China's industrial confidence is brimming over nowadays, and the best illustration of this is the setting up of luxury yacht-building companies such as Xiamen Hangsheng, Kingship Marine Ltd, and several others in Hong Kong. These Chinese yacht makers are today eyeing the global luxury boat and yacht segment. The luxury market for yachts in China itself is booming, due to the increase in the number of Chinese billionaires.
Chinese Yachts not only ooze style but also are high value, status tag products. As almost all of the yacht builders use the best international designers, so the whoomp factor is optimized. While luxury and pollution taxes spiral upwards for high-ticket items like jets and yachts, the Chinese-made yachts give a better ROI for the nouveau riche Chinese.
Considering that this is an emerging industry in China, its phenomenal growth in less than a year, with a turnover of close to a billion dollars, is worthy of a second look. The region now has more than six yacht builders competing such as Azimut Yachts, Ferretti Yachts, Princess Yachts International, and Brunswick Corp. These luxury yacht builders are reputed to build the most complex machines with an emphasis on precision engineering as well as great aesthetic design concepts. Most are ready to invest heavily on quality designers and pay higher wages.
Sunbird, one such builder, uses international designers such as Brian Holland, and is currently building a 70-foot yacht for an Italian market to be displayed at Genoa, Italy. Hansheng, another Chinese yacht builder, has its boats designed by Bill Dixon, a reputed designer from the UK. Qingdao Nauticstar Marine Co. Ltd paid over 13.8 million euros to pick the best designer in the industry, Cantieri Navali di Lavagna.
On average, Chinese yacht building staff, who lack the skills of their proficient Italian counterparts, are paid close to 2,000 yuan each month, while skilled, certified electricians and carpenters are paid almost three times more at 6,000 yuan per month. This is twice the average in Chinese wages, but builders are nevertheless able to maintain foreign competitiveness.
Significantly, Chinese are restricted from yachting, as they require travel permits to enter provincial waters. Therefore, there is greater emphasis on the specialized nature of use and customization to meet local demand. Spending quality time or entertaining on yachts with mah-jong salons, karaoke lounges, and bowling alleys, the billionaire host's status shoots higher with every novel feature on his high-end yacht.
These large Chinese sloops are thus primarily used for entertainment and short weekend trips, and with their state-of-the-art technology, these sea-going gadget museums represent the changing tastes of the rich and the famous. Chinese-made yachts are no longer just luxury items but are fast becoming status symbols as well.
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