Gulet out of water

Unlike yachts built with modern materials, gulets are traditionally constructed from teak, caulked, then painted or varnished to protect against the seawater. Each year a gulet requires a significant amount of maintenance, which means taking them out of the water. In Kaş this happens in late winter to early spring, when storms prevent the gulets from leaving the harbour.

At Kaş Harbour, a local business uses a huge trailer, tractor and crane to pull the gulets up the boat ramp. They are then lowered to rest onto the widest part of the dock, where the hull is supported by wooden posts. Space on the harbour wall is limited, so once the gulet is “parked”, it is likely to be blocked in by the neighbouring boats for a couple of months. If you need your boat back in the water early, better arrange for it to be out last!

Last month, Captains Osman and Erhan put in weeks of back-breaking work to prepare the Selin 3 and Safi Sultan for the coming season. Algae and other growths are stripped off along with loose or aging paint. Each plank is inspected for signs of rot, and if necessary removed and replaced. The entire hull is repainted (the upper hull of Selin 3 is varnished). The rudder and propellor are inspected for corrosion and if necessary replaced.

Even on the harbour wall, the gulets are not safe from winter storms. Waves hit the breakwater with such force that spray and stones pour over the wall. A year ago, one particularly vicious storm propelled boulders at the boats, knocking several off their posts and causing serious damage. Fortunately our boats were undamaged.

Finally on a clear spring day, the tractor and crane return. Over the course of a week, the gulets are lifted off their supports and lowered onto the trailer, then slowly reversed into the harbour. The work doesn’t necessarily finish here – the teak decks may need refinished or interior fittings repaired. But it’s always a relief to be back on the sea.

erhan-on-scaffold freshly-painted-detail freshly-painted-selin-3 osman-and-erhan-resting osman-painting-selin-3 propellor-and-rudder selin-3-with-tractor selin-3-with-tractor-leaving-harbour-wall