Dunya Yachts Rides into to Rescue

Back in 2011 the build was y started by Newcastle Marine, in Florida, but was put on hold when the US yard ran into financial difficulties.

Dunya Yachts, the Turkish shipbuilder located outside Tuzla has stepped up to rescue a failed superyacht project.

They have announced the signing of a contract to complete the construction of the 55 metre explorer Ulucitcan, a yacht whose sad and sorry tale of woe began over 10 years ago

Back in 2011 the build was started by Newcastle Marine, in Florida, but was put on hold when the US yard ran into financial difficulties.  She was subsequently transported to Europe and arrived in Genoa in late 2017. 

Unable then to find a suitable yard to complete her construction, the yacht was then towed to Hammamet, in Tunisia, where she lay alongside at the entrance to the marina, in a somewhat forlorn state.

A bit of a mess

Accessible only by climbing a rope ladder from a tender, and baking under the North African sun with daily outside temperatures of 40 °C, she looked in a bit of a mess with all her windows boarded up.  No electricity meant no air conditioning or light with which to inspect the yachts interior, but surveyors from Dunya Yachts, using torches to see, found that she had been built to a good standard, with premium brands used for all of the main equipment, much of which had been well preserved.

In August 2019, Dunya Yacht’s team first inspected the yacht, as had other Italian shipyards before them.  While in Italy, various yards supplied completion costings, all were suggesting removal of partially completed items suggesting it was necessary to start again from scratch.  Dunya Yachts, on the other hand, was happy to be more flexible and work with the owner’s team to find an alternative solution to complete this yacht.

In August 2019 Dunya Yacht’s team first inspected the yacht, as had other Italian shipyards had done before them.

Given the state of construction, the yacht is about a third finished, all the main trades had been started and progressed to varying degrees.   With seven containers worth of equipment still in Florida at the original build yard, the Dunya Yachts team recommended, the yacht be towed to Istanbul and all containers shipped to the yard. There to undertake a detailed survey and audit of the vessel and equipment.

Timing not an issue

Given that the owner was looking for a shipyard that would undertake the completion of the yacht, not rebuild her, timing was not the owner’s main driver. He was more interested in selecting the right partner.

Dunya. Yachts, who have not delivered a new build since 2013 they delivered the 73 metre Red Square (now Axioma) were however, able to start immediately and offered delivery inside 24 months.

The classically styled, rugged explorer yacht was conceived and designed by Vripack as a genuine global explorer with a range of 6000nm, equally happy in a yacht marina or commercial port, hence the decision to keep the hull un faired.

When complete, the yacht will offer the owner, his family and friends, supreme comfort across seven guest cabins. She will carry an array of tenders and toys on the foredeck, be fitted with a large dedicated workshop to ensure all is kept serviced and maintained. Ulucitcan will be run by a crew of 12.

Dunya Yachts specialises in refit, repair and new construction projects for large yachts up to 100 metres.  Founded in 1983, and modernised in 2005, its yacht and shipbuilding facility is located just fifteen minutes from Sabiha Gokcen international airport and, on a good traffic day, less than an hour from the bustling, historic city of Istanbul.

Founded in 1983

With one of the largest yacht building facilities in Turkey with an area of 30,000m² the shipyard facilities at Dunya Yachts include the only covered, climate-controlled dry-dock in Turkey, able to accommodate yachts up to 60 metres overall.

Rendering of completed yacht by Dunya Yachts

Two large sheds each measuring 80m and 110m in length including 3,500 m² of workshops, cater to all areas of yacht construction including aluminium, stainless steel, electrical, piping, mechanical and joinery. A third, smaller shed is suitable for yachts up to 40 metres.

1,600m² of office space allows technical and administrative staff a comfortable and efficient workspace while also providing excellent onsite offices and facilities for visiting crew.

It is strange then that the shipyard has done so very little construction for the superyacht industry since delivering Red Square.  In the last 15 years Dunya Yachts has only undertaken major refit projects for superyachts, including the 71 metre Titania, the 60 metre Oasis as well as the 133 metre classic yacht, Savarona.

Announced in 2015, the contract to build a 100 metre successor to Axioma called Project Blade failed to materialise