Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

Pythagorio or Samos Marina

2006

Pythagorio or Samos Marina is in the island of Samos near the town of Pythagorio has been in the making for over 12 years. The concrete quays were completed over ten years ago but there was no road leading to them save a dirt track that local taxis refused to drive on. About 5 years ago, floating docks appeared and several unfinished buildings sprouted. Still no road. A year later, laid moorings were set and posts with electric and water outlets were installed, neither electricity nor water were available. The buildings were plastered. Still no road. Two years ago, 2004, in the spirit of the Athens Olympics a young lady representing the marina “management” started to ask for mooring fees charging “half price.” No road, no water, no electricity, but semi-completed buildings. Last spring, 2005, the situation was not very different than the year before, save some further work on the buildings. A very clean fuel station begun operating at the entrance of the marina in the summer of 2005. Then, in late August 2005, a minor miracle happened. The road was paved. Not all the way, about the last 100 meters were left unpaved as a reminder that things in Greece do not happen that easily or so fast.

In the spring of 2006, a new manager, Mr. Spiros Moustakas was installed. He is a local Samian from Pythagorio and appears energetic and full of wonderful plans. He told me, when I left my boat in late May, that water and electricity will be available by June 1 when the marina will start charging fees. True to his word, when I returned in early June, both water and electricity were available in almost every berth. This is a very, very, encouraging sign and a most positive step. What was not available yet were attendants answering VHF calls to direct and help incoming boats moor in the narrow berths, clean mooring lines of adequate length (they were full of growth and too short), WC/Shower/Laundry facilities, and night security. By the middle of July a few WC/Showers started working, some of the mooring lines have been repaired (still very dirty), an inflatable was acquired, and attendants listening on portable VHFs on channel 9, began helping incoming yachts. The office has acquired a secretary and is maned from 8 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week.

The rates of this new marina are very high considering that there is no security (fence and night guards) and that there are no facilities such as laundry, restaurant, bank, shops, repair facilities, etc. Also the paving of the access road is incomplete and the path to Pythagorio is almost impassable. Should these services become available, then the marina will be up to the standards of the marinas in Kusadasi, Bodrum, Kos, Marmaris, Kalamata, Porto Caras, and the ones in the Ionian and its present rates will be competive. Mr. Moustakas as well as his assistants, Yiannis, Manolis, Michalis, and Mike have assured me that all these are forthcoming but I am afraid that it will take another year. Seeing is believing. By the way, Manolis' and Michalis' wives offer a good yacht cleaning service at reasonable rates.

Now let me describe my experience of becoming one of the first yearly customers in the marina. I was given a formidable 10 page contract printed in triplicate. All three copies had to be signed by me and each page of each copy had to be initialed. It is clear that the contract language had been written by a lawyer familiar with real estate but who has never set a foot in a marina. It is more of an apartment rental agreement than a berth contract for a boat. It nevertheless spelled in exhaustive detail my obligations to the “company” while hardly mentioning any of the “company’s” obligations to me. Also, while the yearly rate for my 10.65 m boat is a reasonable €129.5/month (€4.3/day), assuming all the normal marina services such a security and attendants are provided (see above), they demanded, in addition to the 12 months berth rental, a two month deposit. But this deposit is not based on the €129/month rate but on a €276/month rate nor is it the deposit spelled out in their price list. This amounts for me, the customer, making a €550 interest-free loan to the “company.”

2007 to 2012

In the summer of 2007 the access road to the marina was completed. The marina office has moved from the trailer to the tower at the marina’s entrance. The bathrooms, although there are only a few, now have hot water. Washing machines have been installed. A restaurant, popular with the locals, and a café are now operating. A dive store has opened and a chandlery store started operations in late September 0f 2007.

In 2008 a mini-market opened.

In 2010 the chandlery store was relocated outside of the marina. There is now a travel-lift and some repair facilities. There is still no security (fence and night guards) and the path to Pythagorio is still a rough dirt road.

By 2012 the chandlery store was completely gone.

2013

The restaurant is now gone.

In the summer of 2013 rumors started circulating that the Turkish company Setur has acquired the marina. They operate at least 8 marinas in Turkey and one in Greece (in Lesvos).

Conclusion

I have to say that although the local marina personel are eager and have made a good impression the contactual and financial policies of the marina have left me with a rather negative feeling. I am afraid that this contract alone will drive many perspective customers, especially foreign, away and may prevent the marina from becoming a profitable operation. I have to confess that if I was not very keen in keeping my boat in Samos where I have a summer house, I would have had second thoughts in accepting the terms of their formidable, expensive, and usurious contract. I will advise the management to look up the prices, policies, and yearly contracts of Agmar in Leros as an example of a very successful on-going concern. I sincerely hope that they overcome these difficulties and that they do succeed.

The marina office can be reached by telephone +30 22730 61600 and by e-mail as well as in VHF channel 9. They also have a web site. Unfortunately the site makes exaggerated claims as to the marina facilities and services. It is more of a wish list rather than a reflection of what is available here and now.