The Hong Kong based Cheoy Lee Shipyards Limited, founded in 1870, commenced a new chapter in its long and illustrious history at this year’s Miami Yacht Show. CL Yachts, Cheoy Lee’s new subsidiary focusing on luxury yachts, unveiled its two debutant models: the CLA76 of the A series and CLB72 of the B series. A larger third model in the B series, the CLB 88, is currently in the design phase and is set to debut in the near future.
“The profile of the luxury yacht buyer continually evolves, and CL Yachts is catering to the ever-changing needs and expectations of its clients. As we are always seeking out new opportunities and exploring new technologies, we are leading the way for new standards of quality and luxury.”Martin Lo, Director, Cheoy Lee Shipyards Limited
CL Yachts teamed up with designer Jozeph Forakis for the development of all three of its models. In a career spanning over 15 years, Forakis has worked with several global brands including Foscarini, LG Electronics, Magis, Nemo, Philips, Swarovski and Swatch. Between 1999 and 2002 he was the European design chief at Motorola and gave us the iconic V70 swivel Mobile phone. The CL yachts were also a debut for the seasoned designer in the luxury maritime sphere.
“We decided together to be very ambitious and to match this ambition with bold strategic moves. During development of the first boat we realized that if we truly wanted to push innovation, to create entirely new yachting designs and experiences, then it also made sense to start with a clean slate in terms of the name, brand identity, marketing, services – all the touch points that define a world-class, state-of-the-art luxury experience,” said Forakis.
The CLA76 is a sleek successor to Cheoy Lee’s popular Alpha Express Series. Fluid lines and a sharp silhouette define the exterior of the yacht, which is accompanied by thoughtfully designed modern interiors that exude comfort and elegance. The CLA76 claims to have good fuel consumption rate with an impressive top speed of 30 knots. The strategic use of carbon fibre and fibreglass fabrics throughout the structure adds strength while significantly minimising the overall weight of the vessel. The yacht’s thoughtfully considered layout allows for multiple social areas on board, well-proportioned indoor and outdoor spaces, and spacious cabins with en suite bathrooms for added privacy and convenience.
The CLB72 is designed “for families with a heart for adventure,” according to CL yachts. Built upon the combined expertise of naval architect Howard Apollonio, and leading marine structural engineers Gurit, the CLB72 has a very lightweight and aesthetically pleasing design without compromising the integrity of its structure. The yacht’s streamlined exterior is complemented by its modern interior, from its multiple lounging areas at the foredeck, fly lounge, aft lounge, and beach platform to its large staterooms below deck. The sense of space is enhanced by the expansive windows and contemporary detailing.
The Miami Yacht Show delivered another first for the CL brand: its first sale. A CLB72 was sold to a family, we are told, that will be boating in Florida and the Northeast.
Cheoy Lee may not be a widely known name outside the Far-East region, but industry insiders consider them a sleeping giant. It is estimated that about half the vessels in Hong Kong Harbour were built by Cheoy Lee. With China projected to become the largest purchasers of Luxury yachts in the near future, the sleeping giant, it seems, had its eye on the game all along.