By David Robinson

Plans to develop a major new yacht zone offering a mix of facilities at Yangpu in Hainan have recently been unveiled. The development of this new zone is a key part of the current promotional activities focusing on marketing Hainan as China’s tourism island. This initiative was the subject of a keynote presentation at the recent Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum in Athens, Greece.

Yangpu is located 130km southwest of Haiko, the capital of Hainan Island Province and it is 260km from Sanya, the main yachting centre on the island. The new yacht zone will comprise four areas within a national development that is the only such facility granted bonded status. This makes up the fourth bonded port area in China, which includes a fully operational commercial part of the total zone facility.

The four yacht related areas are as follows:

Yacht Function Area – This 100ha area will serve as the base for a cluster of marine-related businesses including R&D within the yacht market; yacht and equipment manufacturing and a sales exhibition area. The shoreline for the Yacht Function Area is 2.34km, offering berthing facilities and depths up to 7m (23ft).

Yacht Industry Area – This includes a 54ha yacht manufacturing area where a number of companies are already operating. These include the Yangpu Hainan Airlines Yacht Manufacturing Co Ltd, which has a 1.2ha site that includes 66,300sq m yacht construction and workshop areas and six yacht assembly lines. Its annual yacht output is said to be 45 craft with the company offering a range of yachts between 14m-25m (46ft-83ft).

The second company that is located there is the Hainan Kanghe Shipping Co Ltd, which builds small trailer boats and catamarans. It has reportedly won a number of awards that include being the first company to have exported yachts from Hainan.

Public Yacht Pier and Wharf Areas – This is a 3.13ha dedicated yacht berthing area on which RMB200m is being spent. This will offer 700 berths for a mix of yacht sizes up to 25m as well as a dry berth area for 45 yachts under 12m (39ft).

At this stage there is no estimate of the full investment for this new zone. Zeqing Pang, deputy director of the Investment Bureau of the Yangpu Economic Development Zone, told SB: “We are at the early planning stages and we are looking for investors for the different yacht areas.”