The newest addition to the Turquoise Yachts fleet is a lesson in reinvention — for both the yacht and the shipyard that built her. Razan started life in an Italian shipyard and arrived in Istanbul as a steel hull and semi-completed aluminium superstructure in 2014.
Over the past two years she has received a large injection of Turquoise DNA so that she now greets the world as the first in the Turkish yard’s new generation fleet — and the first product out of Turquoise’s sheds since 2013’s Ileria.
Since then the shipyard has been bought by Oceanco’s owner, Mohammed Al Barwani, and rebranded — from Proteksan Turquoise to Turquoise Yachts. The new owner’s master plan is for Oceanco to focus on yachts of more than 80 metres, and for Turquoise to specialise in the 40 to 80 metre territory.
Razan, as a kick-off project, has been particularly useful in demonstrating what the shipyard can achieve in a relatively small package. Semi-custom yards dominate the sub-50 metre space, producing yachts that follow a successful yet similar model.
Razan differentiates herself with extremely spacious outdoor areas, five guest cabins, all with Pullman berths, and a large superyacht beach club. With a draught of only 2.6 metres and a 4,200 nautical mile range, she will be able to explore widely — and nudge into bays not deep enough for bigger boats.
Accordingly, Razan’s owners have planned family cruising for the summer, exploring the Turkish coast and Aegean, before passing through the Corinth Canal bound for Montenegro and Croatia.
Razan owes her simple and understated styling to H2 Yacht Design, which was instrumental in seeing the project through. “Having worked with H2 since 2006, the relationship is now so slick and finessed that it is akin to working with an in-house team,” says Özlem Yurdakul, project manager at Turquoise.
Keen on giving Razan an entirely fresh identity, H2 moved away from original drawings and started with a nearly clean slate. “The yacht still required a considerable amount of hot works to be completed, especially on the bridge and sundecks,” says James Bermudez, H2’s design director. “Internally, there were limited bulkheads in position so we had some freedom to explore new layouts for the guest and owner’s accommodation.”
The designers removed the original fashion plates to install cantilevered decks that create a floating appearance. Windows were another early focus on Razan. “It was important to the owners that they had openness and a connection with the outside world,” says Bermudez, “so we enlarged the exterior windows to their maximum dimensions.”
Other changes from the original plans include an extension to the swim platform and revisions to the foredeck arrangement to allow for larger tenders and a guest seating area. A beach club connects to the extended swim platform, providing ample space for waterside activities. Here a dive store and superyacht gym, as well as a dayhead, are all fitted in. As with virtually every other cabin, and even the sundeck, the beach club boasts a Samsung 4K ultra high-definition screen.
“Externally, Razan offers great living space, with spacious deck areas designed to meet the requirements of a family holiday,” says Bermudez. Inside, a fifth guest cabin located near the captain’s cabin on the bridge deck is not a common find on a yacht of this size, according to Bermudez. Well-concealed Pullman beds, found in every cabin, cater for additional children or an accompanying au pair. “Providing flexible family accommodation in all guest cabins was a must,” says the designer.
Central to Razan’s layout is a spiral superyacht staircase in ivory lightly veined Turkish marble from the shipyard’s own marble shop. The banisters are coated in softly grained creamy Italian leather from Foglizzo, while cleverly conceived lighting draws the eye upward. Off this shimmering central axis on the bridge deck, the upper saloon is designed for the particular requirements of younger guests.
“It’s a great space for the youngsters to watch films or play computer games while grown-up guests can relax in the more intimate main deck saloon,” Bermudez says. This full-beam space emphasises lounging, with deep leather sofas running along exterior walls and elongated stools in the centre.
Seat backs have been kept low to avoid obstructing the view from the windows while light flooring chimes with the breezy European feel of the colour palette. Hints of turquoise, found in the Hermès cushions scattered generously, make reference to Razan’s builder. Conveniently situated for both saloons, dayheads are tucked just off the lobby and clad in pearly Sicis mosaics.
On the main deck the floors of the chic saloon and dining area are threaded with seams of glinting steel, interspersed with contrasting pale and dark wood. As with the other larger spaces, H2 asked the shipyard to recess ceilings to achieve more height. Undulations on ceiling panels finished in high gloss mimic the surface of the water.
“We inherited rather low ceiling heights,” Bermudez reveals, “so it was certainly a challenge for the yard to route cabling and duct work to enable our interior concept to be realised.”
Deep-seated upholstered furniture lends a casual feel; a circular tiered glass chandelier by Preciosa Lighting adds elegance. Below it, in perfect balance, is a low circular table with stools in tessellated leather that tuck neatly away. Edge-lit églomisé glass panels, providing an antique mirror effect, reflect the chandelier’s illumination.
In the quest to bring the owners more light than the original configuration offered, the designers widened the saloon windows, each framed by a black veined palissandro wood veneer. “We lowered the bulwarks on the main deck so you would have full light entering Razan’s main saloon,” says Yurdakul.
In contrast to the dark wood framing the windows, leather panels edged with mother-of-pearl clad other walls. Tucked discreetly off the main saloon, close to the marble dining table, is a large pantry, which acts as a well-equipped food and drink preparation area for service.
One of Razan’s highlights is the full-beam owner’s suite, past the central atrium and forward of the main saloon. Swarovski detailing on the ceiling and “crystal rocks” door panels mark this as a private enclave, where the owners can look out over the seascape through full height picture windows.
The full-beam bathroom features a roomy walk-in steam shower and the finishes include crisp white marble with “Blue Crystal” feature walls and freestanding pedestal basins in white onyx. Leather covered door handles are handmade by Joseph Giles.
Framing the Moore & Giles metallic leather of the suite’s headboard is a freestanding angled screen, designed to lend a boutique hotel feel. “These strong architectural elements at both ends of the owner’s cabin are covered in a metallic Armani/Casa wall covering, which reflects the light beautifully and adds to the sense of quality that you expect from an owner’s suite,” says Bermudez. Bulkheads are covered in a combination of pale Tanganika tabu veneer with polished stainless steel strips and white leather.
This same styling flows down to four additional guest cabins on Razan’s lower deck, each with its own spacious en suite. “The two VIP cabins amidships have beds that point outboard to the windows, which provides a more spacious arrangement,” Bermudez says.
The VIP cabins are demarked by a vibrant coral colour scheme, while the slightly smaller cabins forward carry a blue theme. A combination of Edelman and Foglizzo leathers have been used throughout Razan, alongside both Turkish and Italian marbles and the softest Turkish carpets.
On sea trials, Razan achieved a top speed of 17.5 knots, 1.5 knots better than expected, with noise and vibration results also coming back within limits.
The shipyard is now gearing up to show off its first boat since 2013 at the Cannes and Monaco Yacht Shows later this year. On board will be a very proud CEO. “She’s certainly going to make an impact,” CEO Mehmet Karabeyoglu says, confirming the happy news that Turquoise Yachts is back on the map.
First published in the May 2017 edition of Boat International