Join Date: May 2012
Location: Currently landlocked by work in Denver, Colorado
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Liveaboard in China - Informing on the Experience
Despite being land locked for parts of the year in Denver, because of work, I spend a large portion of each year working and living in the coastal cities of Eastern China. I have always loved sailboats and growing up on the coast sailed extensively when I was younger. For many years I have been planning to move aboard after my time in Denver is finished. Recently, because of my access to the South China Sea while I am in Asia, I have been considering living aboard while in China. Please be aware that I am familiar with many of the challenges of living aboard. I also speak the language, Putonghua (Mandarin for the unfamiliar), so communication with the locals is not an issue. On the other hand, I do not know any Chinese who sail or live aboard in this part of the world.
The fact is that during the process of economic transition over the past two decades, China has been pursuing a path of development in line with the reality of the country. Thanks to this approach, China successfully combined a market mechanism with its cardinal public ownership system and in so doing ushered in an era of unprecedented progress. The wide shortage of commodities at the time of the planned economy has gone and the livelihood of Chinese residents has improved significantly. This has resulted in the rise of a middle class and a period of wealth building by the people unmatched in Chinese history. Chinese consumers are becoming "more sophisticated" in their tastes and itís a fact that many luxury shoppers in China want to flaunt their wealth. There's a lot of money for people to spend, and they taking a more sophisticated approach. Many of China's nouveau riche are taking to the seas in search of new thrills. The result is a growing, modern Chinese sailing community and culture in East Asia. I think this is something our community should discuss.
This is an information request, both for me and others who may follow in the future.
I am looking for members of this community who have purchased boats, lived aboard and/or sailed in China and its surrounding waters. I would appreciate it if you would share your stories of success and/or troubles. I want to pick the brains of our SailNet community. My thoughts on this subject are that I would like to build off others experiences, identify possible challenges and problems, and build a list of questions we can "ask" and find the answers too that may not have been thought of. Now, this could be anything from your thoughts on the quality of Chinese built vessels, purchasing boats and equipment from Chinese merchants, navigating the waters off the Chinese coast, encounters with customs officials, gear you may carry or add to your boat for the region, and necessary paperwork/permits to pictures and stories of your adventures, the best expat hangouts, life as a sailor in this part of Asia, and experiences with members of the Chinese sailing community. Literally anything that is not a "don't move/live aboard in China" comment. Also, please do not post opinion commentary on Chinaís political systems; we all know the reality of what it is and isn't so please save it for a different thread. Even so, if you have had a bad experience, please share both it and your frustrations about it. It is possible that we as a community can identify the how/why of the problem and plot possible future solutions to avoid the same issue.
I would like this to be a thread that informs on the experience of moving/living aboard in China. I would also like to hear additional questions that you may think to ask and I would appreciate it if we could all work together to find answers to these questions. I am not seeking a commentary on if I, or anyone else for that matter, should move aboard in China. Comments and answers on this topic will be a big help to me and, if successful, a resource for others in the future. Who knows, maybe this will go sticky...
So, who has something to say?
Cheers and thanks! Fair winds and following seas,