TYBA Charter Show Success 2023

It was a delight to be greeted by a sea of masts at the 4th Edition of the TYBA Yacht Charter Show 2023. Organised by the TYBA Yachting & Brokers Association, the five day event is run by members, who represent the majority of professionals in the fields of brokerage, charter, construction, and management of yachts within the Turkish yachting sector. TYBA Vice President and head of TYBA Show Committee, H Serhan Cengiz, was extremely proud and pleased with this year’s show turn out. “Guests were happy, the quantity and quality of yachts on display was impressive, and the range of yachts was more diverse than previous years. We were limited only by the availability of berths in the marina. The TYBA Committee has worked hard to highlight this superb eastern Mediterranean yachting base to the global charter community, and during this 4th edition of the show we have worked hard to showcase Turkey’s rich marine culture, and at the same time we have celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic.”

The 2023 event was hosted for the second year in a row at the prestigious D-Marin in Göcek, which is one of Turkey’s safest natural harbours. The marina can accommodate superyachts of up to 70m, and is blessed with large open manoeuvring areas and deep water, and access to smooth sandy beaches and hundreds of stunning Aegean islands that are just an arm’s reach away. The charming pedestrian-friendly township of Göcek is also within easy walking distance of the marina.

With 54 charter sailing and motor yachts moored side by side, the dockside was buzzing. Most of the yachts on display were of the traditional Turkish gulet variety, with a handful of extra-luxe motor yachts thrown in for good measure, either on the pontoon or at anchor in the bay. The largest sailing yacht on show was the 64m three-masted Running on Waves. Built in Poland in 2011 and refitted in 2021, the superyacht exudes plenty of old-world charm, but comes with modern facilities including a spa on the main deck and an impressive array of water toys. The yacht can accommodate up to 45 guests and carries a complement of 19 crew to make sure that guests are exceptionally well looked after, and has been chartered by royalty in the past. According to her Captain, “sailing is an important element of the charter experience, and guests are strongly encouraged to try their hand at helming the yacht during the charter.” On board for one of the evening ‘yacht hops’, the party featured champagne, vodka, and caviar tastings, along with limbo dancing, making it a memorable evening that bodes well for anyone choosing to do a charter on this yacht.

The 55m Quinta Essentia was another on the must-visit list. Built by the TISG’s Admiral brand, this superyacht was at anchor, so visitors were able to admire her standout exterior by Monaco-based Dobroserdoy Design, and the stylish interiors by the Italian studio Michela Reverberti. Other motoryachts on display included the Italian-built Stella Fiera (35m Benetti), Lady 1 (42.6m CRN), Ariela (40m CRN), Hurrem (22m Ferretti Yachts), and Turkish-built Crocus (42.7m Ses Yat), Go Yacht (35m Dragos Yachting) and Zeemar (30.5m Aydos Yachts), all of which are registered to charter in Turkish waters.

On the motor-sailing side, there were both modern and traditional gulets that cater for a diverse range of charter clients. Some were firmly aimed at five-star hospitality, while others were prepared to cater to more intimate and relaxed family entertainment. Admiral (47m) a custom-built gulet has 16 cabins and can host up to 36 guests, while its smaller sister-ship Babylon (39m), managed by the same company, can accommodate 12 guests in a more exclusive and personal fashion. Haldon Del Mar (40.15m), Dragon Fly (39m), Tuyika S (36.6m), Mermaid (29.68m), and Miss B (29.1M), all focus on the top end of the charter market, and with most having been recently refitted they can definitely provide guests with an absolutely top-notch charter experience. Smaller yachts such as Tango Charlie (26m), Derya Deniz (24m) and Beyaz Lale (23.8m) were also available for charter and provide top end cruising charm on a slightly smaller scale.

Over 300 charter brokers and media flew in for this B2B event that put the spotlight firmly on the unique sailing and charter opportunities in and around the Turquoise Coast. Growing interest among local brokers wishing to participate has meant that this year’s show needed to be more selective in the yachts invited to attend. Serhan noted how the success of TYBA's initial three shows has been met with increasing demand from foreign charter agencies who wish to expand to the Eastern Mediterranean coastline, forcing the committee to adapt its practices. “We allow [those that are accredited to charter in Turkish waters] 15 per cent of the total berthing capacity in our shows, such as MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) or GYA (Greek Yachting Association) members, but the emphasis remains on promoting the Turkish fleet,” he explained.

The show programme was packed from morning until night with events including expert-led seminars covering a range of fascinating subjects: the Bodrum Cup, foreign flagged yacht chartering regulations, the history of viticulture in Asia Minor, and Turkey as a destination, specifically the historical significance of the Aphrodite Route. The seminars plus the cocktail soirees, yacht hops and parties meant there was little down time. On the final evening of the show, a Gala Dinner at ONNO Yacht Club, sponsored by BTMCO – Baudouin Moteurs -  was held to celebrate the show’s success. Winners of the in-show competitions received their awards.  Captain Mike Mathias and the crew of gulet Beyaz Lale were named Most Welcoming Crew, and the prestigious Yacht Chef Competition was won by chef Burcu Düzey on m/y Zeemar.

A number of industry exhibitors were also present at the show, including the Australian software company Ankor Software, whose founders Elliot Cousins and Mike Sager were excited about the opportunity to network with Turkish charter industry and introduce their software booking, charter, guest/preference programme with itinerary creation solutions that have been specifically built for the yachting industry. Other international exhibitors included Eastwind Yachts from Monaco, and Palau International Ship Registry, with local Turkish companies offering a range of superyacht water toys, marine services, regional provisions and gourmet comestibles.

After Italy, Turkey has the second largest number of yachts in-build in the world. With 92 yachts reported to be currently on the stocks, there is plenty of infrastructure in place to maintain and refit large yachts. The marinas are well stocked, proving that boating is popular pastime. The average length of the current yachts in build in Turkey is 49m, with many of these yachts being motor yachts and motor-sailors as well as gulets.

In February this year, Turkey experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked the southeast of the country. Özgür Cengiz, TYBA board member/show committee member and owner of Turkish yachting services company, 4U Yachting explained, “that the charter market had been booming, but in the wake of the shocks, demand dropped off just as the market should have been entering its busy period. As the summer season approaches, Cengiz noted that charter enquiries have regained momentum, and believes that this is in part due to events such as TYBA Charter Show which has helped to promote the Turquoise Coast and the 620 miles of shoreline along the Antalya and Muğla provinces. This “Capital of Turkish Yachting” is filled with natural and archaeological points of interest, making the area popular with both with national and international tourists.

Although TYBA members concede there is no shortage of beautiful cruising grounds elsewhere, they believe what sets Turkey apart ­and keeps visitors returning is the country’s “unmatched” hospitality. According to TYBA President and show committee member, Güneş Aysun, continuous investment across all aspects of the local superyacht industry (infrastructure, new builds, environmental protection, etc.) has brought higher levels of traffic to Turkey’s doorstep. This year is shaping up to be one of the busiest summer charter seasons yet, and with the expertise and passion that TYBA members demonstrate, the Turkish charter industry is in safe hands and on target to regain its place as a maritime cruising mecca.

Story: Suzy Rayment

Photo: Guy Nowell

Asia Yacht Press

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