on 3 Feb 2023
The father and son duo Edwin & Jamie Ho discuss their plans for one of the most venerable yacht dealerships in Hong Kong
Some big news has come from Starship Yachts, one of Hong Kong’s best-known dealerships. Edwin Ho has been in the Hong Kong yacht business for decades and was one of the original members of the Hong Kong Marine Industry Association. Now, Starship has been given a big boost as his son, Jamie, joins the business. That has been followed by some big announcements.
Starship is now one of the most successful dealers for Ferretti Yachts in Asia Pacific, working with the local office. It is clear that Starship is back in business in a major way.
APB: Jamie, when and why did you decide to “follow in your father’s footsteps” and get into the yachting business?
Jamie: I’ve always loved boats! I used to keep my dad’s old Cranchi and Pershing brochures and look over the different boats at home. As a kid I used to also help out my dad during the boat shows in Hong Kong and Hainan – I guess you could say that was my first taste of the yachting industry.
My first internship was also with China Rendez-Vous helping organise the Dalian boat show and Asia Night in Cannes, which was a great experience. After graduating from university, I decided to try something new, in a different field – this time with the automotive industry working in advertising. Seeing where I am now, it is needless to say that it wasn’t for me, and I decided to come back to Hong Kong and help my dad out.
APB: Edwin, what did you think when Jamie decided to go into the yacht business with you?
Edwin: I was very happy to hear Jamie wanted to join me in this business, and I needed the extra help. He was away at university, then started working in Paris, and so the only time we saw each other was during the summer holidays. Then Covid came and we couldn’t travel for two years. Now I get to see Jamie often and work together, and I couldn’t be happier.
APB: How do you plan to divide your roles in managing Starship?
Edwin: We have a small, lean but mean team. Myself, as CEO, I’m still handling important sales and client relationships. Carlo Raineri is our general manager who is overseeing sales and the day-to-day business of Starship, and Jamie is in charge of all things marketing/communication related and junior sales.
APB: We’ve seen some exciting news lately from Starship: A partnership with Burgess and a new office at Lantau Yacht Club (LYC). What can you tell us about the partnership with Burgess, i.e., how do you expect to work with Burgess in future?
Jamie: Yes! A lot of new news recently with Burgess and our new service centre in LYC.
Firstly, the partnership with Burgess is a huge stepping stone for us at Starship Yachts! More importantly, our partnership with Burgess is a testament to our hard work over the years and being recognised by Burgess as the dealer/broker bringing in some of the largest yacht sales in Hong Kong.
Partnering up with Burgess also means that we can now offer existing (and new) clients over 100 superyachts available for charter across the world while providing Burgess’ expertise and experience along with an exclusive selection of brokerage superyachts for sale.
APB: Why did you choose LYC for a new office? Can you describe your plans for the LYC location?
Jamie: We have opened a service centre in Lantau Yacht Club with the primary reason to strengthen our after-sales presence throughout Hong Kong, especially given that some of our existing clients are already at LYC. Being closer to them only makes sense.
APB: What is your plan/strategy for Starship going forward, to expand your business, generate new clientele, etc?
Edwin: We got so busy after Christmas and the Chinese New Year that we didn’t have time to think! So, we are seriously putting our thinking caps on soon!
APB: Do you plan to offer new services or even add to your portfolio of brands, as you built up Starship Yachts?
Edwin: Right now our priority is twofold: sales and after-sales. We want to keep focused on our existing portfolio of brands: Ferretti Group brands, Cranchi and Zodiac Nautic. And of course, there is our partnership with Burgess, which is plenty to keep us busy! And secondly, strengthen our after-sales team, especially with our new service centre in LYC.
APB: Post-Covid, what do you foresee for the Hong Kong/Macau yacht and superyacht market? Do you think the “boom times” that we saw in 2021-2022 will continue?
Edwin: It’s hard to say. There is a general slowdown due to a lack of stock yachts across the board. Some close friends that are in the private jet business tell me exactly the same thing: too many sales during COVID, no deliveries now. So for new sales, we will have to see if clients are willing to accept the long waiting times or place orders.
APB: Are there any exciting developments in yacht infrastructure (marinas, regulations, etc), either in Hong Kong or Macau, that you can tell us about?
Edwin: We haven’t heard anything through the grapevine. We’re still hoping for deregulation in the Greater Bay area!