“The world seems infinite on the sea and I could see there is plenty more of the world for us to explore.” – Huang Zhen Ming
Having grown up in Zhanjiang, a southern coastal city in Guangdong province that is famous for its fresh sea food, Beneteau Oceanis 48 owner Huang Zhen Ming has always been addicted to the seas. After spending his childhood playing in the sea with friends, the ocean has never failed to provide him with the means to enjoy nature and all that the water has to offer.
Discovering the world under the seas was a natural step but it was not until he was a grown businessman that Huang had his first diving experience, kick starting a longstanding love for diving. Having become instantly addicted to diving, for decades he has visited some of the most attractive and unspoiled diving spots around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Palau and the Maldives. Anytime he felt that he needed a break from a busy city life he would catch a plane for a remote paradisiac destination and enjoy the peace and beauty that diving brought him. “The world under water is a totally different place to normal life; I can feel peace and silence,” says Huang. “When I am diving nothing bothers me except the amazing creatures found under water.” The world under the sea is rich and colorful, yet without crowds or concrete jungles.
It was this love of diving that led to Huang eventually becoming a yacht owner. The story of his journey to yacht ownership begins when Huang accepted the invitation from a sailing boat owner to sail around Shenzhen. Shenzhen is the best city in China for sailing culture, with many successful entrepreneurs living in the city having bought yachts after being impressed by the sailing culture in neighbouring Hong Kong. The yachting culture in Shenzhen has grown quickly and in 2007 the city’s first big yacht regatta, the China Cup International Regatta (CCIR), was hosted in Daya Bay, Shenzhen. With more than 10 Beneteau First 40.7’s competing in a one-design class in the inaugural event the CCIR later became the most influential yacht race in Asia.
Huang had his first sailing experience at the second edition of the CCIR in 2008, where he discovered that sailing was just as interesting to him as diving. “We headed to the seas with light wind blowing through our hair,” he recalls. “The world seems infinite on the sea and I could see there is plenty more of the world for us to explore.” After this first sailing experience, Huang began to notice the growing yachting culture in China. “I found many of my friends in Hong Kong have become used to the sailing lifestyle,” he says. “They get up early and go to the marina, they take shower and have breakfast in marina clubs after sailing in the morning and this relaxed way of living appealed to me.”
Loving the sea as he did, sailing was a way to bring Huang closer to water and nature and three years ago he made the decision to become a boat owner. When deciding what type of yacht to purchase a sailing yacht appealed to him more than a motoryacht. “With a sailing yacht you need to deal with natural conditions such as the wind, weather and swell… you need to learn the meteorology and geography, you need both knowledge and practice, and that’s a fantastic challenge to me.” Having discovered that sailing can be challenging as well as relaxing Huang invested a lot of time in finding the perfect sail yacht. After comparing many brands and models he finally became the proud owner of a Beneteau Oceanis 48 in 2017.
There were many reasons behind the decision to select this model, but the main drives behind his choice of the OC48 was that it is a yacht that is suited to both family use and for racing, providing the perfec balance between the two uses. Having bought his new yacht Huang is learning the art of sailing, obtaining his boating licence in 2016 and getting ready to get another sailing license this year. He has big plans for his yacht and knows that there is a huge world out there for him to explore by sea. “First I will go to Sanya and many other places in China, to enjoy the beautiful seas with my family and friends,” he says. “I am still very new to sailing but I am learning and will definitely have more experiences… hopefully one day I will be able to gather my many sailor friends together to race in China Cup regattas, this time on my own boat.” With many years of happy sailing ahead of him, no doubt his new passion for sailing will take Mr Huang to just as many beautiful places as he has visited through his passion for diving. We wish him well in his life onboard!