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Gulet Vessel

Gulet Vessel
Gulet is a traditionally designed two or three-masted wooden sailing vessel, the two masted being the most common, and are found in southwest Turkey, particularly in the coastal towns of Bodrum and Marmaris. Other similar vessels can also be seen around the Eastern Mediterranean.

Style of a Gulet

The vessels seen today vary in size from 14m to 35m and are very popular as tourist charters although most of the vessels today use diesel for power and many are not actually rigged for sailing.

Origin of the Name

The Turkish name derives from the Italian word guletta and there are various opinions about the vessels origins and history; is it from the schooner, which has long been used as a sweeping net, trawl net or sponging vessel in the Aegean and mediterranean shores of Turkey and as a freight vessel in the Black Sea;
 or from the guletta fishing vessel (gouëlette or goélette in French, goleta in Spanish); or from the old Italian naval vessels known as galea or galeotta; or because it resembles the American gullet that was used for fishing in the shores of Greenland; or from the clippers carrying goods from India and Australia to England during colonisation times.

History of Gulet Boats

The construction of these vessels began in ancient times through to the Ottoman period and it was during a time of war because of the lack of hardware for cannons and shells for vessels being constructed in Istanbul’s main docks, new facilities were sought after and in the second part of the 18th century new shipyards were built in Bodrum, Sinop, Gemlik, Rodos, Fatsa and Amasra with the construction of galleons being made at the start of the 19th century. This was interrupted in the mid 1800s but boat construction continued for the use of fishing, sponging and in particular for trade with the islands and continued until 1936. Tourist vessels built in Bodrum began in the 1970s where they found there was a need to carry many visitors to the different bays in the Aegean area especially Marmaris and Bodrum and the first examples of these vessels were actually called the “ Bodrum Gulet” and were made with cabins and seating on the back of the deck which differed from the cabin less vessels used for fishing and sponge diving. Due to the demand of the Bodrum gulet this went on to aid the growth of the whole boat building sector as well as the successful schooner examples made by local boat masters which increased the interest in boats of this type.

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