Gordon Hui on yachting’s new opportunities in Asia
As Camper & Nicholsons Senior Sales Broker Gordon Hui reveals in his Column for Issue 62, it’s an exciting time for the Asian market, with plenty of new yacht models coming out of Europe’s shipyards, many destined for local waters.
Yachting in Hong Kong is as popular as ever
I’ve had the opportunity to discover many exciting new products on the market since I started working as Senior Sales Broker at Camper & Nicholsons this year. One thing I’ve really enjoyed is meeting many Asian offices and distributors of European brands to learn about their latest design and technology.
From the Ferretti Group, models that come to mind include the Riva 90’ Argo and 100’ Corsaro, the new Ferretti Yachts 1000, Custom Line’s 106’, 120’, Navetta 30 and Navetta 33, plus the Pershing 140, the brand’s stunning flagship.
I’ve also been introduced to Sanlorenzo yachts including the SX76 and SX88, which provide a revolutionary beach club and explorer styling. These are just some of the fantastic yachts coming out of Italy, while British builder Princess is also particularly popular in Hong Kong. The present market is full of exciting products, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Most marinas in Hong Kong are full
In Hong Kong, the main marinas and berthing areas in Aberdeen, Gold Coast and Sai Kung are full. Fortunately, the new Lantau Yacht Club (Marina, issue 62 – click to read) has almost 150 berths for yachts from 10-60m, while Delta Marina (click to read more) is now arranging moorings in the Government Typhoon Shelter at Hei Ling Chau.
At Camper & Nicholsons, we’re helping to sell brokerage yachts in Hong Kong to help owners upgrade to some of these popular new models. For new build superyachts, I’ve focused on several shipyards building custom yachts including Italian and Dutch yards such as Benetti, CRN, Baglietto, Admiral, Dynamiq and Heesen.
Most of these custom yachts are built in aluminium or steel, and many have the latest X-bow, Fast Displacement Hull Form, allowing smooth, efficient travel with reduced pitching in rough seas.
Render of the B.Now 50M, among Benetti’s new models
The hull also allows the option of the latest hybrid diesel-electric generator propulsion system, which enables travel at 10 knots using only generator power, without switching on the main MTU or CAT diesel engines, so reducing the carbon footprint with a 3,000-4,000nm range.
Owning a superyacht in this region allows owners to plan extensive trips around Southeast Asia rather than just cruising locally. Asia has beautiful cruising areas from well-known hot spots such as Thailand and the Maldives to lesser-known destinations such as Sri Lanka.
Indonesia is one emerging destination I’m very excited about. In the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with the Indonesian Government to explain the advantages of reducing import tax. Currently it’s 75 per cent, but I would recommend it drops to 20 per cent GST, like the EU’s VAT.
The 65m Lamima charters in Indonesia through Camper & Nicholsons
Although that figure isn’t as low as in Thailand and Singapore (both 7 per cent), it’s a good start to encourage foreign investment in Indonesia and try to follow the example of Thailand, where Phuket quickly became an exciting hub with yachts, marinas, hotels, villas, golf courses and fantastic infrastructure, creating job opportunities and contributing to a booming economy.
I hope to see parts of Indonesia head in the same direction because it has thousands of beautiful islands surrounded by crystal-clear seas and would be another great yachting hub for Southeast Asia.
There’s also plenty happening in Greater China. Last year, China’s government announced the zoning of Hainan as a tax-free port including for luxury yachts. This will encourage buyers from across the country to base their boats in Sanya, which has the warm climate and clear water ideal for a boating hub. I see Hainan becoming the ‘Monaco of China’.
Agile Clearwater Bay Marina in Sanya
Like Phuket, Hainan is established as a popular holiday island full of beautiful hotels and villas. Its tropical location means it holds a similar appeal in China as the Mediterranean does for Northern Europeans. In fact, Hainan is sunny all year round, so it’s an ideal place to have a tax exemption for yachts.
In Hong Kong, many new boat buyers have emerged due to the lockdowns, travel restrictions and limited entertainment in restaurants and bars since Covid began. Yachts became sanctuaries for many families by offering Covid-safe activities like swimming, wakesurfing, wakeboarding and water-skiing in a clean, outdoor environment.
Many leisure sports facilities and clubs were under lockdown, with restrictions limiting golf and tennis, so many of these members also turned to boating. By 2022, hopefully with travel restrictions easing, many more new boat owners will have adopted to their new lifestyle and the yachting market will continue to grow.
Based in Hong Kong, Hui joined Camper & Nicholsons as a Senior Sales Broker earlier this year, bringing his huge experience of selling yachts and superyachts in Hong Kong and across Asia. Hui has owned multiple yachts and previously headed Sunseeker Asia from 2003 to 2020, selling over 130 yachts in Hong Kong – including 15 over 100ft – while another 100-plus units were sold across the region through the dealer network.
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Camper & Nicholsons marketing Tecnomar, Admiral in China, Hong Kong
Owned by Hong Kong-based Lai Sun Group, C&N has been appointed to market The Italian Sea Group’s two yacht-building brands in key Asian markets.