I just returned from 2 weeks in Asia where I visited with several shipyards in order to evaluate their capability to build our steel-hulled Exploration Series trawlers. In my last blog post, I showed the preliminary drawings of the 72′, aft pilothouse model. We are working now on a forward pilothouse version of the 72 plus an 83′ boat. A very preliminary sketch is below:
Bear in mind that this is very preliminary. We already will be adding 3′ to the cockpit to accommodate our client’s requests. This boat will be set up for tropical cruising with over-sized A/C units and a special dive room for tank storage, filling, etc.
I visited 2 very capable shipyards, IAG in Zhuhai, China and Jade Yachts in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Both yards build exceptionally high quality vessels. Fit and finish is outstanding both inside and out. I was especially impressed with the systems and propulsion installations from both yards. Now it will be up to which yard offers the better value proposition.
Going to Asia during Chinese New Year is especially nice. There were festivals and celebrations everywhere I went. Upon arriving, I received the customary “red envelope” which signifies good luck and good luck I received.
Not only did I find two good yards for steel boats but I cemented relationships with several other yards that we either do business with or would like to consider in the future, UniShine, Maxi, Tricon, Hang Lik, and Cheoy Lee (Zhuhai, China), President (Tainan, Taiwan), Jade Yachts, Hershine, and even a visit to our old friends at Ta Yang (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) who build the beautiful Tayana sailing vessels.
While at Cheoy Lee, I was able to get aboard the 45 meter Marco Polo II for a quick look. She is still a couple of months from completion but what a magnificent vessel.
From the Jade Yachts yard, a Jade 95. This is a steel hulled expedition yacht that has a very European flair to it. The steel work is beautiful, looking more like FRP. I saw no evidence of fairing. The superstructure is aluminum and execution was flawless.
From recent activity, I would say that the economy really is improving. Activity is not back to pre-recession levels but we do have some solid inquiries.
As we get the designs finalized for our larger boats I will be posting information here. Check back often.