About Sailing in Mallorca
The sheltered bays, dramatic coastlines of the West, and the tranquil calas and coves of the East make Mallorca a beautiful spot to spend time on a boat in the Mediterranean sea.
The position of the Balearic islands is such that they create a ‘Mediterranean front’ and so local winds are very favourable for sailing. Conditions are usually only bad when other weather fronts prevail which can happen during the winter months. The natural nooks and crannies around the coastline of Mallorca are ideal places for dropping anchor in the calm waters of bays and calas dotted around the island.
The sea breeze around the coast of Mallorca is normally very reliable and the summer thermal winds provide a steady breeze throughout the day. Even during the winter months there are bays in Mallorca that remain protected by the mountains such as Puerto Pollenca and Port d’Alcudia. Larger vessels can harness the stronger winds further from shore and travel around Mallorca's 554km long coastline.
The ideal wind conditions allow beginner sailors to learn the ropes in a safe environment. The protected bays and calas also offer great conditions for beginners to learn how to sail without having to deal with strong and intimidating winds or waves. During the summer months, thermal winds provide a calm sea breeze from morning till afternoon and many of the bays are well protected, ensuring dangerous swells are kept awat from the shore. Puerto Pollenca is a popular destination for sea sports such as sailing and kite surfing. The protection from the Formentor point reduces the impact of swells in the bay which can cause unpredictable sea conditions that might be difficult for beginners.
The bays and calas all around Mallorca can offer protection from swells, as the long and infrequent waves pass the coastline but do not navigate easily into the sheltered bays. However, this is not the case for all calas as some are very open, allowing waves and swells to pass in easily. In winter months or times of adverse weather and storms, the channel of water between Mallorca and Menorca can get quite rough, and swells can often hit the North coast of Mallorca and then bend round to the East.
The ideal sailing months are between May and October and this is of course when the seas are most busy with charter boats and privately owned vessels. You can experience good calm weather in December and January, making the sailing in Mallorca very enjoyable.Sailing Lessons
There are sailing schools in most of the marinas around Mallorca. Enroll for a course or a single session. Sailing schools can be found in our Watersports Section. Or contact a specific marina to find out more about sailing in that area in our Marinas in Mallorca section.Matriculation Tax
Spain operates differently to other European countries in that it levies a tax on charter yachts greater than 15m in length that are used commercially. This is known as the matriculation (registration) tax and costs the owner of the vessel 12% of the value of his boat every year that he sails in Spanish waters. This applies to yachts that are registered in all countries, not just Spain. The Spanish yachting industry has long campained for this tax to be scrapped as they argue the nautical industry suffers due to yacht owners avoiding Spanish waters in favour of other cheaper Mediterranean destinations.
Spain is the only country in Europe to use this tax, which many other member states consider to be discriminatory. The EU Court of Justice has looked at the tax and declared it as a breach of ‘freedom of people and movement within the Union’ which can be construed as illegal. The EU have made a request to Spain to change the way in which it taxes vessels from another member state to ensure it complies with EU legislation. A way for Spain to comply with this is to levy a regsitration tax for only the days boats from EU member states actually spend in Spanish waters.
In June 2012, Mallorca's yachting and nautical industry had a boost from the Balearic President, Jose Ramon Bauza who said that he was against the tax and would be lobbying the central government in Madrid for its elimination. WIth Spains current economic woes, it will be a hard ask to get Madrid to abolish this tax.