Gulet Nedir?

What is a Gulet?

A gulet is a type of traditional wooden sailing yacht native to Southwestern Turkey. If you have ever been to Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, Gocek or Antalya, chances are you have already seen or even been aboard one of these classic yachts. Gulets are renowned for their unusual look, and as leisure-oriented boats, they boast roomy living spaces and decks. Ideal for both relaxation and entertainment, there is a reason these yachts are so popular in the summer holidays.

A family on a sailing holiday

Etymology of Gulet

The Turkish name Gulet comes from the Venetian word Gołéta, which in turn comes from the French word Gouëlette (meaning Schooner), and ultimately from the Breton word Gouelan (meaning Seagull).

History and Evolution of Gulet

Ancient Greek Freight Ship
Ancient Greek Freight Ship

Boat construction in Southwestern Anatolia started even before antiquity. Lands surrounding the Aegean sea were ideal for early human civilizations, and as a result, were the native habitat for boat construction in the ancient era.

The shipbuilding tradition of the region encompassed many civilizations and nations throughout history, including, but not limited to Carians, Minoans, Ionians, Lycians, Ancient Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, Ottomans, and ultimately, the Republic of Turkey.

North American Schooner
North American Schooner

As the speedy and versatile Schooners started becoming more and more popular around the late 1800s, these types of vessels were also adopted by the Ottomans in Southwestern Anatolia. Locally they were renowned for versatility as freight, fishing, and sponge-diving boats. Over time they were modified to fit the local needs and called Gulet or Uskuna.

Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı ve yazar arkadaşları
Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli and his writer friends

When the exiled Turkish writer Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli (also known as the Fisherman of Halicarnassus) and his friends started using gulets for yacht holidays, they started calling them “blue cruise”. These blue cruises quickly became popular among the intelligentsia, and over time, throughout the world as well.

By the 1970s, gulets were mostly used as yachts, and over time their designs were modified to have even more space for leisure. As a result of increasing demand for gulet cruises, shipyards and workshops responsible for building gulets in the region greatly increased, and by the 1980s blue cruises became significantly more affordable.

Modern Times

Modern Gulet
Modern Gulet

Contemporary gulets come equipped with modern engines and equipment to ensure comfortable and safe voyages and still retain their classic wooden design. The reputation of gulets, which is the most ideal type of boat for summer holidays, has spread around the world since the 1970s. Today, they are not just popular in Turkey but in Greece, Croatia, Italy, and France as well.

Types of Gulets

Karpuzkic

Karpuzkıç Gulet
Karpuzkic Gulet

Karpuzkic gulets are the most common type. The most noticeable characteristic of Karpuzkic gulets is their rounded stern and overall oval design. These features of Karpuzkic gulets allow them to stay comfortable during bad weather.

Aynakic

Aynakıç Gulet
Aynakic Gulet

Aynakic gulets feature a design that prioritizes spacious cabin size above all else. Unlike karpuzkic, aynakic gulets have a flat stern and overall blocky design. While this causes the boat to be less seaworthy during storms and bad weather, this won’t be an issue during the holiday season.

Tirhandil

Tirhandil Gulet
Tirhandil Gulet

Tirhandil gulets have a form unique to the Aegean sea. Unlike karpuzkic and aynakic gulets, tirhandils have a long and narrow stern. They represent the oldest form of gulets. Compared to other types of gulets, they’re smaller, have modest-sized cabins, however, they’re also more seaworthy.

To have an unforgettable sailing holiday with your beloved ones and to get to know more about gulet charter options, you may visit viravira.co or contact our experienced holiday experts on +90 850 433 9 070.