Here’s a story about a real mess, one that surfaced when U.S. marshals boarded a 74-foot Sunseeker at the Sunseeker International exhibit at the Bahia Mar on Sunday night, just after the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show ended, and placed it under arrest. The boat is at the center of a $4 million legal dispute between the buyer, Sunseeker in England, and Rick Obey & Associates, the Fort Lauderdale broker.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the buyer says that Sunseeker is not crediting him the $4 million he paid to Obey to have the boat built. But the legal dispute gets messy, dating to May, 2018, when Obey says Sunseeker did not take responsibility for a catastrophic engine failure on the maiden voyage of a boat for one of Obey’s customers. Obey then stopped paying Sunseeker for boats under construction.
Now Obey and Sunseeker are suing each other. Sunseeker USA, which represents Sunseeker in this country, says Obey caused the dispute by not paying for the yacht; it ended its dealer agreement with Obey in March. Meanwhile, the buyer says it took him ten days to track “his” boat to the U.S. and the Fort Lauderdale show by finding its hull numbers on the shipping manifest.
The U.S. District Court judge who ordered the marshals to seize the yacht has transferred custody to a court-appointed, third-party custodian, National Maritime Services, until the legal disputes are settled. In maritime law, a boat can be arrested and seized to remove it from the control of both parties pending the settlement of a dispute. Read more: