Construction of Fleming Yachts began at the Tung Hwa boat yard in southern Taiwan in 1985 under the personal supervision of Tony Fleming. Today, all Fleming Yachts continue to be built by Tung Hwa, and are sold through a network of authorized dealers in the United States and Europe and agents in Australia and New Zealand.
1961-1983 Tony Fleming served as the technical director of American Marine in Hong Kong, builder of the Grand Banks line of trawler yachts. He was largely responsible for the development of these well-known yachts and later organized the company’s new yard in Singapore, becoming its General Manager. While at American Marine, Tony also helped develop the highly respected Alaskan series of pilothouse yachts.
1983-1985 Tony left American Marine and, with his business partner Anton Emmerton, worked with an American naval architect, Larry Drake of San Diego, California, to develop an all-new pilothouse design. Tony and Anton visited Taiwan in the summer of 1985 to research the best boat yard to build what would eventually become the Fleming 55. The Tung Hwa facility located near Kaohsiung was selected, and work on hull number one began. Although the original mold was built for a 55-foot yacht, the first boats were 50-feet – having a shorter cockpit but otherwise similar to the later 53’s and 55’s.
1985-2000 Starting with hull number 9, the length was extended to 53-feet and eventually to 55-feet. By 1997 over 100 Fleming 55s had been delivered, and customer demand for a larger model led to the development of the Fleming 75. The first Fleming 75 was launched in 2000. During this time Tung Hwa devoted itself exclusively to building Flemings. In 1998, Tony Fleming’s nephew, Adi Shard, a young graduate engineer from England, joined the company and moved to Kaohsiung to work side by side with his uncle.
2000-2006 The popularity of the Fleming line continued to grow and, again driven by customer demand, this led to the development of another new model – the Fleming 65. Launched in 2005, hull number one was spoken for by Tony himself, and he slowly began to turn over the day-to-day operation of Fleming Yachts to his management team which included his nephew, Adi Shard, his daughter, Nicky Fleming and, new member, Duncan Cowie. Tony named his new Fleming 65, VENTURE, and embarked on a series of adventures which he refers to as his “voyages of personal discovery.” By 2006, Fleming Yachts had delivered 170 Fleming 55s, 12 Fleming 75s and five 65s.
2006-2011 With well over 200 Flemings cruising the world, the company continued to focus on refining and improving its three models. Boating journalists and owners have lauded Fleming as “the ultimate cruising yacht,” and Tony Fleming proved them correct. From her homeport of Newport Beach, California, Tony’s VENTURE explored British Columbia, Alaska, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands before transiting the Panama Canal. She then traveled up the East Coast to the St. Lawrence Seaway by way of Lake Ontario. After visiting Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, she made her way down the East Coast to winter in Annapolis, Maryland. This 20,000 mile voyage has been called the world’s most extensive sea trial, as it allowed Tony to test and refine many new ideas and equipment. After completing this exciting voyage, Tony decided to commission an all-new Fleming 65, VENTURE II, which incorporated several new, innovative features resulting from his extensive cruising experience. After appearing at the Southampton Boat Show in England, Tony cruised VENTURE II extensively throughout Europe and in the summer of 2010 completed an exciting circumnavigation of Iceland. He continued to cruise extensively in the original VENTURE and, during the summer of 2011 took her to the Queen Charlotte Islands in the Pacific Northwest.
2011 also marked the 25th Anniversary of Fleming yachts and coincided with the publication of the second edition of Fleming’s magazine, VENTURER. Described as “A Fleming Publication for Cruising Enthusiasts,” it has received rave reviews from Fleming owners throughout the world. While the global economy had a negative effect on sales, the Fleming brand enjoyed continued success and with special interest in both Australia and New Zealand. All three models continued to benefit from evolutionary refinement with new features and layouts being offered.
2011-2014 Responding to feedback from loyal Fleming owners and dealers, Fleming Yachts embarked on the design of the Fleming 58 with everything the 55 had to offer plus, being 30% larger in displacement, considerably more space. Plans were drawn and redrawn, a model was tank tested and the lengthy tooling process was followed by construction of the first boat which was completed in Summer 2013. By mid 2014 Fleming had completed and shipped 58-005 and had secured retail orders up to 58-011 – thus proving the success of the new design and demonstrating continued faith in the brand.
Tony continues his travels and, in 2012, took VENTURE to Glacier Bay in Alaska and the following year even further north to Prince William Sound. In 2014, VENTURE was in Southern California, visiting the Channel Islands, before heading north once again to circumnavigate Vancouver Island.
For 2015, Tony has plans to revisit Prince William Sound plus head even further afield to Kodiak, Dutch Harbor and the Pribilof Islands.
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