In recent years, the turquoise coasts of Turkey have welcomed an exponential increase in travellers. On account of its brilliant blue waters, pretty peninsulas and rising, rocky outcrops, the Sea of Marmara is an especially eminent spot. There, tucked cosily into the land, is the illustrious West Istanbul Marina – a luxury location for seafaring yachties and spectators alike.Photo: Soyoung HanBut don’t just take our word for it; the statistics speak for themselves. In 2019, the number of incoming tourists to the country increased by 13.7%, reaching 51.8 million people. Throughout 2020 and the ensuing pandemic, tourists, and especially yacht enthusiasts, continued to flock thanks to the country’s open-border policy that persisted in the face of Covid-19.Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesIt’s little surprise then, that the Marina is almost filled up with bookings for the year. We investigated why West Istanbul Marina has become such an unmissable site to visit. Photo: West Istanbul MarinaA location not just for holiday
The wider trend toward tourism in Turkey is reflected in the number of yacht refits too. According to the SuperYacht Times intelligence system, SuperYacht Times iQ, there has been a significant increase in the number of refits carried out in Turkey, with 17 refits taking place in 2017, 29 in 2018 and 32 during the course of 2019.
“Turkey is an attractive option for yacht refits due to its favourable location, and also open country borders, which are extremely important under the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic when many countries are closed,” West Istanbul Marina’s Technical and Marketing Manager, Aleksandra Podlipna, tells us. “Yacht owners can easily leave their yachts here for refit or just for mooring.” There’s no doubt that Turkey is a conveniently located geographic zone for winter yacht parking and annual maintenance with easy sea access to popular yachting routes.
Photo: West Istanbul Marina
Services are improving and expanding
The Marina is expanding and the yachts that visit are swelling in size too. “Enquiries into refit works have dramatically increased over the past 24 months,” Podlipna explains. “That’s why we are investing in equipment renovation, such as in a 700-ton travel lift – enabling the shipyard to work with superyachts up to 65 metres.” This means the Marina is now able to carry out refit works for yachts up to 95 metres at its facilities. Photo: West Istanbul MarinaA reliable expert technical team are available
While a yacht is in the Marina, perhaps there are a few odd jobs and fixes that need to be taken care of. Hence why the firm’s experienced technical team are on hand for any type of project. Last year, the West Istanbul Marina technical team completely repainted the hull of an 85-metre Lürssen yacht. This project was the first of its kind in Turkey. “It was done right in the water! It really was a big responsibility because, in Turkey, nobody had done a refit like this before us. Detailed calculations on scaffolding were carried out, as well as the calculations and maintenance of the temperatures required for painting inside water.” The team has experience with top yachts
Their nearly-full calendar and growing experience show that the West Istanbul Marina team knows a thing or two about working with prestigious yachts. “We’ve worked on top yachts including a 50-metre Hakvoort in 2006 in which we placed shaft and rudder bearings, repaired a garage door, did interior and engine works and fully maintained pulping and valves. We also added local paintings and propeller replacements, and sandblasted the tanks and underneath the vessel,” says Podlipna.
And this wasn’t the only famous yacht the team has dealt with. They’ve also handled a 36.25-metre AB 116 yacht, as well as a 43-metre Baglietto that needed a swimming platform repair. Enjoy the fair prices
Due to the price of operations taking place in Turkey, West Istanbul Marina also boasts costs that are much more affordable than in other locations. “They’re certainly lower than in Europe,” Zayats says. But don’t mistake this price compromise for one on quality, as the Marina’s mission is to consistently deliver the highest quality service possible to customers. Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesTo have some fun
We’d tell you not to forget to have fun, but when you are there, fun would be a hard thing to miss out on. Promenade and purvey the marina’s shops and restaurants (Covid-19 permitting) or head to the beach or swimming pool for some slacking-off in the sunshine.
Plus, the Marina features a sailing school, cultural arts centre, a spa and sauna, so there’s a bit of something for the whole family. Let’s face it, if you’ve got this far, you’re looking for an easy excuse to visit. So, just go for it.
To secure your booking, contact the Marina directly via the information below:
West Istanbul Marina
N 40⁰57’46’’ E 28⁰39’49’’
Yakuplu Marmara Mh.
Ulusum Cad. No:28
Beylikdüzü, Istanbul, TURKEY