OPINION: Turkish shipyard’s expansion signals nation’s superyacht ambition
Alia Yachts’s expansion signals Turkey’s ambition to boost its superyachts presence.
News earlier this month of Turkish builder Alia Yachts’s plans to triple the size of its shipyard on the Mediterranean coast signals a sea change in the country’s ambition to build world-beating superyachts.
Alia already has form in this endeavour. In 2016, it launched the 60m superyacht Samurai, with exterior designed by Omega Architects and the interior created by UK company Redman Whiteley Dixon with naval architecture by Van Oosanen
Now, the builder intends to assert its presence in the superyacht-building community by opening a new construction facility at its Antalya site. Boasting a total indoor area of 16,000 sqm, the site will include five construction halls; each measuring up to 90m in length.
Cranes to assemble large yachts
Two of the towering halls will have a height of 22m. This is designed to enable the use of cranes to assemble large yachts – even those equipped with radar masts – all under cover.
Commenting on the expansion, which will make the yard one of the biggest in Turkey, Alia’s founder and president Gökhan Çelik said the investment will deliver three objectives. “First, it will increase our production capacity and allow us to work simultaneously on more projects. Second, it will enable us to accommodate larger projects than our existing sheds currently allow. And last, but not least, it will help grow our focus on the refit sector.”
Already under construction at the site is what is described as a “pocket superyacht” – the 32.4m Nozomi II: sistership to the vessel Virgen del Mar.
Superyachts in the Antalya Free Zone
Nor is Alia alone in building superyachts in the Antalya Free Zone on the country’s south coast. Earlier this month AvA Yachts launched the first hull in its Kando 110 series of explorer yachts. Powered by Volvo-Penta Commercial Marine Engines, the vessel achieves a top speed of 14 knots and a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles when cruising at 12 knots.
The just this week (Tuesday July 23rd), Sirena Yachts launched its biggest ever vessel, the 27m flagship superyacht Sirena 88. Powered by two 1,550hp MAN V12 engines, the vessel can touch a top speed of 25 knots.
So, if two is a trend, three news stories from Turkey this month – featuring yard expansion or launches – are tokens of something even more significant. Turkey is clearly on track to boost its superyacht industry in a direct challenge to the dominance of its north European competitors. Welcome to the new age of superyacht construction in Turkey. In the years ahead, it will be fascinating to see what Turkish delights will be on offer to superyacht owners worldwide.