on 24 Mar 2023
In a new collaboration, Kingship Marine has partnered with Wang Tak Engineering and Shipbuilding to create Kowloon Superyacht Services, which will offer a broad range of engineering services to yachts in Hong Kong.
The collaboration between Szeto Ho, who founded Wang Tak Engineering in 1938, and well-known industry figure and founder of Kingship Marine, Roger Liang, aided by his son Jeffrey, will offer boat owners and crews an extensive range of services previously unavailable in one of the region’s key maritime cities. Kowloon Superyacht Services will tap into both Wang Tak’s infrastructure and experience in ship conversions and Kingship’s years of superyacht construction in Southern China.
“We found there was a lack of suitable options for yacht owners regarding the lifting and repair of their yachts, especially in the 80-130ft range,” explains Jeffrey Liang. “While we’ll continue to offer full refit services in the Zhongshan yard, we want to offer a solution to potential clients in Hong Kong for shorter, smaller, and faster repair jobs.”
To many in the city’s yacht scene, the creation of Kowloon Superyacht Services makes a lot of sense: both Wang Tak and Kingship are established boatbuilders with yards with coveted harbourfront positions. In addition, both specialise in aluminium construction, an expertise that’s not available in most Hong Kong boatyards. Both companies also have the capability to provide engineering services, from drawing production and conceptulisation to engineering calculations, and can additionally fabricate custom parts in-house.
At the core of the Wang Tak yard offering is its modern travel lift system (at bottom), a safer and more professional alternative to the typical wooden ramps commonly used in Hong Kong boat yards. “The lifting infrastructure at Wang Tak was originally designed for commercial catamarans [the yard services the cats of the Macau ferry fleets among others], so it’s wider than the regular monohull lifts,” says Liang. “We can provide services to both cats and monohulls, which is not the case for all shipyards.” He adds this is an especially important offering as catamarans are becoming more popular as recreational vessels in Asia-Pacific, especially in the 80-130 ft range.
As many of Hong Kong’s existing boatyards were designed to service mid-sized fishing, cargo and commercial vessels, they lack the modern infrastructure to cater to today’s fleet of ‘white yachts’, many of which are constructed in aluminium. The partnership between Kingship and Wang Tak, who already have a long history of collaboration, will offer a cleaner, safer and more contemporary solution, Liang believes.
“A major challenge is finding a clean and suitable area to do the repair on your yacht. There are many parts of a yacht that are fragile to contaminants, dirt, grease, and abrasions, including paint, teak flooring, custom fittings, and specialist interiors. We offer a clean and controlled environment for yachts. The transport and road network also makes the Wang Tak yard ideal, as full-size container trucks can fit inside the yard, which has sufficient crane capacity to lift off any heavy machinery parts, such as engines. This isn’t available in many other Hong Kong facilities.”
It’s hoped that this partnership will help bolster Hong Kong’s position as a yacht servicing destination and attract more yachts to the city. “Anything that makes the ownership process easier for the owner will be positive to the industry,” says Liang. With larger yachts finding a home within the city, the needs of owners and crews is increasing, from paperwork and surveys through to more extensive engineering. “Boats are getting bigger and more complicated, and there are more and more larger yachts that want to maintain classification.”
Liang is confident this extra facility will benefit the industry in Hong Kong. “This is an opportunity to get more boats to do their repairs in town rather than out of town in places such as in Taiwan, the Philippines or Thailand. Outside contractors will also be allowed to work on the yachts in the Wang Tak yard, so this will be an extra opportunity for many in the industry.”
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