Following a year of construction, Turquoise Yachts, the Turkish shipyard, has completed the construction of a main shed extension, boosting Turqoise’s capacity to 10 simultaneous superyacht projects, as well as completing and launching a new 2500 tonnes floating dock.
SuperyachtNews.com speaks exclusively with Mehmet Karabeyoglu, Turquoise’s CEO, about the need for these investments.
“We already had the foundations for shed extensions, because we always planned to build larger yachts,” starts Karabeyoglu. “However, when we came under the new ownership of Dr Al Barwanhi, we decided, in principle, that we should build up to 85m.”
As well as owning Turquoise Yachts, Dr Al Barwanhi is also the owner of Oceanco, the Dutch shipyard that operates almost entirely above the 80m boundary. The last of Oceanco’s sub-80m builds was 75.5m Anastasia, delivered in 2008.
Tuquoise's 165m extended shed
While Karabeyoglu makes it crystal clear that Turquoise will not be actively pursuing projects above the 85m boundary, at 165m in length and 40m wide, the new shed certainly makes such projects tenable and Karabeyoglu is unwilling to discount the possibility of larger projects down the line.
“We are definitely not seeking projects of that size,” continues Karabeyoglu. ‘But, if one of our owners – we have a number of repeat clients – decides they want a 90m, we are not going to say no.”
In terms of Tuquoise’s ability to take on more projects, not much has really changed. However, the shed extension has granted extra capacity to be dedicated to a few larger projects and the shipyard is now able to accommodate three superyachts with an average LOA of 80m simultaneously.
Furthermore, Karabeyoglu explains that the necessity of the investment was not purely born out of a desire to build larger yachts, rather it was a necessity for a yard that produces so much in house.
“Unlike a number of other shipyards, we build boats, we don’t assemble them,” he says. “We construct the hulls, superstructures, engineering, piping and even the marble is cut in house. Therefore, we need more space than some of our competitors. We need space to complete everything from the bulkheads to the effective assembly of the hull.”
As testament to Turquoise’s dedication to in house production, Karabeyoglu reveals that the new 2500 tonnes dry dock was built in the new shed.
“Its a large, purpose built floating dock, which will primarily be used for the lifting of large motor and sailing yachts. It can lift 2500 tons, which I would say allows it to easily lift superyachts of around 3000GT,” he continues.
As well as operating effectively for large vessels, the 27m beam of the dry dock allows Turquoise to lift two smaller vessels side by side. The floating dock has a central ballast tank with a removable soft patch to allow lifting keels or center boards of large sailboats to be deployed freely while they are dry docked.
In order to launch the floating dock Turquoise employed an innovative method that used an inclining barge and sausage like balloons beneath the floating dock, that, once inflated, and subject to the dock being nudged by two bulldozers, allowed the dock to slide into place with little resistance. Karabeyoglu believes this to be the first time that such a method has been used by a Turkish yard.