Israelis find new trend in sailing

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
With the Mediterranean Sea being in driving distance from almost every place in the Jewish state, Israelis are taking on a new trend: Sailing.

There are 2,715 registered yachts in Israel, and over 100,000 registered yachtsmen, according to recent data by the Transport Ministry’s Shipping & Ports Authority.

In the past 12 years the number of yachts in the country has increased by 268 percent.

The Herzliya marina, just north of Tel Aviv has seen the sharpest increase with 592 yachts docked at its port. The Tel Aviv marina follows with some 415 yachts.

Ofer Dovnov, manager of the Tel Aviv marina, said that the more marinas were built, the more sea vessels, and yachts in particular, were becoming accessible to the average Israeli.

“Boating companies discovered the potential in the Israeli market, and the competition led to a wide range of prices, some of which are most definitely within the reach of the average person,” Dovnov said.

“Yacht prices range from $50,000 to dozens of millions of dollars. A yacht can often be cheaper than a car, and it offers an excellent option for traveling abroad,” said Atarim General Manager Itamar Shimoni.

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