Taiwan has rarely been regarded as a yachting destination on the world map, but it is believed to have potential for domestic yacht sales, as an increasing number of Taiwanese are becoming interested in yachting.
Taiwan’s yacht manufacturing industry is on the rise, said Han Pi-hsiang (韓碧祥), founder and CEO of the Greater Kaohsiung-based Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Corp (中信造船), who has been a strong supporter over the years of government plans to build yachting marinas.
An exclusive yacht built by Han’s company at a cost of NT$300 million (US$10 million) stole the show at the inauguration of a marina at the Wushi (烏石) port in Yilan County on June 23. The ship, made with top-quality materials, is Han’s sample in his bid to attract global buyers.
After visiting the 30m long yacht in Yilan, Fisheries Agency Director-General James Sha (沙志一) praised the vessel as a work of excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail. He was particularly impressed by the marble floor, which he said is thinner than normal.
Han said he had already sailed the yacht to Qingdao, Shanghai and Hainan in China, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore, to take part in yacht expositions to promote Taiwan’s shipbuilding technology.
Having been in the business for several decades, Han said that Taiwan’s yacht-building techniques have been lifted to the “exquisite” level, but prices remain “fair” compared with European brands.
“Taiwanese work is substantive and on a par with Europe,” he said.
Optimistic about the outlook for Taiwan’s yacht industry, the veteran shipbuilder said he expects more Taiwanese to get involved with yachting — a big business in Europe, the US and Japan — thanks to the rise of Asia’s economies and the government’s relaxation of restrictions on recreational sailing along the coasts of Taiwan.
Of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) i-Taiwan 12 public construction projects aimed at stimulating the nation’s economic growth, three fishing ports — Badouzi (八斗子) in Keelung, Wushi in Yilan and Anping (安平) in Greater Tainan — have been selected as locations for new marinas to help develop yachting in the nation.
The Badouzi Port Bisha Marina was inaugurated on Sept. 21 last year, while the Anping facility is expected to open next month, Han said, adding that he will take his boat there to help promote yachting.