Yachting

BUILT LIKE SHIPS

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“Building workboats that are meant to operate 24 hours of the day, seven days a week means that there are certain standards we apply to all our vessels—standards that are immediatel­y seen when you enter our engine rooms or inspect our wiring relays,” says Hans Lo, deputy director of CL Yachts. “Things are also noticed immediatel­y underway, with clients often commenting on the strength of our build, of how little creaking and flexing there is in the hull, how the center of gravity always feels low, and overall how the vessel inspires confidence to go farther, explore further. The demands of a working vessel are much greater than that of a pleasure craft, and that experience flows directly into every build that comes out of our shipyard.” cl yachts is slated to debut itsnewflag­ship, the CLX96, stateside next spring. I’ve seen preliminar­y modeling, and the CLX96 is a yacht that is modern in many ways. However, looking back at this builder’s ancestry, it’s also a model that reflects a lifetime of building vessels for the rigors of life on the sea. ¶ CL Yachts is a pleasure-craft brand born out of parent company Cheoy Lee, a shipbuilde­r with commercial-boat beginnings dating back more than a century near Shanghai. Today, the yard is located in Zhuhai, China, along the Pearl River. ¶ “My great-great-grandfathe­r had joined a British merchant ship as crew for several years, and after his experience, he started his own shipyard, with much of his business being the repair and maintenanc­e of British ships,” says Hans Lo, deputy director of CL Yachts. “From these humble beginnings, we eventually found ourselves in Hong Kong during World War II, while trying to evade the Japanese. We were fortunate during the war, and despite the Japanese army having seized much of our property, we were able to get it back and resume business. ¶ “We’ve always built commercial boats in Asia, mostly for Hong Kong,” he adds. “As the oldest shipbuilde­rs in

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