SuperYacht Times talks to Riza Tansu, founder of Tansu Yachts, about the now closed company bankruptcy case and their plans for the future.The court case against Tansu Yachts now it’s been closed, can you tell me something about it?
Yes, the High Court of Appeals quashed the alleged bankruptcy case. The Court found that the client’s argument was unfounded and contained falsified information.
The problem actually arose from a customer who cut his payments right in the middle of building a boat and asked us to self-finance the rest of the construction. When we turned down their offer, they became hostile and filed an unsubstantiated lawsuit against Tansu, using the word “failure” in their smear campaign. Of course, this was totally unwarranted. At the time we had three boats under construction and we were far from any financial difficulties.
Even though it was difficult, we were patient and we stayed straight into this chaos. Justice has been done and now I am celebrating the victory with the announcement of a “Joint Mission” with Aegean Yacht to build two new projects.Photo: Tansu YachtsWhy did you decide not to reopen the site?
For years I have owned and managed every aspect of every build; from conception to the maiden voyage, and my time has fluctuated, often precariously, between the various phases essential for the success of each project.
With experience comes the realization that growth often requires assistance. I realized that the principles instilled in my early designs have found their home in the yachting industry and that following them with continued inspiration and direction will require a more disciplined approach to their evolution.Photo: Tansu YachtsI have dedicated the last two years to the restructuring of Tansu and to critical reflection on how to best apply this discipline to our production process. The result of this planning will be new collaborations, where I feel I can best deliver the high quality design principles and manufacturing on which Tansu was founded. By focusing my time more strictly on design and the creative process, I will enter the luxury of total absorption in my craft. I will stay close to the production process, but I will rely on my skilled shipyards to provide Tansu quality every day.Photo: Tansu YachtsWhy did you partner with Aegean yacht and what are you working with them?
Aegean Yacht is a well established shipyard with state-of-the-art facilities that have successfully delivered more than 50 superyachts. Aegean Yacht CEO Sinan Özer is a good friend, with whom I am in full cooperation for the development and growth of our brand. We have two Tansu Tiger Shark Class builds, one of 37.3 meters Vortex for a customer and a 40 meters T-Rex for speculation, both officially started on July 18, 2022.Can you share some of your design approaches?
It all started aboard my friends’ 30-40m yachts in my early adulthood. I remember my feelings of accidentally slipping down some steep stairs, showering in uncomfortably small rooms, swimming in the sea breathing in the fumes from the generators, and breaking a toe in a narrow passage. These yachts boasted huge lounges with velvet sofas, dark wood joinery, and thick carpets, which I considered flamboyant and impractical. In addition, the height of the main deck from sea level added an overall feeling of disconnection from the natural beauty of the sea and the wider marine environment that surrounded me. Photo: TWW YachtsIn addition to functional errors, these expensive boats have always reminded me of being in an apartment in the heart of the city. I knew that what I wanted to feel on a luxury yacht was proximity to the sea, functional simplicity and personal comfort. When I was on a yacht, I wanted to be in a beach house in Sardinia, not in a skyscraper in New York. As a designer, I thought there had to be a right way to do it – that’s where it all started!Photo: Tansu YachtsWhen I founded Tansu in 1996, our goal was to provide a motor yacht that would rock its sea dwellers in the simple beauty and majesty of the sea itself, enveloping every minute aboard in a casual elegance achieved through engineering the perfect balance between luxury, practicality and comfort. Designing and delivering the entire construction was essential to bring our ideas to life and to solidify the design principles we felt essential to our overall concept of what yachting should be. In our design studio, we spent an important period in research and development from 1996 to 2003, then we dived into the complexity of our design concepts, as they relate to yachting. Photo: Tom van OossanenLaws: MYS Exclusive: Full steam ahead from Tansu Yachts
Finally, in 2003, we designed our 21-meter CV70 with the simple and primary criteria that have evolved from our research. After a construction period of eighteen months, we launched it in 2005. This experimental boat featured large external deck areas and a tender storage area on the aft deck, located near the sea. This same area served as a beach club when docked. There was a general feeling of proximity to the sea that pervaded the entire space.The design principles used in our CV70 experience have been carried over to ours Gazelle And Nomadic (now Preference 19) boats, which we started designing in 2007, and launched from 2010 to 2011. We thought that if we could provide this comfort at 21 meters, we would achieve our goal even more comfortably at 35-40 meters. This class of boats, which we have named Tiger Shark, has changed the game in motor yacht design. In 2011, 36.4 meters Nomadic it was unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show and praised as “Revolutionary and the start of a new era in yacht design” by the press and the entire industry. “Proximity to the sea”, “house by the sea” and “vast outdoor spaces” are terms that we instilled in by Nomade design, widely used today throughout the industry. When comparing the design of the yacht before and after Nomadicyou can easily see how our superyachts have inspired an evolution of design principles by favoring these characteristics. Can you tell me a little about your other ongoing collaborations?
We have several new projects in the pipeline, currently in different stages of progress. I am working on new projects made for the US market, where customer needs are a bit different than the European builds. Also, we will be bringing the first Tansu to US waters this fall, hopefully in November. It will be our US debut, which is very exciting. We have had a lot of interest in projects for this market. Photo: Tansu YachtsWhat are your plans for the next few years?
Focusing on design allowed me to consider design elements in collaboration with other designers in different fields. When there is synergy, this can produce exciting products. Fashion, automotive, furniture and other industries can offer yachting inspiration that we can use to connect with clients other than these overlapping ideas. Photo: Tansu YachtsWhat do you think are the most important trends for the future of the sector?
At Tansu, we focus more on simple and timeless design principles and not so much on trends. We believe this reflects our core values and our ability to deliver long-term value to our customers.Photo: TWW YachtsWhat the future holds Tansu?
During this unfortunate legal process, there has been some confusion about Tansu’s status and future. I have heard people trying to take advantage of the situation and mention that they are partners or involved in one way or another with Tansu. It is true that during this time I have had negotiations with some investors, but none of them ended until we cleared our name and started looking forward again. One of these was the idea of producing smaller yachts under 30 meters with an Italian partner. In September of last year, during the MYS, we discussed and announced a collaboration to do so, producing in Italy. However, this collaboration never went on, ending before it really started. Any representation of the Tansu without my explicit acknowledgment is therefore entirely erroneous and false.