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post #2 of Old 10-18-2006
A little less cheek
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Hope this helps

Brief History of Hardin International Co., Ltd.
by W. A. Campbell

I am somewhat familiar with the Hardin 45's, having
been an importer for the boats from 1977 until the
factory was closed in the mid 1980's. My wife and I
owned a Hardin 45 for about 1 1/2 years in 1980/81
and another for 10 years from 1990 to 2000.

Be cautioned not to believe some of the rumors that
fly around about the Taiwan boats and roving Chinese
families that built parts of different boats as they
wandered from yard to yard. Most of the rumors are
circulated by people who have never been to Taiwan or
built a boat anywhere. I have had boats built in six
different yards in Taiwan and China over the past 29
years and have visited dozens more yards in Taiwan and
China. I have never seen that phenomenon. Every yard
that I have worked in has had its own full time
employees ranging from 75 to 200 workers depending on
the size of the yard and the volume demand at the
time. Work forces did go up and down with business,
much like they do here in the USA in any industry.

I personally knew Bill Hardin and my wife and I had
dinner with him at the Hong Kong Yacht Club in 1981,
and then visited Hardin 45, Hull #100 which he kept
for himself at the club in Hong Kong harbor. He was
born in 1926 and studied naval architecture and
engineering at Long Beach City College under Prof.
Aldenberg (rated in the top 3 in the US at the
time). Bill Hardin worked with fiberglass as early as
1948 and in fiberglass boat building in Japan in
1959. He died in the Vancouver, BC area in the

Bill Hardin, Bill Crealock, Ernie Chamberlain and
William Garden were the pioneers of Taiwan boat
building for the American market. They were the ones
who really got the industry rolling in the late 1960's
and 1970's. Bill Hardin started the CT (Ta Chaio) yard
with two Chinese partners in the Taipei area (northern
Taiwan) with the original Wm. Garden designed Sea Wolf
40, the Sea Sprite, and the original Garden designed
Force 50. He left CT soon after, taking his Sea Wolf
molds with him. But his Sea Wolf 40 was copied by many
yards and sold as CT41, Island Trader 41, Yankee
Clipper 41, Sea Tiger 41, Transworld 41, etc., a very
popular traditional ketch. The Force 50 molds were
taken to Hudson Boat Company in the Taipei area, but
the Force 50 was also copied as an Island Trader 51,
Formosa 51, etc. This copying problem is why it was
nearly impossible to get a set of drawings from a
Taiwan builder.

Bill Hardin moved to Kaohsiung, Taiwan (southern end)
and built a new factory where labor and overhead costs
were lower - around 1970. The company was called
Hardin International Co. Ltd. That is where he
designed and built the Hardin 45. They built an all
fiberglass construction and they were the only builder
of the Hardin 45. The boats were imported at first as
a Bounty 44. Around 1980, Hardin re-designed the hull
from a 6'0" draft to 5'6" draft, trimmed down the
transom and moved the two aft ports from the hull to
the aft cabin trunk, and also extended the boat to 45'
2". Most people do not even notice these changes. To
avoid confusion, the Bounty 44s and Hardin 45s are all
referred to by brokers as Hardin 45s.

He also built about 20-25 boats for Island Trader.
They used the same hull molds, but built the boat to
Island Trader's specs and used a different deck mold
(not a flush deck) with a small cabin trunk over the
saloon and smaller front windows. We do not have
information about the standards or specs given to the
factory for these boats, but they do look similar to
the Hardin 45 at first look. The Island Trader 45s
are usually referred to as Island Traders.

An importer that made a contract with a builder could
set the standards and specs for equipment, finishes
and in the case of some yards, the scantlings and
design modifications for any original design. They
could then import the modified design under their own
name or a new model name. This was a common practice
with some small yards that were building in the early
1970s, and using copied designs. Large importers who
could not fill their orders from a single yard, would
contract with several different yards for their
particular brand name of boat. This accounted for some
of the quality variation between boats sold under the
same model name, and why it is difficult to generalize
about quality of a given model boat that may have sold
hundreds of boats in the 1970s and 1980s.

A total of about 130 Hardin 45s were built by the time
the factory closed in the mid 1980s. There were a
couple of partially completed boats at that time that
may have been finished later and imported into the US
or Europe. The boats were generally of good quality
finish and of excellent structural integrity. The
problems that have surfaced in the used boats over the
years can usually be traced back to poor
maintenance. A recommendation that I make to Hardin
buyers is that they have a set of storm shutters for
all of the large windows if they plan to make any kind
of ocean passage. Fiberglass storm shutters were
offered by Bill Hardin as an option when ordering a
boat, but were usually not ordered. They can be easily
made and retrofitted to the boats at any time.

The Hardins are great cruising and live aboard boats
and Bill contribution to the boat building industry
will be appreciated long into the future.

W. A. Campbell, III, President
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