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14d Greece charter :Athens - as far as possible - Athens???
Well my first reaction to Fyly would be to have them post a list of countries that do not issue Recreational sailing licenses. To my knowledge certainly all the EU Countries do and certainly the North American countries, Perhaps Upper Volta in Africa does not? So there is no excuse for not having an orginal saling license.
As to a letter from a sailing club, well I guess we all have one of those, from MS Word Sailing Club. Unfortunately Fyly is gulity of exploiting the system. If they where going to be honest about this then they would also explain that it is a requirement that when clients who shows up and say they can handle a yacht are put though a test prior to departure to indicate to the charter company that they can indeed handle the yacht.
Normally this would involve leaving the marina berth with proceeding outside in to the bay hoisting the sails, tacking the boat, running the boat, reefing the boat, anchoring the yacht and performing a MOB. then return the yacht to the marina berth. The reality is they do not do this despite it being a requirement with most insurance companies and I beleive the Port police. Definately a requirement form the private owners they lease the yachts from. Fyly''s comment about what insurance companies would let all this go on is some waht pathetic, the insurance companies in this country are in absolute uproar about all the damage that does go on, just drive around the boat yard and take a look 98%of damage in the yard is as a result of bareboat damage. We pay the highest rates in europe because of this. Would the insurance companies like a bigger say in things ? Of course but the greek beauocracy prevents that from happening, letting the whole thing falling on a self policing system and Don''t get the impression that FYly owns thousands of yacht they do''nt!! So they are not paying the incredible high insurance costs boat owners do .
Perhaps they own one or two but the rest they lease/borrow from other owners/charter companies, so quite hoestly what the hell do they care? As long as they get there 30% commission then they are happy... after all its all about the commission right!!charter the yacht for what you can, take your commission 30% and what ever is left goes to the owner, sometimes the amount is pathetic. Hence the pressure to let these yachts work as much as possible with what ever client shows up!!
So why do they not run a Yacht Handling test on bare boaters like they do in the Carribean, or other charter areas, when the client shows up with a letter from his yacht club?
Well quite simply it would take too long, and on your check in day you do not get on the yacht until sometimes after 1pm or later. By the time you do all this, get a run down on the yacht and do the last minute paper work any chance of leaving the marina in day light has gone. Oh did''nt they mention that little contract hicup! No Bare boat charter yacht can be in transit after hours of dusk , ie dark! So bang goes your first day of charter still tied to the dock in Athens.
So they skip the captains test and out go the charter clients in too the Greek islands and harbors. Watching the newbie bare boat charters trying to anchor stern too in Poros or any other harbor is endless entertainment.It''s obivous that they have no clue how to safely anchor the yacht, stern to the quay. The most common damage is transom crunch, where the yacht bangs the quay when passing ferries create a swell...or they just don''nt lay out enough anchor and hit the dock...
What Fyly also did not mention is that now along with a valid recreational sailing license, the skipper will also have to have a vaild VHF operators license, (new 2005), Ok it is going to be fazed in , in typical greek style, but the fact remains you should have one, so how will you get around that one ?
Will we see a Fyly form saying that the client can operate a VHF and knows what to do in time of emergency?..... Pull the GDMSS switch and shout for help, or just dial 1-800-Fyly on your cell phone and ask to speak to the 24 hr crisis center.....as you sink below the beautiful blue sea!!