Boat registration in Argentina reached a record high of 10,500 in 2011

The boating sector in Argentina had, in 2011, its best year in decades. Argentinians love the water and are keen advocates of the marine lifestyle, a fact reflected in the rise in numbers taking to the water.

While recession and eurozone turmoil has pegged back boating numbers in much of the northern hemisphere, boat registrations in South America’s second biggest economy increased from 5,890 in 2008 to an all-time high of 10,500 last year, bringing the total to around 120,000 for the country as a whole.

Update: Demand for domestically built boats has been strong until relatively recently. The downturn is partly due to a a drop in the country’s economy.

Growth was more than eight per cent in 2011, but is estimated to fall to 3.4 per cent this year. Independent analysts, who claim the government manipulates data, predict it will be as low as 1.5 per cent.

Protectionist measures, including restrictions on purchasing dollars, have alienated the middle class while soaring public spending, much of which finances welfare schemes for the poor, has led to unofficial inflation of 24 per cent – the highest in South America.

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