Market Intelligence
Boating Hong Kong

Hong Kong Pleasure Boat & Marine Sales

Hong Kong has a strong maritime culture and a mature pleasure boat industry.  In total, there are more than 10,000 pleasure boats registered in the Special Economic Region (SAR) that share the use of 9 marinas in an area that encompasses 465 kilometers of coastline and 263 islands. To support this large maritime and pleasure boat industry, over 500 companies are engaged in this sector including boat/yacht sales, charter services, maintenance services, and crew member recruitment and hiring.  In general, these services are provided at ship and boat repair yards throughout Hong Kong.  One limiting factor to Hong Kong’s growth as a marine market, however, is a shortage of docks/moorings which leads to high mooring costs for boat owners. 

Emerging markets like Vietnam and China (especially the Greater Bay Area in Southern China) look to Hong Kong’s well-developed industry and its experienced personnel for ideas to develop their own marine sectors.  As a free port with no import duties on pleasure boats and related equipment, the U.S. exported $14 million in these sectors in 2019.  This represented the fifth largest export market for the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Due to the restrictions on travel from the outbreak of COVID-19, Hong Kong experienced a record increase in demand for pleasure boats in the second half of 2020.  These are usually first-time buyers of pleasure boats, and as such, their purchasing decisions center on the most popular brands, which trends toward European products.  Experienced buyers in Hong Kong generally look for style, design, and price rather than just the brand.  As such, there is opportunity for U.S. boat brands to win more share in the Hong Kong market.

There is a perception among buyers that parts and components made in China are inferior in quality, giving U.S. brands an advantage.  Some U.S. brands that have a strong presence include Dometic, Newmar, Caterpillar, Westerbeke, Seakeepers, and Tylaksa. The best prospects for U.S. suppliers in the Hong Kong marine/pleasure boat industry are:

  • Fishing boats, inflatable kayaks, used fishing boats for charters, small to medium-sized pleasure boats, and sail boats.
  • Air-conditioning systems, toilet and sanitization systems, fuel filters, electronic components, thermo cameras, generators, boat covers, canopy shade canvas, GPS systems, stainless steel hardware and fittings, generators.
  • Boat steering devices, wireless steering and other control systems using a mobile device.
  • “Green” products: Recycled materials for boat building, solar panels, “green boats” that have lower fuel consumption or use less battery power, or with improved designs with smaller engines.
  • Equipment, parts and materials for boat and yacht building such as engines, batteries.
  • Services: Naval architectural and designer services for designing yachts and vessels, financing for boat buyers.

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