On board 43-meter M/Y Sunrise with Capt. Deniz Yilmazer

22 June 2021 By Claire Griffiths
All images courtesy of Kerem Sanliman

Claire Griffiths is Dockwalk’s contributing editor in the Mediterranean. She fled to the sunny south of France from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Claire has a background in journalism for national and regional UK press and a career in political and corporate PR prior to that. Claire’s hobbies include eating, sleeping and dancing at inopportune times. She tries to avoid sheer drops and Olympic bobsled runs. Email Claire at

Capt. Deniz Yilmazer reflects on his career as a captain and takes us on a tour of the 43-meter M/Y Sunrise...

Capt. Deniz Yilmazer’s passion for the sea dates back to his childhood. His father was a sailor and Yilmazer grew up by the sea in Istanbul. As a child, he developed an interest in scuba diving and sailing, and as a young man, he decided that the superyacht industry was the perfect match for him “to gather up my hobbies, lifestyle, and my job.”

Once armed with his captain’s ticket, Yilmazer’s first command was on board a 27-meter Benetti as engineer/captain. He later moved with the owner up the LOA scale to a 39-meter Benetti. M/Y Sunrise, the 43-meter build by Yildiz Shipyard in Turkey, is his third yacht. The Yildiz Yard began activities in 1975 at Tuzla Bay, Turkey, and have been building Perini Navi hulls and superstructures since 1988.

Sunrise was delivered in July 2020, and Capt. Yilmazer has been with the Sunrise project from day one. “I have to say that the launch period was quite stressful,” he says. “It was the moment when all our efforts and dreams came together, and you never know what will go wrong until she kisses the water.” The launch took place without incident, but the captain adds, “After our successful launch, I have to admit [the] delivery period was a bit challenging too, because we were scheduled to deliver for the summer season; not easy with the lockdown restrictions.” Crew training/familiarization and the certification required for commercial use also took up a good part of the captain’s time. Still, the project itself, Yilmazer claims, was relatively smooth and, as both captain and owner representative, he very much enjoyed it.

Capt. Deniz Yilmazer on the bridge

Steel-hulled with an aluminum superstructure, Ginton Naval Architects worked on the exterior of Sunrise, while Hot Lab created the custom-designed interior. The yacht sleeps 12 guests and nine crew. The four guest suites are located on the lower deck while the master suite is aft of the upper deck. Despite its considerable size, he appreciates the yacht’s maneuverability. “It is a piece of cake to handle this boat,” he says.

Yilmazer proudly displays the interior décor — a combination of dark, streaky macassar ebony, warm honey afzelia, and walnut woods have been used for checke­­­red-effect wall paneling throughout the yacht, including the galley, bridge, corridors, and heads. These are matched by chrome, mother of pearl, honeys, creams, and woven leather to create a warm, rich, but modern interior style, designed by Hot Lab with the owner.

Yilmazer explains that he and the project team had originally thought to install a no-frills functional kitchen in the galley, but on second thought, given how trendy the food scene is at the moment, they upgraded to a luxury, custom-made version so that guests, if they choose, can experiment or experience culinary pleasures alongside the chef. A beach club on the stern means tenders and toys are stored on the open foredeck, and guests can dine alfresco or inside on the main deck or under a hardtop on the sundeck. “Deck furniture is from Glyn Peter Machin, and the interior furniture the work of Giorgetti and Minotti,” Yilmazer says. There’s also seating in front of the wheelhouse.

Crew and guest circulation on board is separated to maximize guest privacy and a lift serves all three decks. The starboard captain’s cabin is directly below the wheelhouse.

If Capt. Yilmazer has one particular gripe, it’s that he wishes the captain’s cabin were behind the bridge rather than below it. But all things said and done, here is a happy man looking forward to a minimum of a five-week charter this coming season with (except for the Russian chief stew) his all-Turkish crew.

This article was first published in the March 2021 issue of Dockwalk


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