In 1985, when the first Fleming was being developed, boat yards in Taiwan offered the best choice for building such a quality yacht. After extensive research, Tony Fleming selected the Tung Hwa yard, located just outside the busy port of Kaohsiung, to build his new design.
While at the time Tung Hwa was building other brands, Tony made it clear that he wanted his boats built to the most rigorous standards and that he was willing to pay for the highest quality possible. Over the years, Tony and the factory management and workers developed a close relationship built on mutual respect, and eventually as the Fleming business grew, Tung Hwa dedicated itself to building Flemings exclusively.
The Tung Hwa factory remains a family-owned business with no outside shareholders or debt. It is situated on a large piece of land and boasts a number of new buildings built specifically for the production of Fleming Yachts. A test tank allows each of the four models to be “launched” in order to check out the vessel’s systems and equipment before being shipped.
While some Taiwanese yards have either moved to Mainland China or opened factories there to take advantage of cheaper labor, Tung Hwa has concluded that there is no real economic advantage because the skill levels of the workers are not the same. In addition, it knows that moving and training all new workers can be highly disruptive, detracting from the company’s primary focus of building quality yachts.
Tung Hwa now employs nearly 200 craftsmen and artisans, many of whom have worked there since the beginning. A total of approximately 18 Flemings are built each year. Adi Shard, Tony’s nephew and protégé, has worked full time at the Tung Hwa facility for the past 11 years to ensure the continued quality of the Fleming brand. He is assisted by Tsai. Duncan Cowie also spends considerable time at the yard specializing in the design and implementation of modern systems and liaising with suppliers of related equipment.