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Old 11-02-2009, 15:27   #1
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Turkish Sailboats

What is wrong with Turkish sailboats?

I want a 50'+ three berth+ sail boat to sail around the world on with my family (wife + 2 children).

We currently move about every 3-6 months to a different country and would continue that practice, but I'm not sure we would truly be considered a "live aboard" family. We would continue renting houses in each port. The sailboat would just make it easier to move and a place to keep our eight suitcases of stuff that we currently move from country to country.

I keep looking at these large charter boats available in Turkey for dirt cheap. Every time I ask a sailor friend if they might be suitable for our needs, I get the same answer... they aren't "passage vessels."

Why not? Are they going to sink somehow when they hit ocean water instead of the med sea?

Then I read about a family that did exactly what we are doing with a Turkish sailboat they bought in Greece. They sailed around the world in 2 1/2 years and then sold the sailboat for $20K less than they bought it for... so they basically rented a sailboat for $20K for 2+ years.

What's true? Why are Turkish sailboats frowned upon? Why are they so cheap? Is there something you can do to one that makes sailors happy that they are now magically a passage vessel verses a charter boat?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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Old 11-02-2009, 16:37   #2
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Much of the wood they are built out of is white or yellow pine- may be part of the answer
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Old 11-02-2009, 17:52   #3
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Hi Diego,
Sounds like you are not from Turkey. Most yachts you'll find there for sale after charter (same with Greece) are not actually built in the country - simply operated there by the charter companies.
A charter yacht is usually very tired by the time it comes up from sale. I'm not saying one in good condition can't be found but IMHO you'd be best to find a cruising person perhaps with their boat already in Turkey - who wants to give it all up. We've met several US people who crsuied all the way over and then wanted to retire - so fully US registered boats for sale and good value.
Such a boat is also much more likely to have all the kit you need to continue cruising on it - whereas you'd need to spend a small fortune to outfit an ex charter yacht - provided you found one good enough.
But good luck with whatever you end up doing!
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Old 11-02-2009, 20:07   #4
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I think it has little to do with the country. It is a very popular place to keep a boat and as noted charter boats gain a lot of use over a short period of time. There clearly could be good deals but Just as I would not debase all boats in Turkey, I wouldn't say they were all a bargain. It is a location that has a lot of boats.
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Old 12-02-2009, 00:40   #5
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You mean the locally made Turkish Gulet?

They are made of soft pine as Ram says.
They last a few years and litterally fall apart.

They look great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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Old 12-02-2009, 00:57   #6
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I saw this one Turkish sailboat that crossed several oceans. I watched it sail under the Golden Gate bridge. I guess not many Turkish boats do that, because there were hundreds of boats there to meet it and welcome it. It was called the Maltese Falcon, or something like that. There might be something to the quality issue of Turkish Sailboats, because I met a Turkish guy who decided to row across the world instead of sail. He must not like the wood in their sailboats either. www.around-n-over.org
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram View Post
Much of the wood they are built out of is white or yellow pine- may be part of the answer
I know of a lot of boats built of white pine here in NZ it's called Kahikatea and it's H3 that means it's treated, A boat building called "Carey's boat yard " here in Picton specializes in timber boats 90% of the timber used would be Kahikatea because it's a soft wood it bends easy and prior to painting it's usely given 2 coats of everdure thats a epoxy resin.
People must like it as he has 5 boats in the yard being built 2 over 55 '

The turks have been building timber boats for years and in 2007 I was in the Med and was on board a Gullet in Santorini in the Greek Islands as I have a interest in boat building and found there fit out and workman ship amazing the one I was on was a motor sailer, You get a lot of boat for your buck
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:46   #8
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A boat like the one pictured below by MarkJ cost new around $150-200 k-

So cheap enough- Many were and are still being built in Tunisia- upkeep is very high

but I would not want to bet my life crossing an ocean with one ... unless I watched it being built - great boat for island hopping-
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john540 View Post
I saw this one Turkish sailboat that crossed several oceans. I watched it sail under the Golden Gate bridge. I guess not many Turkish boats do that, because there were hundreds of boats there to meet it and welcome it. It was called the Maltese Falcon, or something like that.


Good response. Also note Oyster 48 months back opened their mega yacht production facility alongside Istanbul - so clearly it is not all rubbish.

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Old 12-02-2009, 05:40   #10
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Are you talking about those ex Sun Sail charter yachts? They just bought lots of new yachts to replace their fleet. They are Sun Sail branded Jeanneau's. Nothing wrong with them.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:55   #11
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IIRC this guys boat, that sank, and he wrote a book about ("A Mile Down"), was built in Turkey. Poor construction largely the cause of its loss.

Seems lots of boaters think the guy is a nutcase.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:09   #12
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Many of the larger sail craft built in Turkey are purpose built wood construction for the coastal and Med charter trade. They were not necessarily built for world cruising or longevity, but large charter parties. They are used for 10 -20 years and by then the maintence is prohibitive and they build a new one. Some of the finest wood boats made come from this area. You should look into having a purpose built world capable cruiser built for you. That way you get a "Mercedes sedan" not an old "tour bus" at a very reasonable cost.

If you have no boating experience you should start smaller at a local level. A 747 holds a lot of luggage.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:32   #13
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Talking about Turkish boats, be aware there are very many boat yards down there
in Turkey. Types like "Gulet" are built there as their traditional boat very often b u t there's a lot more than that like a very modern Mega-Yacht "Maltese-Falcon".
Some of the wooden boats are also coated with fiberglass or epoxy from the beginning. So i do not see any reasons why not crossing the Oceans with them, even
though watch the construction as f.e. some of the "Gulet" do not sail very well while
tacking f.e.
By the way, starting friday 13th February to 22nd February there's a boat show
in Istanbul .
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Old 14-02-2009, 01:14   #14
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If you mean an ex Turkish 'Gulet' wooden charter boat, do not do it, unless you know its history and construction intimately. They are built for coastal hopping, not for ocean passages. My partner was in a race for traditional and vintage gulets around Kara Ada, the island just outside Bodrum, and when they came out of the channel they hit a force 9 wind; it was carnage, with sails ripping, masts coming down and general mayhem. Jamie was ok as the boat he was on (the oldest) was last so took evasive action. Ha ha! Gulet + charter = don't buy!

If you mean an ex charter boat (Sunsail or similar) then you're more on the money. We know people who have bought them. They tend to be factory line boats (Beneteau, Jeanneau) so again are not the most robust yachts on the market.

Another factor in the price of boats in Turkey? You only have to look at the town quays in the height of the tourist season in places like Bodrum, Marmaris or Fethiye to know that business ain't good. Some boats were on sail all summer and remain so.

If I were going to take my kids across oceans I would want a bullet proof yacht, as I'm sure you do, so please make sure it is thoroughly surveyed by a competent surveyor. I know a surveyor in Turkey who surveyed ours before we bought it. Mark is highly qualified and notoriously critical, so would only recommend a boat if he really believed it to be good enough.

Good luck!
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Old 16-02-2009, 10:33   #15
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A group of us (ten in all) chartered one of the gulets (~70') and did the liveaboard for 8 days/7 nights a couple of years ago. While the vacation, the crew and the boat were all wonderful, we did not "sail" a single day: Most of these gulets are made to be more of motor vessels (I wouldn't even call them motorsailers) and their captains and crew don't even know how to sail in most cases. They are indeed built to be operated close to shore - If there are any issues, with all the other boats around, help is very near. Our charter was an older boat - seemed and felt quite stout but my wooden boat knowledge very limited so tough to say...

If there is interest in a true "sailing" version that is capable of venturing out into open seas, one needs to be there and closely supervise the construction and materials - preferrably with the help of a competent surveyor. If done right, you can get a very decent boat built for a reasonable price in Turkey.

BTW, I am originally from Med coast of Turkey, moved to the US 35 years ago - as I still have family there, I travel over a couple of times a year - if you'd like more info that can't be obtained through on-line means, give me a shout; I'll do what I can to get you contacts - I think the boat building yards do a good bit of advertising in the Turkish sailing magazines. (Heading over there in mid-March)

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