Superyachts drive Greek boating

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Superyachts drive the yacht market Greece, with sales of these vessels on the rise and expected delivery dates for models under construction extending beyond 2024. Additionally, the leasing sector is strong.

Greece, known as the cradle of Western civilization, boasts 15,000 km of coastline, attracting boaters with its stunning scenery and numerous anchorages. With mostly sandy seabeds, anchoring is excellent and berthing costs are often low or even free, particularly in city docks.

According to ICOMIA, Greece has 60 marinas and small harbors with 8,220 berths, accommodating an average of 23 pleasure craft per berth. Stern mooring is common, and even larger ports can accommodate about 3,000 yachts. Various picturesque anchorages, equipped with proper facilities, are available throughout Greece, including popular spots like Mikrolimano, Aegina, Poros, and many others.

These areas have been developed with piers and breakwaters to ensure safe docking for tourist boats, which pay necessary port fees.

Superyachts, a growing segment

According to ICOMIA’s data, the Greek nautical fleet comprises 187,231 registered boats, equating to 17.96 boats per 1,000 inhabitants.

Among these, there are 6,200 sailing boats, 13,696 inboard or I/O motor boats, 135,735 outboard-engined and rigid boats, 24,800 pneumatic boats, and 6,800 PWCs.

The superyacht sector in Greece is notably robust, with sales increasing in 2021 compared to 2020, both within the domestic market and internationally.

Greece stands out in the production of yachts longer than 20 meters, with expected delivery dates extending beyond 2024 for vessels ordered. In the first half of 2021, the local superyacht market experience dits strongest performance in four years.

Alongside the rise in new buyers of Greek superyachts, Greece emerged as the leading destination for foreign-built yachts for sale or charter.

A popular tourist destination

In recent years, Greece has established itself as a premier tourism destination, achieving remarkable success in the yacht leasing sector.

In 2019, it ranked third globally, accounting for 17 percent of the market, following behind southern France (20 percent) and Italy (19 percent). By 2020, Greece climbed to the second position with 19 percent market share, and by 2021, it soared to the top with an impressive 23 percent share, surpassing both southern France and Italy.

Moreover, Greece expanded its fleet by 15 percent in 2021, boasting 224 superyachts licensed for charter. According to a recent survey, Greece has become the world’s top destination for superyachts, hosting 194 vessels in June 2021, a significant increase from 81 in May of the same year. By June, Italy had hosted 171 superyachts, the United States 170, France 151, and Spain 124.

Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association

In Greece, local associations play a vital role in promoting the economic, ethical, and professional interests of those involved in recreational boating. One such association is the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (HPYOA), also known as EPEST. With a history dating back to 1974, EPEST represents owners of over 4,000 yachts dedicated to professional tourism. The association actively engages in the study of maritime tourism, enhancing ship conditions, and ensuring safety in navigation.

EPEST closely monitors developments in various governmental and international bodies, including the Ministry of Tourism, the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Ministry of Finance, relevant EU directorates, and more.

It intervenes when necessary to safeguard the interests of its members. Moreover, within EPEST, there is a professional association dedicated to crews, responsible for negotiating the annual collective labor agreement in this category.

This association works to combat illegal chartering of foreign-flagged vessels, improve marina infrastructure and services, increase berth availability, and enhance cleanliness and safety at facilities.

Tips for boaters
The Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association suggests that those planning a boating vacation on the Greek seas should find out about the regulations involved and the formalities required.

It also urges boaters to ensure that the devices provided for the safety of the boat and of those who use it are in excellent condition, the engines are working, and the boat has sufficient fuel.

It is also crucial to make sure that the prevailing weather conditions are suitable for sailing. In case of unexpected deterioration, it is important to return to the nearest harbour and contact the local port authorities.

Greek Yachting Association

To uphold the highest standards of professionalism in yacht sales, management, and chartering, the Greek Yachting Association (GYA) was founded in 2013. This association aims to advance yachting through advocacy, professional development, communication, networking support, and collaboration among industry professionals. GYA’s founding members are Greek yachting companies engaged in chartering, brokerage, management, insurance, and yacht construction, representing over 90 percent of crewed yacht charters in Greece.

GYA closely collaborates with the international association MYBA, The Worldwide Yachting Association. Annually, GYA hosts the Mediterranean Yacht Show (MEDYS), now in its eighth year, attracting professionals worldwide.

Held in Nafplio with the support of the Municipality, MEDYS is dedicated to charter yachts, Greek-flagged and foreign alike, and is renowned as one of the most significant events in Greece’s yachting industry.

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