The name ‘trehantiri’ comes from Byzantine Greek, “trohantiras” which means curved bow stem and signified “a fast ship that sails ”.
Trehantiri is significantly wide compared to its length (length to width ratio being 3:1) and has a bow and stern that is made curved like the hull. The shape makes the boat very suitable for sailing. Shipwrecks have never been recorded and one of its major advantages is that it can sail no matter the weather conditions. For this reason, no alterations to the hull shape have been needed since the 17th century. The most important change that occurred, however, happened in the 1920s when sails were traded in for diesel engine.In the past few years the European Union has subsidised the burning of small wooden fishing boats and since 1991 about 10,500 traditional wooden boats, mostly of the trehantiri type, have been destroyed.Thus, the traditional Greek naval art faces the danger of dying out.
“Agios Sostis” is one of the few remaining traditional wooden boats/ a shipbuilding live model in greek seas. It was built/crafted in the renowned Psarros shipyard, in Perama area of Piraeus in 1946. A 25 tonnes weight and 45 foot length, fishing sailboat trehantiri by Samian pine. In 1958, it was bought by a fisherman in Kavala and was one of the biggest fishing boats of that time, similar to the gri-gri fishing boat type which were sailing the rich waters of the ThraceanSea. In 1988 it changed hands again,and was used for fishing and trading in the Northern Aegean. Then in 1992, a new owner, a lover of the sea and of the Greek naval art, decided to undertake the expensive reconstruction by reinforcing the hull, rebuilding the cabin, the skylight and the deck. That is when the Agios Sostis began its career as a tourist boat in the Kavala and Thassos region. We knew this unique boat, so in 2009, when we decided to formed Eco cruising company, Agios Sostis was our first choice. Until mid 2010, the boat stayed in Limenaria, Thassos area where it was repaired by an experienced marine carpenter, Thodoros Charitopoylos in one of the 10 remaining shipyards in Greece, that still construct wooden boats. After many hours of hard work by the owners, friends and experts, the boat was ready to get in the water again.
So in July 2010, Agios Sostis bid farewell to the Aegean and headed towards Preveza, Amvrakikos gulf and the Ionian Sea.
Thodoros, the old carpenter from the Thassos shipyard used to tell us, “The wood is alive and if you care for it, it will last forever.”
And so, each winter, with persistence and love, we try to keep alive an important and integral part of Greek naval tradition, not in the traditional shipyards on beaches but in the local boat yards. And each summer, we offer visitors the experience of traveling aboard Agios Sostis, while expanding our horizons.
Our goal/dream is one day this boat will be sailing forced by the wind again!