Operating shipyards in Doumen in Southern China and also on the Howloon Peninsula in Hong Kong, family owned Cheoy Lee builds luxury yachts and superyachts to 46 meters in length.
Cheoy Lee Yachts History
Cheoy Lee’s origins began in a Shanghai shipyard that opened in 1870 to build and repair steam-powered vessels. Since that time the company has launched more than 5,200 vessels, 65 percent of them more than 33 metres. In 1936, the founding Lo family (the fourth generation still operates Cheoy Lee today) moved the shipyard to Hong Kong, then a British colony, building power cargo vessels designed to outrun the Japanese blockade. By the mid-1950s, the shipyard branched out into the construction of teak sailing and motor yachts, designed by notable naval architects including Bill Luders, David Pedrick, Robert Perry, Jack Hargrave and Tom Fexas. After hundreds of sailing yachts, ultimately, luxury motor yachts became about 90 percent of its private yacht output and the company stopped building sailboats in 1990. The shipyard has continued to build large commercial vessels and passenger ferries to the present day.
Throughout the 1960s and ’70s Cheoy Lee pioneered the use of GRP construction technology, launching the 39.62 metre motor sailer Shango II (now Nataly) – the largest composite yacht of its time – in 1977. Two years later came the introduction of the Cheoy Lee 48-foot Sport Yacht, the first all-foam-cored production yacht.
In 1999, to make room for Disney Land China, Cheoy Lee sold its shipyard to the Hong Kong government and opened a new yard on the Pearl River. Today, just the headquarters office and a small service facility remain in Hong Kong. All Cheoy Lee yacht and vessel construction takes place at its Hin Lee (Zhuhai) Shipyard facility, situated around 45 miles to the west of Hong Kong. Approximately 1,000 employees work at this 65,000 square metre site which also builds commercial vessels such as the brand’s famous tug boats. This facility gives the company the capability to produce luxury yachts and ships up to 60 metres in length.
In 2021, Cheoy Lee returned to its roots with the introduction of a new series of explorer yachts in four lengths –107, 126, 130 and 132 feet