Ionian catamaran: Stavros Kanis, Founder, CEO
How did you discover the world of sailing and why did you choose to focus on charter?
Ionian catamaran: Since a very young age and coming from a family of mariners, the sea was my hobby and greatest activity. By the age of 13, I started sailing at the Chios N.O. with E14 and 470 sailing boats. Later on, at the age of 16, I became a rowing athlete and won a gold medal in the Coxless Pair Panhellenic Event. At the age of 20, I started traveling with commercial ships in order to become a captain and then I started sailing with yachts. There, I saw the perspective of charter business and decided to combine my love for the sea with the yachting entrepreneurship.
When and why did you decide to build your own business?
Ionian catamaran: I decided to build my own business in 2000, a small fleet of sailing yachts, however with big plans for the future. Its name was “Sail ways” and brought together many boat owners from Patras, who started chartering in the Ionian Sea. “Patras Yachts” made its appearance a few years later in the city of Patras, one of the most important ports of western Greece. I lived in Patras and so did my partners who either lived there or had been born there. This is how I decided to create a company that would show where it all starts. In 2008 we already owned one catamaran in our fleet, and by 2010 we had the second one. Our catamaran family grew even more in 2013 with the addition of two more.
Why did you choose to establish your business in Marina Gouvia, Corfu? Where are you from?
Ionian catamaran: Our business is not established in Marina Gouvia, Corfu, but in Patras, as mentioned above. Marina Gouvia, in Corfu, is our base in the Ionian Sea and then three years ago we had our base in Lefkas. I was born and raised in Chios island, in the North Aegean Sea. An island of sailors, captains, and mariners.
What do you want to bring to your customers in terms of experience?
Ionian catamaran: We are always seeking to bring to our customers the best yachting holiday experience with high-quality standards and tailor-made options to cover all tastes.
There are a lot of yacht charters in Greece, how did you make your business unique and what is special about Ionian Catamarans?
Ionian catamaran: We have people who provide direct technical support, throughout the Ionian Sea. For example, in case of a breakdown at sea, near Ithaca, we do not need to bring a technician from Corfu or Lefkas where our bases are located but we have somebody already there. We specialize in catamaran charters from, crewed or bareboat, of which the most part of our fleet consists. We also cooperate with other catamaran owners and ensure exclusive management of their yachts. With experienced and trained skippers to lead the way and technicians all around the Ionian islands, we provide technical support everywhere in the Ionian Sea wherever our clients need it.
How do you take care of the maintenance of your boats?
Ionian catamaran: As demonstrated by our name “Ionian Catamarans by Patras Yachts”, Patras Yachts is a company of yacht services and yacht maintenance that hosts the Ionian Catamarans, that is entitled to brokerage. So, we can proudly say that we take very good care of our yachts during the winter maintenance so that we can prepare them at the most for the charter season.
Thank you very much for this interview. Can you tell us what’s your project for the near future, what is new for the next season?
Ionian catamaran: Thank you very much for having us! Our projects for the upcoming season 2020 are the following. We will have electronic inventories and online manuals of each yacht with 360 videos and real pictures. These will operate, as to save more time on the check-in procedure, as the clients upon the booking confirmation, will receive the manual and will be able to get to know the boat as if they are on it, before the embarkation. The online inventory will again save time, as there will be a tablet on every yacht to have everything in it (inventory, manual, note delivery). Also as a company, we are friendly to the environment, avoiding as much of the paperwork as possible (e.g. the inventory) and also we have joined the Green Sail organization, which will provide a guide and a list of activities that the clients can do in order to sail more friendly to the sea and the environment. In addition, we have joined the Anchored organization, that provides us with the Bareboat Charter Standards and see that we meet them.