Features: Taiwan Yards and Restoration



by Alyssa Haak

Temptation to purchase a new boat or yacht lurks on every boat show dock. Owners, brokers and crew have spent hours polishing and perfecting the yachts on display, ready to sell you the lifestyle of a brand-new vessel. However, many happy owners are just looking for a bit of inspiration on how to refurbish their current vessel. In addition to the equipment manufacturers with their gleaming engines or blinking next-generation electronics laid out in enticing arrangements, owners should take note of the inspiration that lies just outside the show’s gates. Boat show locations are carefully chosen to pinpoint spots where the most owners and exhibitors intersect, from Monaco’s and Genoa’s central locations on the Mediterranean coast to Fort Lauderdale and Miami representing the epicenter of the American and Caribbean markets to, more recently, Taiwan declaring its place on the global stage with its inaugural boat show.

Although Taiwan has been building export yachts for decades, this May represented the first time most of the country’s builders gathered to display their wares at the brand-new Kaohsiung Exhibition Center located just minutes from the shipyards. The proximity offered the perfect opportunity to see the yachts in a before-and-after arrangement as well as the chance to see the relationship between the Taiwanese builder and the marque the yacht is later sold under.

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by Christine Carpenter

Short of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, few boats and their captains are remembered throughout history. However, among that select group of illustrious vessels is Ernest Hemingway’s 38-foot 1934 Wheeler Pilar. Hemingway visited Wheeler’s New York shipyard and instructed the builder to cut down the transom to allow big fish up and over easier. He later added wooden outriggers, a bamboo rolling bar on the back and a flybridge to transition the boat from a cruiser to a sportfish—changes that revolutionized sportfish boat design. Pilar no longer braves salty waves or scores monster fish, but now rests on the safe grounds of Hemingway’s Cuban villa, Finca La Vigia. This year marks a sort of rebirth of Pilar through one man’s dream to restore his own 1935 Wheeler as an exact replica.

Amigo is just one year older and one foot longer than Pilar, and her restoration project (and budget) quickly escalated from a simple makeover to a full overhaul. Dana Andrews, President of American Yacht Restoration in Riviera Beach, Florida, conducted extensive research traveling to both Boston and Cuba to ensure the exactitudes of every minor detail and major component for Amigo’s owner, Greg Goodman. The project is scheduled for a completion goal of Fall 2014.

“When Mr. Goodman purchased Amigo it was barely in usable condition—it wasn’t junk, but it was close to it—and his thoughts of grandeur to restore it to be another Pilar began,” says Andrews. Mr. Goodman has always been a Hemingway aficionado, but he originally envisioned a much smaller project. Andrews put it on a graph to ensure everything in the refit was to the same ratio as Pilar, and they completely removed the cabin top to rebuild it to exact specifications. “Today it looks nothing like it was before,” says Andrews. Amigo was a cruiser deckhouse enclosed with doors on the back and a much longer roof, very small cockpit and minimal room. When Andrews showed Mr. Goodman how Hemingway used up a lot of cockpit and had an open plan as far as the pilothouse, he was amenable to duplicating that layout.

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