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Sailing on a 17th century style gulet has become the latest trend for tourists who wish to experience the comfort and luxury of a classic boat on the coast of Turkey. A gulet is typically very large, made primarily from wood, archetypal of tales of pirates. They have varied very little in design over the years, offering the benefits of a modern vessel, with plenty of period charm.
With an elegant and classical appearance, the Turkish gulet is defined by its fore-and-aft sail which run from bow to stern with two or more masts, reaching between 15 and 30 metres in length. The gulet’s stable and reliable nature have helped to make it the ideal vessel for sailing on the calm waters of the Aegean, Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean seas for more than three centuries since its invention, whilst hardly changing at all in design. For this reason the Turkish gulet is considered a marvel of naval engineering, cementing its position as a popular vessel for sailing around Europe. Gulets are larger than most sailboats. Traditionally, gulets are made out of wood, although fiberglass is employed in the construction of some of the most modern boats. Gulets are very popular in Turkey, as they have been the standard design for Turkish private yachts throughout the past centuries. Nowadays most of the gulets are luxurious yachts designed to provide a comfortable private cruise for a small group of people. These mast floating paradises come with their own crew who will cook, operate the yacht and pour you drinks so that you can enjoy a wonderful time on your sailing vacation.
The main advantage of the gulet in comparison with other types of vessel is its large cabins and rooms inside, and its large deck. The most common model is comprised of eight spacious cabins and various elegant rooms which can accommodate a wide range of furniture and luggage for a large number of passengers. Similarly, the deck is large enough to allow you to walk its entire length and relax on a comfortable sofa, whilst enjoying the sea air and the surrounding spectacular views on the voyage.
Nevertheless, the charm of sailing on a period vessel is the main reason for which the Turkish gulet remains an object of affection in nautical chartering; those crafted from high quality wood with attention to detail evident in their design are held in the highest esteem, and allow you to enjoy the experience of sailing on the Mediterranean in all its glory. Whilst traditionally the gulet was considered a fisherman’s boat, it has been sailed everywhere by pirates and corsairs, and in this way has become part of the Turkish seafaring tradition. It has therefore become the most hired vessel for sailing around the picturesque Turkish ports of Bodrum and Marmaris.
In the last century, the gulet has undergone technological advances, bringing modern conveniences such as electricity and other improvements such as GPS and a myriad of mechanisms which ensure that it is a reliable, speedy and stable vessel. At aBoatTime, we have a selection of four cutting edge gulets for sailing along the Turkish coast; Dream of Freedom, Alania, Formosa 41 and Why Not.
- Dream of Freedom was built by the Turkish shipyard Tasdiknamesi, and is 24 metres, 6.1 metres broad and has draught of 2.2 metres, with a Volvo Penta 306 engine. She has room for 40 people and was built in 1989, undergoing a complete renovation in 2007.
- Alania is 26.5 metres long, 6.4 metres broad and has a draught of 2 metres, with an Iveco 220 engine. She was built in 1989 and completely renovated in 2008.
- Formosa 41 is a charming vessel, which is 12 metres long, 4 metres broad, with a draught of 4 metres, along with a Yanmar 56 engine. She is equipped with the latest technology and fit for a maximum of 8 people.
- Why Not is an elegant and luxurious gulet motor glider, equipped with a majestic sun deck fit for 8 people and with all the conveniences that can be expected of a period boat. The interior mahogany panelling in the rooms and cabins is one of the many features that accompanies this lavish period boat. She is 23.9 metres long, 6.2 metres broad, with a draught of 2.7 metres and an Iveco 420 engine.
Take in the boat’s delights, such as the sound of the beautiful wooden floors whilst walking through the luxury rooms, all the while enjoying modern comforts on your trip on your boat for hire.