I recently returned from a trip to China to look at a few fiberglass yards there. The two main yards I inspected were TRICON YACHTS and IAG YACHTS.
Tricon Shipyard Reception Area
TRICON YACHTS is a new fiberglass yard that has delivered its first yacht under the ARGOS brand. The ARGOS 92 is a very well executed vessel. The yard is owned and operated by a European owner that has owned a number of boats and most importantly has cruised his boats extensively both personally and with crew. He has management in place that has built a number of boats in China before and a great mix of experienced from both inside and outside of China. The yard presently has a 75 and a 105 under construction.
Tricon Shipyard- Part of Building Hall 3
If you want to go fast (24 knots) and long (3000nm) but not cross oceans, I would recommend you have a hard look at the ARGOS 92. At an ask of US$6,200,000 she is a good quality vessel at a good value. Keep in mind she is not built to class but the engine room, piping and wiring is all very good.
You may or may not know but I am a "STEEL AND ALUMINUM" guy when it comes to world cruising and I still am. HOWEVER, I know that there are a good number of people that prefer glass and for a number of years I have been looking for a yard that can build Explorer vessels in fiberglass to a level that I would be confident in captaining around the world. There are two yards that do this, DELTA and NORTHERN MARINE, unfortunately one is very expensive and will not build below 100 and the other was expensive and is now out of business.
Tricon Shipyard Stainless Steel
I believe that with TRICON YACHTS abilities and my teams input I now have a place that can build the quality I need at a value that makes sense. As I said above I am a steel and aluminum guy and you put me in any steel and aluminum yard any where in the world and I can give you a very educated opinion on the yards ability in the metal work, piping, systems, wiring and exterior and interior finishing.
In a glass yard I know a good bit but now in my opinion enough on the glass side of the construction, the rest is essentially the same. To cover this point I was able to get a project manager who has built 5 Deltas and a huge number of other vessels to come with me to give me an opinion on the glass side of things and also another opinion on the rest of it.
Tricon Shipyard- Argos 92 AC Systems
The long and short of it is that we are in agreement that TRICON YACHTS does a very good job. They are taking all the right steps to further improve their quality including the fact that they are now building their next vessel to class which is very important to me.
Tricon Shipyard- Argos 92 Engine Room with Cats
I and my team are now in the final process of developing the All Ocean Yachts 90 a 90 explorer yacht designed with Luiz debastos that All Ocean Yachts will offer in both STEEL and ALUMINUM or FIBER GLASS construction. Both will be built to RINA CLASS and MCA, both will have the same equipment list, range, specifications and abilities.
Tricon Shipyard- Argos 92 Piping Runs
TRICON presently has the sheds to build to 140 and ramping up all of their production and equipment.
The IAG YACHTS yard is located right next door to TRICON. They have a larger production facility and are a present building three 125 semi-displacement tri-deck motor yachts and 100 raised pilothouse but has yet to deliver a vessel. The level of fit and finish of the interior which was just being installed when I inspected in the first boat looked quite good over all. The first yacht is scheduled to deliver in the first ½ of this year.
Argos 92 Engine Room Port Side
The yard is owned by 3 brothers from Taiwan and the top management is mostly from Italy. The vessels are being built to RINA class. The level of equipment in the vessels looks good. In general the building quality and style follows along the building style of Italian shipyards. The pricing on the first boat is quite aggressive. The boats do have transatlantic range put are semi displacement hulls.
I looked at a 3rd yard that is presently building for the Chinese market; they are building between 54 to 100 and have delivered a number of 75 vessels. Think Italian go fast types, they are earnest and want to learn but have a huge way to go before they are ready for the international market. Their cost are very low but it is reflected in almost all aspects of the vessels. They remind me of boats from Taiwan built in the late 70s and early 80s. However with the learning curve I see going on in China I do not think it will take as long for the general yards to reach an acceptable level and for there to be some outstanding yards in the future.
Argos 92 Stabilizer
I was scheduled to visit both King Ship and the Choeylee yards which are both within a few hours of the other facilities but unfortunately because of their pending closing for Chinese New Year they had to cancel. I hope to inspect them on my next visit.
I look forward to discussing the above with any of you and hearing your opinions, please Contact Me.
Yacht Broker John DeCaro
Office phone: 954-671-0107
Cell phone: 954-646-1411