Cheoy Lee: Iconic Representative of Maritime Tradition
Cheoy Lee is a brand recognized for its more than 100-year heritage in the marine industry and its commitment to reliable products and services across five generations. This legendary brand from Shanghai is the embodiment of the Lo family’s long-standing craft tradition and continues to add new chapters to the history of the maritime world.
The Lo family’s shipbuilding tradition dates back to the 1870s, but the family business moved to the then British colony of Hong Kong in 1936, laying the foundations of today’s Cheoy Lee Shipyards. Initially specializing in the mechanization of sail-powered cargo ships, Cheoy Lee turned to the production of teak sailboats and motor yachts in the mid-1950s, mostly for export to the United States. By the 1960s, the pleasure craft division accounted for the bulk of the plant’s production.
When the shipyard needed to expand, the Penny’s Bay site in Hong Kong was established. Cheoy Lee, as a pioneer in the development of fiberglass, realized the advantages provided by the new material and started producing fiberglass boats. By continuously investing in research and development, Cheoy Lee began to use its fiberglass capabilities to become a pioneer in the marine industry. In 1977, Cheoy Lee built the 130-foot motor sailboat Shango II, the largest molded fiberglass yacht of its time, and also introduced the Cheoy Lee 48′ Sport Yacht, the first motor yacht built with vacuum bagged foam core laminates.
Besides composite yachts, Cheoy Lee continued to produce merchant ships mainly from steel and aluminium, and there was a strong revival in merchant ship production in the 1990s. With the decision to give up the Penny’s Bay area and move to Zhuhai, Cheoy Lee’s shipbuilding operations were shifted to mainland China.
Today, Cheoy Lee’s story carries a legacy of keeping abreast of advances in technology and maintaining a commitment to quality. Headquartered in Kowloon, Hong Kong, with all construction taking place at facilities in Zhuhai, Cheoy Lee continues to maintain its leading position in the maritime world.