Kaohsiung Comes To The Rescue For Super-Yacht Repairs
Until now, dry-dock facilities in Asia suitable for super yacht refitted repair have been limited. A facility in Kaohsiung offers an exciting new option.
Shipyards that can haul out smaller yachts exist across the region, with local technicians able to handle relatively simple work. For large yachts, the options can be either to relocate to the likes of Europe or Australia, or – in Asia – to hazard a haul-out in a commercial shipyard alongside large, dirty vessels in areas often lacking the personnel with the training and resources a superyacht refit requires.
Repairing Superyachts is a Problem Solved
Kaohsiung has no problem when it comes to skilled people and technology. Taiwan has over 40 established yacht builders including world leaders such as Kaohsiung-based Horizon, Ocean Alexander and Hylas – who build award-winning cruising sail boats – not to mention a wealth of subcontractors and suppliers long engaged to supply premium components to European yards.
Kaohsiung is an ideal refit location as it has specialist yacht builders for both power and sail models from 0-200ft in steel, aluminium or composites.
What has been missing for superyachts is a suitable location for repair and refit, as many of the exisiting facilities aren’t ideal to keep a large yacht for a significant length of time.
As such, the availability of a high-quality, clean and beautifully located 110m dry dock facility in the heart of Kaohsiung changes all this. It was built over 50 years ago, but has only just been made available for visiting yachts after lengthy consultation between Central Yacht and local and national government authorities.
Situated in an area being developed for arts, tourism and entertainment, it is away from the heavy and light industry, chemical plants and refineries of Kaohsiung’s Cijin Island, where most of the ship and yacht building is based. However, it’s close enough for easy access to workshops and personnel. In fact, for most workers, the dry dock is nearer to their home!
Logistics are simple in Taiwan, with easy immigration and visa-free entry for most nationalities, and straightforward customs procedures for incoming parts and tools. Also, there is very efficient port clearance, no limit on the length of time a visiting yacht can stay, and no cruising permit required.
Central Yacht has many years’ experience of refit and repair in Kaohsiung, having undertaken five-year and 10-year Lloyds special surveys. Our work has also included major service on the ABB Azipod units on the 65m Benetti Ambrosia, a project that involved removing and stripping the pod units themselves on site in Kaohsiung. It was work that – at that time – had never been done on this series of equipment anywhere in the world.
The company is also in discussion to develop an international superyacht marina a few hundred metres away from the dry dock, so that in-water repair can also be taken in a clean and safe environment.
The city-centre marina would be an ideal place for owners to position their yacht between cruises, with its benign weather, easy import and immigration rules, and of course the huge support industry already located in Kaohsiung.