Caleta marina boat owners slam mooring fee hikes

DESPITE the official stance that mooring fees at Caleta de Velez Marina has only gone up 10 per cent compared to last year, boat owners tell a different story.

In many cases, boat owners have reported their fees have increased by far more, some even by up to a half. On January 1 this year, a law that was passed in December 2007 came into effect.

The 30 per cent discount given to people with boats moored year round at the 12 marinas owned by the Andalucia Port Authorities was abolished at marinas with a waiting list.

“This will be done gradually,” said the port authorities in a statement.

For three years from 2012 the discount will be reduced to 20 per cent, after which the full discount will no longer apply.

This means that owners would now have to pay 10 per cent more than they did last year to moor their boat.

These taxes are reportedly a way for the port authorities to recuperate the real cost of their investment through the use of the port and reportedly covers electricity, water and waste disposal.

However, for some owners of boats in Caleta de Velez Marina the amount they have to pay this year compared to last is more than 30 per cent.

“The fee for 2011 was around €2,220, but this year I have been told I must pay €3,490,” said 57-year-old Simon Beaven from Cornwall who has moored his boat in the marina for 12-years.

There has been no “notable increase in quality of service,” to account for this increasing by half, rather, there has been a “depreciation in the reduction of hours of port personnel being available.”

For 58-year-old Michael Goddard from Norfolk the fees rose by a third “from €1,392 last year to €1,851 this year for a six meter birth”. “I have moored my boat here for nearly five years, but this is the biggest increase I have seen,” said Mr Goddard.

“This astronomical increase is outrageous, they cannot do this to people; it should be done gradually so people can cope.” Mr Beaven explained that Caleta de Velez is “not a luxury marina like Puerto Banus”.

“Most of the people here cannot afford high fees,” he said. “Some of the expatriates have sold all their worldly goods to buy and live on a boat and now they cannot afford the boat anymore,” collaborated Mr Goddard.

“I know 12 people in the marina who now have to give up their boat.” There are around 300 boats moored at this marina located between Torre de Nar and Torrox. Mr Beaven estimates that between 15 and 18 per cent are owned by non-Spanish, a third of which are Brits.

Meanwhile, ports with no waiting list will continue to receive the 30 per cent discount in the summer and 50 per cent in the winter, according to the Andalucia Port Authorities.

Additionally, the winter period’s 50 per cent discount will increase from eight to nine months, according to port authorities.

EWN EXCLUSIVE By Nicole Hallett

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