More than 1,000 vessels are currently operating illegal bareboat charter in the Balearics, according to Palma charter commission APEAM

Holidaymakers considering taking out a bareboat charter in the Balearics this summer should beware of illegal practitioners, according to a local charter commission.

According to the Asociacion Provincial de Empresarios de Actividades Marítimas de Baleares (APEAM), more than 1,000 vessels are currently involved in illegal bareboat charter activities in the area.

Although illegitimate operators are cheaper, they are far less likely to have the insurance to protect customers in the event of a serious accident and often lack the necessary safety equipment, claims Lorenzo Vila, director of local charter company easyboats.

“Personally I am delighted that APEAM has brought this scandal to attention – and it must be addressed,” he said.

“These unethical operators pay no tax, no licence fees, have no specialist safety equipment and take cash payments in order to stay under the radar.

“Customers focus on the money they save, rather than the protection they lose,” Lorenzo adds. “It’s a serious matter.”

Proposed solutions to the problem include increased police controls at marinas and heavy fines for skippers of illegal bareboat charter vessels.

Easyboats has a wide range of legitimate charter boats, including a Chris-Craft 28 (pictured above), Riva Rivale 52 and Monte Fino 78.