Mar­itime: Fleet re­vamp of­fers boon for boat builders

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

ry Ital­ian boats — but it has left more room for the de­vel­op­ment of cheaper and smaller boats,” said Zhang.

“It’s been per­fect tim­ing for us to de­velop our sales of of­fi­cial or mil­i­tary boats, and we have grad­u­ally ex­panded into the com­mer­cial boats mar­ket.”

The bur­geon­ing of­fi­cial boats mar­ket has also helped boost a new gen­er­a­tion of builders, which in­cludes Aurora (Dalian) Yachts Co Ltd.

Ac­cord­ing to Wu Yan­shen, Aurora’s busi­ness de­part­ment man­ager, de­mand since 2010 has been driven by the coun­try’s fish­eries ad­min­is­tra­tion and by bod­ies in­volved in mar­itime sur­veil­lance, such as port au­thor­i­ties and coast guard.

“This in­creased re­quire­ment by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment means a num­ber of law en­force­ment bod­ies have been plac­ing or­ders, of­ten with spe­cific re­quire­ments.”

Older glass fiber re­in­forced plas­tic de­signs, he said, are be­ing re­placed with the very lat­est alu­minum-al­loy de­signs, he said.

The re­place­ment of ag­ing tug­boats and pi­lot ves­sels by port au­thor­i­ties has been par­tic­u­larly wel­come, said Wu, for what has been a slug­gishChi­nese ship­build­ing in­dus­try with few signs of a re­cov­ery in re­cent years.

“Th­ese new alu­minum-al­loy pi­lot boats are not on­ly­moreen­vi­ron­men­tally friendly but also more ef­fi­cient. Ports have been seek­ing newways to re­vive their busi­nesses and by in­tro­duc­ing these alu­minum-al­loy boats, ef­fi­ciency is greatly im­proved, al­low­ing more ships to be berthed.”

With few 10 mil­lion-yuan-plus ($1.6 mil­lion) su­per lux­ury boats on dis­play this year, or­ga­niz­ers of the Shang­hai boat show, who set aside an area high­light­ing of­fi­cial boats used over the past 20 years in­China’s wa­ters, re­ported a 43 per­cent rise in the num­ber of smaller yachts less than 8 me­ters in length be­ing pre­sented at the event.

Ac­cord­ing to the China As­so­ci­a­tion of the Na­tional Ship­build­ing In­dus­try, yachts shorter than 8 m make up 94 per­cent of mar­ket share in the United States, the world’s big­gest. Yachts with length rang­ing be­tween 8mand 13mac­count for 4 per­cent of US mar­ket share, while lux­ury ves­sels rep­re­sented less than 2 per­cent of sales.

“Peo­ple in the US do not buy yachts to show off their wealth,” said Thom Damm­rich, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Marine Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of the US, who was in Shang­hai re­cently.

“More of­ten, the mid­dle class and richer peo­ple con­sider yachts as a means of fam­ily recre­ation. The grow­ing num­ber of smaller boats on show here (in Shang­hai) demon­strates how the yacht mar­ket is now de­vel­op­ing in China.”

Nav­ico (Suzhou) Trad­ing Co Ltd, a spe­cial­ist in ma­rine elec­tron­ics and a lead­ing sup­plier to the recre­ational fish­ing, power boat­ing and sail­ing sec­tors, was ex­hibit­ing at the show, and of­fi­cials said it had wit­nessed a 50 per­cent rise in de­mand in China.

Huang Xiaodong, its busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, called the cur­rent mar­ket sen­ti­ment “ex­tremely good”.

“There were al­ready 90 mil­lion fish­ing afi­ciona­dos in China as early as 2004, but that num­ber has mul­ti­plied over the past decade.

“We think at least 10 per­cent of these peo­ple have bought their own fish­ing yachts, priced around 200,000 yuan for gen­eral wa­ter fish­ing, or500,000yuanto 1 mil­lionyuan for deep sea fish­ing,” saidHuang.

“Most of them could be cat­e­go­rized as be­long­ing to the ris­ing Chi­nese mid­dle class.” Con­tact the writer at shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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