1. What do you do for a living and how old are you?

I was born on November 15th 1967 and I am a businessman. I own a natural sponge processing and trading company. I inherited the company from my father and him from his father and so on. I also own Plaza Hotel in Kalymnos (

2. What is your connection with the sea and speed boats?

My life is deeply connected to the sea. Besides living on a fishermens island, Kalymnos, our line of business (selling natural sponges) has made me interact with sea men (mainly men who dive to collect sponges) and travel with boats since I was a little boy.

My father bought me my first wooden boat when I was about 10 years old. It had the, well known, outboard motor “Seagull”. You can imagine that given the island’s economy status back then, it was a huge gift. But you see, my father, since I can remember myself had always had a wooden boat and many times took me with him to fish or just for a boat ride.

I bought my first speed boat on June 1996. A little late in my lifetime, someone would think, but I found myself compromising with my father’s wooden boats. It was a SACKS dinghy (5.35m) with an 115HP Evinrude engine. I kept it until 2002 and then I bought the Oceanic 7.40m with a 200HP Yamaha engine which I have until this day.

3. When, how and why did you decide to purchase a seat with a shock mitigation system?
4. Can you describe with details your medical condition?

At 2009 I started experiencing back (spinal) problems. Once or twice a year I felt agonizing, acute backache which left me incompetent and bedridden for almost a week. The only way to get better was by injecting myself with several drugs. Since 2011 I treat these backaches with physiotherapy sessions because I feel better than when I’m taking drugs. Unfortunately, doctors have forbidden boat riding because the vibrations that occur are bad for my situation.

On December of 2016 backaches returned and this time physiotherapy did nothing. I felt pain every day, all day long and the worst of the situation was, that I also felt pain from my hip through my leg. Finally on March 2017 the MRI showed in detail the problems I was facing.

The neurosurgeon that made the diagnosis told me that I should avoid anything that would carry vibrations to my body (even motorcycle riding), thus a boat trip in the Aegean Sea (on which usually wind forces of 5 on the Beaufort scale occur) was forbidden. He also advised me to swim and do some special exercise in order to avoid surgery in the future.

In short the doctor told me to abandon my hobby, namely boat trips to the Dodecanese and Cyclades Islands and fishing with a harpoon gun. Since I didn’t want to follow his advice, I started looking for an alternative.

A solution would be to buy a bigger speedboat which could travel at wind forces of 5 on the Beaufort Scale without having vibrations and shocks. This was unfortunately a very pricey solution due to acquisition value, fuel costs, maintenance, taxes, docking costs, e.t.c. So I started gathering information about a kind of shock absorbing seat that absorbs vibrations. I Googled it and I found 2 or 3 options that shared little information and didn’t seem reliable. Looking further more I found some pictures of a seat with a shock absorber base that seemed to be what I was looking for. They looked elegant and well built. Their design and components convinced me that they were built to absorb vibrations. I decided to contact the manufacturer in order to gather more information about the seat. I was curious about its cost and the degree of the shock mitigation.

After making some phone calls I spoke with the company’s head, Mr Anastasios, who was very friendly. He provided as much information he could about the product they manufacture as well as the different types of seats they produce in order to find the one that suited me. I was very impressed by his effort to find a solution for my problem and not just make a sale. It took 2 or 3 phone calls to agree upon the seat that fits me the best. The agreement was made and I was anxious to receive the seat and test it.

5. From your experience so far, what is your opinion about the seat?

Delivery time was met and a rib manufacturer from Kalymnos installed the seat to my boat. (Installation isn’t difficult but requires some knowledge). It was finally time for testing the new purchase. First I cruised just outside the port at a wind force of 3-4 Beauforts. My first impression was that the seat had very good behavior. The spring was constantly working and it mitigated the vibrations. The seat’s cushion was thick enough to help mitigate the vibrations as well. I came back from my little trip very content and most importantly without any pain in my back (something improbable before installing the new seat), but I still had my doubts. I had to test the seats behavior at greater wind forces and at a longer journey.

A few weeks later I had the opportunity to go on a scheduled trip around Cyclades islands with total distance of 300miles and stops over some of the islands. It’s very difficult in August to get a dead calm sea. Still, we began our trip from Kalymnos with a calm sea. When we got into the Cyclades Sea, a wind force of 5 in the Beaufort scale appeared (a very common wind force in that sea).

During our 10day trip we cruised with that wind force. We avoided cruising windward and tried to cruise along or at worst, sideways the direction of the waves.

During these long trips (some lasted 2 hours with a speed of 28mph) I found seating very comfortably. The seat mitigated very well the shocks. In some cases, when the boat pounded up and down on the waves, I could rely on my feet to take the shock so I didn’t feel any discomfort at my back. In short, I didn’t feel any back pain at any time during this trip.

In conclusion, I found using the Ermioni HSC Seat very satisfying. I just couldn’t take the trips I took without it. I believe that the seat has great value for money. I’m not sure about the shock absorbers durability but I know it can be repaired or replaced. Still, the seat is not cheap, but its metal structure and the seating seems of good quality. Time can only tell…

6. What do you suggest to people who ride High Speed Crafts?

Definitely, the seat didn’t solve my problem, nor did it cure my spinal injury, but it made it possible for me to travel and do my hobby without any pain.

If I knew in the year 1996 what injuries I would get, I would certainly buy my first boat with a similar seating. I propose that for High Speed Crafts the installation of these kind of seats should be mandatory. The cost of the seat might seem great to some people, but it is a small portion of the total cost of the boat. Besides, good health is priceless!!!

Stamatis Koutouzis,

a satisfied customer.