All in the boat! Italians take back the sea (as they should)


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The first real weekend of summer was all about boats. “A bang of boats, amazing stuff!” a friend from Naples tells me. From Genoa to the Adriatic, via the Ionian, Garda and all the bodies of water you can think of, many, many boats were seen. Accomplice to the crowded (and regulated) beaches, there are many boaters who have dusted off the keys with the float attached, lost in some drawer, and are (re)putting themselves at the helm of their boat.

All in the boat! Italy takes back the sea

To be honest, of Italians in boats, or rather, boats on the water in Italy, we haven’t seen so many in a long time. Small and large, dinghies, cabin cruisers and superyachts (not to mention friendly sailboats!), it was a sold-out weekend on our shores. And that’s good! In fact, Italy is one of the world’s leading producers of boats.

The proof is that, numbers in hand, boating accounts for about 2 percent of the country’s GDP. The problem, if you want to call it that, is that almost all production ends up abroad. Despite this, Italy is among the countries with the most boats in the world-about 577,513 according to ICOMIA data-even though, statistically, we are not among those who “like” sailing the most. In fact, according to this estimate, there are just under 9 boats per 1,000 inhabitants.

Are Italians coming back to love the boat? Let’s hope so!

During the most acute phase of the lockdown, it was clear that boaters who could not wait to return to their boats. Hundreds of questions came into the newsroom through the website and e-mails to find out more about when we could first get back on board and then sail. And now all that yearning for the sea and lake “held at bay” is finally finding a way.

Who knows, maybe it was just being cooped up in the house that rekindled the spark for boating that seems to have been somewhat dormant, or demonized, in our country for some years now, according to the stereotype “if you have a boat, you’re rich.”

What about the construction sites?

Good news, so far, also from the front of the yards and dealers with whom our editorial staff has daily contact. There are many who respond in deferred apologies to the tune of “we are (fortunately) quite busy.” And how can we blame them, welcome the responses if there is a need to satisfy some new owner struggling with his new toy, especially since until a month ago the season was given up for dead. Now, by being careful, one can hope to be able to save it, at least in part.

About the sea

While we’re at it (and there are so many of us at sea) why not give concrete help to the environment? The Medplastic 2020 Contest has started. If you collect plastic and send us photos you can win super prizes, for real! Do you want to know more? Click here!

Gregorio Ferrari



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