Yachts can take months, even years to build, especially luxury ones. In the old days, it would take an average of 3 to 4 years to build, but nowadays, they can be seaborne in as few as 15 months from the time the production has begun! What is incredible about these yachts, also known as gulets is that to this day, they are still handmade by skilled builders. There is no simple way to describe how to build a yacht, but if there is a place to learn about yacht building it is in Turkey.
Here on the Mediterranean Coast, from Istanbul all the way down to Marmaris, you will find some of the best, most famous yachts being built here. Even the well respected Italian engineer, Fabio Perini brought his production to Turkey in the 1980s. Working out of the Yildiz Gemi, a shipyard in Northern Turkey on the Sea of Marmara (which directly connects to the Mediterranean), his company has continuously been building luxurious, multi-million dollar sailboats and yachts for over three decades. Other top yacht builders based in Turkey are Aegean Yachts, Bodrum; Bilgin Yachts, Istanbul; Akasia Yachting, Istanbul/Fethiye/Bodrum/Bozburun.
In addition to building luxury yachts, the creation of the wooden gulet has been the lifeblood of families in Turkey for many generations. The cherished skills and knowledge are passed down from master to apprentice, often staying within the family. The entire build of a gulet is done by hand, from the raw boat skeleton to the final glazing. The locals believe that nothing compares to these traditionally hand-made vessels, recognizable by their round keel and distinctive wooden build. They’ve been sailing the seas since the beginning of the Ottoman empire over 1500 years ago, during which time the boats were primarily used for sponge fishing and pearl diving.
Today, most gulets are luxurious boats which boast lavish interiors and comfortable furnishings, that either belongs to a private owner or are used for charter cruises. Along the Southwestern coast, building boats has become a lifestyle in towns along the Marmaris, Bodrum, and Bozburun peninsulas, where they maintain the Turkish tradition of producing outstanding marine vessels. New boat requests are constantly coming in from countries around the world. Even as international demand splits between modern yachts and traditional boats, gulets remain the heart and soul of Turkey's marine industry.
While structural engineering of a yacht is vital, let’s not forget that part of what makes a superyacht so luxurious is also its interior design. The clientele of private yachts are typically business people who spend a great deal of their life working, which leads them to look for the most relaxing space possible when they are off having leisure time. Bamboo, wood, and light materials offer a sense of luxury, while still reminiscent of a “carefree summer”, which is why many interior yacht designers choose this look.
Believe it or not, the interior design of mega yachts actually have a lot in common with private planes. One of the most important aspects of interior design for both types of luxury vessels is Feng Shui, the art of creating the ideal placement of physical objects in order to create a peaceful, comfortable aesthetic. Whether it is a catamaran, superyacht, or a small motor yacht, having the right feng shui is vital for interior designers. One of the most renowned designers of yachts, Alberto Pinto Interior Design actually worked with a professional Feng shui consultant.
Designing a yacht takes the ideas and collaboration of many people, as you can tell. If you could design your dream yacht, how would you make it look?!