fact, the company was researchin­g vacuum-bagging and foam-coring constructi­on techniques as early as the 1970s. A common practice today to improve resin-to-glass ratios, reduce weight and reduce emissions, vacuum bagging was a technique virtually unheard of at the time. ¶ Today, the yard has been building yachts via vacuum infusion for more than 20 years. Lo says that on average, the yard has 200 to 300 craftsmen focused on its fiberglass builds. ¶ Cheoy Lee also pushed the boundaries of fiberglass constructi­on in terms of length overall, launching the 130-foot in 1970, reportedly the world’s largest fiberglass yacht at the time. The yacht, like

is still plying the waters today as ¶ Because of its extensive research and innovation with fiberglass, Cheoy Lee was asked to work with Lloyd’s Register to develop its fiberglass workshop inspection and quality-assurance protocol, which is still used today for class certificat­ion. Cheoy Lee, and now CL Yachts, has contribute­d to thousands of builds over the decades. The CLB88 (see “The Next Generation,” this story), the first from-scratch model for CL Yachts scheduled to debut this month in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is actually Hull No. 5,176. The yard’s yachts can be found cruising the waters around six continents. ¶ Not limiting its builds to fiberglass, Cheoy

Lee has created transatlan­tic-capable superyacht­s like the 151-foot with a steel hull, composite superstruc­ture and bulbous bow meant for long-range cruising comfort in most sea conditions. The yard also builds in aluminum. ¶ Cheoy Lee and CL Yachts do all their work in-house, from concept to creation. “The yard utilizes five- and seven-axis CNC [routers] for everything from hull molding to furniture building, allowing for tight tolerances that would not be possible through traditiona­l boatbuildi­ng methods,” Lo says. “While 3D programs allow us to lay pipework and wiring relays, among other space-planning exercises, we still believe in the full-size mock-up, which we build for every new model. There is no substitute for a full-size mock-up when it comes to giving someone the sensation of space, and that is one of the advantages of our shipyard.” ¶ Building on its legacy of constructi­ng yachts like its commercial ships, CL Yachts is the next evolution for the shipyard. “CL Yachts represents a rededicati­on towards the luxury sector and celebrates a new era for the company, looking towards the future with innovation at its core,” Lo says. ¶ After the launches of the CLB88 and CLX96, Lo says, the company plans to fill out the model line between 50 and 100 feet length overall. Cheoy Lee will remain focused on larger yachts. ¶ If past success is any indicator of future potential, then CL Yachts has the opportunit­y to continue this shipyard’s long history of innovation and expansion while carving out its own place in yachtbuild­ing history one design at a time.

Take the next step: clyachts.com

The CL Yachts CLX96 is a trideck yacht with a rugged explorer attitude. The superstruc­ture has reverse-raked windows on the main and top decks, giving the stout-looking craft a lean-forward, shiplike appearance, seemingly daring the ocean to dance. The profile lowers gently in linear fashion as focus transition­s from bow to stern, adding a sense of sleekness while accenting the CLX96’s proud bow.

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