The business of building yachts in Taiwan might have begun in the 1960's, but today it is regarded as one of the leading countries in the world for producing high-quality vessels at the same pace as their European counterparts. As a country in constant economic growth, the evolution of the Taiwanese shipyards has led to ground-breaking achievements in construction, style, and design. "We are seeing an extremely well-built and intelligently designed boats coming out of Taiwan in the last few years," said Mike Kutrybala, a long time yacht broker with United who specializes in Taiwanese manufacturers. "The majority of designs are aimed at the cruising yacht customer and are all "westernized". Taiwanese builders understand our market, what the American buyer is looking for, and they have been able to execute it on larger scales."
Consider that there are now over 35 shipyards building boats over 50-feet in Taiwan, an island country that is just over 22,000 square miles in size. According to an article by Barche Magazine, the number of yachts registered under the Taiwanese flag increased from just 15 in 2012 to over 120 in 2017. And with over 70% of yachts produced being exported out of Asia, Taiwan has become a big player in the international yachting industry. Taiwan is now the largest producer of yachts over 50 feet in Asia and the fifth-largest in the world. If you increase that threshold to 78 feet in length, Taiwan becomes the fourth largest country building yachts only behind Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.
(Seen Below: The Taiwan International Boat Show has become the largest indoor boat exhibition in Asia and displays all the local shipyards latest models. Photo cred: Horizon Yachts.)
The Greater Kaohsiung area is the largest yacht producing part of Taiwan with more than 80% of boats built here leaving out of Kaohsiun Harbor. This is actually a 10% decrease in yachts leaving the Harbor as other areas in Taiwan increase their own production. Below are a list of shipyards and yacht builders currently active in Taiwan.
The Horizon Yachts Shipyard
Horizon Yachts has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 20 years to the point where their factory in Kaohsiung now encompasses 463,000 square feet and employs over 300 craftsmen and workers. Everything from the new V68 to Horizon's power catamaran line to the EP 150 are built in this factory which also has its own service and re-fit center. Recently, Horizon Yachts was the recipient of the "Best Asian Yacht Builder" award at the 2019 Asia Boating Awards. Horizon is now an established worldwide brand and it all started in Taiwan back in 1987.
The Dyna Yachts / Dyna Craft LTD. Shipyard
Dyna Craft LTD was formed in 1986 by a team of extremely talented and experienced yachting industry professionals. Founder and current President Mr. Terry Yen is an esteemed naval architect and continues to design all Dyna Yacht models today. With more than 30 years in business, the Dyna shipyard also has experience building Marlow Yachts for almost a decade. Known for exceptional quality, gorgeous interiors, and incredible value when compared to many European brands, Dyna Yachts have delivered over 300 vessels. United Yacht Sales will be displaying a new Dyna 68 Motor Yacht at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
The Ocean Alexander Shipyard (Photo cred below: Yachting Magazine)
The story of how the Ocean Alexander empire came to be is a rather interesting story. It starts back in 1977 when Alex Chueh was repaid a loan in the form of a company. Alex's friend couldn't repay the initial loan, so he came Alex the factory instead as payment. Once Alex met with Ed Monk Jr., a famous yacht architect, the beginning of Ocean Alexander Yachts was taking root. In 2015, Ocean Alexander was named as one of the top 5 luxury motor yacht builders in the world by Showboat International Magazine. Today, Ocean Alexander has even opened a U.S. based factory in Florida.
The Zhuhai Shipyard - Selene Yachts
The Selene Yachts factory, also known as the Zhuhai Shipyard, is known as one of the best equipped and largest scale yards in the world. The original Selene factory, however, was not in Zhuhai but rather Dongguan, known for its high-end furniture. This benefitted Selene immensely as the interior accommodations used local furniture for a very luxurious feel. After the Zhuhai was constructed and the process of getting the boats into the water became easier, construction was consolidated to Zhuhai. Today, there are over 400 Selene Yachts cruising around planet Earth.
The Tung Hwa Shipyard - Fleming Yachts
Tony Fleming originally started developing the idea for Fleming Yachts in 1985 and made it clear that he wanted only the best materials and the highest quality construction methods used. The Tung Hwa shipyard was chosen for their commitment to Tony's ideology and today Fleming Yachts is one of the most reputable, highly regarded, and quality cruising yachts built in the world. Approximately 18 Flemings are now built every year at Tung Hwa and over 340 are currently in use by their owners.
The Mares Yachts Shipyard
If there was ever a boat builder that exudes the quality and attention to detail that comes out of Taiwan, it's Mares Power Catamaran Yachts. Every Mares model is built to the ultimate toughness and kept light for optimal performance by the use of a resin infusion system. The 70% to 30% glass-to-resin ratio is much stronger and lighter than the traditional 40% glass to 60% resin ratio often used. All hardware, fabrics, and components are personally chosen by Lenny Noble, founder of Mares, to ensure an industry leading quality control process is executed. Mares will debut an all-new 65 foot catamaran coming soon in 2020.
The President Yachts Shipyard - Jianjun Boat Harbor
President Yachts have been building luxury boats since 1968 when founder Eddie Yeh developed the brand. From the 41 Sun Deck to the 150-foot plus motor yachts being produced, President Yachts has excelled at design, quality, fit-and-finish, and overall value compared to other vessels in its class. Over 1,200 boats and yachts have been delivered all over the world. Most of the company's yachts are custom-built to the owner's requirements, offering exceptional quality control and buyer satisfaction.
There are many more yacht builders in Taiwan today than 20-30 years ago, over 35 to be exact, and the work force has become incredibly skilled at the nuances of building a yacht. Workers have become craftsmen and as you can see, many of the world's most reputable brands call Taiwan home. United Yacht Sales will be representing several Taiwanese builders at the 2019 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show including Dyna Yachts, Mares Catamarans, and President Yachts.
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