M/Y Paradise, just launched last week from the Horizon shipyard in southern Taiwan, is, at 35m, the largest yacht the firm has yet sold into one of its most active territories: Australia.

Paradise, an enhanced version of the company’s RP110 production model, is the result of the owner having been referred to the yard from friends.

“The owner’s friends are repeat Horizon clients so by the time he visited the yard, he was aware of what we could do,” explains Horizon’s CEO John Lu.

On his visit, the owner – whose business is in heavy machinery and mining – was able to survey the yard’s mechanical and construction capabilities, as well as the engineering redundancy built into the yachts; something that was key in his decision-making process.

The yacht he commissioned is based on Horizon's versatile 33m RP110 platform, which offers numerous interior layouts and arrangements: Paradise was customised based on the owner and his family’s social lifestyle and their love of water sports.

Australia has always been a strong market for Horizon on both the East and West Coasts, something Lu says will continue.

“With a great partner in Perth and Horizon Motor Yachts Australia on the Gold Coast, we have the infrastructure for sales and service and the people with the passion for Horizon to continue sustained growth,” Lu says. “As in the US market we are also looking at alternate areas for marketing Horizon and yachting – there are some great cross over opportunities with specific car brands, great wines, private jets as well as some new ideas that you will see more of soon."

Along with continuing to export their yachts to Australia, Europe and the Americas, Horizon is working to bring the yachting lifestyle to Taiwan: they’ve built a marina in Kaohsiung that provides 40 berths up to 40m for private yachts that will soon feature a yacht club, entertaining areas and cafes.

“The issue at present is infrastructure to accommodate private yachts as well as a full understanding of yachting as a leisure activity," Lu explains. "Horizon has just opened the first private yacht marina in Taiwan and this is the sort of growth that the region needs to see to make it easier for people to own yachts."

“We are also growing our presence in global markets with yacht management, concierge programs and locally in Taiwan are now providing refit facilities to not only Horizon owners but owners of any yacht that wish to experience the Horizon commitment to yachting,” Lu says.

According to Lu, he and the team at Horizon are continuously considering the market to determine what models will be next in line. One that is currently under development with Dutch designer Cor D Rover is the SE86 (part of the Swift Explorer series) that will be debuted at the Taiwan international Boat Show in March 2016.

“Horizon is currently in the top ten superyacht manufactures in the world," Lu claims. "One of our goals is to see the Horizon brand in the top 5 in the not too distant future."

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