Well, the numbers are in and it definitely did seem busy so when we got the numbers it wasn’t surprising that 24,000 people visited the Show in the first two days. WOW!
With the pressure of what was to be another very busy day we got to Show early to get a tour of three of the new vessels on display at this Show. The first was the Novatec 58 Euro with the tour conducted by Novatec CEO Eddy Tao. In a theme that was to become familiar, prior to the global recession of 2008, America and Europe had been their main markets. During the recession Novatec made the decision to rethink their designs as well as their target market and shifted to a more Asian centered demographic. The result of this exercise is the new Novatec 58 Euro which has the feel of a very much larger vessel due to the fact that the available space on this hull has been very efficiently utilized. Novatec has also correctly anticipated that in addition to this vessel being very competitively priced, $1.2m US versus $1.8m US for a comparatively sized vessel from Italy, they must also be able to offer semi-customization which is generally not available with production vessels of this size from Italy.
Click on photos to enlarge.
The other theme is that in the time of the recession, Novatec chose also to upgrade their tooling as well as final fit and finish which is now quite easily among the best in the world. As you go through the 58 you will find no unfinished areas, perfect wiring harnesses, and absolutely gorgeous woodworking.
Going forward, Novatec has hired Italian designer, Carlo Mezzera, formerly of Azimut to design a new range of vessels beginning with the Novatec 72 Galaxy which should launch mid to end of 2015. In the meanwhile, Novatec will continue to focus on southeast Asia having seen increased interest from Singapore, Thailand, and India.
Our next stop was a Pacific Northwest favorite, Ta Yang, the builder of the ageless Tayana yachts. As of this month, they have built almost 600 of the Robert Perry designed Tayana 37 with the most recent having been delivered to a doctor in Hong Kong. This makes the Tayana 37 the most popular vessel ever produced in Taiwan.
On display at the Boat Show was a brand new Tayana 54 and to show off the quality of the tooling used, the outside hull was illuminated with ultrabrite spot lights, daring show goers to find a flaw, evidence of print-through, waviness or any other possible imperfection. There were certainly none visible to this observer. Again, Ta Yang had in the time of the global recession used that time to dramatically improve their tooling and take it to another level.
That however was not the most interesting part of our tour which was conducted by the president of Ta Yang, the very cordial and engaging Mr. Nan Hai Chiu and the new Marketing Director, Mr. Dick Beaumont, who made a series of announcements regarding a bold change in the direction of marketing for Ta Yang. The first was that in order to insure that the customer receives the highest possible level of service from the factory, the factory will now sell directly to the customer. While there will remain representation in all markets, the customer will now deal directly with the factory and the customer will now take delivery of a 100% completed and totally turn-key vessel. While quite a claim, customers will now do sea trials in Taiwan and these will not be the simple day cruise around the harbor. Instead, customers, with a factory representative aboard, will now sail their new vessel from Kaohsiung to Hong Kong, a great test under any conditions.
The second announcement was that there would be a new line of vessels added to the Tayana fleet and they would be designated the Elegance series. The current plans are for three vessels, the 51-ft, 57-ft, and the new flagship, the Tayana Elegance 66 White Dragon which is currently under construction at the Ta Yang facility in Kaohsiung. All of the new vessels will be designed by Kevin Dibley of New Zealand and will represent a significant technical advancement in all areas of construction including a carbon spar with a carbon in-boom furling system. They believe that with the talented labor pool here in Kaohsiung and their efficiencies in manufacturing that they can still be price-competitive in the world market even with delivering what they claim will be the first truly turn-key vessel ever offered.
When asked about the fate of the incredibly popular Tayana 37, Mr. Beaumont said they were in discussions with Bob Perry to upgrade the vessel while not altering the original hull lines.
The last stop of the day was with another of the legends of boat building in Taiwan, Bluewater Yacht Builders that has been building a wide range of vessels here over the last 40 years. This has included long-range cruisers, sport fishing vessels, luxury motoryachts, sport sedans as well as flybridge versions of those hulls.
Our tour was conducted by the founder of Bluewater, Mr. Jack Chen and his son Jonathan and they very graciously took us through what they had been developing during the economic recession, the uGreen 42 Hybrid Motoryacht. They felt that as the general population was becoming increasingly concerned about fuel efficiency and buying more hybrid vehicles, boaters would do the same. This has proved to be correct as since the first announcement that Bluewater would be developing such a vessel, they have sold three of these truly remarkable vessels. The first went to Taiwan, the second to Japan, and the third to South Korea.
The uGreen 42 Hybrid is powered by the proven Steyr engines and has the option for solar panels on it’s extensive bimini top. On the electric drive alone it has a range of roughly 15 miles at a speed of four knots. With the Steyr, the uGreen 42 can easily cruise at 10 knots. The standard power package is twin 75 hp Steyr’s with options up to twin 230 hp Steyr diesels.
The interior is huge, very light and airy and they offer three different interior layouts depending upon what you want to do with your hybrid.
Again, the interior fit and finish was excellent and clearly Bluewater has spent a great amount of time and money on the tooling to produce a very unique vessel that will turn heads in any harbor.
Tomorrow we will have three more tours and than we get to explore the accessory part of the Show which covers the same floor space as the yacht display, in other words, huge!