YACHT STYLE’S “Who’s Who of Yachting in Asia” list salutes the outstanding personalities in Asia-Pacific who have not only played a key role in Taiwan’s marine development, but also have won regional events, and are responsible for introducing new brands, concepts or trends into the Asian boating world and many more.
An outlook of the yachting sector in Taiwan
According to Showboat International’s 2017 Global Order Book, Taiwan is now the fifth-largest producer of yachts over 24m (79ft) and the biggest in all of Asia. Kaohsiung itself is home to 80 per cent of the nation’s 36 yacht-builders, with the average size of vessel well over 50ft in length.
The annual output for the sector is estimated at around US$180m, with yachts ranging from 50ft-120ft supporting a workforce of 2,500. Kaohsiung is also home to a substantial cluster of marine equipment and accessories firms that feed the supply chain of the yacht industry both within Taiwan and overseas, according to Howard Gung, Managing Director, who also serves as chairman of the Taiwan Yacht Industry Association.
In the past, boating was allowed in harbours, estuaries and inland waters. Not until 2012 when the Taiwan government opened its territorial waters for recreational use, leisure boating started to grow in popularity.
With the Taiwan government’s effort in close partnership with Taiwan International Boat Show (TIBS), they aim to take steps ahead to further encourage growth of its domestic yachting market, after having abolished a luxury tax on leisure boats in 2014.
“Currently, there are 12 yachts being built within our facility and all of these yachts will be completed and delivered in 2018,” says Gung.
It is reported that Kha Shing is also building a new marina in the city that, when completed, will offer 30 berths for yachts of up to 50m (164ft). Kha Shing Pier 22 is expected to open in March, just prior to TIBS 2018.
“As well as offering safe berthing for yachts, we also want to provide one-stop marina services for boat owners, increase sales of our own yachts in the domestic market and, most importantly, provide an opportunity for all people to be closer to the water,” Gung explains.
Yachting Personalities in Asia-Pacific (Taiwan)
1|DIXON Bill (TAIWAN)
Dixon Yacht Design was set up 28 years ago, and Dixon has grown the business to become one of the world’s leading yacht design studios. The award-winning designer has yachts (both power and sail) currently being built on five of the world’s seven continents.
2|LU John (TAIWAN)
He is founder and President of Taiwan’s best superyacht builders, Horizon which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. The company is ranked the fifth largest custom yachts builder in the world and is the first SYBA (Superyacht Builder’s Association) Asian member. The shipyard is well known around the world, especially in America, Australia and Europe, and is still looking at establishing a stronger presence in Asia.
3|YIN Samuel, Dr (TAIWAN)
Dr Yin is owner of Sea Eagle a Royal Huisman 43m luxury sloop with naval architecture by Germán Frers and interior design by Rhoades Young. Designed and engineered to meet Dr Yin’s plans to cruise the world whilst participating in occasional superyacht regattas, Sea Eagle recently crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean with its owner on board, an experienced offshore yachtsman.
The full list of the 100 top yachting personalities in Asia-Pacific can be found in the latest issue 41 of Yacht Style.
Words by Yacht Style | Additional Reporting by Andrea Sim