Kaohsiung's Prospering Yachting Industry creates Argo Yacht Club／高雄遊艇產業百花爭妍 催生亞果遊艇俱樂部
Kaohsiung's Prospering Yachting Industry creates Argo
◎English translation: Wendy Wei Chang
◎Photos by Pao Chung-hui
Kaohsiung is Taiwan's premiere, yacht manufacturing city. The city is known for its customized yachts and has established a world-class yacht manufacturing sector. Since Taiwan is surrounded by the sea, Taiwan is perfectly located for developing the industry. The government has also worked hard to increase various sectors within the industry. Some of these developments include increasing the local area for yacht manufacturing, making the market more conducive for domestic consumers, to allowing companies to own and manage private harbors and provide dockings for yachts within the Port of Kaohsiung.
In May 2014, Kaohsiung hosted Taiwan's first International Boat Show. Its great success demonstrated Taiwan's growth in yacht manufacturing industry and the strides it is making, in encouraging growth in the domestic market. In 2010, a law was amended that would allow local people to purchase and own private yachts. With this amendment, it is hoped that the domestic yachting market will increase and more people in Taiwan will have the opportunity to enjoy domestically constructed yachts.
With an increasing sector of yacht owners, Argo Yacht Club has decided on Kaohsiung as its headquarters. Argo Yacht Club provides an assortment of services. It provides members with six rental yachts they can rent out to go fishing, host small parties, use for business trips or long-distance vacation cruising. Therefore, members can enjoy the world of yachting without the prerequisite of having their own. Argo Yacht Club is also responsible for yacht docking and maintenance. The club can also assist in hiring captains, crew, yacht managers and assistants for managing travel needs. They can also assist prospective yacht owners in locating the right Taiwanese yacht manufacturers to develop their dream yachts. Horizon Yacht not only assists in providing clients the finest of new yachts but also provides technical support for all members' yachts.
Argo Yacht Club was funded by Horizon Yachts (the world's fifth largest customized luxury yacht manufacturer) and Man Strong (one of the Taiwan's largest human resource companies) and is the first of its kind in Taiwan. President of the Argo Yacht Club, Ho Yu-Ling explained another incentive for opening the club in Kaohsiung is that it enjoys good weather for at least 10 months of the year; very conducive for developing a yacht tourism sector. Members enjoy a high caliber of qualified staff, many of which are graduates of National Kaohsiung Marine University. Staff is required to love the ocean and know how to swim. They must have both a lifeguard certification and a pleasure craft boating license. The captains of the club's yachts are retired Marine colonels. The club is expecting to soon recruit more than 200 members.
The yachting industry now not only includes an advanced manufacturing sector but also sales and recreational services. Taiwan's first boat exhibition also assisted in expanding the industry and furthered the city in becoming a primary yacht sales destination, in Asia. Like many international yachting harbors, yachts always dock at piers near the city's center. The yachting industry will increase the economy with the establishment of more hotels, department stores and restaurants in the harbor area.