Looking to the future of yachting, YATCO interviews several fresh faces in the industry to discover how they got their start, their career highlights so far, and what they predict for the future of the yacht market.
This month, we are speaking with Sinan Ulug, Co-founder and Managing Partner for Yates Yachting.
Featuring Sinan Ulug, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Yates Yachting
How did you get your start in yachting?
Fifteen years ago, a close family friend invited me and my family on his yacht for the first time. It was a Falcon 100 and we sailed along the Turkish coast. In the following years, the yachts got bigger, and we kept sailing in the Mediterranean. I became better friends with the captain onboard: Fatih Akbıyık, who became my business partner today.
My interest in yachting was increasing and fortunately, I was surrounded by many yacht owners. At some point in my conversations with friends, we were turning to the topic of yachting. I was assisting them with their decisions by consulting Fatih. We soon realized it was time to launch our own company together.
Thus, Yates Yachting was created here in Turkey where I usually split my time between the management offices in Istanbul and the serene harbor of Göcek.
As a younger professional in the industry, what trends have you seen, and what do you predict for the coming years?
Experience and customization are the two trends we will see more of in the near future. Yacht owners are getting younger, and children of yacht owners have more right to speak than ever before.
I can easily connect with my own generation and see instead of caring about the yacht, they pay attention to what they can experience with it.
Customization on the other hand is more common nowadays. Owners take the time, effort and resources to craft their yacht into a position that will give them the maximum satisfaction.
What kinds of challenges have you faced in yachting, and how have you overcome them?
“Boasting” is the biggest challenge I faced when I first got into yachting because it caused misinformation. Some industry professionals may overstate their achievements or role, or even take it to the point of totally making something up. By double-checking and always doing your research, you can have a clear understanding of what is really going on.
Determination is another key issue. When it comes to brokerage deals, there are a million ways a deal cannot happen but only one way that it will. Every time the process gets stuck or ends in failure we need to move on and keep working.
What are some of your most memorable and successful moments?
I was at one of the best marinas of Göcek, this one in particular is only for mega yachts. I was visiting a family friend’s Princess 40, which I manage and do maintenance with my own in-house team. I was so focused with that yacht that it took me some time to realize I did business with all the yachts at that row of berths. Staring at all those yachts at the same time was mesmerizing.
Any young person getting into the industry is impressed by well-known brokerage houses. When I got a job offer from a Monaco-based firm, I was quite excited, but I had to decline because I was determined to take my own path with my own company. My relations with yacht owners were improving and they were all trusting in Yates Yachting.
What advice would you give to someone looking to join the yacht world?
- First consume every bit of content you find and take as much of the information as possible. I’m amazed how much you can learn by developing the skills to do research.
- Second, talk with as many people as possible about yachts, and
- third, share what you learned with people.
Experiencing the processes is crucial. Every yacht, yacht owner and deal is unique in its own way, but the journey is the same every single time. If you can master it, then you’ll have the mind space to solve the authentic problems you face.
What do you aspire to for the future?
I believe there are many opportunities in the Turkish yacht ecosystem. The yacht sizes are getting bigger, new yacht owners appear in the market, Turkish shipyards deliver magnificent yachts and people are realizing it is much better to consult a professional before making a decision.