The YATCO Yacht Builders Series – Part Six: Turquoise Yachts

Turquoise BLUE II yacht

Turquoise Yachts has been building custom yachts from 30m (98ft) to 90m (295ft) for over five decades. This includes many iconic multi-awarded projects such as 77m (252ft) GO, 72m (236ft) QUANTUM OF SOLACE, 56m (184ft) BLUE II, and 47m (154ft) ROE to name a few. The Turquoise shipyards in Istanbul share close to 100,000 sqm of facilities, including dock space and fully climatized covered sheds. 

Cristian Schwarzwalder is a Sales Director at Turquoise Yachts in Monaco.

Cristian Schwarzwalder, Sales Director at Turquoise Yachts in Monaco

Please tell us about your personal background, how long you have been at the company and what your role is. 

My career started as a Yacht Designer at Sparkman & Stephens in New York, followed by working for Benetti and Blohm & Voss before joining Turquoise Yachts as their Sales Director 7 years ago. 

What is the ethos and/or mission of the shipyard? How would you say that sets you apart from others in the industry? 

Turquoise Yachts is all about custom yacht construction and client satisfaction. Our team consists of dedicated young professionals mixed with experienced open-minded team leaders. I believe we are one of the last few yacht builders that can offer full custom projects due to our unique location and company setup. 

Can you describe a ‘typical’ client? What are their priorities? 

For sure none of our clients are alike! However, as a common thread I would say our clients are not big brand buyers, they prefer a more bespoke approach and appreciate the quality and value they get from us. We do not have big production numbers — our goal is to deliver one to two yachts per year. 

Are you seeing any emerging trends from owners that are influencing the design and use of yachts? 

We currently have five yachts over 70m (229ft) under construction, with a variety of world renowned exterior and interior designers, all completely different from each other.

The only common denominator I see is the client’s request that their yacht is to be more environmentally friendly and requests to be more sustainable. 

As a builder, what would you like to see change in the industry? 

Personally, I would like to see a more common-sense approach to building yachts. Yachts are getting more and more complicated by trying to incorporate too many gimmicks or even latest technologies. Most of the time the “less is more” approach is really better overall. 

What challenges do shipyards and builders face, and how have you overcome these? 

As builders we need to focus on the best available solutions, this does not mean to oppose innovation but to carefully evaluate the benefits of new technologies, including their user friendliness. 

Do you have any predictions for how the market will evolve in the next decade? 

I think the market will continue to grow in pretty much every sector other than large sailing yachts. Even though considered the original green yacht — large modern sailing yachts have become very expensive to build, run and maintain. Most likely in the next decade, we will see predominantly motor yachts run by hybrid or electric propulsion. 

What is your favorite yacht and why? 

One of my favorite yachts is BLUE II, a 56m (183ft) Turquoise Yacht launched in 2021. I like her classic look with modern comfort and amenities. 

RAINBOW II is another favorite for those in the market for a classic sailing yacht.

Rainbow II 2024 168′ 5″ TURQUOISE YACHTS Cruising Sailboat
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