It’s fair to say that Taiwan is a manufacturing powerhouse. Between 1965 and 1986, the country created a massive industrial infrastructure known as the Taiwan Miracle that grew the Gross national income (GNI) by 360%. Taiwan’s top exports include electrical machinery and equipment, computers, plastics, optical apparatus, mineral oils, organic chemicals, iron/steel and copper, making the East Asian country an ideal location for a shipyard.
It was back in 1987 that John Huang recognized the opportunities created by Taiwan’s production infrastructure. Here in Kaohsiung he founded Johnson Yachts, and from day one, he combined innovative design and quality workmanship in the construction of his semi-custom yachts, characteristics that are still at the forefront of the business today, which remains a family enterprise. Although not widely known in the West, Johnson has delivered 300 yachts to date, with the 110 Skylounge its latest and greatest build.
Although the 110’s fiberglass hull and superstructure were built from a design using the yard’s in-house naval architecture and engineering, Johnson turned to the British studio of Dixon Yacht Design for the styling. Headed by Bill Dixon, the team has given the Johnson a mini-megayacht look, with the trademark triple bank of dark tint panoramic windows (the middle belonging to the pilot house) drawing in the eye to the superstructure. It’s a bold, handsome design, with neat little details, such as the main deck portholes adding to the distinctive look. “The 110 Skylounge certainly looks like a Johnson Yacht,” commented Andy Huang, president of Johnson Yachts. “And since we have the capabilities to build a yacht to the Owner’s standards that also meets our high standards for seakeeping and performance, the 110 Skylounge will also feel like one of our yachts at sea and throughout the interior.”
Aft is the 110’s swim platform. Here, there’s the option of mounting a tender, or keeping it free for guests to enjoy. Head up the stairs and you find the cockpit, which features a dining table that can cater for up to seven diners. It’s an open space; one that would suit an owner who likes to entertain. Inside though, the sharp designs of the exterior make way for a far more traditional décor.
If you were expecting a modern light and dark colourway, then you’re in for a surprise in the 110’s main salon, as wood is the dominant material, creating a classical ambience. A blue carpet and a pair of light coloured sofas and footstools are the only items breaking up the timber theme. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, but that’s the beauty of semi custom: the Owner can work with the shipyard to create a yacht the way he wants. Finishing off the main salon is a formal dining area that can seat 10 and is serviced by the commercial-grade galley situated forward to port.
Although not widely know in the West, Johnson has delivered 300 yachts to date, with the 110 Skylounge its latest and greatest build.
The wood theme continues forward into the Owner’s suite where the inlaid teak floor certainly adds a nautical tone. Here, the panoramic windows let in plenty of natural light – a necessity with so many dark tones. One architectural trait we do love here at Yachts is a sunken master head. Here, the double sinks, shower and head compartments are a quick hop down the stairs, adding a glamorous edge to match the decadent timber.
Below decks there’s a traditional layout of four staterooms, the largest being the amidships VIP. Here, guests can relax in a full beam cabin that is close to the Owner’s suite in volume. Forward to port is a double, with another double forward and two twins to starboard.
Up top, the 110’s sky lounge has a much more funky feel, allowing guests to either hide from the sun forward, or embrace it aft. Under the open sky, sun loungers and chairs can be arranged as required, with a An L-shaped sofa can be found starboard with a bar-style galley counter opposite. There’s even room for a Jacuzzi along the starboard side, highlighting just how big this lounge really is.
|Johnson 110 Specifications:|
|Shipyard:||Johnson Yachts, Kaohsiung 81242, Taiwan|
It may not be a household name, but Johnson’s semi custom charms and British design are enough to get the shipyard noticed. Operating out of a 12,600 square metre facility, the shipyard can simultaneously build up to six vessels. The yard also employs hundreds of craftsmen, many of whom have at least 20 years of yacht building experience. Made in Taiwan? Oh, go on then.