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Home > Articles > Owner’s Experience: On Board Sailing Yacht CAPTAIN COOK

Articles Owner’s Experience: On Board Sailing Yacht CAPTAIN COOK

A truly stunning 30m traditional sailing yacht, originally built by Gulluk Shipyard, CAPTAIN COOK is now back on the water and ready to sail after her current Owners; Ahmet & Cigdem Ongun, had her painstakingly restored to an incredible standard from the keel up.

A truly stunning 30m traditional sailing yacht, originally built by Gulluk Shipyard, CAPTAIN COOK is now back on the water and ready to sail after her current Owners; Ahmet & Cigdem Ongun, had her painstakingly restored to an incredible standard from the keel up.

Maintaining her originality and ensuring her elegant lines are unspoiled, the only visible change to CAPTAIN COOK’s original exterior is her hull sides. After her stunning refit, the hull sides are now fully painted instead of the original two-tone design. A subtle change, but one that simultaneously accentuates the schooner’s beautiful design and produces a slightly more contemporary look without retracting from her traditional charm. When discussing this with Ahmet and Cigdem, they told us:

“During the rebuild we went to great lengths to not change the exterior dimensions by an inch. Her proportions are what make her sit so nicely on the water, and maintaining this was a priority for us.”

A fully rebuilt engine, and all-new interior finished with vintage furniture and the finest Italian fabric, all chosen with great care and extensive market research by Cigdem, only add to CAPTAIN COOK’s allure. With calming British Colonial interior styling, and new cabin layout to improve usability, a refined and relaxed stay on board with a nostalgic atmosphere is guaranteed.

But CAPTAIN COOK’s air of nostalgia is not just cosmetic. Over the time of his ownership, Ahmet has uncovered the intriguing history of his beautiful sailing yacht. With so many stories to tell after three decades on the water, CAPTAIN COOK is truly unique and offers a sailing experience like no other.

After purchasing CAPTAIN COOK and wanting to find out some more about her history, Ahmet recently managed to find and contact the craftsman that originally built his yacht in Turkey. What happened next came as quite the surprise.

The craftsman put Ahmet in touch with the architect who originally designed the yacht and, to his knowledge, still had those original drawings. By sheer coincidence, and unbeknownst to them both at the time, this architect turned out to be a close friend of Ahmet’s from his time spent in the military. Ever since, along with a previous Captain of the yacht, a surprisingly detailed and fascinating history of CAPTAIN COOK has been compiled.

Originally built for an Austrian industrialist in the same year Miss Austria became Miss Universe (1993), this schooner with her beautiful lines and proportions was originally named Miss Austria.

For two years she was in Turkey, before a German businessman purchased her as a gift to his wife, and sailed her to the north Adriatic. In the following years she was used in the Caribbean as a “Honeymoon Charter Yacht”. Ideally suited to this with her spacious two-cabin layout (no longer the case), stable platform thanks to her displacement hull, and impressive sailing performance, she was a successful charter yacht for many years in the Caribbean.

Subsequently sold to a German family living in Italy, they were sailing her in the north Atlantic, and during the voyage were caught in a hurricane where the front mast was damaged. Owner Cigdem told us:

“A fascinating detail we uncovered when we purchased the yacht – on board we found drawings from the BROOKLIN BOAT YARD in New York dated 1999. They had the name of the boat and engineer, as well as drawings of the two Canadian Pine masts that replaced the originals, and are still the masts currently on CAPTAIN COOK.”

The second skipper of CAPTAIN COOK stated that after leaving New York with her new masts, he captained her in the Mediterranean throughout the early 2000s before she was sold to an upscale hotel in Bozburun called Sabrina’s House. Renamed MISS SABRINA, she was used for daily luxury cruises for groups of guests staying at the hotel between 2012 and 2017, and regularly seen moored directly outside the hotel as on “ornament-on-water”, she gained some provenance over this time. However, not properly maintained, when the Onguns purchased the then “MISS SABRINA” from the hotel in 2017, she needed a major restoration.

As is common with classic yacht restorations though, once out of the water, the extent of the work that needed doing was far beyond what the Onguns anticipated and had been quoted by their surveyor.



Not wanting to give up and realising the potential of such a beautiful yacht, they took the bold move to have her totally restored to an incredible standard. Finished in 2021, CAPTAIN COOK is now looking better than ever. Externally, her elegant and traditional charm remains, while her interior boasts a new layout and tasteful styling. With all her mechanical components replaced other than the classic engine that has been fully rebuilt, she is now sailing again and ready to be enjoyed.

While MISS SABRINA (as she was named at the time) was under restoration, a new name was required. For Ahmet, there was only one choice. Being the Honorary Consul of the Cook Islands, and with his schooner’s classic, colonial design; a unique and particularly fitting name – CAPTAIN COOK was the perfect choice.

With an intriguing story written over 30 years, this beautifully restored classic sailing yacht offers a totally captivating sailing experience unlike any modern yacht. With real personality and her back story already uncovered, CAPTAIN COOK is a little piece of history in an impressively capable and quality package.

If you are taken by the majesty and intrigue of CAPTAIN COOK and want to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact your Ocean Independence broker or get in touch here.

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