As you know from the chronicles I have been sending, my family and I are now back in Brisbane after 5 glorious months of Greek islands summer on our fabulous Bavaria 46 "Tramondana". The assistance you gave me at the early stages when the idea was only forming in my mind, and ultimately the discovery of the right boat to buy, contributed significantly to the success of this long and extravagant holiday that forms another great episode in our life.
With most of my sailing having been in New Zealand and Australia, I knew nothing of the regulations, formalities or practicalities of sailing in the Mediterranean, or purchasing and owning a sailing yacht there. Hunting the web for information, I found the straight-forward explanations at YDyachts.com the most helpful introduction, and then your prompt and enthusiastic responses to my relentless queries about registration, VAT, cruising tax, transit log, traffic document, hows and wherefores of sailing and wintering a yacht in Greece and the Mediterranean were instrumental in my assessment of the feasibility and practicality of purchasing and owning a yacht on the opposite side of the world from where I normally live. While I will only suggest that the answer to the practicality question is similar to beauty being in the eye of the beholder, or perhaps a warped sense of priorities, the positive feasibility assessment was mostly due to the help you gave me.
However, its discussion of rules and regulations introduces interpretation rather than quoting or referencing the source documents. A link to an official source would be useful to gain a confident understanding. Yet, your advice of its practical application does avoid the need for a great deal of research.
What I also now appreciate is that the promises on your website of full service assistance through the yacht purchase process is real and part of the excellent service you provide. Over several months of intermittently firing you questions about a new boat listing or another angle on registration or taxes, you were the most helpful. When I visited Athens for three days in January 2008, it was you who listened to what I was looking for and took me through a logical process in just a few hours of the morning to quickly narrow down on the "right boat for me" out of the many and varied available. Others had simply shown me around the boats I had specifically asked about, without using some initiative to work out what I really needed. A significant part of your process was the honesty with which you portrayed the boats in regard to hidden details of such importance as structural integrity from fundamental design and the state of the industry at the time of construction.
Clearly all these factors culminated in my purchase of the 1997 Bavaria 46 with your competent assistance. Within 48 hours of our first meeting in Athens, you found me the boat, completed negotiations with the seller and also prepared all the documentation need to complete the sale, transfer of ownership and deletion from the Greek registry, knowing that I was travelling directly back to Australia, from where the process would otherwise have been drawn out and costly.
Yet that was only the beginning of our relationship, as you followed through all the actions and formalities needed to finalise the sale, assisted with my remote requests for various enhancements to the boat and coordinated the works right through to the target date for completion and re-launch in May. During our final preparations with the boat in the water in the crowded Alimos Marina, on a berth only available due to your contacts, I met people (from not just one yacht) who were stranded awaiting documentation to be finalised. I was so glad I had made our purchase through YD Yachts!
Your continued assistance and availability even beyond our departure from Alimos is very much appreciated. It is from your dedication to see everything through smoothly that we have been able to make the purchase remotely with so little effort or complications. Thank you again for all your knowledgeable advice, your commitment to satisfaction of all parties and the professionalism of your service.