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yotti 09-06-2004 07:35 AM

Starting a charter in Greece
Can anyone help?
I have just chartered for my second year in the Ionian and bon both occasions have been let down by the service given by the agents in Greece.
Through this I am hoping to set up a tiny charter company comprising of just one boat to start with. Then to start with by word of mouth and a small amount of marketing booking weekly charters from Lefkas.
It will be chartered with myself as skipper as I want to offer the personel touch that none of the Greek agents seem to offer.
Is there any pointers or advice that can be taken into consideration or am I trying to tap into a market that is already flooded.
Look forward to hearing from you soon

chrondi 09-14-2004 07:35 AM

Starting a charter in Greece
Your intentions remind me of a certain "Sailmaster" who claimed the same services not a long time ago. To my rather (poor) knowledge, you could very well serve as a flotilla leader, carrying a few passengers on board. Are you a romantic amateur or a true professional, after all?

sailmaster25 09-14-2004 08:38 PM

Starting a charter in Greece
sailmaster is alive and well, chartering his yacht around the Aegean with quite alot of success. Yes we do offer a higher quality service, and will continue to do so, perhaps it explains why we have had a fully booked season while the remainder of the greek charter fleet seems to still be tied up in Alimos marina.....service is whats its all about

yotti 09-20-2004 04:08 AM

Starting a charter in Greece
Thank you for your reply.
Having done a bit of research at the boatshow in Southampton most of the charter companies up and runing already have said that it is quite hard to set up as you need a greek agent as well. Do any of you know about this and the best way to go about it. Sailmaster where do you charter your boat from. This is not some romantic dream but a business i think that could work if the service is top class and the costs are favourable. Any tips on the size of boat. I was thinking of a Bavaria 46.

sailmaster25 09-20-2004 09:48 PM

Starting a charter in Greece
If you really want to do this be prepared for alot of hassle and frustration.... ok.
1. You need to start a greek company with you holding 49% and a greek partner holding the other, why? because you need to satisfity the greek tax office that you will not run away owing taxes.
2. You need to register with the local social security systems TEBE and pay in every month you contribution.
3. You need to find a good reputable accountant and have him open your company books, he will also take care of paying your VAT on charters as well as other tax obligations.
4. Once the paper work is done now you can buy your yacht, it must be registered with a greek flag, and then the fun starts. you will need,
a. Hellenic registery inspection certificate,
b. Engine and yacht specfications certificate
c.Radio license, now with GDMSS
d.Life raft certifcate with MOB saftey gear as well
e: Insurance both for yacht and liability to 3million euro

every year all of the above has to be renewed and insoected, by the various authorites here in greece.

Ok so now you have the company, yacht and you are ready to charter... wrong....

every time you charter a charter contract has to filled out in 5 copies filed with the port police, once the charter is over the contract must be filed with the tax authorties no less than 4 weeks after charter has finished..... and so it goes on, if you speak greek then it will help alot as you will need to do alot of the running around your self, if not then trying to do this in ehglish will be difficult and trying as all the papers are written in greek, just siging them is nt enough as you will be asked to read and understand what you are siging..... still want to dothis???

The yacht where as a bavaria 46 may seem like a good yacht, we have 100''s of the damn things over here, and you will immediately get into a price war with other brokers who can under cut you and say they offer the same service, find a yacht that they cannot offer and one that has minimum 4 cabins 3 for guests and one for crew, each guest cabin must have ensuite heads, try and find a yacht where the cockpit is divide into two, one half for guest to sit in safely away from flying sheets and one half where the crew can work the yacht while sailing, a large partical galley is a must with minumu 2 refers, 220v on board is nice, but not esstential..... so you still want to do this.... the market is tough here with tomany greek brokers only too happy to undercut you to keep money going though there company and stay afloat, unless you have a source of clients that the greek brokers do not I strongly suggest to avoid this venture as you will find your self in way above your head and just pouring good money after bad..... doing buisness in greece is and art and takes many years to understand there beaucary and exactly how and who to trust.....
I wish you the best

avournas 09-21-2004 01:03 AM

Starting a charter in Greece
Hi Gavin

There are some mistakes on sailmaster''s advise, under the newest Greek laws. These are:

1. You no longer need a 51% Greek partner, for as long you are a citizen of an EU country. You can issue the company 100% under your name.

2. Correct. Costs are about euros 150 per month. By doing that, you are actually entering in the Greek social security system (health and pention)

3. Correct.

4. Wrong. You no longer need to issue the vessel under Greek flag. You may perfectly well and legally charter her under your own country''s flag (again, this country must be an EU member).
The remarks a, b, c, d and e are correct and they apply to any flag your vessel is.

To summarise, you may charter your UK flagged, 100% owned by you vessel in Greece, but in order to do that you must follow the Greek laws regarding charter vessels and pay your taxes (for that business) in Greece.

Alexander Vournas

sailmaster25 09-21-2004 09:30 PM

Starting a charter in Greece
thanks for the corrections, laws have been changing too quick to keep up these days, one other item I forgot to mention, is that to keep you commerical license current each year the vessel must charter a minmum of 60 days a year, does not seem much but in these times it can be a problem to get the clients, alot of yacht did not make that 60 day limit this year and will be struggling to find the days to keep there licnese....
good luck

yotti 09-22-2004 12:02 AM

Starting a charter in Greece
Thank you for the advice. it certainly looks like I have my work cut out for this venture.
Well the more you put in the more you get out.
Where do you currently charter from and what type of vessel do you have.
Did you have lots of prior knowledge about greece before you started your charters or were you also starting from a one boat fleet.
If my marketing and target audiance is good is it going to be that difficult to keep the baot chartered.

yotti 09-22-2004 12:04 AM

Starting a charter in Greece
Thank you for the bits and peices.
I had heard that the EU rules were changing at some piont but not many people i spoke to knew when.
I was thinking of maybe spending a few weeks in Greece trying to get some more info on what is needed. do you have any suggestions on how the best way to approach it would be.

sailmaster25 09-22-2004 08:33 AM

Starting a charter in Greece
the best of luck in your venture, I have a slight advantage in that I was born here and speak fluent greek, I charter a 57 foot yacht with 3 cabins and offer a 5 star style charter that includes everything exspect airline tickets. My cleint base is varied but mostly americans,Brits,Australians,Kiwi''s and some Northern Europeans, although they prefer the bare boat scence as a whole. I run one yacht my self and half 50% share in another also doing the same thing. It is a full time job filling the yachts with charters as people today shop for price, unfortunately that seems to be the most important criteria, its only when they get here and find service lacking do they start to moan... as they say you get what you pay for.....coming to greece and seeing the whole operation will be a good idea, but bare in mind there are alot of companies doing the same and greeks do like to copy things quickly,.... case in point I have been trying to get away from the word skippered charter, it implies a bareboat with captain, so we offer Captained guided cruises, you know what... so do most all the other greek charter companies now!!! only its still a bareboat with greek captain, so one tries to break the stereo type, only to have it used and twisted back to the orginal formula.... oh well...
Any way good luck, its a tough business and very very cut throat

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