This week we get to know Murat Yildiz from Aresteas Yachting - part of the Yildiz Group - to find out more about their flagship vessel which is one of the largest modern wooden superyachts sailing today: the 50.92-metre superyacht Aresteas, as well as what the Turkish shipyard has on its drawing boards for the future. Photo: Aresteas Yachting Tell me about your background, how did you get into the yachting industry?
Our company is a family operated firm established 35 years ago. Yıldız Group works across different areas such as construction, food manufacture and is also the biggest distributor of Phillip Morris and Diageo in Turkey. I studied business administration at New York University and during my summer holidays, I spent a couple of days on my friend's yachts: that injected a passion for yachts into my blood. We also have an office of our regional headquarters for F&B distribution in Marmaris where is full of yachts and famous of gulet building, that’s why we decided to get into the yachting industry and build our first yacht.
How did you become involved with Aresteas Yachting?
At the last stages of building our first yacht in Marmaris, I became involved with Aresteas Yachting, since market research and sales are my fields. After this, I started to create brand awareness and attend the yacht shows.Photo: Aresteas YachtingAresteas, delivered last year, is one of the largest modern wooden superyachts of her kind. Talk to me about the project, what was it that made you decide to go for the motor-sailor configuration?
Aresteas is a very unique yacht due to her exterior and interior design and she is absolutely one of the largest wooden superyachts of her kind in the world. Every year plenty of Turkish gulets are built in Turkey in different sizes but we wanted to build something different from what people are used to seeing. We aimed to give the impression of a tri-deck superyacht, but on the other hand, we wanted to build a vessel that can sail without engines, and with no noise aside from the sound of winds. That idea made us decide to go for the motor-sailor configuration.Photo: Aresteas YachtingPhoto: Aresteas YachtingHow important is your Turkish heritage to Aresteas Yachting, and how does this affect what you build?
Everybody knows that custom design yacht building in Turkey is excellent, and Turkey has a good reputation in megayacht building, with yards like Turquoise, RMK, Dunya and so on. We would like to use this reputation to our advantage. When you get inside Aresteas, you can see and feel the Turkish heritage on the wall motifs. We have very talented carpenters and their craftsmanship has affected our build very positively. Turkish baths are very well-known all over the world, so because of this idea we aimed to use the best marbles in our bathrooms to showcase our cultural heritage throughout Aresteas. Photo: Aresteas YachtingWhat does the future hold for Aresteas Yachting and what do you have on the drawing boards?
After finishing our first superyacht, we brought her to Monaco Yacht Show in 2017 and invited most of the well-known brokers onboard: they all liked the yacht and this really motivates us for the future. We are planning to build a superyacht over 55 metres and we are still working on the design. She will be a trideck, six cabin, Ocean-going yacht with a big beach club and skydeck that will be also available on the charter market. We are also considering options for buying a shipyard in Malta or Italy in the future.