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Old 17-03-2007, 00:39   #1
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Taiwan-Built Boats ?

Can somebody give me a history and some info about these boats. Our budget is about 100k and it seems that most of the boats we are looking at are built in Taiwan. I'v searched around and it seems ther were a lot of yards and a lot of boats built in Tiawan. In the 70's and early 80's. How come there are not boats still being built in Taiwan? Which boats should i stay away from and wich were the best built? Thanks.
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Old 17-03-2007, 04:40   #2
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It's hard to generalize a lot about Taiwan boats other than to say. They had the largest number of facilities for making yachts any place. They made boats for many of the known manufacturers. The only common problem is the consistency with which they were built. Improvised solutions were not uncommon when some trade, part, or material was in short supply.

Given the age of most of these boats the issue of what country they were made in is less important than the condition they are in right now and the "fixes" various prior owners may have or may have not made. The other issue is many of the boats made were not intended for around the world cruises. Not that they were built poorly but were never sold as such in the first place. They made many many trawlers and almost any type of boat of the period. It was and always has been about the money. Global economics changes.

It would nice if you could say all Taiwan boats are to be avoided or only buy one of this brand. All (made anywhere) 70's and early 80's boats are to be approached with caution. If they have not been refitted properly recently then it might be a good assumption that they should be considered in need of a total refit sight unseen. They may have underlying problems or they may not have any. The worst means of examination is reading the brand name.

The only sure fire way to know the state of such a boat is with a marine survey. Walk away from boats that have major structural problems because they also have the other problems of age on top of the seriously expensive stuff. It could be argued that any boat can be refitted but not always at the best cost with a result that is worth while.

Modern designs are without question better but not always affordable. There are many older boats out there still with abilities suited for many if not most of us. It has and remains all about the money - yours.
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Old 17-03-2007, 09:09   #3
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Well...I own a taiwan built boat built during that period and believe that for the money I could not find a similar US built boat with the same quality. There are still MANY top of the market boats being manufactured in Taiwan including Passport, Hylas,Tayana and Taswell...problem is...no low end production is occurring as automation and new materials do not favor the Taiwan advantage...cheap skilled labor.
One boat within your price range worth considering for voyaging is the Tayana37. There are known issues with 20+ year old boats but many 37's have already been fixed up and the one's that haven't should be available at prices that take needed repairs into account. I agree with Paul about the need for a good survey on any boat of this age.
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Old 17-03-2007, 09:11   #4
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We have lived aboard and extensively cruised our Mariner 40 for 15 years and according to a survey that was done one week ago she is in magnificent condition. And as Pblais said the condition of ours or any boat of that vintage depends on the owners care and upgrades. Our boat was built by Tayana and the Tayana reputation is well known although we have seen some that were a total wreck. have a look at ours at

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and don't rule out a Taiwan boat until you have done a thorough inspection. Look for detailed records of maintenance and upgrades and if the owner provides them you may have a good consideration.
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Old 17-03-2007, 13:05   #5
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The main problem I've seen with SOME Taiwan boats are the thru hull fittings.

They have some metric size that here in the US are difficult to find. Most of the people I know have just converted over to english sizes and put in adaptors to plumb up the rest.

The person that has a LOT of knowledge is Jeff H. I believe someone in his family use to sell Taiwan boats back when they first came out. If you PM him he may respond. Here's a couple links to some of his comments:

Island Trader 36

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...t=Taiwan+boats

.................................................. .........._/)
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Old 17-03-2007, 14:30   #6
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Hey del, where did you get a picture of my boat under construction?
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Old 17-03-2007, 15:03   #7
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Kaohsiung

I've been there many times back in the 70"s. I call this the Junk Yard, literally.

They're a hard working peoples and attempt to keep up with the technologies. I avoid China products but do like the Tiawan products............_/)
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Old 18-03-2007, 14:48   #8
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Many people in the industry say that you work in the boat building / designing usiness because you love it, not to get rich. A lot of respected builders/designers are finding out that, with good management / supervision, they can get their boats built cheaply & to a high standard in places such as Korea & Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia. This mirrors what has happened in the automobile industry, and even the bicycle indsutry... for example, my bike frame is an "American" frame (Specialized), made with Italian tubes (Columbus), but it is built in Korea...
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Old 19-03-2007, 21:00   #9
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I personally like the Taiwan boats The Formosa and Vagabond have a lot of Character. the teak desks can keep you busy but look nice when cared for properly. I have a 48' custom built cutter that weighs 40,000lbs (Veracity) and will replace it with a Hylas or Vagabond some day. I would not hesitate on a Taiwan built boat.
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