Another example of the Turkish legendary expertise
Yacht Class n°9 (june-july-august 2017)
Against all odds, the Turkish shipyards, endowed for most of them with an indisputable expertise, still trace their wake with a stainless serenity in the yachting world. Such as Bilgin, which anchored in Monaco during the September Yacht Show, with a 47 metre whose exterior design and layout came to our attention. We sort of fell in love…
Text : Alain Brousse - Photos : D.R.
Absent for a while from the international scene, Bilgin came back on stage last year on the international yachting theatre : the Monaco Yacht Show. There could be no better "comeback" for this centennial shipyard that became famous with its impressive custom models. The exterior design of the 155' "Giaola-Lu" was entrusted to the London studio H2 Yacht Design, which already penned units from the Top 100 such as Kleven's Ulysses (107m) and Lürssen's Jupiter (123m). Actually, Bilgin and H2YD collaborate on a regular basis : Tee Dje (37,50m - 2010), Projet M (40m - 2012), Elada (45m - 2014), Dusur (50m - 2015) and a 156-foot project that should be unveiled by the end of the year. Some time later, in collaboration with the Turkish Unique Yacht Design, Bilgin should also reveal an 80 metre, known under the code name "263" (her length in feet). Proof, if any were needed, that this Turkish yard now moves forward and has a significant order book. Among its clients, there is a Mexican who inaugurated his "Giaola-Lu" last year, the exact same unit we were invited to visit during the last MYS. To say the least, this 47 metre four-decks impresses with a profile slightly inspired by "Explorer". She seems cut for long crossings. She features a semi-displacement steel hull, endowed with fin "zero speed" stabilizers, and a top speed ranging between 14 and 16 knots depending on the weight carried. Her engine room, whose technical installation reflects an indisputable professionalism, houses a traditional thermal motorization with equally traditional shaft drives : two Caterpillar C32 ACERT developing 1 450 hp each. At a cruising speed of 10 knots, these two "Cat" burn around 140l/h, which represents a 0,06mile/litre yield. This classifies her in the average of similar units and gives her a 4 800 miles autonomy : a Monaco-Miami without refuelling.
250m2 of outdoor space !
Within standards for a unit of this size, this surface, entirely dedicated to leisure, allows pleasant times. Let's start with the sundeck, whose two-thirds are protected by a polyester hard roof. Sunbathers will there either opt for the solarium for six around the Jacuzzi or for one of the aft four deckchairs. But let's not forget that this 115m2 sundeck has other assets: a spot occupied by a table and twelve chairs, plus a bar and its tool, and naturally a saloon. Entirely shaded, this place offers an amazing view on the surrounding landscape. Another place deserves credits : the aft upper deck with its vast saloon and deckchairs. Note that on this model, the 58m2 cockpit acts as a dining room. Finally, the "Giaola-Lu" features a proper beach club with a teak bathing platform and an outdoor area serving as a saloon with a bar. The backdoor leads to a garage opening on starboard to facilitate the launch of the tender. Except a unique sofa, the foredeck is mostly a technical area where are located an extra tender, a crane and two jet skis. Note that two lift rafts are strapped in open compartments located on the upper deck. Some will judge them "a bit too visible, thus a source of anxiety", but at least they are easily accessible.
Large and comfortable volumes
Before even stepping on Gioala-Lu's gangway, we were more or less warned : in addition to being a native of Mexico, the owner is an epicurean sensitive to contemporary decoration – without excess - and an adept of natural wood, such as oak and walnut. During our sea trials, models above 30 metres are most of the time custom and naturally so are their layout and the various furniture and objects chosen to beautify saloons and cabins. Therefore we only are witnesses of the layout, created here by the British studio H2 Yacht Design…
Let's star our visit with the main dining room. Located on the upper deck, its circular space hosts a round table of varnished wood that can accommodate twelve guests. In fine weather, its bay windows can be opened in half-moon. This rotunda is the extension of a volume gathering a living room, a bar plus another table - rectangular and for four people - that will likely be appreciated by cards or games of chance players. Below, the main deck hosts a huge TV saloon with floor-to-ceiling lateral windows, fortunately opening on the sidewalks. We only regret that the designer did not fit retractable balconies on each side... Apparently the owner does not enjoy this equipment, as his "royal" suite has none. However, this place of about 88 m2 has a real adjoining office, finely decorated. Located on the forward main deck, it enjoys a prime location plus two bathrooms (with a common and large Italian shower) and a dressing room. The special guests will enjoy a VIP cabin, almost equal in size, fitted with a private lounge, located on the center of the yacht below deck. In addition, there are four guest cabins : two doubles and two twins.
An ancestral expertise
Turkey is one of the oldest Mediterranean cradles of the naval construction. It still enjoys today an undisputed reputation in the yachting sector, be it for sailboats or for motor-yachts. Bilgin is one of its jewels and its "Giaola-Lu" is a "living" proof of this talent. We look forward the launch of its 80 metre.
- Overall length : 46,80 m
- Max beam : 9,20 m
- Draft : 2,40 m
- Fuel : 67 300 l
- Water : 12 300 l
- Laden displacement : 470 t
- Gross Tonnage : 496 GRT
- Material : acier (coque) et alu (superstructures)
- Engine : 2 x Caterpillar C32
- Power : 2 x 1 450 ch
- Max speed : 16 knots
- Cruising range : 4 800 milles à 10 knots
- Naval architect : Unique Yacht Design
- Exterior designer : H2 Yacht Design
- Interior designer : H2 Yacht Design
- Builder : Bilgin Yachts (Istanbul – Turquie)