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Turkish shipyard Dunya Yachts has announced a contract to complete the construction of the 180-foot (55m) explorer M/Y Ulucitcan with an interior by Winch Design. The project is due to be completed in 2023.


Dunya’s Sales & Marketing Director Jeremy Roche commented: “This is an exciting contract for the shipyard. At more than 1200GT she is the biggest single project undertaken by Dunya Yachts since the build of ‘Axioma’. We are delighted that the owner has entrusted us to complete his vessel.”

Ulucitcan has an interesting history: the build was originally started 10 years ago at Newcastle Marine, in Florida, but construction was put on hold when the US yard ran into financial difficulties. She was subsequently transported to Europe and arrived in Genoa in late 2017. Unable to find a suitable yard to complete her construction, the yacht was then towed to Hammamet, in Tunisia, 12 months later. It was here that the Dunya Yacht’s team first inspected her, in August 2019.

“The yacht was at the entrance to the marina, with no passarelle and only accessible by climbing a rope ladder from a tender,” recalls Roche. “All the windows were boarded up and the outside temperature was about 40 °C (104° F). With no AC, we had to conduct the inspections late at night and very early in the morning - with flashlights. It was quite an experience! From the outside, she looked in a bit of a mess, but we quickly realized this was superficial. 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.”

The 55m, classically styled, rugged explorer yacht was conceived and designed by Vripack as a global explorer with a range of 6000nm, equally happy in a yacht marina or commercial port, hence the decision to keep the hull unfaired. The inside is superyacht quality with a contemporary beach-club-themed interior by Winch Design.


The yacht offers the owner, his family and friends, supreme comfort across seven guest cabins. She will carry an incredible array of tenders and toys on the foredeck, be fitted with a large workshop to ensure all is kept serviced and maintained. Ulucitcan will be run by a crew of 12.

Given the state of construction – all the main trades had been started and progressed to varying degrees – as well as the fact that there were still seven containers worth of equipment in Florida at the original builder, the Dunya team suggested the yacht be towed to Istanbul and all containers shipped to the yard to undertake a detailed survey and audit of the vessel and equipment.

Roche adds: “In broad terms, the yacht is about a third finished. The owner was looking for a shipyard that would undertake the completion of the yacht, not rebuild her. While in Italy, various yards supplied tenders but all were suggesting removal of partially completed items to start again from scratch. 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 timing was not the owner’s main driver, he was more interested in selecting the right partner. We’re delighted that he chose Dunya. Work will start immediately and we look forward to creating what promises to be an exceptional global explorer capable of taking its owner on many exciting expeditions.”

Delivery is scheduled in 24 months.