Cheoy Lee Alpha Express Flybridge
The Chinese yacht manufacturer making a dent in the European market
The word Yacht invariably conjures up a certain image- It’s hard to imagine anything other than cruising around the Mediterranean, bikini-clad women abound. With this in mind it's no wonder the vast majority of Yacht manufacturers are European. Despite this, there is one company staging a continental invasion of the industry, and sailing to victory.
Cheoy Lee had humble beginnings as a building and repair yard in 1870 at Po Tung Point in Shanghai. For the next sixty years garnered construction expertise and knowledge of powered craft though their shipyard until, in 1936, the company moved to Hong Kong where they came into their own. In the following years Cheoy Lee moved from specializing in powered cargo boats to Teak sailing craft and motor yachts until by 1960 the vast majority of their production was in luxury leisure.
The 1960’s also saw the advent of fibreglass. Cheoy Lee became one of the pioneers in the development, testing and use of fiberglass construction techniques and soon thereafter, wood construction was phased out. Cheoy Lee next became a forerunner in the marine use of GRP/foam sandwich technology, now widely used, the crowning achievent coming in 1977 with the production of the world's largest GRP yacht of the time, the 130' motorsailer "Shango II", and by 1979 the first all foam cored production motoryacht came on line; the Cheoy Lee 48’ Sport Yacht.
Over 140 years on and Cheoy Lee’s innovations continue to impress. At the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show this year they were the only brand to launch three new models, an astounding feat of prolific engineering, especially considering they are three very different animals.
The Alpha 76 Express Flybridge is the Bugatti of the seas- an express yacht with a sleek, high performance, monocoque-constructed hull. This not only provides greater strength but also allows quieter running. The Alpha is designed for comfort with minimal shock and spray on deck even at its top speed of 38 knots.
The stunning exterior was designed by the internationally acclaimed Michael Peters, while the interiors come courtesy of Luiz de Basto. The yacht also features SmartGlass- digitally transitioning glass that flows from transparent to opaque in seconds, blocks 99.5% of UV rays and allows for advanced temperature control, not to mention something to impress your guests.
The Alpha Express Flybridge complements the Alpha 76 Express, which launched in 2011 and has a revised interior layout, with its galley is on the main deck, freeing up enough space below to accommodate six adults comfortably in the large staterooms.
As a mid-sized addition to the Cheoy Lee armada is the all new Bravo 88. offering sea-worthiness unmatched by other motor yachts in its class, its classic hull design and top speeds of 25 knots, make it perfect for luxury cruising. Combined with a light but incredibly strong composite structure, the Bravo 88 runs highly efficiently right through its speed range, ensuring a soft, dry ride.
Designed by M.G. Burvenich Yacht Design, a long time partner of Cheoy Lee, the Bravo 88 has a hard-topped, spacious flybridge and a galley on the main deck with an informal dining area, featuring panoramic views from the pilothouse windows. The stylish and comfortable saloon has sliding glass doors opening onto the aft deck.
The Bravo 88 accommodates eight guests in its four staterooms. The master and VIP suites are flooded with natural light to give an extra spacious feel.
The final yacht launched this year is also by far the biggest. The new behemoth 46-metre MAZU superyacht has an impressive range of 6,600 nautical miles at 12 knots, burning only 41 gallons of fuel per hour. The yacht’s top speed is 15 knots and is designed by Ron Holland, with interiors by KCA International.
The MAZU has enough space for up to 10 guests and a crew of 12. The owner’s deck features a penthouse suite, complemented by a VIP double, a guest double and a twin cabin on the lower deck. If extra space for guests is needed, it’s also possible to turn the gym into a single room.
An impressive display of innovation and application, the three new models admirably compliment Cheoy Lee’s growing fleet and, due to high demand, can now be purchased in Europe through their newest distributor, Cheoy Lee Riviera.
Founded by Athos Cleanthous and Nick Lockett in January 2012, Cheoy Lee Riviera is the exclusive European distributor for Cheoy Lee Shipyards. Based in Cannes to give customers direct access to the Mediterranean, Cheoy Lee Riviera offers a fully-managed design, build and after sales service for a range of yachts from 60 to 118 feet. With access to the new models, it is an inroad into Europe that will undoubtedly cement Cheoy Lee as one of the premier Yacht builders in the world. As a further benefit to celebrate the launch of both Cheoy Lee Riviera and the new yacht models, all new customers will be granted a free Mediterranean berth for a year.
With a larger number of new models this year than any other manufacturer, and with their newest dedicated distributor right on the Mediterranean sea, there’s no doubt that Cheoy Lee has its sights set on Europe and with an impressive armada may well conquer the seas.