The Taiwan Excellence Awards highlight cutting-edge products in multiple industries, such as technology and transportation. Each entry competes among more than 1,000 products, with 140 jurors from Taiwan and around the world deciding which entries are the best of the best.
For 2022, the Monte Fino E Class Explorer was among the winners. This yacht showcases not only Taiwan’s overall excellence in yacht building, but also a design that taps into increasing global demand for expedition-style cruising in an eco-friendly way.
Virginia Chuang, spokeswoman for Kha Shing, the company that builds Monte Fino yachts, says the key to the brand’s success is the level of customization that is possible. Kha Shing builds multiple brands of yachts, but Monte Fino is highly focused on giving customers exactly what they want. “We can even customize the tooling,” she says. “For example, the hardtop of the flybridge. Each boat is unique.”
Kha Shing is able to achieve this level of customization because the company was established in 1975 and has been hiring a dedicated team of knowledgeable, Taiwan-based yacht builders ever since. Whereas other shipyards need to outsource some tasks that they cannot do in-house, Kha Shing has a highly experienced crew that includes multigenerational knowledge.
“Some of them have been with us for over 30 years,” Chuang says. “They have accumulated these skills over all these years. Some of them retire and come back. They maybe bring their sons or other children. It’s quite a fun place to work.”
The Monte Fino E Class Explorer was developed using fluid dynamics to optimize the hull for fuel efficiency. The idea was to create a yacht that allowed for eco-efficient cruising across long distances, catering to an increasing number of yacht buyers who want to do some serious exploring.
“This is not a party boat,” Chuang says. “It’s for people who enjoy their time on the ocean going from place to place. We developed this boat mainly because the world is more environmentally conscious now. We wanted to do something eco-efficient. This boat will be able to travel 4,000 nautical miles without refueling.”
The first hull of the Monte Fino E Class Explorer is already sold and in build now, with its launch expected in mid-2023. It will have several standout features, Chuang says, including a particularly spacious flybridge to store personal watercraft and other water toys.
“It also comes with Octoplex, which means the boat owner will be able to monitor and operate a lot of systems through a single tablet,” she says. “The boat owner wants something that’s easy to operate. The captain can monitor too, without having to go anywhere to see all the systems. They can do a lot of things with just one switch.”
These types of design and operational achievements are only possible because of all the talent in Taiwan and Kha Shing’s ability to harness it, Chuang adds.
“We have experience in yacht building here for over 45 years now,” she says. “We are very good at what we do.”