Founded in 1936, Cheoy Lee initially specializing in the production of powered cargo vessels to outrun the Japanese blockade, by the mid-1950’s Cheoy Lee had diversified into the production of teak sailing and motoryachts, mostly built for export to the USA. Many of the teak sailboats, designed by Arthur Robb and other notable designers of the era, are still sailing today, a testament to the quality of construction that continues to define all Cheoy Lee products. The success of the newly formed pleasure craft division soon became apparent. By the mid-1960’s, 90% of Cheoy Lee production was pleasure craft, primarily for the American market.
Cheoy Lee advanced fibreglass technology to become a forerunner in the marine use of GRP/foam sandwich construction. In 1977 Cheoy Lee built the world's largest moulded GRP yacht of its time, the 130' motorsailer Shango II, and by 1979 the first all foam cored production motoryacht came on line; the Cheoy Lee 48’ Sport Yacht.
The shipyards new and sophisticated production facility on the Pearl River in Southern China is now the powerhouse of Cheoy Lee production. And as for almost a century, Cheoy Lee maintains a smaller yard and head office for operations on the Kowloon peninsula in Hong Kong.