A familiar Greek shipping name in the salvage and tanker business is now getting into dry cargo ownership.

Brothers Dimitris and George Vernicos have set up a new firm called Nautilus Management, which has made its first move with the purchase of a handysize ship.

The aptly named V Bros is the former 36,200-dwt Clipper Nassau (built 2010), which changed hands in an off-market deal concluded in late March or early April.

The vessel’s previous owner was Copenhagen-based Clipper Group.

Built with shallow draught and box-type cargo holds at Samjin Shipbuilding Industries, the V Bros is a geared vessel equipped with four cranes.

The ship’s choice suggests that Nautilus prefers vessels that can trade flexibly and access shallow-water ports.

This would be in line with the policy the Vernicos family has pursued so far in Ancora Investment Trust — a tanker company that has been active since 1986 and is currently listed as manager of eight MR tankers.

Ancora initially concentrated on bulkers but quickly switched to tankers in the 1990s. The Vernicos family had been active in dry bulk through Vernicos Maritime as well.

The 36,200-dwt V Bros (ex-Clipper Nassau, built 2010) is the first ship of Nautilus Management. Photo: Nautilus Management

The establishment of Nautilus marks the family’s return to the segment.

The company, however, does not intend to limit itself to bulkers.

According to its website, Nautilus aims to provide technical and commercial management to both dry cargo ships and crude and product tankers.

According to papers filed with Greece’s shipping ministry, the company applied for registration in July last year and obtained it in October.

Nautilus Management co-founder George Vernicos. Photo: Nautilus Management

The Vernicos family are not the sole players in Nautilus. Its website says that the clan set up the firm in cooperation with Nikolaos Arkadis, who has been working as a managing and technical director of various shipping companies for four decades.

The Vernicos family is best known in the salvage business, where it has been present for more than a century.

Vernicos Tugs has been one of the most active drivers of consolidation in the sector in recent years via a series of mergers and joint ventures.

Greek-Italian venture Vernicos Scafi Tugs & Salvage is part of the Med Tugs consortium that is active in Greece and other regions in the Eastern Mediterranean, with a fleet of 49 tug boats.