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  #1  
Old 01-20-2013
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Post 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,
Reese
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Old 01-20-2013
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Re: Liveaboard in China - Informing on the Experience

Reese,

You are spot on regarding the new found wealth the Chinese are experiencing. I just got back from Shanghai after living there 6 months last year (got back to Boeing Everett in May 2012)... I lived in the Xintian Di District... I'm sure you know where that is and it is pretty wealthy there... it's in the French Concession District and it was mostly occupied by Europeans (French and British, many Germans and Spaniards)... I saw exactly what you saw, ie; Chinese driving Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royce, Maseratis, etc.... they have $$$$$ to spend and do it well in the way they dress and extravagant living (sometimes they over do it)... but you are right they are looking to spend those $$$$ and sailing and buying yachts are next... the marina/yachting lifestyle is not there yet as in the States or Europe... but given time they will require the government to build these facilities (sure the Peoples Party will have some influence) to support these purchases... it's coming... millions of Chinese are millionaires and more of them are being made due to the real estate boom... the company I worked for leased my apartment and it was in Casa Lakeville in Xintian Di and it's was valued at $1.5 million and my coworker also had an apartment too in the same building... the apartment building alone housed 28 Ferraris and over 20 Bentleys last count before I left Shanghai... Looking to go back for a longer stay and might just move the wife and family with me since it was a pleasure living there... crime was non existent since no one owns guns... and you know they scan your bags in the metro... ha ha ha

Good Luck and let us know how you make out living aboard...

Nick
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Old 01-20-2013
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Re: Liveaboard in China - Informing on the Experience

We were going to cruise to China last year but found that it is still not cruiser-friendly. They have no experience with cruisers and want to treat you.like a ship with requirements for agents, pilots etc. Plus my wife is from Beijing so was able to communicate. We just thought it was too much trouble at this stage although it may well be better soon. You need to see if there is a marina near where you work, Qingdao is good for example and then confirm that you could liveaboard there. Should not be a problem since almost all of the power boats there rarely go out. It is an intriguing prospect and I would like to know how you do.
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Old 01-21-2013
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Re: Liveaboard in China - Informing on the Experience

Thanks to both of you. Has anyone seen anything about boat buying in China? For that matter, are the certifications to be a marine surveyor there the same as they are here in the States? It has been my experience that the Chinese tend to have many of their own systems.
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Old 01-21-2013
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Re: Liveaboard in China - Informing on the Experience

Unfortunately I didn't find time to look around for the 'marine' side of things... that thought never entered my mind while in China... I spent most of my time assisting the COMAC C919 propulsion systems for that aircraft... most of my free time was spent at the music conservatory (I'm a classical pianist and guitarist) so not much of the sailing side of things... heck I never made it anywhere near the bays or ocean... I did see Pudong had some sailing vessels and transport ships as it was manuevering up and down the river across while on the Bund side Pudong across the river. If I had posting pictures privilages I would post some of the pictures I took... they are in my Facebook account but I'm leary of posting my account on this site for now...

I agree that any laws or ordinances that pertain to how they get boats and it's infrastructure will be solely done by their own regulations albeit they may adopt International standards and COREGS... but in the end it's all about $$$$ and how you handle those that stamp the Chinese Star onto the required paperwork and pay the taxes/fees on such paperwork.... but it's an easy process for everything I did including getting the condo, electric, water, mail, telephone, cellphone, metro cards... oh and I forgot... as soon as you get off the aircraft and go through Customs and get the Chinese entrance stamp you have 24 hours to go to the nearest Police precinct and fill out a form and you have to show residence of where you live and document from the building you live in and they register it and give you a residency form you must carry with you everywhere and present it on demand by any police officer/agent... I have never been asked and police are very friendly there and very helpful!
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Old 01-21-2013
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Re: Liveaboard in China - Informing on the Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmaniRG View Post


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.

Now, this could be anything from your thoughts on the quality of Chinese built vessels,

Reese
Re:
Chinese built boats . . . check this site out . . .
hedonism.htm

These folks are a Canadian couple from Thunder Bay Ontario who bought a chinese-built boat from Outbound Yachts in the US and traveled to China to see (and take photos of) their build in progress. The boat was delivered to and commissioned at Barkers Island marina in Superior, Wisconsin. We watched them get this boat ready for adventures on Lakes Superior and Huron and they still do their winter storage at Barker's Island. Have talked to the owners a couple of times over the years. They did a lot of research before deciding on this boat and seem to be very pleased with their choice. It's a beauty!

Mobnets
1973 Paceship Chance 32/28 "Westwind"
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Old 01-21-2013
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Re: Liveaboard in China - Informing on the Experience

There are a number of powerboat companies in China. Outbound is the only sailboat maker that I know of and it is very much a western company there because of labour costs. As you undoubtedly know, China's manufacturing is rapidly going upmarket in response to labour shortages and higher costs. I am sure more sailboat manufacturing will develop there as it did in the past in Taiwan and HK. I wonder if there are any yacht surveyors in China and certainly no standards. It is all too new. My wife read a how-to book on long distance cruising written by a guy who was very interested in the topic but had never actually done any. It included a section explaining how you get a hotel when you get to port. (She is going to write such a book herself but has one big advantage.) I think if you want to liveaboard in China, I would start by making sure you can get a dock, then make sure get official permission from all and sundry and then get a boat. Would make most sense to buy in Thailand or Malaysia. Might be some boats in HK but can't imagine there would be much choice. Also slim pickings in Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Still think it is an excellent idea to pursue.
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