The DWY Crew Goes to Taiwan
We closed out 2022 with a bang with an eventful trip to Taiwan to visit the Queen Long Marine shipyard; home of Hylas Yachts. From a gigantic wedding to sneak peeks of upcoming Hylas models that will hit the water soon, we were thrilled to convene with the whole Hylas family in the brand's Kaohsiung home.
The trip kicked off with Hylas CEO Andy Huang's absolutely legendary nuptials, which were hosted right there in the Queen Long Marine shipyard! 700 guests converged on the yard-turned-outdoor-market to celebrate the newlyweds with karaoke, live music, fantastic food trucks, and more. Our resident Hylas expert Jamie Gilman was in attendance, along with many Hylas owners and industry partners, including the New Zealand-based designer of the Hylas M-Series, Dean Salthouse and his family. The unconventional wedding venue was fitting for Huang, who with his sister Peggy is the third generation in their family to carry on the yacht-building business. We were honored to be a small part of Andy & Victoria’s magnificent milestone celebration.
After the wedding, we got to work reviewing various Hylas models under construction in the shipyard and meeting with the whole Hylas team to deliver feedback from our clients and partners that will guide the development of future Hylas models. It's not a well-kept secret that each Hylas built is better than the last, and Hylas enthusiasts the world over are passionate about being a part of the brand's ever-evolving designs and innovations. One of our favorite things is to learn about a unique adaptation or augmentation a Hylas owner has made to their boat and bring that back to the Queen Long Marine team to figure out how to incorporate that clever feature in the next build. During our visit, we got to see four Hylas 57s in various stages of completion, from hull #7 just beginning the lamination process to the fully built Exodus (hull #4)Ready to be loaded and put on a freighter and off to her new home.
One of the most exciting developments to come out of the yard in recent years is the development of the new Hylas M47X. A diesel outboard version of the popular Hylas M44. Our team had the privilege of stepping aboard this exciting new yacht while she was in the test tank (which also doubles as a koi fish pond!). This opportunity allowed our team to inspect the new model and review the final quality checks before the yacht leaves the hard for her world premiere at the Palm Beach International Boat Show later this Spring.
We spent days happily crawling through all the boats under construction with Andy, Dean, and the engineers, fleshing out design details, poring over options lists, and ensuring that the builds are optimized for the US market. Some very cool design changes are coming thanks to the partnership David Walters Yachts has with Hylas, which allows real owners' input to influence the equipment and specifications of future boats. For example, in the power boats alone, we identified 39 different points of improvement, from tiny details to larger features that will all lead to even better boats being produced.
In the final few days of our Taiwan trip, we spent a lot of time discussing the future of Hylas, walking through 3-, 5-, and 10-year plans, outlining what the future model range will look like, including brand new models and adaptations of existing ones, and working on the brand's marketing plan. Exciting things are on the horizon thanks to the brand's highly collaborative approach of incorporating feedback—when a new Hylas hits the water, you can be sure that the design didn't just happen from a sketch on paper; it has been honed, vetted, and thoroughly thought through by this committed team of boat builders, designers, engineers, owners, and the sales team.
Early in our partnership with Hylas Yachts, we understood the importance of building a relationship with the yard and gaining first-hand knowledge of the boats through hands-on experience. And while that has proven to be one of the keys to our successful representation of the brand, we cannot overstate how impressed we are after each visit at the dedication, passion, and simple love all those involved in the construction of Hylas Yachts are. Seeing that passion pour out and produce such a spectacular product is a fantastic experience. We are grateful for the opportunity to represent the boats and, more importantly, the people behind them.
Thank you, Jane and Joseph, Peggy and Andy, all the people of Queen Long Marine, and the entire Huang family for another wonderful visit. And, of course, a big congratulations to the newlyweds!