With the world’s attention focused on China this week because of the upcoming Olympics, it’s fitting that at least six Chinese nationals recently had their attention squarely on the USA-specifically, San Diego.
Ted Wang, the CEO of Wuhan Nanhua High-Speed Ship Engineering Co., along with five of his executives, visited a few members of the San Diego Superyacht Association (SDSA) last month, to strengthen ties between San Diego’s megayacht industry and the growing one in China. Wang’s shipyard is reportedly among the largest in China and anticipated to reach the forefront of the country’s luxury-yacht builders. Wang additionally owns a yacht club and marina in Wuhan, a city considered the economic, cultural, and political hub of central China.
Wang toured Knight & Carver YachtCenter, The Marine Group, and Driscoll Boat Works before visiting two megayacht marinas, Island Palms Marina and Kona Kai Marina. He additionally stopped by two major marine-supply outlets, San Diego Marine Exchange and West Marine.
Interesting enough, the visit was a direct result of the formation of SDSA, which promotes San Diego as the premiere yachting destination on the U.S. West Coast, just a few weeks ago. Paul Daubner, SDSA president (and a broker in San Diego for Fraser Yachts), told me, “I was contacted by a representative of China Boat Trade Association in response to the announcement of the formation of the San Diego Superyacht Association. After discussing San Diego’s attributes and attraction to megayachts, the group added San Diego to their U.S. itinerary.”
While Dauber also told me, “I don’t anticipate a formal agreement or collaboration in the immediate future,” he did add, “in the coming years there are synergies that will certainly develop.” Wang told the SDSA members that China intends to be an active participant in the worldwide yachting market, with, for example, just shy of 60 megayacht marinas already under construction.
“We were honored to welcome our Chinese counterparts to San Diego,” Daubner says. “This is the first step toward creating an on-going exchange of business ideas and projects between our two cities.”