The Koupetoris Shipyard

The Koupetoris Shipyard is a traditional shipyard that has been in operation since 1920. It is now owned by the third generation of the Koupetoris family.

The yard was founded by the seaman Dimitris Koupetoris in the location now occupied by the Nautical Club of Salamis. He had eight children: Vaggelis, Nikos, Lefteris, Spyros, Olympia, Kyriakoula, Eleftheria, and Paraskevi.

Because the original location of the yard was swampy one of the children contacted tuberculosis. After a few years the yard was moved a small distance west to its present location.

A single shed made up the work area where they built small boats and caïques. The family lived in a two-room stone house located inside the yard and furnished with a small wood-burning oven and a well. The outhouse was a wooden shack on a pier over the water.


The Koupetoris Shipyard from the bow of the “Faneromeni”. To the right the modernized section and to the left the traditional.

Salamis, April 2009.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

All the children worked in the yard, even the girls who operated the hand-turned windlass used for hauling out the caïques.

The oldest son, Mastro-Vaggelis, was born in 1918. He specialized in installing engines. When I went to the yard for the first time (1988), Vaggelis had retired and did not do any work. But he was a friend of Mastro-Pachos and partook of many dinner parties with us. Unfortunately he is no longer alive.

Nikos was also retired at that time. He, too, is no longer alive.

Lefteris did not regularly work in the shipyard, but he did help out on occasion and consulted for them. He had a lovely gaita (γαϊτα a variation of a small trechantiri) with which he often went fishing. He, too, participated in our dinner parties. I liked him a lot because he always had a kind word in his mouth. He, too, died recently.

Mastro-Spyros, the youngest son, worked regularly in the yard. He was an excellent boat-carpenter. He was in charge of “Faneromeni’s” keel replacement.I am particularly fond of him. He is now retired.

Regarding the Koupetoris girls, Mrs. Paraskevi operated a café-fish-taverna within the yard which is still there. A lot of our dinner parties took place there with almost all the people involved with the work on the “Faneromeni”.

Mrs. Kyriakoula has two children: George Karayiannis, who was part of the yard crew and is a boat-carpenter and cabinet-maker, and Christina. Christina is married to Dimitris Prasinos, also part of the yard crew-- an intelligent and very capable man.

The third generation consists of:
° Vaggelis’ children, Mimis and Manos,
° Lefteris’ son,Titos,
° Mastro-Spyros’ son, Dimitrakis,
° Christina’s son (Christina is married to Dimitris Prasinos),
° Yiannis.

The Koupetoris Shipyard has a good reputation throughout all of Greece, this is particularly true among the older seamen who brought their boats for repairs and ordered new boats.

Today the shipyard, still under family ownership, has been largely modernized. They operate a mechanical trailer for haul-outs. The yard’s crew now consists of Mimis, Manos, Titos, and Dimitrakis.

The smaller section of the yard operates as a traditional shipyard, hauling out boats by means of the old fashioned docking blocks. It is operated by Dimitris Prasinos, his son, Yiannis, and George Karayiannis.

I have excellent working relations with the whole crew and I haul out “Faneromeni” in their yard every year.

Note: The information for the above text was provided by Mimis Koupetoris in February of 2009.


The traditional section of the shipyard where boats are hauled out by docking blocks.The section is staffed by Dimitris Prasinos,his son, Yiannis, and George Karayiannis.

Salamis, April 2009.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)