Superyacht owners are notoriously hard to pin down, and Fatih Aslanoba is no exception. The Turkish-born venture capitalist and biotech investor lives in San Diego, California, for much of the year, breaking over the summer to spend time back in Europe with friends and family on board White Lion, his beloved Sunseeker Predator 84. When we finally connect, he is lounging in the owner’s cabin, somewhere off the coast of Mykonos.
“I keep the boat in Bodrum year-round,” he explains, “but Greece is more convenient for meeting my friends, especially Mykonos.” After our call, this energetic 47-year-old has plans to head off to Nammos, his preferred beach bar on his favourite Greek island. “Mykonos has a lot to offer,” he explains. “The south beaches are really nice – with perfectly clear, pristine water and lots of sand. And then, for people who want to have fun, they have created very good nightlife venues. I’ve been coming here for more than 15 years.”
His preference for sailing around the eastern Mediterranean is one of the many reasons he ended up choosing Sunseeker over any other yachting brand. “The Aegean is a crazy sea, and it can turn wild, especially in the summer months,” he explains. “Sunseeker boats weather that kind of water pretty well. The way the hulls are made and the technology behind them makes them good boats for rough seas.” Aslanoba followed advice from Sunseeker HQ to put stabilisers on his Predator and is delighted with the results. “It’s like you’re on a train track – it’s really stable, it makes the conditions manageable,” he says.
Beyond Mykonos, Aslanoba is a loyal fan of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. “After spending a while in Greece, you need to eat something other than Greek salad,” and he can often be found on the tried and tested sailing route between Göcek and Bodrum, famously dotted with decadent hotels, bars and restaurants.
“Göcek [in Turkey] is ridiculously beautiful,” he says. “It’s a magnificent part of the world. Symi island is a real favourite too – we go there a lot before ending up in Bodrum as summer progresses.”
Yalikavak, where Aslanoba berths the boat, has seen much development and improvement in recent years. Now there’s a Zuma and a Club 29, among other imported nightlife outposts. “It’s basically the best of Istanbul brought together,” he says.
In addition to the yacht, Aslanoba also has a house at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum in Paradise Bay, where further luxuries can be found in the form of Japanese restaurant Kurochan by Ioki and a triple level, world-class spa. “There’s always a breeze in Bodrum that makes it bearable. That’s another reason why people love it,” he says.
The Predator 84 suits Aslanoba’s preferences perfectly. When it was delivered to him, back in 2012, his daughter Lila was just six years old. That made stability on rough seas a real priority, but there were further elements that made this an ideal choice. “The way they have designed the 84 is fantastic –the owner’s cabin is a wonderful space – with very high ceilings. I have a very sizeable VIP cabin, too. I can easily have four couples on board. For hosting and socialising, it’s fantastic.”
Aslanoba even credits the White Lion with some cupid-style qualities. “People fall in love on this boat. I’ve had people proposing on board. Love is in the air on here!”
In recent years, Aslanoba has been able to dictate his own work schedule, leaving him with more time to travel. “That means the boat becomes crucial –it’s my freedom,” he explains, and a recent trip on board a friend’s yacht has got him thinking about an upgrade. “He got himself a Sunseeker 115 last year – I visited him on it and it was great.” For Aslanoba, freedom also means not being in a position where he has to charter the boat out. “I like to hang up my shirt and have it still there when I come back eight months later. So instead of going up to a 145, I’d go to a new 116 Yacht and won’t need to charter it.”
For now though, Nammos is waiting for Aslanoba and there is at least another month of fun to be had until California comes calling.