|It’s All Good on Bad Company|
Part 2: “I’m unusual among my fellow yacht owners. Most of them bought their boats after they acquired their wealth. I’ve been fishing since before I had a cent.”
By Bobbi Dempsey — February 2005
With decades of boat-owning experience, Hsieh had spent plenty of time envisioning exactly what his ultimate “dream boat” would look like. He also found inspiration in boating magazines and in yachts owned by his friends and colleagues. However, while other boats may have planted the seed, Hsieh made sure to expand every idea to the nth degree.
For example, lots of boats have tuna tubes. (Tuna used for bait cannot survive in a regular bait tank, so these specially designed tubes keep them alive for four to six hours.) Bad Company has an unheard-of 13 of them. “Over the years, I’ve taken ideas from everything I’ve seen and learned,” Hsieh says. “I’ve spent so much time on the water that by now I really have a good vision of the perfect system.”
He also made sure his ocean-bound oasis was perfectly tailored for his specific fishing preferences and favorite locations. “In 90 percent of the world, you don’t really use the front of the boat for fishing. But here on the West Coast, we do fish from the bow, so I wanted to make sure we could utilize the entire boat for fishing. So the rigging is specially designed to allow for bow fishing as well.”
Then there’s the aesthetic body work. Bad Company is completely smooth—the tuna tubes and buckets blend with her body and do not protrude. The line pins are hidden underneath, giving the boat a sleek and seamless look.
While the four staterooms aboard Bad Company do make her “pretty luxurious,” Hsieh admits, even more remarkable is her $400,000 worth of electronics. In fact, it took more than 800 pounds of additional wiring to power the whole high-tech package. Bad Company has a pop-up plasma TV to track currents and locate fish. There’s also satellite TV, Internet access, and phone for constant communication.
A Furuno CH-37 360-degree sonar anchors the electronic package. “We have double and triple of everything—radar, GPS chartplotters, and so on,” Hsieh says. “But the Furuno CH-37 is the primary piece. That’s one electronic piece that most boats don’t have.” Indeed, most of Hsieh’s fellow fishermen would no doubt love to boast one of the CH-37 units onboard their own boats. When set to the 1,500-foot range, the CH-37—for which you’d have to shell out about $40,000—scans a full circle around the boat in under nine seconds. Fish don’t stand a chance.
Although he travels the world in search of the elusive blue and black marlin, Hsieh has a favorite route. “Most of the time is spent in the thousand miles of coastline between Southern California and Cabo San Lucas,” he says. “Cabo San Lucas is, in my mind, probably the best sportfishing area in the world, for variety of fish and the fact that you can catch fish there year-round. I usually spend 30 to 40 days there per year. And then another 20 to 30 days per year fishing in Southern California.”
Hsieh says he doesn’t plan any more major additions to Bad Company in the immediate future. “I’m pretty happy with how it is right now. The boat already has over 2,000 hours on it this season.” Then again, he adds, “We’re thinking about repowering it with bigger [engines]. We’d like to look into an 1,800-hp motor and see if it would fit into that boat.”
Hsieh says he’s not your typical luxury-boat owner. “I’m unusual among my fellow yacht owners. Most of them bought their boats after they acquired their wealth. I’ve been fishing since before I had a cent.” Hsieh bought his first boat, a 15-foot Boston Whaler, when he was 19. He’s been hooked ever since. He soon moved up by two feet to a 17-foot Boston Whaler. He has owned 15 boats in all. “I think I’ve owned every model of Bertram known to exist.”
Hsieh doesn’t hog his little slice of Hatteras heaven. His company’s employee of the month gets a free trip to Cabo San Lucas, which includes spending a day aboard Bad Company. He also frequently donates a day’s charter of Bad Company as a prize for various charity auctions.
Don’t expect Hsieh to go sailing off into the horizon of retirement again anytime soon. “At 35 and retired, it just wasn’t a good match. I really missed working and building a company. I don’t think I’ll retire again for quite a few years.” So, for the time being, Hsieh seems quite content balancing his time between his company and his Bad Company.
Bobbi Dempsey is a freelance writer specializing in celebrity profiles and is also the author of several books.
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This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.