Cheoy Lee Shipyard, Penny’s Bay, Lantau 1964-2001

HF: Cheoy Lee Shipyard operated at Penny’s Bay, Lantau from 1964 to April 2001.

The company was founded in 1870 in Shanghai by the Lo family. In 1936 when the Japanese Imperial Army [invaded China] the yard was moved to British-controlled Hong Kong, where the Lo family thought the yard would be safe. But the Japanese took over Hong Kong, too, and the Lo family fled to [China]. During the next four years the occupying army carted off everything made of metal in the yard. When the oldest son of the Lo family returned in 1946 he found nothing left. He began building his first post-war boat with his own two hands. His name is Lo To.
Cheoy Lee’s business grew and soon Lo To had dozens of workers building commercial vessels…In the early 1950s he began experimenting in fiberglass and Cheoy Lee was one of the first yards in the world to use the new material. Ten years later it would become the world’s marine pioneer in composite sandwich fiberglass construction. (3)

The Cheoy Lee Company has been a major builder of ships and all types of boats for over 100 years. With roots tracing back to 1870 in a building at a repair yard in Po Tung Point, Shanghai, Cheoy Lee Shipyards has had a colourful and successful history. Originally producing wooden commercial craft from a shipyard in Shanghai, Cheoy Lee moved to Hong Kong in 1936. (1)

Penny's Bay Shipyard

Cheoy Lee Shipyard, company website image a


Cheoy Lee Shipyard, company website image b


Cheoy Lee Shipyard 1983 Courtesy HK Memory

Cheoy Lee Shipyard 1983 Courtesy: HK Memory

“The Government acquired the land from the owners for the sum of HK$1.48 billion, and paid HK$22.7 million in additional compensation, according to a Public Works Subcommittee paper from May 2002.

The Government had not realised that its operations accumulated 30000 cubic metres of soil contaminated with dioxin, heavy metals, and hydrocarbons. The solid waste was dug up and transferred to To Kau Wan on the north shore of Northeast Lantau for temporary processing, and finally incinerated at the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre on Tsing Yi Island  amid protests by residents. The total cleanup cost not taken into account at the time of acquisition was estimated at HKD450 million.” (2)

This article was first posted on 23rd March 2015.


  2. wikipedia penny’s bay ]


  1. History of the Cheoy Lee Company – the company website
  2. wikipedia penny’s bay
  3. Decommissioning of Cheoy Lee Shipyard, Penny’s Bay, Lantau – Legco Report
  4. Biography of the shipyard + list of boats built there

Related indhhk articles:

  1. HUD – new tug Whampoa – celebrating two HK shipyards – constructed by Cheoy Lee
  2. The Port of Hong Kong – Marine Dept 1966 – ship building, ship breaking – details about Cheoy Lee
  3. 19th Century Wanchai Shipyards – Messrs. George Fenwick & Co Ltd
  4. Ulderup and Schlüter Shipyard, Sham Shui Po c1900-1914
  5. The luxurious junk Cheng Ho, Ah King shipyard built, Standard Oil connection…
  6. Wong Kwong – appointed chief draughtsman at W.S.Bailey & Company shipyard 1901
  7. Bailey’s Shipyard – 1908 Account
  8. W S Bailey of Bailey’s Shipyard, obituary 1936
  9. E O Murphy, co-founder of Bailey’s Shipyard
  10. European Settlements in the Far East – Part Two, Shipyards in HK around 1900
  11. Kwong Tat Loong Shipyard (Brothers) Ltd – Tsing Yi – a HK industry in decline





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