Boutique charter yacht builder Pruva Yachts started building yachts in Turkey when the Boyaci family decided they wanted their first boat, 33m sailing yacht Dogukan, named after eldest son Dogukan Boyaci, who now acts as vice president. “My father was in the electrical transformer industry but he didn’t trust anyone else to build his boat so we opened our own yard," Boyaci smiles. "Now we have sold the transformer factory and the shipyard and charter company is our main business.”

Since 1995 Pruva Yachts has built 21 yachts ranging from 20m to 56m, and currently has six of them in their charter fleet. “We are a boutique yard, not working like the other big shipyards because we build the boats purely for our charter division, Pruva Yachting,” Boyaci says. “Our mission is always first to charter our boats, and then maybe to sell later.”


Dogukan Boyaci, vice president of Pruva Yachting

This business model came after a restructured company strategy following the recession. “Since the Global Financial Crisis we think people want to charter boats rather than buy them, so that is why we are now focusing on the charter side of the business,” Boyaci explains. “Last year was quite slow for charter but we are already seeing the market picking up this year with lots more bookings for the Mediterranean season.”

Boyaci adds that the GFC has also seen a shift in the company’s clientele. “Two years ago, 70 per cent of our charter clients were American and 30 per cent were European,” he says. “But last year we started seeing more clients from Colombia, Venezuela, Japan, Russia and Turkey. Our world is changing, money is moving and Europe is not doing so well in the economic sphere, making room for other emerging markets."


Regina

Proving the most popular of the Boyaci family’s charter fleet is 56m sailing yacht Regina, which reached stardom in her 2012 appearance in the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’. While the producers received offers to use other yachts in Turkey for free, they insisted on booking Regina for the filming. “This boat has been very lucky because of that movie,” Boyaci laughs. “We had the whisky brand Johnny Walker hire the boat out for three months over the winter to host launch events all over South America and the Caribbean.”

Regarding the new-build division of the company, Boyaci is positive that perceptions surrounding the quality of Turkish boat building are improving. “Because work in Turkey is cheaper than Europe and the United States, and now there are some really good shipyards emerging and they are building bigger and bigger boats, perceptions have changed,” says Boyaci. “I think it started with the Maltese Falcon, which was built in Turkey, and since then yards like Turquoise Yachts have led the way in building better quality boats than some European shipyards.”


Filming James Bond movie 'Skyfall' on board Regina

Pruva Yachts is currently working on plans to build a 45m explorer motoryacht, and that will be primarily to charter as well. “Turkish boat building used to be only associated with gulets, but times have changed and now the industry in Turkey specialises in many different kinds of boats,” Boyaci concludes. “I think the superyacht industry in Turkey is growing and everyday there are more steps being made towards better quality and bigger yachts. But it is not about choosing which country to build a boat in, it is about that choosing the right shipyard.”