Published: Friday, 09 June 2017

The inaugural Fragrant Harbour Maritime Festival, held from May 19-21 at Pier 8 in Central, Hong Kong attracted 25 exhibitors and some 3,000 visitors. The event was hosted by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. Asia-Pacific Boating participated with a booth at the exhibition.

Fragrant Harbour Maritime Festival Debuts In Hong Kong 1

(Photos: Fragrant Harbour - Fragrant Harbour Maritime Festival 2017)

In prime position at the entrance, and by far the most photographed exhibit, was the 21ft Ranger Tug, Happy Mini Ship.

Also displayed in the front of the show was Asia Yachting’s Monterey 224FSC, powered by a 200hp Mercruiser inboard. Speeds of up to 40 knots make this a wakeboard or ski boat. This was complemented by a Sea Ray 230 Signature from Steyr Motors and two inflatable dinghies from China Pacific Marine.

Two of Hong Kong’s major sailing clubs – Aberdeen Boat Club and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club – joined the show. David Robinson, the Show organiser, said: “This is a very pleasing sign that the clubs are reaching out to real people, dispelling the myth that sailing and boating are elitist. The ABC displayed an Optimist, which is an entry-level craft for young sailors all around the world. The RHKYC brought along a Laser and signed up at least two people for their popular sailing courses.”

Fragrant Harbour Maritime Festival Debuts In Hong Kong 2

(Blu Inc Media's booth)

On the lower deck were the booths of Marine Italia and Absolute Marine, followed by Beaufort Marine, Steyr, Simpson Marine, Sunseeker and Starship Yachts. Olivier Decamps of Beaufort confirmed that he sold a Varianta 37 (a sistership to Hong Kong racing yacht, Tolo).

The double booth of Premier Collections presented models of Volvo Ocean Race yachts, Hong Kong harbour craft, ferries and tugs. Clive Miners was on hand to provide descriptions of the 80 plus models on display and answer questions.

Natalie Ye from Seahorse Marine in China told visitors about her Diesel Duck motorsailers and ocean passagemakers, while Carmine Vastola’s fishing gear and videos of deepsea game fishing drew the crowds.

A double booth of Asiamarine stood out for its elegance, colour scheme and visuals of the Galeon range of innovative powercraft. 

The Hong Kong Water Ski Association had a stream of fit, bronzed athletes passing by during the three-day event and Northrop & Johnson alongside offered luxury charters Asia-wide to interested visitors. 

Fragrant Harbour Maritime Festival Debuts In Hong Kong

(HKMM booth)

NextWave Yachting showcased powerboards, fitness machines and an in-water exhibit not far from their double booth. NextWave Island 65 is a party and charter boat.

Andy Chan of Marine Link displayed a Kohler generator and nearby the restored L-class wooden dinghy. The Maritime Museum featured the well-supported Sailability organisation and the ship’s wheel of the historic Fatshan II.

Museum Director, Richard Wesley, encouraged both exhibitors and visitors to venture upstairs to see the many maritime artifacts, paintings, Ship Bridge Simulator and rare exhibits in his museum’s galleries. The last two exhibits were a coastal rowing skull for the fitness-minded and a Ferretti 850 luxury yacht in water.

For next year, there are plans to use both the lower and upper decks of the building, together with space in the open, along the promenade.

Taking place in Central, the show aimed to spread the message of marine recreation accessible to everyone.