A review of the teams visit to the Queen Long Yard in Taiwan by Senior Yacht Broker & New Hylas Sales Team Member Bernie Jakits
Refreshing, eye opening, rewarding, and all else that would describe a journey that’s half way around the world. A wise man once said that to really see and to understand, one needs to venture outside their doors to actually see and capture the proper perspective. Sales brochures and just seeing and sailing these yachts doesn’t really paint the proper picture, because all good yachts use the same materials in their build.
This wasn’t my first trip to the Orient, for my first was with a backpack on in the early 1970s, so being the lone wolf that I am, I decided to embark a week earlier than the rest of the Team, to sort of scout things out for myself.
Flying out of Seattle, where I spent weeks prior on my boat, EVA Air business class reminded me of Asian work ethics, for their approach to life is not the bull in the china/glassware department that we are so used to in the Western World.
Arriving in Taipei, after an overnighter, then Customs and Immigration and then finding my way to catch the HSR (High Speed Rail) to Kaohsiung, home of Hylas and dozens of other Generational Family Owned Ship and Yacht Builders, the countryside flew by at a smooth 185mph.
Being greeted by Andy, Peggy and Dave, (I call them the 3 Amigos), I immediately “clicked” with them and knew that this one on one relationship is taking root. After settling in as their guest in their home, we head to Queen Long, home of Hylas and the 65 workers who are more than just employees, its actually one caring supportive Family where everyone feels and is treated as important, where everything is part of the solution and that everyone is an asset and truly not a liability.
I meet the King and Queen of Hylas, Jane and Joseph and immediately bond; not just because I recognize what they’re building but I actually recognize what they are doing. What they are doing is keeping something alive that needs to be alive in a world of today that most things are just throw away things. We really recycle very little.
Management here at Hylas cares about Family, about taking care of each other, where if at lunchtime, all eat together in the same room where a woman that has created these meals for over some 25 years daily cooks the food. They as an entire Family eat the same food; all sharing in the same conversations, for this is in my opinion is what holds a healthy society together.
The next five days, I share time with the Family at their country home. From there we venture to the southern most part of Taiwan, which is a massive nature preserve called Kenting. There we spend a lovely day at Chiang Kai-shek’s summer retreat. It was Jane’s birthday and a lovely one it was.
From there we wondered to a close friend of Andy, Wayne who is gracious and as kind as one can ever get. His resort in the hills overlooking the straights between China and Taiwan, which are only some 96 miles wide, revivals any Four Seasons Hotel, for Wayne’s Father is a collector of rare and exotic hardwoods, which became artwork throughout the resort. Magnificent, this hotel is a resort where the smallest details are never forgotten.
We shared Joseph’s and Jane’s wedding anniversary, besides the Presidential Elections, and long walks together throughout its gardens talking about Taiwan, its founding, its challenges, and the difference between ROC and PRC, to holding gently a rice bowl, and of course ship building.
So, now to the boats that they at Hylas build. The boats are only as good as the people that are building them, for this is as good as it ever can get and gives me hope that we as society, if we care as they do, about people, that we can, all survive and share these floating masterpieces of design, of build and of quality and beauty, and to educate and expose to others that recognize the difference between a rose among thorns.
I’ll go back, not just for the boats, but for the people that I met, if it was Leah of Johnson Yachts, to the Godfather/Grandpa of Hylas, to catching shrimp in a swimming pool to eating some weird but interesting food, to just seeing more than just the tip of my nose; yes there is sometimes an oasis in a desert. A wonderful satisfying journey it was.
Sometimes the richest things in life one cannot buy.
Interested in finding out more about Hylas Yachts? Contact Bernie Jakits (443) 742-1792