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B - 0 : The Hidden Secrets of Gülets

After months of planning, the day finally arrived. Did you ever wonder how we did end up on a Gület, a sailboat of Turkish design?

Three Gülets near Marmaris, Turkey

Now ubiquitous in the Eastern Mediterranean, they were a rare sight 50 years ago. Before jets made flying cheap and revolutionized travel, Turkey was too far away for a short holiday. Gülets only startet to appear in the early 1980s.

A look from above gives their design secret away. Gülets have wide berth compared to their length. Their hulls are quiet deep. Most Gülets are between 20 and 30 meters long and weight 200 to 300 tons.

Gülets do not carry enough sails for their volume and weight. They are slow and rather cumbersome to sail in heavy seas but great for lumbering around in quiet bays

Question is then, why was this design chosen? Probably because it already existed. Slow and bulky boats were ideal for coastal trade. They could carry large cargo of any nature in their spacious hulls and were cheap to operate. The wind cost nothing and local sailors were cheap. They were around for centuries. Modern steam boats could not compete with them for bulky goods.

Local Gület shipyard near Bodrum Also, Gülets could be built locally. Just watch the shores when we sail by. You will see many local shipyards. Building Gülets is an old traditional craft in this part of the world. Even today, many Gülets are built without a plan. The local ship builders just know how to make them.

Old cargo vessels in Egypt in the 19th century

Converting an old cargo ship design has big advantages. You will see that when you open the door to your spacious cabin with its own bathroom. Do not try to find this on a faster sail boat! But then, arn’t we cargo too? Not bulky but precious.

See you on the boat!

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