Interviewing Spiros Galanakis of Athens Yachts

Held from the 2nd to 6th May on the island of Nafplio, Greece, the second edition of the Mediterranean Yacht Show was an unprecedented success. A total of 67 crewed yachts were present at the event, as well as 242 yacht brokers from all over the world, and 17 stands featuring yachting services and supplies. SuperYacht Times’ Maarten Janssen was present at the Show, where he spoke to Spiros Galanakis, Managing Director of Athens Yachts, who talked about his impression of this years Show.

Clearly one of the biggest periods of change in any show’s lifetime is the preliminary years, learning from challenges as well as successes in order to prove the validity of the event. The Mediterranean Yacht Show is no different, and as Mr Galanakis told us, he is happy with the second edition of the show, though notes that there is always room for improvement. He says, “I am really pleased to inform that things are very clear now. This show is only for central agency yachts, and we have an impressive fleet to exhibit. Today this is a luxury yacht show only for yachts from 70 foot onwards up to 170. I think the standards have risen up to West Mediterranean standards. We’re really glad the quality and service has been upgared, but there is always room for improvement. We’re getting there by doing our best for a mutual goal and objective.

A potential area for improvement could be found in the fact that the vast majority of boats at the show are Greek flagged. SYT asked Mr Galanakis if organisers plan on opening up more in the future to foreign flagged boats, he says, “I really don’t know. We have some foreign flag yachts exhibiting at the show that are registered, and also in my fleet we have a couple of yachts that are foreign flagged.” He continues to state that although 90% of the boats at this year’s show are Greek, this isn’t a reflection upon a localised mindset of keeping the area purely Greek. He says, “We’re open…What we want is that guests will be coming over, having fun and enjoying the area. We need yachts to come over - that is what we’re looking for. Good and clean business. We’re not sceptical if it’s not a Greek flag, we just need the business coming in.

Continuing to discuss the establishment of the show and it’s departure from the East Med Yacht Show held annually in Poros, Mr Galanakis says, “Back in the day in Poros it was a good show, and everybody has great memories of it, but at some stage we had to separate because things were a bit complicated. We could not advertise a 140 ft yacht next to a very small boat or a RIB. If you’re looking for small boats or bare boats or Ribs, of course you can go to the other show…it is not bad to do that, just a different market… But if you’re looking for central agency yachts with MYBA members and very experienced brokers, you have to come to Nafplio. That’s what we’re selling here.

Speaking of the yachts on show, Athens Yachts brought nine of their 14 strong fleet to Nafplio. He says, “I’m always trying to bring new yachts into the market. I’m working very hard on that. Last year we had the addition of AQUA to our fleet - an impressive aluminium 40 metre Admiral - this year we have MY TOY which is the unique AB140 in the market, she is in excellent shape. So far she has had a lot of bookings, so we’re very happy. We also had Endless Summer this year new in the market after her total $2,000,000 refit.

In terms of the future of Athens Yachts, Mr Galanakis concludes that his intention is, of course, to expand and grow. He states, "The only thing I care to maintain is Quality Vs Quantity. I am really looking forward to expand my business but never lose my identity as always having a nice & clean fleet with great crew’s!"

By Maarten Janssen & Gemma Fottles

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