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High costs limit popularity of yachting in China


15:31, September 17, 2012

BEIJING -- Industry insiders have called for making yachting more accessible to the general public during a yacht exhibition held in the first half of this month in northern China.

Due to the high cost of buying and maintaining yachts, as well as costs associated with obtaining the proper certifications and licenses, yachts are mostly purchased by high-end consumer groups.

Zhao Tiebiao, manager of the exhibition held in the northern China port city of Tianjin, said more than 50 yacht enterprises offering more than 100 yacht brands attended the exhibition.

The Chinese dealer for Italian brand Azimut also appeared at the exhibition.

Li Minjing, manager of China's Azimut dealer, said the company's yachts are oriented toward the consumer elite, as most Azimut yachts cost more than 8 million yuan ($1.27 million), after taxes.

"Although the price is much higher than what common people can afford, we sell three or four each year," Li added.

Dong Feng received a free ticket for the exhibition from a friend, but he felt even further away from owning one after browsing the displays.

"The maintenance fees alone are equal to my entire yearly income, not to mention the price of the yacht itself," Dong said. "We common people can not afford yachts."

According to an exhibitor, a 200,000 yuan yacht may not be a huge sum for a middle-class family, but other costs require far more money, including certifications costing 10,000 yuan, several hundred liters of gasoline for one trip at sea and over 100,000 yuan in anchoring fees annually.

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