In recent years, Asia has rapidly become one of the major territories active in the yachting industry. Thus, after a series of yacht-related acquisitions led by Chinese beneficiaries, 87 percent stake in the Feretti Group is owned by Chinese conglomerate Weichai Group; Dalian Wanda Group was announced to buy a 91,8% stake in Sunseeker Yachts; Lai Sun Group acquired 49.9% of Camper and Nicholsons International for €13 million. Still, according to Bloomberg research, the optimistic forecasts on the development of the yachting market in China turned out to be erroneous.
According to Boat International Media, there are only three confirmed Chinese owners from the TOP-200 of the largest yachts in the world, despite the fact that no other country can boast such a large number of billionaires. The Chinese rich actually do spend money collecting the best works of art, buying sports teams and golf courses. Nonetheless, big vessels remain taboo for them.
Hong Kong broker Eric Noyel from Asia Marine Yacht Services Ltd reports that finding takers for even a modest-size superyacht has now proved almost impossible in China, although only 7 years ago, the China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association predicted a boost on the local market. They stated, there would be 100,000 luxury vessels in China by 2020, raising from 3,000 back in 2012.
Delphine Lignières, chief executive officer of China Rendez-Vous, which runs the boat show in Sanya, says China’s yachting ambitions were suppressed as a side effect of an anticorruption campaign.
Yacht sellers did not anticipate the rapid take-off of Xi Jinping, who became general secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012. Shortly, he punished over 100 thousand party members, as a result high-level officials had to forget about luxurious life attributives. Part of the propaganda, it has become almost a crime to flaunt one’s wealth in a public way, as 200 million Chinese citizens live in poverty.
Gordon Hui, President of Sunseeker Asia Ltd., which has been selling boats since the beginning of the 2000s, was forced to close three salons in China. Since 2015, he has not sold a single yacht for use in China, though still selling to mainland customers for delivery outside the country.
What is more, there are other reasons behind the choice not to invest in private yachts among the Chinese. The mainland’s coastal metropolises lack repair yards, equipment suppliers, and the rest of the costly support network that private yachts require. There are very few large marines there, so anyone who considers buying a yacht will be forced to moor in Hong Kong, Singapore or Phuket. Some locals even keep their ships far away in the Mediterranean.
In 2015, the rules for operating yachts in the waters of China tightened: now there can be no more than 12 people on-board. Given that a yacht of any size needs a team of six people, there is no room for holding big parties.
Furthermore, the coastal waters of China is a complex water area. In the North, pesticides, waste and chemical fertilisers have poisoned the waters. Qingdao, where the 2008 Olympic Games were held, fights green algae each year. South, in the subtropics, water is patrolled by law enforcement officers. There is a struggle for the disputed territory, and not so long ago, new artificial islands were formed, stocked with troops and weapons.
Billionaire He Xiaopeng keeps his 26-metre yacht in Hong Kong. But as his electric car startup Xpeng Motors consumes all his time, he claims to use the vessel once a year, more often deployed by his friends. Fang Yuan from Heysea Yachts explains, that it is a standard story, as once he visited a boat a year after delivery and found the mattress still packed.
Manufacturers have already noted that, introducing the series of yachts called Tai He Ban, developed by Ferretti. The series is distinguished through practically no places to sleep - the space is reserved for banquet tables and karaoke stage.
One of the few yacht owners in China was Wang Jianlin whose company Dalian Wanda Group took possession of 92% of the British Sunseeker Yachts. His 28-metre yacht was docked at Qingdao marina that he owned, as well. Still, last year he sold both the yacht and the marina where she was located.
Another example, conglomerate HNA Group Co,. used a 49-metre superyacht for charters out of Hainan Island. In January 2019, they sold the ship, fearing pressure from the government, which urged the company to find ways out of the debt trap.
Still, random sales occur here and there on the market. For instance, Simpson Marine managed to find a buyer for a 26-metre boat in China. Further, one of the recent highlights of the local scene was the launch of the 88-metre Illusion Plus - the largest yacht produced in China. In Hainan and Zhuhai, the government is considering building new marinas, although not large enough for Illusion Plus.
On Friday 3 April, President Rodrigo Duerte issued the order to convert Philippine presidential yacht into a hospital ship. The Philippine Navy announced that the presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo will be used for monitoring those who are infected with COVID-19. The operation will be run by the Philippine Navy, whose crew will remain aboard the vessel. The BRP Ang Pangulo can accommodate up to 28 patients and five medical personnel and temporary compartments will be set up to separate patients at least three metres from each other. RPS Lapu-Lapu (PY-77) was built in Japan as part of that country’s war reparations to the Philippines. At the initiative of President Carlos P. Garcia, Filipino naval engineers specifically designed the vessel for use as a presidential yacht. The ship was commissioned into the Philippine Navy on March 7, 1959, as its flagship, a status it held until December 1961.President Diosdado Macapagal in the following year ordered its conversion to a naval troop transport. Later President Ferdinand E. Marcos restored its use as the presidential yacht.Over its 50-year life, the vessel, operated by Naval Taskforce “Sealion”, continues at the President’s instruction to carry out relief and medical missions all over the islands, aid in emergency search and rescue efforts, perform naval functions, promote tourism, culture and local products, as well as serve the presidency and the government.
April 6, 2020
27m LeVen debuted at the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and was awarded the International Superyacht Society’s Innovation in Technology Award. She is currently a finalist for four Boat International Design & Innovation Awards, including Best New Series.LeVen’s shallow draft, comfortable ride and seaworthiness are by virtue of groundbreaking techs such as the Voith Linear Jet propulsion system and Vripack’s patented Slide Hull design.Vripack invited for the naval architecture ended up taking over the entire design, inside and out. Dutch company Van der Valk was chosen to build the all-aluminium yacht. YachtCreators, working with Silva pulled the concept together, creating a whole new brand – LeVen.The key part of the plan was to make a “beachfront home experience”. The aft main deck offers plenty of sun and seating and has access to the bathing platform.A long flybridge overhang shelters the dining area. Hovering at an immense height over the deck, it gives the space a superyacht.Inside, oversized windows offering a true 360-degree view provide that all-important connection with the water. Forward, instead of a helm station, is the open galley. Wide glass doors connect the interior and exterior. In tune with the yacht’s intended cruising grounds, the interior decor has a casually elegant beach feel. The natural palette relies on grey- washed oak that has a light sandy tone, contrasted with brushed metal in a dark bronze.By the words of Cardenas “The idea was to tackle the five senses – sight, sound, taste, smell, touch. Everything that you see should connect with the water, everything your hand touches should feel good.”The electric system runs through the batteries. All systems are powered from a massive lithium battery bank offering stable, constant and clean power. Comfort underway is helped by Vulkan thrust-bearings, engines can move independently.
April 6, 2020
The 68m Abeking & Rasmussen superyacht Soaring was delivered to her owner after the sea trials. Launched in January, the custom-built motor yacht returned to the German shipyard in Lemwerder for a handover, having left the yard in March to undergo sea trials in the North Sea. Due to the current circumstances, the delivery celebration was held on a "far smaller scale" than first planned.The shipyard faced unprecedented challenges in the final phase of delivery due to the coronavirus crisis. The shipyard itself has taken extensive measures to protect everyone working at the shipyard.Work plans were adjusted and overlap in individual rooms was largely excluded. Protective masks were also made available for work onboard. In addition, numerous opportunities for working in the home office were created.Named after the soar of an eagle, the elegant exterior and modern interiors of the Soaring are the design work of the German studio Focus Yacht Design. They can accommodate up to 12 guests in six cabins. The upper deck of Soaring has a master suite with a private owner's aft deck and library. The remaining 5 guest yacht cabins are located on the main deck and served by a team of 17 people. Soaring's sundeck meanwhile plays host to a bar and Jacuzzi while a beach club, gym, steam room and swim platform can be found on the lower deck. Power will come from two 2000hp MTU 12V4000 diesel engines.
April 6, 2020
Sunreef Yachts (Poland) has delivered the latest Sunreef 80 sailing superyacht to its Chinese owner. The yacht was named Double Happiness after a traditional Chinese ornament symbolising marriage.With a bold, contemporary hull styling, the 80 Sunreef Power incorporates classic stainless steel portlights, teak sole decks, high bulwarks and subtle ambience lighting.Her massive garage combined with an aft platform allows the 80 Sunreef Power to take her dinghy, numerous water toys and jet-ski anywhere she goes.Easily accessed from the saloon, the yacht’s full-beam bow terrace is a vast, soothing retreat with amazing amounts of space for sunning and lounging. The 80 Sunreef Power’s immense flybridge offers enough breadth to house a spa pool, a wet bar and generous seating all around.One of the most spectacular features onboard the 80 Sunreef Power is the master suite which can be set up in the bow section of the main deck.With a double bed facing the bow terrace, a bathroom with a walk-in shower, dressing and desk, the suite is bathed in sun from the skylight glazing. The same space can also be used to install a large lounge with ample seating and access to the foredeck.The main saloon opens wide onto the ample aft cockpit to combine the yacht’s interior dining space with the outdoor relaxation areas, where more seating is available along with a wet bar.The fully customizable saloon can also accommodate a large galley, depending on the layout selected and houses an elevated interior navigation station.The crew quarters along with the galley and crew mess can be accessed directly from the aft cockpit for more privacy on board.The Sunreef 80 features a 200 square metre mainsail, 340 square metre gennaker, 135 square metre genoa and 70 square metre staysail. Power also comes from two 280HP engines.
April 3, 2020
Gulf Craft's production is continued at both its facilities in the UAE and the Maldives.Shipyard comments that it is taking all of the precautionary measures necessary in terms of physical distancing and hygiene requirements to ensure the safety of employees, visitors and contractors such as disinfection, tests and daily health checks. Mostly, the majority of administrative staff are working from home.Monaco Marine announced the temporary closure of their shipyards since March 19, 2020. This includes the shutdown of certain subcontractors and suppliers and closure of ports. In spite of this, the management teams will remain operational to answer clients’ concerns.
April 3, 2020