Someone posted a comment on our Facebook page that was showing a picture of the bow of a Turkish Gulet, as in: “Alright, I’ll bite, what’s a Gulet?” Which, of course, gave me the inspiration for this article.
They are usually built of wood in the hills surrounding Bodrum and Marmaris on the South Western coast of Turkey and then brought down the mountains on rollers, fitted-out, finished and launched from the individual shipyards.
Many wealthy Turks and also foreigners own specially designed and highly customized Gulets for their own private use and occasionally charter them out to selected clients on a case by case basis. Others are mainly in the charter trade with the ensuing wear and tear.
The pricing per week reflects some wide differences because of this differentiation. This article on Turkish Gulets complements several other articles I have written on the subject that date back to 2010. These vessels have always fascinated me because of their historical significance since variants of this design have been around for over 1000 years.
Gulets come in all sorts of flavors, but generally have some basic things in common. Their design usually includes a large aft cabin for the owner or principal charterer and then there is a long corridor amidships with staterooms on either side. Their wooden construction makes them exceptionally cool during the hot Turkish summers, even without a/c. AND keeps them warm if you are chartering late in the season, say September or October.
Depending on their size, Gulets can accommodate from 6 or less to over 24 guests and are very popular with yacht charterers from all over the world who use them to cruise the Turkish Riviera and the adjoining Greek Islands of Symi, Kos, Samos and others.
They are especially useful for family charters since most of them have identical cabins or staterooms along the mid-ship corridor, some have queen size beds and others have two singles per cabin and of course, the main master stateroom aft. Some special Gulets that we really, really like are: CLARISSA based in Marmaris, at 101 feet in length that sleeps 8 guests. IRAKLIS L that is based in Greece at 115 feet and sleeps 12 guests.
SILVER STAR in the Amalfi and SANTA LUCIA in Sicily, at 85′ that sleeps 8, SCHATZ in Turkey that sleeps 10 and B-C in Greece at 145 feet that sleeps 24 guests. Wikipedia has some interesting thoughts about the origin of the name Gulet, that I will pass on to you.
Basically it is thought that the name Gulet originated from the Venetian word Goleta, which were the name given to the original trading ships that plied the Eastern and Western Mediterranean sea during the times when the Venetians dominated maritime trade in the area.
Today, the Bodrum Gulet is still a work of art, with hulls and decks made entirely of wood, except, of course for the mechanical and electrical bits that are state of the art.
They have also evolved into “motor-sailers” as opposed to sailing vessels, so many Gulets have twin diesel engines that can propel them at about 8 to 12 knots. These days, they mainly put up their sails when the wind is behind them because they definitely do not point well into the wind.
American Yacht and our sister company Absolute Yachting specialize in chartering Gulets all over the Eastern med. We know most of the good gulets and their crews as well as the different destinations and itineraries.
We also have representation in Turkey and Greece to help make your charter experience the least stressful as possible. After all, you’re there to enjoy and not to worry about transportation, or other special requests that you may have upon arrival at your destination.
If your vacation plans include a yachting vacation in Turkey and the the adjoining Greek Islands please contact us so we can show you some great options to fit your budget. Call us at 877-759-8263 or use our handy contact form to book a beautiful Turkish Gulet.