China's New Rich Turning to High Life at Sea

China’s nouveau riche have been much in the news recently. Here, the New York Times looks at them as potential consumers of yachts:

The four-day Hainan Rendez-Vous brought together luxury brands catering to various market segments, like Martell Cognac and Maserati, with business-jet makers and international yachting brands, like Azimut, Ferretti Group, Feadship and Lürssen.

“Encouraging Chinese to own yachts is the biggest challenge this industry faces,” said Tork Buckley, a founder of Big Blue Consulting, which consults shipyards and clients on new construction build and refit specifications. “God knows, they have the money.”

For now, the first thing China’s new rich think about buying “is a name-brand watch, a Ferrari, an apartment,” said Mr. Buckley, who is also the Asia editor of the magazine The Superyacht Report. “They’re not thinking of yachts, yet.”

“Hainan goes a long way toward helping that because it puts Chopard next to Lürssen,” he added, referring to the Rendez-Vous event. “They know Chopard, but don’t know Lürssen, and that builds Lürssen’s brand.”

Along with international yacht-manufacturer brands, the Hainan event also attracted home-grown brands, including Kingship and Heysea Yachts, which are just starting to flex their muscles, especially in the super-yacht category.

September 20, 2011 2:35 PM
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