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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 02-27-2004
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Buying and keeping a boat in Greece

The tentative plan is to sell our Hunter 34 within the next two years, then either buy a boat in Greece or elsewhere (with the hope of avoiding most of the VAT), and keep it in a southern-Athens marina.

Does anyone have an idea of what slip rates are in south and southeast Athens marinas for a 10 meter sailboat? Does any one have email addresses for marinas in those areas?

~ Thanks in advance, and happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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Buying and keeping a boat in Greece

Frenzy:

I''m sorry that I can''t help you on slip rates but you probably should read up on how Greece is handling non-EU citizens and their boats these days. The EU has had to take Greece to the EU Court, despite it being one of its own Member States, for violating taxation rules and imposing ''VAT by another name'' taxes. There''s been a fair bit of angry complaint within the North American yachtie community about their behavior as well, which seems to be more prominent in some parts of the country (near the bigger cities and charter company locations) and less so in the more remote areas (which you might find more attractive but, since you''ll be looking for boat oversight and travel convenience, you might find unsuitable).

If you haven''t, consider joing SSCA (a small fee for a world full of cruising-related info) and then review their back issues of the SSCA Bulletin, which this past year have carried a series of stories on this topic). Re: your inquiry here about marinas, consider buying a CD of 9 years of SSCA Bulletins (I don''t think membership is required and the cost is low) as that will have much info to answer your question and it can be searched either within the CD or, more selectively, using Adobe Acrobat''s search engine.

www.ssca.org for membership, and for the CD, go to the Store and select ''Pubs''

Keep in mind the EU will get 10 new member states on May 1st, at which point Cyprus and Malta will disappear as non-EU locations (with VAT-free exclusion). Were I basing a yacht in the Eastern Med, I''d consider Turkey or Croatia, adjacent to Greece waters, and then move the boat between its home waters and the various cruising destinations that I found inviting. This seems to be a common choice even among the EU sailors leaving their boats in the E Med.

Jack
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Old 02-28-2004
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Buying and keeping a boat in Greece

Jack:
Thanks for the good information. Keeping the boat outside of Greece is not viable, as we will be living in Athens - permanently. I''ve read that Greece is reconsidering its VAT structure to fall more in-line with the rest of the EU. I live fairly close to the Greek Embassy, and plan to go there to get information about this and several other concerns.

I will indeed buy the CD you mentioned, and I''ll probably join SSCA.

Again, thanks. If you can think of anything else, please feel free to send me a message.

! Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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Buying and keeping a boat in Greece

F:

"If you can think of anything else, please feel free to send me a message."

I advise you to be reserved in your acceptance of whatever info you receive from the Greek Embassy. (Is that in DC? In a 3rd country?) There typically is a huge gap between ''theory'' and ''practice'', or the difference between the Embassy staffer who has read the relevant code and offers a view from a distance and the local official in the particular port of your interest who''s done the job for some years, and who makes things work at the loca level. This is IME a universal truism, not something ''Greek''.

I wish this weren''t so, as right now I''m trying to clarify our own legal options for wintering in the Netherlands and I can find opposite, clearly stated views on the same extended stay issue on two Netherlands Embassy websites - DC and London, both as they relate to U.S. citizens. And I''m sure there''s a third view we''ll learn about first-hand when we visit Amersterdam. (And perhaps a fourth...).

I don''t really think there is AN answer, but rather a blend of answers...and despite it being somewhat counterintuitive, I think if you read the comments of multiple yachties who are passing thru the area of interest to you, you''ll get straighter scoop than talking to a given official in a distant city who''s probably never walked a port''s dock nor collected a fee from a foreign yachtsmen.

Jack
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Buying and keeping a boat in Greece

Jack:
Thanks again for a quick response and an eye-opening point-of-view.

Many years ago, I lived in Greece for just over a year, and I learned then what you said. I''m told the ancient Greeks invented bureaucracy thousands of years ago, and the modern Greeks have made it to an art-form. I think their government tries to make it difficult for outsiders to live there because they know their country is blessed with a great climate, beautiful seas and beaches, and wonderful people (my wife being the best of all). If they didn''t discourage outsiders, their country would soon be overrun by everyone else. Just like the US, they too have an immigration problem, which they are trying to control. Apparently, they seem to be doing a better job of it than our Immigration Service and Border Patrol, but (for the moment) that''s not my concern.

We plan to go to Greece this Spring for two weeks. Also, we plan to return several times before we make the permanent move. During each of those visits, we will gather some information, and do a bit of house and marina hunting. Naturally, we plan to talk with local sailors as well as local officials. Even so, I suspect that what we ultimately find to be the case will differ somewhat from what we are told (officially as well as unofficially). Unfortunately, I''ve been around the block often enough to - "trust no one". That''s not just a Greek thing, as it applies to all nationalities. :^(

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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Buying and keeping a boat in Greece

F:

It''s great that you can dig into this first-hand with feet on the ground in the right place. If you wouldn''t mind, I''d welcome a chance to hear your impressions once you''ve visited and the formal story line and the local knowledge start to mesh. It would eventually be very helpful, as we''ll be there in 1.5-2 years, so thanks for whatever you can pass along.

Jack
jack_patricia@yahool.com
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Buying and keeping a boat in Greece

I''d be happy to pass along the information I gather, but as you know, what I find to be true or accurate today may be out-of-date a year from now. :^( Nonetheless, I''ve added your email address to my list of "fellow boaters".

BTW, in a few years we''ll be in the market for a 10 meter sailboat that will need to be "Europe ready" (meaning wired for 220v 50Hz, CNG stove, etc.). At present, there are several boats for sale in Greece, and one of them is a 33'' 1980 Amel located near Athens. I''ve heard and read good things about Amels, so I''ll take a look at that one just to see what it''s like. Who know, if it''s in very good condition I just may buy it and let my brother-in-law care for it till we return permanently. ;^)

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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