Monday, December 30, 2013

Yacht What

A farmer contemplates a field in Yunlin.

The Taiwan government is so droll. Upon being criticized for building 115 slots for yachts at ports in Taiwan last year, the government replied:
The project is not limited to pleasure yachts from high income people, but anyone can use the docks if they have a yacht, the agency said, adding that “it is like being able to park in a parking lot if there are empty spots.”
Did you hear that folks? Anyone can use them! Which is good, because I was wondering what do with my collection of yachts....  the story is actually more complex. Building up yacht tourism in Taiwan was one of President Ma's projects for his first administration (FocusTaiwan), and three Taiwan ports were chosen for expansion in Tainan, Yilan, and Keelung (Badouzi).  To promote the industry and Taiwan as a yachting destination, the industry staged its first yacht show this year.

News item from today about Taiwan, a world center of quality yacht manufacturing:
Alexander Marine, builder of Ocean Alexander yachts, announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Taiwan. The company said “record-breaking sales this past summer” culminated in 9 new yacht sales, requiring the expansion in the city of Kaohsiung. Sales trends have shown an increase in larger yachts, and the yard will expand to meet the demand for them.


The yard in China will be closed so the company “can consolidate key personnel with many years of boatbuilding experience into one yard.”
Taiwan is actually known as the yacht kingdom and usually only trails the major industrialized nations -- UK, US, Germany, Italy, etc -- in the production of yachts. Horizon in Taiwan is the number ten maker of yachts in the world and Taiwan beat out Germany this year to move into the number six slot in the world. However, total industry production peaked at $350 million in 2008 and never recovered from the double whammy of the Great Recession and the entrance of Chinese firms into the market. Despite the threat, the government has ambitious plans for a yacht complex in Kaohsiung based on predictions of market growth that have not materialized.....
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