Designer Al Mason was chosen as the naval architect of PAE’s first project. Al was the natural choice for several reasons. His designs were famously beautiful, rugged and seaworthy and several boats of his design had been sold by PAE through their brokerage. Furthermore, because Al Mason had worked for John Alden in his earlier years, there was a DNA connection in design, style and beauty to the lovely Malabar VII.
The first PAE/Mason design was a 43-foot sailboat. With completed design in hand, the search began for the right Taiwan builder. Through introductions, serendipity and hard work, the young men at PAE learned of Ta Shing Yacht Building. Ta Shing (which means Big New in Chinese) was founded in 1976 and the company was just completing their state of the art factory when the Mason 43 project was introduced to them. The founder, visionary and first president of Ta Shing, Mr. CM Juan, had a simple mission statement: to be the best. No expense was spared on the facility, equipment or staff. But two things were missing; a good design and an American partner. PAE and their Mason 43 project came along at the perfect time. The Mason 43 was an immediate success and was followed by the M63, M53, M53cc and M33. There were 132 “3” series PAE/Mason sailboats produced between 1978 and 1985. Nearly all of these boats are still in service today and have become beloved and respected icons.
Between 1984 and 1988, PAE redesigned each of the “3” series Mason designs into the PAE/Mason 34, 44, 54 and 64. These handsome designs used the same hull but had new deck designs and interior layouts. Eighty of these “4” series PAE/Masons were produced.
PAE’s last sailboat order, a Mason 44, was taken in 1997 and a few years later, all the Mason sailboat molds were destroyed. But the classic breed lives on.
Of the hundreds of Masons sold, most of those are still being used by their faithful owners today. These Mason sailboats are still cruising in all parts of the world, further illustrating the timeless, ocean-crossing durability and class of yachts manufactured by PAE.
Mason owners are a tight-knit group and have established their own online community. If you are a Mason owner, or just a fan of Mason sailboats, and would like to join the PAE/Mason Sailboat Owners Group, please visit us by clinking on the link at the bottom of this page.