Istanbul has long been home to a large portion of Turkey's yacht building industry, where some of the country's best known superyacht yards have been based: Proteksan Turquoise, Bilgin, RMK, Dunya, Tansu, Logos, and Numarine.

At Dunya Yachts, now wholly owned by its Stamford-educated Turkish owner, Sedat Ergun, the ambition to build outstanding yachts has only been enhanced by its most recent delivery.

"Now that people have seen Axioma (ex Red Square), they understand what we mean when we say 'Turkish quality'," Ergun said as we chatted in his beautifully appointed offices in Tuzla.

"We are the most expensive builders in Turkey, I can promise you that," he said, pointing to the calibre of suppliers and subcontractors for both Red Square and the handful of project proposals and models the yard has in development and actively for sale.

Like others in Tuzla, Ergun realises the Istanbul yards have lost the regional battle for new builds to Antalya, but he is insistent, if not defiant, that Dunya will announce new works and draw back some of the labour force who have relocated south to the Free Zone.

"We are very close to signing a 55m fast semi-displacement project and are hoping to land a big conversion project," he said. "I'm also considering getting into building all-carbon racing sailboats," he said, with the candor and bravura he is well known for.
"Yacht building for me is about pride in being able to deliver unique, beautiful things," he said.


Sedat Ergun.

Up the hills from Tuzla lies one of Turkey's great production builders, Numarine, now fully back in the hands of its founder Omer Malaz.

"Although the sixth Numarine 102 may look the similar from the outside, it is completely re-engineered inside, both mechanically and in terms of joinery," he said.

The yard earlier this year released two new concepts that would see it expand its size range to 40m with both a composite self displacement and an aluminium displacement explorer-style yacht.

"We brought big-boat mentality to smaller yachts in terms of outfit and quality standards, so growing to 40m is kind of natural for us," Malaz said.

But the yard still delivers it's yachts on a production line; Numarine only builds on order but can deliver a new 32m starting at €6.9 million in seven-and-a-half months.
"We've been building these yachts for a while now... We know what works," he said.


Omer Malaz.

One of the most visible Turkish boat builders of the past year has been Alen Yacht, whose collaboration with Foster + Partners resulted in innumerable editorial pages in the newsstand press.

"We've had a really wonderful year," says Secil Hatunoglu, who has spearheaded the small firm's successful marketing and PR campaign.

The striking 21m model was designed for the owner of the Perini Navi built Panthalassa (with interiors by Foster+Partners) and the architect and owner, for whom it was his fourth Alen chase boat, allowed the yard to market and sell the design.

Alen has delivered over 50 boats from 42' to the latest 68' model, and expects to build between seven and ten of their high-spec, custom interior day boats each year.

"After Cannes and Monaco this year, we really had to follow up with a lot of enquiries," Hatunoglu said. "We think 2015 should be really good for us."


A near-complete Alen 55.

Look for the complete Turkey Yard report in the December issue of The Superyacht Report.

Profile links

Dunya Yachts - URSA Shipyard

Numarine Performance Motoryachts