The Cheoy Lee company has been a major shipbuilder for well over a century, beginning in 1870 with a building and a repair yard for steam-powered craft at Po Tung Point in Shanghai. Run by the same family ever since its beginning, Cheoy Lee is proud of its generations of commitment to the founding principles of the company: quality, technology and design superiority. Moreover, Cheoy Lee has been a marine industry pioneer all throughout the years.
Responding to world events, in 1936 the family moved the business, to the British territory of Hong Kong where it continued to prosper. Initially specializing in the production of powered cargo vessels (to outrun the Japanese blockade), by the mid-1950s Cheoy Lee had diversified into the production of teak sailing and motoryachts, mostly built for export to the U.S. (Many of the Arthur Robb-designed teak sailboats built by Cheoy Lee then are still being sailed today by their proud owners – that’s a testament to how well they’re built!) The future success of the newly formed pleasure craft division soon became apparent: by the mid-1960s, 50% of the company's production was pleasure craft, primarily for the United States market. Meanwhile, the success of the company’s commercial craft also continued to grow.
It was also during the 1960s that 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. Constantly improving the product, the shipyard was to next become a forerunner in the marine field use of GRP/Foam sandwich technology, now widely used. In fact, in 1977 Cheoy Lee built the world's largest GRP vessel of the time, the 130' motorsailer "Shango II."
Cheoy Lee’s advances in GRP technology continued throughout the remainder of the 20th Century. Today, with a new state-of-the-technology production facility on the Pearl River at Doumen, the shipyard is currently able to build large, one-of-a-kind custom motoryachts, like the Frank Mulder-designed 172' "SeaShaw," launched in 2004. In over 130 years of family-owned shipbuilding, Cheoy Lee has made everything from ferries to tugboats to today’s selection of large motoryacht models. And Cheoy Lee plans to stay in the forefront of the shipbuilding industry for many more years – with future family generations to carry on the heritage.
Cheoy Lee Shipyards North America