Hong Kong’s Lantau Yacht Club open for business
Hong Kong’s first custom-built superyacht marina, Lantau Yacht Club is now welcoming its first boats following an extensive overhaul of the former Club.
Lantau Yacht Club has welcomed its first yachts as the newly named marina soft opened following a concentrated period of rebuilding and refurbishment since the start of 2019.
The first member vessel, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 479 sailing boat, was the first boat to berth in the marina and was followed by a visiting Ferretti Yachts 670 motor yacht, a model that recently made its Asian debut in Hong Kong.
All 148 berths are scheduled to be completed by October and will be followed by the opening of the new-look clubhouse, which is undergoing a major facelift as part of the overhaul of the former Discovery Bay Marina Club, founded in 1989.
With the end of construction in sight and operations beginning, Ivan Lee, the club’s Vice President, appears a relieved man, especially with the second year of work coinciding with the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We have been very blessed with the weather, so everything has gone to plan and is on schedule,” Lee says.
Located in Discovery Bay on the northeast of Lantau Island, the marina is owned by Hong Kong Resort Company (HKR), a principal subsidiary of HKR International Limited (HKRI) and the developer and owner of Discovery Bay, the 650-hectare residential complex accessed by road or a 25-minute ferry ride west of Central.
The first marina in Hong Kong designed to cater to the specific needs of superyachts, the Lantau Yacht Club features 38 berths for yachts from 30m to over 60m and can accommodate megayachts up to about 100m, with the longest berths located by the marina entrance and the seawall.
“Hong Kong is one of the main activity centres of superyachts in the region, but there has been a lack of mooring and facilities tailor-made for superyachts in Hong Kong in the past,” Lee says. “As Lantau Yacht Club will also attract superyachts from other parts of the world, a number of berths will be reserved for visiting yachts.”
The marina also includes 57 berths for yachts from 15-30m and 53 from 10-15m, all with finger pontoons. Furthermore, there’s hard stand space for 15 boats up to 17m and dry-stack storage with 30 slots up to 12m.
NEW AND IMPROVED
Lee says the marina has been reconfigured within the original breakwater not only to accommodate larger yachts but also for a general upgrade in hardware and software to reflect the changes in yachting and technology in recent decades.
HKR managed the project with support from specialists and consultants. Marina Projects advised on the masterplan design, berth mix and technical provisions, while Atkins was responsible for the structural design of the concrete pontoon system.
“The marina has been custom designed and rebuilt to cater to today’s standard and requirements, especially for the increasingly popular superyacht sector. After 29 years of non-stop operation, the marina and clubhouse needed to be renovated and upgraded to provide safe, high-quality berthing and services for members,” Lee says.
“For example, the old marina layout was based on yacht sizes that were common over three decades ago, while electricity and fire-safety requirements have changed over the years. First and foremost, Lantau Yacht Club is a typhoon-proof marina, offering the best-possible safety and protection for all berthed vessels.”
The main piers are 5m wide so buggies can safely cross each-other alongside pedestrians, although the installation of 5m-wide concrete pontoons up to 20m in length proved one of the challenges during construction, which followed a comprehensive technical feasibility and engineering assessment. “The main pontoons are in concrete to give the same feeling as walking on land,” says Rudy Puystjens, Marina Director.
It may seem a small point, but ashtrays are installed in the marina and people won’t be allowed to flick cigarette butts into the water due to the club’s strong focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness. Fines for polluting and littering will be used for eco projects.
Other measures include mandatory use of biodegradable detergents, recycling and treatment of water used in the service yard, and progressive banning of single-use plastic, while coral planting is among co-initiatives being considered.
It’s not only the berth lengths and environmental focus that have increased. As an example of how services and software have been upgraded, the total electricity capacity is four times bigger than before. Superyachts are serviced by an individual pedestal providing up to 600 amp of three-phase shore-power electricity.
There’s up to 4G of broadband on pontoons, while the club plans to introduce a 5G mobile network.
“The marina’s electricity provision is best of its class and the club is equipped with the highest level of IT provisions,” Puystjens says. “We’re also equipped with a world-class marina management software for a seamless customer experience.”
Lantau Yacht Club is a proprietary club and membership is offered by invitation only. “We welcome all interested parties who meet our selection criteria. One of the key criteria for membership selection is the appropriateness of the vessels owned by the interested parties,” says Charlotte Ho, Director of Hospitality Marketing and Membership.
“All potential members and their yachts will be considered with respect to, for instance, the club’s rules and regulations, and other regulations and requirements of the authorities.”
As well as transfers to and from Discovery Bay Marina and a concierge service, Lantau Yacht Club members can enjoy a series of special offers and exclusive access to facilities in Discovery Bay, all owned and operated by HKR.
These include the 27-hole Discovery Bay Golf Club, sports and leisure facilities at Discovery Bay Recreation Club, the infinity pool at Club Siena and the Spa, and delicacies at the Auberge Discovery Bay seaside resort hotel.
Apart from golf and swimming, Discovery Bay’s recreational offerings include fitness centres, tennis, squash, basketball, climbing, table tennis, snooker, 10-pin bowling, children’s play areas, dance, indoor jacuzzi, sauna, steam rooms, mah-jong/card room and reading rooms. There’s even a horse-drawn carriage ride, while a new indoor ice rink will open soon.
“The new marina further enhances the image of Discovery Bay as an upscale resort-style community,” Lee says. “It will also benefit local businesses by attracting more visitors and crew.”
Hong Kong Disneyland is among nearby attractions, while south Lantau is lined with nice beaches. The north of the island is home to Hong Kong International Airport and the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, a symbol of the city’s increased connectivity to mainland China.
Lee expects Lantau Yacht Club to lure visiting superyachts to Hong Kong, which he believes will become more popular as cruising regulations ease in mainland China.
“Lantau is a gateway to mainland China and one of the best transit locations for yachts cruising in Asia or en route to China for sightseeing or supplies. Yachting in Asia is benefiting from the growth of wealth in the region, particularly in mainland China, and Hong Kong’s proximity will help it attract more yachts,” Lee says.
“With our new marina and the professional boat repair and maintenance services, Hong Kong can further develop its maritime economy, which in turn will boost tourism and the local economy while maintaining the city’s place as a key yachting hub in Asia.”
Lantau Yacht Club membership is by invitation only; interested parties can email: firstname.lastname@example.org