Full steam ahead

Builders across the region are creating bigger, better, faster and more luxurious vessels than ever before. By Glen Watson

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Builders across the region are creating bigger, better, faster and more luxurious vessels than ever before. By Glen Watson

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IT SEEMS LIKE nary a day goes by without an announcement by one of the many world-class Asian shipyards that its latest creation is its biggest, most powerful, most efficient, most technologically advanced, most luxurious… and so on.

Customers are taking notice, too. As the builders create high-quality modern vessels to meet market demand, they are reporting that order books are filling up.

Some yards are expanding and moving into new facilities, while others are even buying up other brands – or being bought by major players from Europe as in the case of Turkish builder Turquoise, which has the same major stakeholder as Dutch builder Oceanco, Dr Mohammed Al Barwani.

There are good times on the horizon for Asia builders, despite some rumblings in the financial and political markets in Europe, the US and Asia.

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Founded in Kaohsiung in 1987 by CEO John Lu – winner of the 2015 Asia Boating Award for Personality of the Year – Horizon Yachts has been very busy preparing for the 2nd Taiwan International Boat Show (Mar 10-13), where it will have the largest yacht on display: the brandnew 2016 Horizon RP120 superyacht.

Featuring a sleek exterior profile from US designer JC Espinosa, the Horizon RP120 offers luxury and functionality. She also features a low-resistance hull for superior performance and her 26’2” beam provides extremely spacious accommodations and living spaces.

In December, Horizon Yachts signed a new, custom-designed CC110 motoryacht order for a repeat German owner. This 110-foot yacht will be the owner’s third Horizon – he previously built an Horizon E series 81-foot in 2003 and an 88-foot in 2008.

For this special CC110 project, Horizon’s in-house naval architect team collaborated with well-known German designer Beiderbeck to create a raised pilothouse design that focuses on blending entertaining spaces with functional living areas, while also providing unparalleled views on every level.

Innovative spatial concepts on both the interior and exterior encompass the owner’s yachting lifestyle in his new Horizon CC110. The main saloon is voluminous and open in layout, with curved wood cabinetry to port and curved seating to starboard that will easily accommodate 20 guests.

The formal dining is in prime location to either the main saloon or to the port-side galley, perfect for entertaining on board between the three areas. Forward and up a few steps is the raised pilothouse and lower helm, along with a captain’s desk for navigational charts and plotting.

This CC110 offers a total of three en suite guest staterooms – a full-beam, on-deck master and below deck a port twin guest stateroom and VIP starboard guest stateroom. The master suite is exceptionally well laid out with a King bed, dual walk-in closets, and large master bath; the guest staterooms below deck are located mid-ship and spacious, with room for four guests to rest in luxury. Crew quarters accommodate four crew in two en-suite bunk rooms, with crew mess aft of the crew rooms.

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The new Horizon CC110 motoryacht is currently having her interior flooring fitted and is scheduled to launch in early 2017 with 2600HP engines.

“We are extremely proud to be building a third Horizon yacht for this valued client,” says Lu. “It is an honour to work with Beiderbeck in capturing the owner’s vision, and we have no doubt his new CC110 will be extraordinary.”

Horizon Yachts has also added the Horizon E56XO sport yacht, based on the popular E56 motoryacht model. With a 15ft 9in beam, the E56XO is designed primarily for the Australian market – yet Horizon believes she has potential for the global market.

Hull one is in the beginning stages of construction, and the new Horizon E56XO is scheduled to make her world debut at Australia’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in May.

“After listening to the demands of our global clientele, Horizon is excited to expand upon our entry-level models with the new Horizon E56XO,” says Lu. “She is our first sport yacht, and as such has been carefully designed to successfully compete in the marketplace – that includes retaining Horizon’s signature layout flexibility, so she may be customised to suit various boating lifestyles and markets.”

The new Horizon E56XO features sleek exterior styling, with reduced gunnel heights for a lower profile and large window lines, and her newly designed outdoor areas focuses on the ultimate alfresco experience.

A custom-designed aft deck transom cabinet transforms into a serving area, incorporating a BBQ, sink, storage, and baitwell – a perfect spot to entertain or relax in while guests partake in water sports off of the hydraulic swim platform.

For sunny days at anchor, the E56XO’s forward deck offers a dinette seating and sunpads, a popular design on Horizon’s larger motoryachts now included in this model.

Powered by twin CAT C12A 705HP engines, the new Horizon E56XO is estimated to reach a top speed of 26 knots; with the optional Volvo IPS 950 engines, she will attain a top speed of 32 knots! Additionally, the hull has been designed to accommodate Seakeeper gyro stabilisers if desired, and the Yacht Controller wireless remote docking system included in hull one ensures stress-free manoeuvring and docking.


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At the Dubai International Boat Show in early March, UAE-builder Gulf Craft is planning the global unveiling of its latest innovations – two luxury superyachts in its Majesty Yachts brand, and an oceangoing yacht from the Nomad Yachts series.

The debuts are part of the Emirates-based shipyard’s impressive display of 14 bespoke yachts and boats – valued at approximately AED190 million.

With a strong legacy and solid track record of redefining sea travel for the world’s boat enthusiasts, Gulf Craft continues to invest heavily in research and development as part of its unremitting efforts to inspire people to explore the wondrous possibilities of on-water living.

New to Gulf Craft’s Majesty Yachts brand of luxury fly-bridge motor yachts are the Majesty 110 and the Majesty 90, both combining powerful engineering and advanced technology with immaculate design.

At 33 metres in length, Gulf Craft has taken its decades of experience combined with the need to elevate the yachting experience to a different class by creating the Majesty 110.

A unique venture into the world of tri-deck (three decks), the Majesty 110 has ample interior space, abundant outdoor entertainment features, and numerous amenities, including a spacious garage that is large enough to store a dinghy and a Jet Ski.

Whether you are at the aft deck swim platform or at the upper deck’s Jacuzzi basking in the sun or at the sun deck enjoying unparalleled views while listening to your favourite music from the state-of-theart Bang and Olufsen speakers, Gulf Craft has emerged not just as a superyacht builder, but also as a creator of timeless masterpieces.

Like the Majesty 110, the Majesty 90 echoes premium craftsmanship in every detail – from leather furnishings and parquet flooring in main saloon through to the marble countertops in the four en suite staterooms.

At 27.5 metres, the Majesty 90 features a breathtaking 360-degree view from its interior. The unmatched on-board space allows passengers to move effortlessly inside and outside the yacht, giving the owner the chance to customise the flybridge to either fit a dinghy, Jet Ski, or an even larger seating area.

The distinguished yacht and boat builder also globally premiered the newest addition to its Nomad Yachts long-range series, the Nomad 55 – designed for those with an insatiable appetite for extended sea travel.

Featuring a beautifully adorned main saloon, a fully equipped and exceptionally large galley, four spacious guest cabins, three bathrooms, and a room for two crew, the Nomad 55 takes the five-star experience into the midst of the ocean.

Passengers aboard the Nomad 55 can enjoy breath-taking views from the yacht’s two electric balconies, or dine on the yacht’s notably spacious flybridge while watching the sun set into the world’s luminescent waters.

Similar to its sistership the Nomad 65, the Nomad 55 emanates world-class engineering from the inside-out, with a hybrid hull designed by celebrated British yacht designer Andrew Wolstenholme.

Reaching speeds of up to 25 knots using twin 690hp engines, the Nomad 55 can travel long distances without having to make frequent fuel stops, allowing its passengers to enjoy an uninterrupted cruising experience.

Gulf Craft is showcasing its award-winning Majesty 122, Majesty 135, and other 2016 models at the Dubai show.

Gulf Craft, the world’s innovative builder of luxury yachts and leisure boats, has served the aspirations of passionate seafarers for more than three decades. The award-winning manufacturer is one of the world’s leading superyacht shipyards, a merit it has achieved through continuous investment in research and development.

Founded in the Emirates in 1982, Gulf Craft continues to redefine the on-water living experience with its wide variety of premium craft, ranging from 27 feet to 155 feet in length. Deploying advanced technology, powerful engineering, and timeless design, Gulf Craft builds each creation to meet the diverse requirements of its discerning clientele, transforming travel by sea into a journey worth indulging in.

With an expanding portfolio that includes the enchanting Majesty Yachts, the oceangoing Nomad Yachts, Silvercraft fishing boats and family cruisers, and Oryx sport yachts and cruisers, Gulf Craft has built an enduring legacy.


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With a renowned legacy that dates back to 1956, Singapore-based Grand Banks Yachts Limited is a global brand well known for its vast experience in manufacturing and selling luxury motor yachts.

The Grand Banks brand is recognised across the globe for superior quality and craftsmanship, which created one of the most acclaimed and highly sought-after yachts in the market today.

One of the very few Asian builders listed on a stock market, the Group’s manufacturing facility is located in Pasir Gudang in Malaysia. Grand Banks was listed on the SGX in 1987 and upgraded to the Main Board in 1993.

In 2014, Grand Banks completed its first acquisition – of Palm Beach Motor Yacht, a manufacturer of luxury yachts with a reputation for impeccable quality that combines cutting-edge technology and modern designs.

Palm Beach has its manufacturing facility at Berkeley Vale, Sydney, Australia, and builds yachts ranging between 42ft-65ft.

Grand Banks Yachts reported recently that its successful integration of Palm Beach contributed to a positive swing of S$2.8 million in bottom-line as net profit for the July-to-December 2015 period (1H FY2016) rose to S$1.6 million from a loss of S$1.2 million a year earlier.

The SGX Mainboard-listed luxury yacht maker recorded a net profit of S$0.4 million for the quarter ended December 31 2015 (2Q FY2016), an increase from S$0.1 million a year earlier.

Despite 2Q FY2016 revenue declining 10.2% to S$11.4 million from S$12.7 million in 2Q FY2015, gross profit rose 26.2% to S$2.8 million from S$2.2 million, while gross profit margin improved to 24.6% from 17.5% over the comparative periods.

The stronger financial performance reflects the Group’s successful integration of operations – including sales, marketing, manufacturing, financial reporting and personnel functions – after it completed the acquisition of Palm Beach in August 2014.

Grand Banks has adopted a factory-direct sales model that, together with a stronger US dollar – the transaction currency for more than half of the Group’s boat sales, which are built in Australia and Malaysia – helped to lift the gross profit.

New orders secured led to more customer deposits and hence higher payables while the completion of a yacht at the end of December 2015 led to an increase in receivables.

Five new boat orders – which include new designs like the Grand Banks 44 and Palm Beach 42 – in 2Q FY2016 helped the Group achieve a net order book of S$31.9 million as at December 31.

Grand Banks’ boats were well received in the November Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world’s largest. To accelerate marketing efforts, the Group also participated in Miami (Feb 11-15) and will exhibit at the Singapore Yacht Show (April 7-10).

“We are well into restructuring our Malaysian operations, as well as integrating Grand Banks and Palm Beach’s manufacturing techniques,” says Grand Banks’ CEO Mark Richards.

“Grand Banks has turned the tide and is now charting a new growth phase powered by a clear product roadmap for two world-class boat brands, says Grand Banks Chairman Heine Askaer-Jensen. “We will strive to increase the order book for both our brands with a view to driving long-term value for shareholders.”


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Successfully launched in September, Thai builder Bakri Cono’s catamaran H48 offers “Space Grace & Pace”

“Great acceptation and recent orders brings us to have it under production at this moment,” says Bakri Cono Sernior Partner Philippe Guénat. “The H48 was listed by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects RINA (UK) as Significant Small Ship of 2015.”

In other news, the H70 Open Sky is currently under production and due to be launched end of this summer.

The shipyard was also awarded as the MIS.M Maritime Company of the Year 2015 Asia.

Bakri Cono is now based in PMG Marine Complex on the Eastern Seaboard of the Gulf of Thailand, 1km from the Commercial Deep Sea Port of Mat Ta Put, facilitating overseas export.

Bangkok Airport is a 2.5 hour drive and the International Airport of U-Tapao is a half-hour away. The yard will be close to the train station of the soon to be constructed bullet train running from Bangkok to Rayong.

The shipyard is under European management and production units 1, 2 and 5 of the shipyard comply with German Lloyd Standards, which allows yachts to be built In Class.

A fresh water trial basin of 24 x 11m is located on site to conduct 95% of the regular sea trial and water proofing tests (for yachts up to 80ft), without bringing salt water and mud onto the newly constructed yacht.

A wide launching ramp provides easy access to the waterfront. The beach area in front of the yard measures 4,000sqm.

There are several independent workshops, including an upholstery facility and conference rooms, separate air-conditioned storage for chemical products and administrative facilities.


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Turquoise Yachts has been going through a restructuring and rebranding since Dr Mohammed Al Barwani, the owner of Oceanco, become the majority shareholder in December 2014. The word Proteksan is no longer used in the company name.

A recent addition to the sales team is Cristian Schwarzwälder, who says the yard currently has five new yacht construction projects, and refit projects.

“We recently completed the 95m Indian Empress refit and the upgrade of our two facilities (shed extension & new floating dock) are advancing swiftly,” says Schwarzwälder.

“The company’s strategy is to build a diversity of new constructions ahead of owners involvement thus reducing delivery time for our clients. Thanks to our two facilities we have large capacities and welcome enquiries for new construction and refits at any time.”

The current projects under construction and for sale include a 47m (496 GT) for delivery November this year, a 77m four deck (1,970 GT) for delivery end 2017, a 60m or 66m (1,000 or 1,200 GT) project to be decided with keel laid and design/ engineering in final stages for delivery 2018/19, a 72m (1,650 GT) with keel laid and steel construction started for hull and delivery at end of 2018, and an 80m or 81m (2,000 or 2,230 GT) project to be decided with keel laid and engineering in final stages for delivery 2019.

“We face the future with confidence,” says Al Barwani, “with a bold new strategy designed to capture new growth in the super yacht industry.”

Making the world of superyachts more accessible is the key behind the new Turquoise strategy. It’s built on the shipyard’s technical expertise and its strong reputation as a high quality, high value builder.

“There’s an overriding technical element in our business,” says Turquoise CEO Mehmet Karabeyoglu. “Turkey has a long tradition in shipbuilding with a highly skilled workforce. We are extremely confident of our technical and engineering skills. What truly sets us apart is our widely recognised high quality, which we get at a relatively low cost. This is what gives us a highly attractive value proposition.”

But it goes beyond that. Karabeyoglu explains that Turquoise is focused on a strong lifestyle proposition. This, he says, is part of the true attraction of yachting - luxury, exclusivity and a highly individualistic lifestyle choice.

“Even though there’s a large technical component, we’re focused on the lifestyle aspects. This is where the magic is. It’s why the world of yachting is so attractive,” Karabeyoglu says.

The Turquoise lifestyle proposition rests on a range of designs – from traditional to cutting edge avant-garde - featuring the world’s top designers with layouts, amenities and interior designs, to suit highly personal owner lifestyle choices.

“There are plans to extend this strategy,” Karabeyoglu says, “but right now it’s too early to elaborate.”

Al Barwani points out that the yard will focus on yachts up to 80 metres in length.

“There is definitely an opportunity for a high quality, high value builder with an established track record,” he says. “We’ll enhance Turquoise’s ability further with leading edge design and innovative engineering plus enhanced quality control and management systems.”

Turquoise was established in 2001. The yard at Pendik, outside Istanbul, employs a highly skilled workforce that has built 20 superyachts including M/Y Turquoise, M/Y Talisman, M/Y Vicky and M/Y Ileria, launched in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Designer Philippe Briand’s Vitruvius Yachts has an 80m project being built by Turquoise Yachts. This is one of the first new builds for the brand focused on its “lifestyle strategy”.

This 80m motor yacht is the largest Vitruvius so far. It is a yacht with exceptionally well-proportioned and balanced lines with discrete design characteristics of the Vitruvius Yachts style.

VY80 is deigned to provide generous living space on board, while retaining a sense of intimacy. It is also the largest of Philippe Briand’s designs to be realised under the Vitruvius Yachts name.

“This is an exciting project which fully encapsulates our focus on the yachting lifestyle,” says Karabeyoglu. “It captures a vision that Mohammed and I share.”


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Numarine is a builder of high-performance motor yachts based in Istanbul. With a 35,000sqm facility, Numarine has a building capacity of up to 50 vessels, from 55ft to 130ft. Numarine was founded by Omer Malaz. His boundless energy and endless search for perfection and excellence are the driving forces behind this young, dynamic group, with experience far beyond their years.

Numarine has amazed the world with innovative design coupled to state-of-the-art technology and quality production.

Intransigent in their attention to detail, impeccable workmanship and choice of high quality materials, each single yacht is a pleasure to own.

Numarine’s dedication to efficient production, innovative design and technical excellence has quickly brought them to the same level as larger and more established yards in the international yachting community.

Numarine is dedicated to international management, sales and marketing. With the creation of Numarine North America in November 2014, the company established three distribution points to handle its vast owners network that spans the Atlantic, Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Due to a very recent change of US dealership – now assigned to the new partner Grande Yachts (Maryland) with multiple locations across the East Coast – and to a high level of interest received from a number of potential clients, Numarine decided to concentrate the world debut of its 60 Fly at the CNR Eurasia Boat Show 2016 in Istanbul (Feb 13-21).

Measuring in a 18.4 metres LOA, with a 5.15m beam, the Numarine Flybridge 60 has the same bold styling common to all the Turkish yard’s family line products, with a sportive design that respects the exceptional onboard space available to the owner. Ample open areas and brightly lit interiors define Numarine’s traditional and characteristic layout.

The Flybridge 60 – conceived to have the highest volume in the 60ft category – is drawn by Numarine Designer Can Yalman, who is responsible for the concept, lines and interiors. Umberto Tagliavini is the naval architect and Gurit was in charge of the structural engineering.

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The Flybridge 60 is very competitive thanks to Numarine’s construction techniques where light weight and strength are guaranteed by vacuum infusion composite construction.

Comfort and cheer were the guidelines in designing the Numarine Flybridge 60’s internal layout. The three guest cabins, well fitted out with plenty of storage space, each have their own bathroom, which are much larger than you would expect in a boat of this size.

The full-beam owner’s suite, with its huge picture windows at water level, fills the cabin full of light and the view it offers to those reclining in bed (165cm wide) is breathtaking.

This is the first of the Numarine’s range of yachts to be totally illuminated using LED lighting, but the designers say that all future yachts coming out of the build facility outside Istanbul will be so fitted.

The 60 Fly’s performance is guaranteed by two Volvo Penta IPS 950. With a 35 knot top speed and a 28 knot cruising speed, the use of less powerful engines will keep fuel consumption and maintenance costs down and give the Numarine Flybridge 60’ a very competitive price (1.290.000 euros).

Using IPS is very important in space saving, it allows accommodation space to free up. Their smaller size frees up considerable space in the engine room, which in turn allows us to increase fuel tank capacity, notably increasing the cruising range.

The IPS system offers also a 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption, 30 percent less CO2 emissions, 50 percent lower perceived noise level, 40 percent longer cruising range, 20 percent higher top-speed, and safe and predictable handling.

The IPS installed on the first unit is IPS950. IPS1200 is an option. The Shaft version is an option available on the standard price-list, now with MAN 1000 or Volvo 900.

Unit 2 of 60 Fly has 2xMAN 1200hp and reach 36,5knots of maximum speed.

“With the 60FLY, and the upcoming 60HT, I continued the evolution of Numarine’s signature silhouette, emphasising taught muscular lines in a sleek profile that incorporates extensive glazing for maximum transparency with surprisingly generous interior volumes found usually on larger boats – this is the latest baby Numarine, but with all the features of its larger Numarine siblings,” says Yalman. “It is one of my favourites!”

Tagliavini adds: ”The hull design of the Numarine 60 Flybridge is derived from Omer Malaz’s needs and requests for an innovative boat designed around the IPS-Volvo propulsion systems.”

Last year, Numarine and Burgess signed a Central Agency agreement for the promotion and marketing of selected yachts in the Numarine range: 102 Raised Pilot House (hull 7), 105 Hard Top (hull 14) and from the new Explorer range the 30XP (hull 1) and the 40XP (hull 1).

In addition to this new collaboration, Numarine says it recently sold two of the current flagship – the 105 HT – officially marking the entry of this Turkish shipyard into the international superyacht sector.

“We are being extremely selective in appointing those to represent Numarine in the fast-growing market of yachts over 100 feet,” says Numarine Sales & Marketing Director Antonio Caviglia. “We are committed to working with only the most professional, ethical and knowledgeable names in the industry. Burgess and Senior Sales Broker Richard Lambert are the perfect fit for our objectives.”

In Asia, Numarine dealers include Asia Marine Yacht Serices (AMYS) in Hong Kong and Asia Marine - Phuket in Thailand.


Since the company was founded in 1991, Vicem Yachts has always been focused on three core values: total customisation, impeccable craftsmanship and timeless design.

The Vicem Classic & Cruiser lines (Classic and Fly Bridge models, from 52ft to 80ft; the Cruiser models from 68ft to 107ft) are built using the cold-moulded process. This construction technique embodies all the methods of the Turkish historical marine tradition.

Based on engineered composite, wood construction, cold-moulding uses laminated mahogany (coming from managed forests) and a specific formulated epoxy resin to create the hull, decks and principal superstructures. This results in a stronger and quieter vessel with a smoother ride, with natural insulation from humidity and noise.

In 2010, Vicem Yachts extended its production to the mega-yacht segment, introducing the new Vulcan Line with the 46m, 35m Tri-deck and the 32m RPH.

Vanguard 45 and 33 compose its all new third line of open yachts, a perfect blend of timeless elegance, combining naval architecture and state of the art production technology. Vicem Yachts, Inc. is the company’s US operations division, with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and satellite offices in Sarasota, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts, Long Island, New York; and Annapolis, Maryland.


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Sunrise Yachts recently entered into an agreement with an international fund managed out of Hong Kong. The Diamond Living Private Investment Fund has taken a controlling interest in the Turkish builder in order to contribute in its second phase of development.

“It is our view that Sunrise represents a good recognised brand and that the company can deliver high-quality yachts at an appealing price,” says Diamond Living Managing Director Wes Medford. “We have discussed with Sunrise the opportunity for us to step in as a strategic investor with a goal to assist them in their growth ambitions as well as increase their sales spectrum due to our strong positioning on the Asian market,”

Sunrise Yachts, founded in 2007, has distinguished itself lately with the launch of the Espen Øino designed 63m motor yacht Irimari, recently nominated for a slew of awards. Irimari was one of the stars of the recent Monaco Yacht Show, where it was presented to the public.

“In Diamond Living, we have found the ideal strategic partner that we have been seeking for quite a while. It will provide a strong stable base for Sunrise and allow us to offer total security and comfort to our clients. Also this partnership will provide us with the ability to develop our own niche projects to speculate on the market”, says Sunrise Yachts Co-founder and CEO Guillaume Roché.


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ASIAN BUILDERS TO WATCH These builders, and more, will be featured in upcoming issues of Asia-Pacific Boating:

RMK Marine (Turkey) www.rmkmarine.com
Riviera (Australia) www.riviera.com.au
Cheoy Lee (Hong Kong/China) www.cheoylee.cn
JetPon (broker/builder, China) www.jpyachts.com
Sunbird Yachts (China) www.cnsunbird.com
NextWave Yachting (HK broker, China) www.nextwaveyachting.com
Allegro Yachts (China) www.allegroyacht.com
Elandra Yachts (Taiwan) www.elandrayachts.com
Nordhavn (US/Taiwan/China) www.nordhavn.com
Fleming Yachts (Aus/Taiwan) www.flemingyachts.com
SilverYachts (Aus, ex-Hanseatic) www.silveryachts.com
McConaghy Boats (Aus/China) www.mcconaghyboats.com