Boating & Yachting - Acquiring a berth

Acquiring a berth in the Marinas of Andalucia © Michelle Chaplow
Acquiring a berth in the Marinas of Andalucia

What You Need to Know

By John Brewster

Only recently, a report commissioned by the Spanish Government concluded that a total of 2,276 yachts were seeking berths in Andalucía alone, and by the year 2022 that figure will leap to over 5,000 yachts in just this one area.

The report concluded: "The demand from the nautical sector of the tourism market on the Costa Del Sol alone is reaching unprecedented figures, which can only be remedied by a dramatic upgrading of facilities." The report goes on to state that: ".the Costa's ports would need to increase by 300 per cent the number of available mooring spaces just to satisfy the current requirements."

When considering the purchase of a boat, you might want to find a mooring first. Such is the popularity of boating all along the Mediterranean coast from Almeria to Tarifa and beyond that moorings are at a premium. Many marinas are completely full and have waiting lists. It is only in the mega-marinas, such as Almerimar or Aguadulce that space is available.

Therefore, finding a permanent berth to rent or buy in the Mediterranean can be difficult but the process is further complicated by the way they are advertised. Just like property transactions in Spain, brokers often share and advertise their listings with each other. The benefit to the seller is that their berth is seen by a much wider audience - But this can prove detrimental to buyers and sellers alike.

It is supply and demand which affects the ultimate rental or sale price and it might appear that there are several people wanting to purchase a particular berth even though there may be really only one person. This can lead to sellers believing that the demand for their berth is greater than it really is. The effect of this is that you may find yourself paying more for your berth than is necessary or that the seller might become disappointed by not achieving the sale.



If you are thinking of buying a berth, by contacting several brokers can make it appear to the berth owner that there is more than one person after their berth and if it is listed with several brokers, this can lead buyers also to the false impression that there are more berths available than there really are. Therefore, shopping around to find a similar berth at a lower price is rather pointless; it just wastes everyone's time. It is much better to let one broker do the leg work with their wide range of local contacts.

In Spain, buying rather than renting a berth makes more sense. Why?

  • It provides security of tenure which is not always the case with a rented berth.
  • The price is fixed for the duration of the remaining concession.
  • The total cost is invariably less than half that of a rental berth over the same period.
  • It can be sold later at a potential profit. (But even if sold for the amount paid, would mean that the boat would have been moored at an almost zero cost.)