Originally founded to manufacture Azimut motorcruisers following a joint venture with Italy’s Azimut Benetti Group, Sirena Marine took the bold step to develop and build a range of performance sailing cruisers under the Azuree brand back in 2009. The Azuree 40 made its debut at the 2010 Istanbul boat show, and was followed eight months later by the launch of her younger sister, the Azuree 33, designed by Italian racing yacht designer Giovanni Ceccarelli. Both boats were well received, picking up international awards.
Now Sirena is stepping up a gear.
In August 2012, as part of a restructuring and investment within its domestic production set up, Azimut announced that it would be bringing production back home to Italy, ending what had been a successful joint venture. In a nod to Sirena’s capability, Azimut maintains production of the Magellano 43 – a boat Sirena helped develop – at the Turkish site. Sirena has built 15 Magellano 43s since 2012.With the exodus of the Azimut 40 Sport and 38 Flybridge, of which Sirena had built 39 and 93 units respectively from 2009-2013, Sirena had the impetus to really make a name for itself. With the automotive manufacturing know-how of Karsan at hand as well as the substantial cash reserves of its parent company, the boatbuilder could afford to think big.
Azimut’s retreat back to Italy proved timely. Winging her way back from the US at the time was Ipek Kiraç, daughter of Kiraça holdings’ founder Inan Kiraç and Suna Koç of the Koç dynasty – one of Turkey’s wealthiest families and controllers of Koç Holdings, a vast multi-national conglomerate.
Ipek was a young woman with a mission. With childhood memories of sailing and her father’s love in particular of German Frers’ designed Nautor’s Swan yachts, she had long-harboured a desire to create a premium yacht brand. With Azimut no longer part of the long-term plan, Sirena now had the capacity, giving Ipek the opportunity she craved.
Signaling their intent in 2012 Ipek and the Sirena team pulled off the not insignificant coup of recruiting the services of renowned designer German Frers to design a range of contemporary-styled yachts. The range was to be elegant, with timeless lines – vinylester resin-injected moulding methods would be used to ensure an ultra-strong but lightweight hull and deck. The boats would be thoroughbreds that would appeal to avid sailors and families alike. It would be given the uplifting name of Euphoria, complete with a purposeful ‘arrow’ logo designed by Ivan Chermayeff of the New York-based branding and graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, responsible for such iconic logos as National Geographic and Pan Am.
Pitched squarely at the top end of the blue-water cruiser market, Euphoria joins the Azuree line, refreshed with the launch of a new Rob Humphreys’ designed 46-footer at Cannes last September, to form two distinctive Sirena boat marques.
The first Euphoria off the drawing board will be the 54, destined for its official unveiling at the Istanbul boat show in February 2014. On its heels will be the Euphoria 68 and Euphoria 84, a tantalizing glimpse of which was afforded guests at a launch event at the suitably salubrious Monaco Yacht Club during the Monaco Yacht Show in September.
Sirena’s 103,000m2 (32,000m2 covered) facility is situated in Orhangazi, in the rural district of Bursa, a place famed for its olive production. A former match factory it now has the capacity to build 150 boats up to 85ft a year. Three years ago the family also purchased the 57,000m2 site next door, with planning permission in place to extend the current factory – a potent symbol of the Kiraç family’s ambition.
Note: This is an excerpt of the article published in the November edition of IBI magazine. IBI Plus subscribers can read the full report in IBI Plus.