Grabau International visits Hylas

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Late November saw Grabau International visit the Queen Long Marine shipyard in Kaohsiung – Taiwan, builders of Hylas Yachts.

The second largest city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung is the industrial centre of Southern Taiwan with an abundance of shipbuilding and manufacture plus worldwide transportation via the huge port looking out over the busy Taiwan Straits. The city and surrounding areas have become home to a large number of renowned yacht builders including Johnson, Horizon, Ocean Alexander, President, Kha Shing (Montefino Yachts), Selene, Tayana and Ta Shing (Nordhavn and Taswell Yachts), with the focus of Taiwanese yacht building being towards high quality, hand-crafted yachts built using the very finest materials. Queen Long Marine is one of the longest established and best known of these iconic shipyards.

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A view across Kaohsiung harbour towards the 85-storey Sky Tower in the centre of the city.

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The 117,300 sq ft Queen Long Marine Shipyard

The Queen Long Marine shipyard was founded in 1978 by the Huang family and remains in full family operation and ownership to this day via company President Joseph Huang, Vice-President Jane Huang and Commercial Director Andy Huang. The 117,300 sq ft shipyard is home to a 32,000 sq ft main construction hall, dedicated 18,000 sq ft laminating hall, a large paint facility, extensive design and administration offices and their famous on-site 3m-deep full-sized yacht testing tank complete with a thriving population of ornamental Koi Carp.

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Where it all begins. A Hylas 56 comes to life in the 18,000 sq ft laminating hall

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Each and every plank of teak is hand-selected by the company president before it is delivered to Queen Long Shipyard.

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A Hylas 63 in final stages of build in the 32,000 sq feet main construction hall with a Hylas 56 behind

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Two Hylas 56’s in varying stages of completion in the main construction hall.

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A Hylas 63 and a Hylas 56 awaiting final preparation before shipping to their new owners.

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A new Hylas M44 sits in front of the test tank awaiting delivery to her new owners.

Some 76 shipwrights, laminators, engineers, electricians and painters are employed directly by the shipyard to build the Hylas range of sailing and motor yachts. The Hylas brand established by Queen Long Marine in 1985 has rapidly become associated with the production of the highest quality blue water sailing yachts from some of the most iconic naval architects including German Frers, Sparkman & Stephens, and Dixon Design. Hylas Yachts have collected numerous important accolades over the years most recently including Cruising World Magazine Boat of the Year in 2011 ‘Best Premium Cruiser over 55ft’ for the German Frers designed Hylas 56 and ‘Best Full-Size Semi-Custom Cruiser’ in 2014 for the Frers designed Hylas 63.

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Fine finishing of solid teak joinery before spray varnishing

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Construction of hand-laid teak decking panels.

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Construction of solid teak interior parts.

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Traditional joinery skills are in abundance such as in this steamed radius of solid teak.

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A finished cockpit table awaiting spray-varnishing in one of two dedicated spray booths.

With over 500 yachts launched to date, many of which are larger semi-custom builds, the Queen Long Marine shipyard is a constant hive of activity. During our brief visit, we witnessed no less than two Hylas 63’s, four Hylas 56’s, a Hylas 46, Hylas 49 and two Hylas M44 motor yachts all in varying stages of build & completion. Soon after our visit, Queen Long Marine took delivery of the moulds for their very latest model – the new Bill Dixon designed Hylas 48, the first example of which we expect to see completed and in Europe during 2017.

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The new Bill Dixon designed Hylas 48.

The main purpose of our visit, however, was to test the recently launched Hylas M44 motor yacht. This stunningly-capable offshore cruiser was designed and developed by Dean Salthouse of the legendary New Zealand-based Salthouse family. Successfully marketed in New Zealand as the Salthouse Corsair with more than 160 sisterships launched to date, the design is, without a doubt, one of New Zealand’s most proven motor yacht designs with varying applications from customs and police patrol vessels to commercial fishing and deep sea game fishing. Queen Long Marine offer an arguably more luxurious version of the design featuring all of the craftsmanship and luxuries synonymous with the Hylas name. During her pre-delivery handover trials, the M44 we tested effortlessly exceeded 30 knots, powered by her extremely quiet and efficient Yanmar 370hp V8 diesels.

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The new Hylas M44 on seatrials in Kaohsiung harbour

Sadly and all too soon, the return flight to the UK beckoned, but we look forward to bringing the Hylas M44 to the UK in 2017 where she will be displayed at Southampton Boat Show and Dusseldorf soon after.

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A brand new Hylas M44 emerging from the mould for the very first time. See this boat in the UK during 2017.

Note. All Hylas Yachts are built to order. However, we are delighted to offer two unique opportunities to acquire a new build Frers-designed Hylas 46 and Sparkman & Stephens-designed Hylas 49, both of which are fully moulded and can be fitted out to customer order. Please contact us for further information on these two evergreen blue water cruising yachts.

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A new Hylas 49 awaiting completion. Please contact us for further information.

For those looking for a more immediate delivery, Grabau International is delighted to offer for sale an immaculate and very high specification Hylas 54 from 2005, lightly used as a demonstrator and offered for sale here in the UK with or without VAT. Her full details can be seen here.

2005 Hylas 54 – DUET OF COWES – £525,000 ex VAT – Lying Chichester

For more information about the Hylas range of yachts please contact us.

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