics. Old salts maintain that the Balearics are missing out on a golden opportunity to become the nautical centre of the Mediterranean while environmentalists maintain that enough is enough. The Bulletin will next week be publishing a special supplement dedicated to the Boat Show. Features will include the “floating luxury residential cruise ship” heading for Palma.

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