The Hong Kong-based company, Boateng, has built a fleet of 40 boats, all owned by local boat owners, for the last two years.
The Hongkongers are mostly Chinese but there are some from the Philippines and South Korea.
The company’s owner, an American, says he has been in China since 2010 and that he has received training in the management of the boats.
“The boat owners are very nice people.
They are not just there to take care of the boat but also to help us build our brand and bring more customers to our brand,” he told Al Jazeera.
He says that he now uses the company for his own commercial boat business.
In the past, BoatEng has built boats for the US and Europe, but the company now mainly builds boats for its own customers in China.
But BoatEng’s founder, Hong Kong businessman Li Yang, says the company’s focus has been on providing a more cost-effective way of getting to China, which is one of the main reasons why it has set up a hub in Guangzhou, the Chinese port city with the largest port city in the world.
“We’ve already invested around US$1 million into this venture, so now we have more than $1 billion in the bank,” he said.
Li Yang is confident that the company will have a long and fruitful future.
“There is a lot of growth in China right now, and the country is going to get bigger,” he added.
The biggest challenges for BoatEng are dealing with boat ownership.
Li said that BoatEng is currently dealing with Chinese owners who are not keen on selling their boats, which makes the company feel a little bit guilty.
“In China, people are always going to be buyers and sellers, so we have to look after the buyer,” he explained.
BoatEng says it has also made the boat owners more aware of their rights and responsibilities, in particular the responsibility of providing their boats with safe working conditions.
The firm is now looking at creating a specialised safety program, which would help the boats owners understand the safety of the vessel and the risks associated with its operation.
“It is very important for us to do the right thing for the boat, and we want to make sure that we provide the safest and best boat,” said Li.
“If we can do this in the future, I’m sure we will be successful in the market.”