We go behind the scenes and speak to the Co-founder of the shipyard Bodrum Oguz Marin in Turkey to talk about Rox Star, the 131ft sailing yacht we have available for charter and delving into what goes into developing such a unique yacht.
So please let us a little about the yard.
We are a 1650m closed area ship yard in Bodrum, Turkey, the seaside. We have been doing this business for 13 years, and Rox Star and Regina are the most famous boats we have built. Rox Star has been chosen for the best sailing boat which comes to the Monaco Boat show this year. So even this small project for such a big show, they chose us. Before that, Regina was on the Movie Skyfall, James Bond. The boat in that film is the boat that we built.
You must be very proud, how did this project come about?
Yes, since then we’ve built 13 boats. Usually in Turkey they build Gulets and about 6-7 years ago, my partner and I decided to make a big change, we decided to build a schooner, Regina. It was the first in Turkey, everybody was saying it was a bit risky as we did it with our own money, not for the customers. But then you take the risk and Regina brought us the customers of Rock Star and we are very proud of it. It’s perfect, what else can I say?
When did you decide to set up a new boat building yard?
We’ve been friends since we were four years old and have now been together for 42 years, I’m now 46. In reality I am an economist, I didn’t take to yacht building education, I like to work with the professionals, I like to listen to them, so I am still learning.
So, what’s your favourite bit of Rox Star?
Rox Star is my favourite because it is famous among architects, there are many architecture offices around Europe. Mr Meylan from K-Architectes and his team helped me with the interior design. So actually, in normal sailing boats, there are three or four levels, in this boat we have eleven different levels. We use these levels because of the shape of the hull is a sharp V, so it’s very important where you put the floor. If you put it right at the bottom of the V, you have a very small walking area.
If you put it higher up, you have enough walking area, but you don’t have enough head height. So, we designed eleven different levels on the boat, it was very difficult, one of the most difficult things in the world is to build a boat for an Architect! But we worked hard, and when you’ve been on boats, you will never understand that we have eleven different levels because we use all of them near the doors. So that when you’re passing through the door, you are losing a level, but you don’t notice it. So, it’s a lovely yacht, I’m so proud of it. A couple of times we have been chosen for the best sailing boat. The sexiest boat.
So you really enjoyed putting together the interior design of this yacht?
Rox Star is unique in the style and the concept, this boat is a rock and roll concept. Tell me another boat with a concept? They are classic, or modern, but nothing like this! This is a type, this is not a concept. So, I talk to potential clients and say that we are selling a living style, not a boat. So, because of this I am so proud. I’ve seen thousands of boats, but none with a concept.
So, have you ever had any requests from clients that are completely outrageous or that have been really difficult to produce?
Everything has been difficult, everything on this boat is totally handmade, even the lamps were his creation and then I made them with my hands. All these things are bespoke, all handmade, and all the floors too. We cut it by 0.5cm, it’s incredibly hard work. Also, if you see the marble in the bathrooms, we have worked hard to match the grain right around so it flows continuously through the corners. We managed this by buying the marble as a block from Italy and we cut it, hung it so we could create this effect. This was one of the most difficult things on this boat. The owner of the boat said ‘I want this design’, so everything is handmade exactly to his specifications.
What else can you tell us about what went into designing Rox Star to be such a success?
The shape of the hull was made by a young Turkish designer, he’s a talented guy, around 40 but he creates some serious projects. The freeboard on Rox Star is lower than the standard 40m sailing boat, there is minimum 50cm difference, we are lower down, so it looks more sleek, more like a sailing boat. Some other yachts look more like a duck, than a swan.
When designing Rox Star, I looked at the market to see what other builders were doing, and have seen a lot of sailing yachts not staying true to their roots and even with one of them the mast folds down, so, it becomes a motor yacht. Sailing yacht design is in our style. Actually, I am a man who likes the sea, but I would never build a motor yacht. Customers keep asking, but because I don’t like it, I refuse. To me the sea is everything, we are taking food from the sea, getting my family money from the sea. So, I like to respect the sea, I don’t like building motor yachts. When they come to me and ask for a motor yacht build, I give incredible prices, so no one would say yes. So, if you are doing this, at least you should enjoy it. It’s a very stressful job so I deserve to enjoy it.
“To me the sea is everything, we are taking food from the sea, getting my family money from the sea.”
So how did the order of Rox Star come about?
Regina was a famous project, it was all around the world, the TV, on film and it is a sailing performance, it’s impressive! The most important thing is that when I’m building a sailing yacht, when the customer comes, I ask him ‘What is a sailing yacht for you?’. For me, if it is a sailing yacht, it’s making 25 knots, sailing yacht. For me, if you build such a boat, it must be moving in 8 knot winds, this boat must be making 6 knot sailing.
The name of the yacht does not come from Rock Star, Roxanne is the owners daughter’s name, so Rox is coming from that name and Star is coming because it’s a rock and roll boat.
How many tonnes is this boat?
What’s the sailing area?
In upwind and downwind 1030m squared.
In 8 knots of wind? That’s very impressive!
Yes, the hull shape is important. Performance is important, this boat can make up to 16 knots. But you don’t always have the wind from your backside, right-side then 24 knots to sail in a good condition, no. If the wind is coming from the opposite side with 8 knots, and if you can still sail, it’s fantastic!
So, I ask you this, does a sailing boat speak for you? To make 24 knots, I can create a yacht that can achieve this. But then I would lose this ability to keep moving at 8 knots because then you can’t have it both ways. The combination is very important. This boat has a great volume, but I didn’t make it too large, because otherwise I would lose the sails. The combination limits the balance this is a very important aspect to consider.
So, did the owner that had Rox Star built have the intention of chartering her as well?
Yes, the boat is very popular in the charter market. I think we have the most popular boats in the Mediterranean! We generate business very easily, next summer, I think 50% of the summer is already booked.
I always speak to the customers, and these guys are million and billionaires but I always say that, okay now the market is going for such a boat to build for 7 or 8 million euros, and I say to their face that I don’t care how much money they have, it’s not a toy, it’s an investment. One day when they want to sell it, they should at least be protecting their money, four or five years later, so at least create the designs according to charter rules. As even if the owner doesn’t want to charter it while he owns the yacht, it will be much easier to sell if you design it according to the charter regulations.
So how long did the build take from concept design?
It was supposed to be 18 months, on my contract. As he makes fantastic designs, I didn’t care about timing, I just wanted to create it. In the end we finished the project in 22 months. When the design was sent, there was no remark on it, they said ‘oh, there is zero remark’ and when we launched the boat, we took our certification in three days. Some boats take one year, but for us to create this yacht we took it a little shower to get it perfect. We went slow but very strong. Usually I can finish such a boat in 18 months, after day one. Day one is the first welding day, not design. The design process can take anything up to three months.
If you would like to charter this fantastic yacht, it is available this winter cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean. Get in touch with our team to book – firstname.lastname@example.org or call +41 44 454 26 26.