Serendipity leads us to Naval Yachts

Serendipity leads us to Naval Yachts

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In July 2016, we launched LEARNATIVITY, our 52-foot steel cutter back into the water after nearly a year on the hard in Fiji. The boat was looking better than ever after a new paint job, and while we loved cruising in our sailboat, we had also been working for more than a year on the plans for our new power passagemaker. As the design had progressed enough, we’d decided it was time to look for a yard to build her in.

Wayne and I knew from the beginning that we would prefer to build our new boat overseas. While we were really looking forward to getting back to cruising as soon as possible, we also were aware that the journey is as important as the destination to us. I know from experience that building a boat always takes longer than you think. We wanted to enjoy living in the place we chose to build, and since we love travel so much, we expected it probably would not be in the US or Canada. Since we would be living there for years, we hoped to find a place where we could learn a new language and culture. Also, we were hoping to find a place with highly skilled workers, but also with labor rates we could more likely afford.

Ever since we had traveled to Turkey in 2014 to do research for a book I was writing, we had had our eyes on Turkey. We loved the people, the culture and the food, so it would be a great place to live. We’d read about this area in Antalya called the Free Zone in an article in Power & Motoryacht Magazine. We knew they had skilled workers for building in wood and fiberglass, but we weren’t certain about aluminum. But we didn’t want to narrow our search too much at that point, so we researched aluminum boat building all over the world. Eventually, we came up with a list of builders.

Our yacht designer, Dennis Harjamaa of Artnautica, put together an estimation package for us that he sent to the boatbuilders on our list. In the end, our list included builders in New Zealand, Holland, Tunisia, Turkey, and later, in Louisiana, USA. We are also cold weather wimps, and while we looked at several builders in the Pacific Northwest, both in the USA and BC (where Wayne is from), we knew they could build us a fabulous boat up there, but the cost of living was high and we were hoping to find a place with a warmer climate.

Wayne decided to travel to meet with some of these boat builders and meet them face to face. In our estimate package,  we had defined four stages of the build, and we were asking builders to bid on any or all of the four stages. Stage 1 is the hot works: all the aluminum hull, tanks, decks, and superstructure. Stage 2 is power away. Stage 3 is all boat systems installed with rough interior. Stage 4 is turn-key finished boat. For this trip, Wayne had scheduled meetings with two builders in Turkey, one in Antalya, one in Izmir, and another in Bizerte, Tunisia.

While Wayne was off meeting with the builders in Tunisia first, I was in Nadi, Fiji aboard LEARNATIVITY at Vuda Point Marina. We had a young Fijian man working for us to complete the last bits and pieces of our refit. He was installing the new insulation in the engine room and painting the bilges. In addition, I was writing a new book, which is my real day job and helps to keep us in provisions. As I Skyped each day with Wayne and got more and more excited about our new build, I decided to post on the Trawler Forum website about Switching from Sail Cruising to Power Passagemaker. I was asking if anyone had information about building aluminum boats in Turkey.

Those of us who read these posts on this forum know that it is an international group. There is a vast amount of knowledge among the group, and I was a bit tentative when I posted. I was hoping mostly about making a connection with another cruiser who knew of boats that were being built in Turkey. It never occurred to me that builders would be reading my post.

The difference in the time zones between Fiji and Turkey is huge, and Wayne and I could only Skype in early morning or late evening. I remember checking my email at the same time Wayne was in Antalya, and there was an email from a builder I’d never heard of who was also in the Free Zone: Naval Yachts.

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Hello Christine,

I saw your ideas about your plans to build an aluminum boat in Antalya in a forum. We are aluminum boat builders in Antalya Free Trade Zone, center of boat building industry, and also we give engineering and design services as well. We are currently building our aluminum hybrid motoryacht: GreeNaval 45. I don’t know what is your status now about building a boat but please feel free to ask your questions. Your contribution is very well appreciated as a sailor with enthusiasm.

please find us : www.navalyachts.com and www. greenaval.com

Best regards,
Baris Dinc

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Talk about serendipity! Wayne was in Antalya at that very moment. He had finished his two days of meetings with the other builder, and at that time he was asleep. His Sunday morning would soon be dawning, and he was expecting to leave in the morning to start the drive up to Izmir. I forwarded the email to him and somewhat doubtful that they could make a connection on such short notice – and on a Sunday, to boot.

When Wayne awoke the next morning, he saw the email and wrote back to Baris:

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“My wife Christine just forwarded this Email from you and as luck would have it I am in Antalya right now and very close to the Free Zone.  However I am about to leave and drive up the coast to Izmir to meet with some other boat builders up there.  I am almost out the door and going to leave Antalya in a few minutes however I would certainly like to take advantage of being here to meet with you personally if you happen to be around this morning?”

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Amazingly, Baris checked his email a few minutes later and answered. He arranged for Wayne to go to their yard that morning, and they showed Wayne around their sheds and the different projects they had underway.

Naval Yard

They next time we Skyped, Wayne was bubbling over with enthusiasm for both of the yards in Antalya. We felt so fortunate that he had been able to connect on such short notice with Baris and Dincer, the partner brothers who own and run Naval Yachts.

It was months before all the bids were in, and we continued to work with Dennis on all the thousands of small design details that go into making a boat. In October, we left Fiji and sailed to New Zealand where we met with Dennis and had a meeting with the New Zealand builder. Eventually, we narrowed it down to the two builders in Antalya, and one year after the first visit, Wayne flew back and met some more.

In the end, on March 15th of this year, my birthday, we signed a contract with Baris and Dincer Dinc of Naval Yachts, the builder we chose due to serendipity and the help of the Trawler Forum.

Fair winds!

Christine

Boats are not the Only Thing Naval Yachts are Building

Boats are not the Only Thing Naval Yachts are Building

Lest you think that the building of our new boat Möbius is the only excitement over here in Antalya right now, it turns out that new boats are not the only thing Naval Yachts is building, they are also building a new building!  As in a new shipyard.


What you see in the photos here is the beginning of the new home of Naval Yachts with their brand new shipyard .  As you can see the previous building has been demolished and they have started laying the foundations for the new shipyard building.  This new site is only 2 blocks over from their current shipyard where we are busy getting going with the building of Möbius and promises to be one of the most innovative and forward thinking shipyards in the whole Free Zone here in Antalya Turkey.  In fact, it was because of the hard work and innovative thinking of Dincer and Baris Dinc, the two brothers who own and run Naval Yachts, that the Turkish government awarded them this entire block within the Free Zone as the winners of a close competition for the most innovative company.  With the synchronicity that seems to dominate my life, the building of Möbius  and the building of the new Naval Yachts shipyard both started at the same time.


I’ve taken a few more pictures over the past few days as the concrete work has progressed quickly as you can see below.


IMG_20171201_115818This is the current Naval Yachts building and shipyard and Möbius is being built in the bay behind the far left white door.  The door on the right of this photo leads into the reception area with offices on the floors above.  My new office, thanks to Baris and Dincer, is on the ground floor at the opposite end of reception and where I now go to work each day.




IMG_20171201_172323Moving just 2 blocks over however is this now empty lot after the previous building has been torn down and these metal barricades put up to enclose the new construction site.


Walking over to the diagonIMG_20171201_172137ally opposed corner you can see in the upper middle of the photo above I can show you this picture of the signage surround the construction site.

IMG_20180406_091410One of the signs is this rendering of what the new Naval Yachts shipyard will soon look like.  In the foreground of this rendering is the offices and some of the workshop areas and then behind this is a series of long bays for building future Naval boats and where Möbius will move once the new building is ready.  If you look really, really closely at this rendering you will see MiniMe versions of Baris and Dincer standing proudly in front of their future new home.



IMG_20180406_091419The other signage illustrates how Naval Yachts is comprised of three different divisions; Naval Studio which is focused on their work as naval architects and yacht designers,


IMG_20180406_091438Naval Yachts where they build high quality luxury yachts, and ….


IMG_20180406_091430GreeNaval where they focus on the design and building of hybrid and ultra efficient boats.  Up until now the GreeNaval yachts have all been electric powered hybrid boats whereas Möbius will be at the other end of the spectrum of energy efficiency using more traditional diesel power.  Yet with the careful combination of an extremely efficient hull design, engine and CPP propulsion system boats the likes of Möbius are able cross oceans consuming less fuel than the generators on a hybrid electric boat.  Two very different lines of boats for very different owners and uses but both on the same spectrum of ultra energy efficiency.


IMG_20180406_091519Work has been progressing rapidly in the weeks since those first shots of the empty lot above and on Monday this week (April 9, 2018) the digger had completed its work clearing the areas for the foundations, forms have been put in, rebar has been laid and ….



……. embedded PVC pipe runs for plumbing and wiring put in place.IMG_20180409_085232





IMG_20180412_095618Concrete work goes quickly so on the way in the Free Zone this morning, Thursday the 12th, I could see the concrete pumper was already on site





IMG_20180412_095614……………. obviously not his first time here as the first meter thick slab had already been poured a few days prior.



IMG_20180412_095611The workers in the background are busy wiring more rebar together to form vertical support posts for the floors above which will soon be surrounded by forms and ready for more concrete to be poured


You can now understand why, after quite literally searching the world for the Goldilocks “just right” boat builders to join forces with us and transform our visions and Dennis’ designs into reality, we chose Dincer and Baris and Naval Yachts to be our builders and transform our visions and models into a real boat.


Congratulations on all your hard work and the beginning of this new chapter of Naval Yachts Baris and Dincer.  Christine and I could not be more pleased for you nor be more happy for us in having found the just right builders and people to partner with on Project Goldilocks; the collaborative work of art and engineering named Möbius.