Group CEO John Lu was interested in utilizing dedicated subsidiary shipyards and their specialized practices in manufacturing yachts. This structure affirms Horizon Group as the first Asian yacht builder to do this. With Lu’s group structure, the shipyards can effectively integrate and expand upon each other’s ideas and resources.
To improve operative efficiency and maintain consistent quality, each shipyard is specialized in its distinct field. Under the Horizon Group, Vision Yachts produces smaller sized yachts, Horizon Yacht produces medium to large-sized yachts, and Premier Yacht produces customized and classed luxury megayachts. The fourth and final component, Atech Composites, focuses on creating stronger and lighter hulls for the three shipyards.
The Horizon Management Center is a cross-platform center used to supervise each yard’s resources and services. The services include: the Delivery Center, Human Resource Center, Marketing Center, Mold Center and lastly IT Center. By having this degree of organization and management, it enables Horizon to produce and developed a vast collection of the world’s most popular models from 46 to 163 feet.
With the unchanged childhood passion for boats and a love of the ocean, CEO John Lu founded Horizon Yacht, parent company of Horizon Group, in 1987. Returning home to Kaohsiung, his hometown, after graduating from the National Taiwan Ocean University with a degree in naval architecture, Lu ventured into gaining experience of the yacht industry. With a strong goal to bring clients their own ultimate dream yacht to life, Horizon Yacht was created. Lu’s success as a naval architect remains apparent today.
When Lu had created Horizon, the Taiwan yacht industry, as he knew it, was prospering almost certainly. Unfortunately not long after, Taiwan’s yachting industry took a major hit in an unexpected recession. Having to adjust business strategies to continue their success, Horizon shifted target markets to Europe, Australia, and Asia. Along with business changes they also focused on changing manufacturing processes that required they adhere to stringent yacht quality and safety requirements in Europe and Japan. By doing so, they earned a distinct reputation for building yachts of outstanding quality and value. As a result to Horizon’s continual progress and advancements, the company was able to prevail over Taiwan’s economic recession.
In 1993, Lu recognized a demand for high-value megayachts and began building yachts reaching over 80 feet. The Horizon factory encountered limits on production scale, so Lu was then forced to begin focusing on increased production capacity and improved product quality through specialized processes. Moving the company forward as a luxury yacht builder, the decision to officially become a part of the megayacht market was a notable milestone for Horizon and proved Lu to be a visionary in the yachting industry.
From 2000 to 2005, Lu continued to expand Horizon with it’s other three companies – Atech Composites, Vision Yachts and lastly Premier Yacht having each assigned its own build concentration. To build a more comprehensive range of yachts, the Horizon Yacht company was redeveloped. Horizon Group was then formed to work as a cohesive organization that interconnects the four companies allowing the exchange of ideas and resources. The Horizon Group Management center was established in 2007 to help organize and oversee the Horizon Group network.
Known throughout the industry for its sophisticated craftsmanship, superior build techniques, and innovative technology, Horizon has emerged as the leading Asian yacht brand in the luxury megayacht market since its inception in 1987. One-third of Taiwan’s yacht industry total export quantity has been contributed by Horizon, elevating Taiwan as one of the world’s top five luxury megayacht building nations. Horizon has been honored as “Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder” 6 years in a row and is the first and only member of SYBAss (Superyacht Builder’s Association) from the Far East.
Having 210 employees, 24,900 square- foot lamination facility certified for meeting ISO 9001:2008 standards through DNV, and providing all composite hulls, decks and superstructures to the three Horizon Group shipyards; Atech Composites is to be recognized. The corporation was founded in 2000 ensuring every DNV operation procedure for Horizon’s hull quality.
SCRIMP technology is a licensed authorization the Atech’s facility was able to adapt, making them the first FRP corporation in Asia to do so. SCRIMP stands for Seemann’s Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process. To not compromise weight or performance, SCRIMP allows Atech to laminate each hull, including the stringer system, in one shot. It leaves the finished product with more strength and durability.
Atech is dedicated to ensure consistent quality in each hull. It retains a high-level, technical R&D team as well as verifying the mechanical properties of the composite materials it supplies with its multi-purpose 10-ton Material Testing Machine. At Atech’s in-house laboratory they are able to test the fiberglass content of composite materials and also perform comprehensive testing.
In recent years, Atech has also applied its accumulated experience in composite materials to another business field – manufacturing and repairing blades of wind turbine.
Vision Yachts was originally established in 2001 and since then has expanded its operation from 45 employees to 250! Along with bringing more team members on board, the shipyard has increased its build capacity to three times the original scale in Nov. 2006. The 15,000 square meter shipyard is certified for ISO9001:2000 standard by DNV accommodating 15 yachts under construction simultaneously. The shipyard has been designed to specifically build Horizon yachts from an outstanding 54 to 78 feet in length.
Led by Austin Lin, a master interior designer and craftsman, Vision Yachts is capable to strive for innovation in interior design, growing product portfolios, efficient management and lighting design. Lin’s talent in interior design is able to bring the client’s personal vision and expression to life leaving the yacht with distinct uniqueness and quality. Vision Yachts recent accommodation is applying green technology into new models. This showcases Horizon’s commitment to not only the environment but also by providing more options and comfort for eco-conscious cruisers.
Focusing on tri-decks on Horizon’s custom megayachts above 100 feet (30m) with Full Class Certification by Det Norske Veritas, Bureau Veritas, or Lloyd’s in 2005, the Premier Yacht was formed. It was built strictly to meet with MCA LY2 (and coming LY3) Code in either FRP or steel.
Simultaneously accommodating six yachts of 40m+ while under cover for construction, Premier’s facility occupies 24,000 square meters. Owning 200m (656 feet) of water front property as well as 42m x 14m automatic float on/off launch barge with 650 tons lifting capacity. Having such gives Premier a logistical advantage for sea trials and commissioning. Additionally it helps with loading completed yachts onboard container/bulk ships for delivery to owners abroad.
The company was certificated as an OHSAS 18001 shipyard in October 2010. Given that, it was also named the first yacht builder endorsed with OHSAS 18001 Certification in Asia. OHSAS 18001 is the Occupation Health and Safety Assessment Series for health and safety management systems which applies to provide safer working environments for employees.
Under the leadership and management of GM James Fwu and R&D Director Erich Yen, both of whom are nationally licensed naval architects, Premier Yacht combines well-experienced naval architects, marine engineers & interior designers to develop and build stylish and innovative mega yachts utilizing the latest marine technology.
Premier shipyard has built five, over 130-foot in length megayachts, to date, recognizing them by international classification societies such as DNV or BV. Horizon Group is endeavoring into a new milestone with Premier recently venturing into building steel-hulled megayachts.