Turkish shipyard Dunya Yachts has secured a major contract to finish the construction of the 54.08-metre yacht Ulucitcan for her original Russian owner. The all-steel explorer is due to be completed in 2023 and includes an interior by Winch Design. Photo: Justin Ratcliffe“This is an exciting contract for the shipyard,” says Jeremy Roche, Dunya’s Sales & Marketing Director. “At more than 1,200 GT she will be one of the largest explorer yachts on the water. We are delighted that the owner has entrusted us to complete his vessel.” Photo: Jeremy RocheUlucitcan was started 10 years ago as project Chuggaboom, a global explorer with a range of 6,000nm, at Newcastle Marine in Florida. At the time, Bart Bouwhuis from Vripack described her as “outrageously spacious and designed for a very experienced yachting family with the typical no-nonsense attitude we love.”
However, construction ground to a halt when the US yard ran into financial difficulties and the hull was subsequently transported to Europe, arriving in Genoa in late 2017. Unable to find a suitable yard to finish the build, she was then towed to Hammamet in Tunisia. It was here that the Dunya team first inspected the yacht in August 2019. Roche recalls that the only way to access the five-deck yacht was by rope ladder from a tender and they had to work inside the boarded-up boat by torchlight in temperatures of 40°C. Photo: Jeremy Roche“From the outside, she looked in a bit of a mess, but we quickly realised this was superficial,” he says. “Inside, it was obvious that she had been built to a good standard, with premium brands used for all of the main equipment, much of which had been well preserved.” Photo: Fatih TakmakliSuperYacht Times went aboard the classically-styled explorer during a visit to Dunya Yachts in early 2020. With a beam of 11.5 metres and spread over five deck levels, the interior volumes are enormous for a 55-metre vessel. The yacht had arrived at the shipyard with her CAT 3516C engines already fitted and part of the beach-club themed interior by Andrew Winch installed. Several containers full of more equipment followed and Roche estimates that she is about one-third complete. The finished yacht will have seven guest cabins, a storeroom and workshop for the owner’s collection of motorbikes, and the open foredeck will house an array of tenders and toys. “While in Italy, various yards supplied tenders but all were suggesting removal of partially completed items to start again from scratch,” he says. “Dunya was happy to be more flexible and to work with the owner’s team to find a more sensible solution to complete this yacht. The Covid situation added a further delay but the timing was not the owner’s main driver, he was more interested in selecting the right partner.“
SuperYacht Times - The State of Yachting 2020
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