For our 2019 summer holidays, we definitely wanted to go back to Corfu and rent a sailing boat for a week.
Our budget for the boat was around 2000 Euro for a week, so after browsing around and contacting companies where we used to rent before, we came upon a very attractive offer from Marenauta for a 2008 Beneteau Cyclades 39 for only 1330 Euro.
Thinking it was an 11 year old boat, already several upgrades must have been made.
Although Marenauta promised to send us the exact location of the boat, we did not receive the information and had only the contact information of Mr. John Karkamelis, the representative of Golden Compass Yachts in Gouvia. We contacted John a few days prior via WhatsApp because we wanted an early check-in, but he never answered our messages, nor our telephone calls.
With very little information, we went looking Saturday morning 29th of June for the slip. In the harbors main office, they told us 'This company does not have an office here, try pier L', which we did, but no rep could be found, also nobody knew Mr. John Karkamelis. We tried the number of Golden Compass in Athens and the man at the phone informed us that John Karkamelis was no longer working as a representative for Golden Compass, although on his WhatsApp profile picture, he was still wearing a Golden Compass uniform. The man on the phone referred us to slip L68. After more walking and asking around, we finally saw an older man arriving at the slip with a Golden Compass polo shirt. He told us that the rep, Yanis, was waiting for us in bar Cygnus Café. We went to the bar and Yanis was sitting at a table where he received us. He asked us 'You are 7 persons, correct?', 'No, we are 4 persons', then he told us 'You rented for 2 weeks, correct?', 'No, only one week'. Then he asked us what boat we rented and we told him it was Coral, Yanis answered 'Coral had accident last week, you get other boat.'
Yanis informed us that our boat was called 'Ruby', a 43 feet Cyclades. We told him we wanted to depart early from the harbor and he told us that it was a supplement of 45 Euro which he had to pay to the police in order to let us leave at 15:00 iso 17:00. We paid the 45 Euro, as well as the 120 Euro for cleaning and 80 Euro for the outboard engine for the dinghy and the security deposit of 1500 Euro.
We filled out the documents and went to buy groceries in the supermarket as Yanis left to file the documents to the authorities.
When we came back from shopping the boat was inspected and it came immediately to my mind that the boat was very poorly maintained.
When Yanis came back and gave us the papers of the boat and the gasoline for the outboard engine, it was 16:30, so the 45 Euro for the 'early departure' was already lost.
We set sail towards Petriti where we wanted to anchor in the bay and have dinner in the local taverna, so we put the dinghy in the water, installed the extremely heavy outboard engine from somewhere in the nineties and of we went for a 100 meter ride towards the beach, but about 30 meters before arriving, the engine died and would not start anymore for the rest of the week. Another 80 Euro in the water, literally.
Furthermore, I will just mention the facts, if not I will be writing a novel.
- Rubber stern protector came loose when speed was more than 5 knots, meaning almost daily. See pictures.
- Cockpit shower hose broken before departure and 'fixed' by Golden Compass staff with black isolation to fix temporary. It lasted one day. When using the cockpit shower, water was spraying everywhere. See pictures.
- Outboard engine (from 90’s) inoperative during the whole week, we paid 80 € for it. See pictures.
- No cockpit cushions available. Yanis: 'Sorry, don't have.'
- 2 Winches at starboard side broken and slipping (main and jib). See pictures.
- Spray hood in extremely poor and dirty condition. See pictures.
- Both bathrooms with a horrible smell of urine the moment we received the boat
- Fridge was not working properly, it stopped cooling several times resulting in sometimes cold milk, sometimes hot beers.
- On the second day, the gimbled stove broke off at the left hand side, making cooking uncomfortable. See pictures.
- Lack of basic utilities in the galley (boat for 10 pax but only 5 bigger glasses, 4 small glasses, no coffee can, no kitchen pads, etc...)
- Cockpit speakers not working
- Sails in very poor condition (jib is yellowed iso white, patched in several places)
- Handle on tender broke when lifting dinghy was lifted on board on the third day.
- Anchor windlass was slipping and anchor fuse switched off on several occasions while anchoring or pulling the anchor. See pictures.
- Anchor was unreliable and dragged boat when wind was more than 6 knots.
- Only 2 docking lines available.
On the 5th day, we found out where one of the terrible smells came from: all the bed linen and wet towels from the party that rented the week before us, were underneath one of the beds!! See pictures.
The positive thing about Yanis from Golden Compass was, that we could keep the boat until Saturday 9:00 AM iso Friday 5:00 PM, however, he did not appear until 10:15 AM…