A recent visit by IBI to Taiwan shows evidence of growth in the leisure boating market as the number of marina projects develop.

Leisure boating in Taiwan has only been possible since 2012, when the government opened territorial waters for recreational boating use. Prior to that, due to security concerns caused by the proximity to mainland China, leisure boating activities were confined to harbours, estuaries and inland waters.

The Taiwanese government has also encouraged growth of the domestic boating market by supporting the first Taiwan International Boat Show in 2013 and abolishing a luxury tax on leisure boats in 2014.

Most of the new marina developments are situated in the southern part of Taiwan, where the coastline is more conducive to building marinas and the climate is sub-tropical.

The second largest city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung, has a large commercial port complex that includes the Argo Yacht Club.

Jasmine Lee, manager of the club, says: “The club is membership only, which allows use of the club’s fleet of power and sailing yachts and the berthing for members own boats.”

Situated next to the Argo Yacht Club is Kha Shing 22, a new marina being constructed by Taiwanese boatbuilder Kha Shing. “The policy of the marina is to have public access and we are planning restaurants and bars on the perimeter together with activities and events for the public,” says John Kung, deputy general manager of Kha Shing Custom Yachts.

Alongside the two marinas in Kaohsiung Port is the Exhibition Centre, the venue for the biannual Taiwan International Boat Show which will utilise the facilities of both marinas for on-water exhibits at the next show in March 2018.

Further developments are in place, linked to existing commercial ports. According to Justine Chen from the Taiwan International Port Corporation: “We are in the early stages of planning for another marina in the existing Anping Port Complex about 60km north of Kaohsiung.”

Further south in Taiwan, the Penbay resort area, a large lagoon with sea access via a lifting bridge, has an existing marina built six years ago by the government and is currently being rebuilt after it was damaged in a typhoon in 2016.

Penbay is also the site for a new marina to be constructed by the Orient Resort Penbay on the site of a World War II Japanese flying boat base. According to the Orient Resort’s John Chen, the site is being developed into an international leisure and recreational area.

“We are in the final stages of planning a marina with 42 berths which we want to open as soon as possible,” he says. “The Orient Resort utilises some of the infrastructure of the old Japanese base, including two large launching ramps.”