A Boat for the Southeast Asian Market

A year ago, in the Rovings item “The Manchurian Candidate” (PBB No. 163), we visited with Andrei Rochian, a Romanian naval architect practicing in the United Kingdom, who shared photos and renderings of a 43 (13.1m) motor­yacht that he described as “the first series-produced fiberglass motoryacht built in the ‘Industrial North’ of China, more specifically Shenyang, capital of Manchuria, the ancient home of the Qing Dynasty.” Rochian offered insight into the emerging yacht-building industry in that region of the country, citing a French company making aluminum boats and another, composite catamarans, adding that the Wanda Group in Dalian owns the well-known brand Sunseeker International, based in the United Kingdom.

Rochian seems to have built his design practice, in part at least, by his willingness to work with entities in far-flung parts of the globe, such as Brazil; his Focker 255GT powerboat was built by Fibrafort Boats and scheduled for launching at the 2018 boat show in Rio de Janeiro. In the U.S., he worked with the Regal Boat design team in Orlando, Florida, to create its new Sport Coupe 42 (12.8m).

In the same Rovings item, we mentioned his working with a builder in South Korea; that project, a 40 (12.2m) aluminum sailboat, has since been completed. During his six years working in Asia (China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, for brands such as Selene, and Prout Catamarans), Rochian developed a relationship with GHI Yachts in South Jeolla Province, South Korea.

40' (12.2m) sailboat built by GHI YachtsAndrei Rochian

Andrei Rochian, a U.K.-based naval architect, has been working with the South Korean shipyard GHI Yachts to develop a line of aluminum boats, beginning with this 40′ (12.2m) sailboat, fitted out with U.S.- and European-brand gear.

Rochian: “They were initially a naval shipyard. The name comes from ‘heavy industry.’ They started [in yachts] by building a number of trawlers and sailboats in steel and aluminum on low-cost sets of plans. Then they commissioned the design of a 63 [19.2m] sail catamaran from a French design office, which they built in aluminum; the catamaran looks good. They set up a very ambitious program of building 100+ [30.5m] aluminum motoryachts. They are doing their development by financing with the Korean Government Development Agency. I think what they do is develop a portfolio of delivered aluminum motor and sail and catamaran yacht projects, develop the know-how and the skills, and establish a name for themselves. I think they mostly aim to sell to Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and perhaps they are also targeting France, as their main design partner is French.

stern showing a Bénéteau-inspired retractable transom swim platform.Andrei Rochian

Rochian says the builder, who also works closely with a French design firm, adjusted his drawings to incorporate a Bénéteau-inspired retractable transom swim platform.

“They contracted me for the design of their flagship sail yachts. I delivered the full design package, including conceptual design, exterior and interior design, construction plans, Korean Registry certification documentation, cutting files, 3D CAD modeling, and many renderings and visualizations. They are not experienced with regards to sail yacht design, and therefore they caved in to the pressures of the French design office, which influenced them with regard to some aspects of my 40 design. This is why they did the transom platform as you can see in the photos, inspired by the French 48 Bénéteau Oceanis.” Rochian performed the structural engineering for the project, employing finite element analysis (FEA) from Intact Solutions (Madison, Wisconsin).

Rochian says this part of South Korea is well known for its boatbuilding innovations, dating to the 16th century when “the famous admiral Yi Sun-sin defeated a huge Japanese fleet.”

Basic specifications: LOA 40 (12.2m), LWL 3410 (10.6m), beam 132 (4m), draft 60 (1.8m), displacement (dry) 20,900 lbs (9,500 kg), sail area 883 sq ft (82m2).

Andrei Rochian, Lissenden 7, 1 Burton Rd., Branksome Park, Poole, Dorset BH13 6DS, U.K., tel. 44 7434887442, website www.yacht.ro.

GHI Yachts, 1697-5, Nanchun-ri, Samho-eup, Youngam-gun, Jeonnam, KR, tel. +82 61–464–0900, fax +82 6641–464–0790, website ghiyachts.tradekorea.com.