‘Sailing Yacht A’ arrested in Gibraltar

February 20, 2017 Murielle Gonzalez

German builder Nobiskrug claims a breach of contract. David Robinson reports.

The recently delivered 143m (469.5ft) Sailing Yacht A has been arrested soon after her arrival in Gibraltar due to alleged breach of contract claims from German builder Nobiskrug. According to a report in the Gibraltar Chronicle, the €15.3m admiralty claims relate to overdue payments and other disputed monies.

The distinctive-looking superyacht was due to stay in Gibraltar for a short refuelling stop. However, during the stopover lawyers acting for Nobiskrug applied for the arrest warrant in the territory’s supreme court against the owners, charterers or operators of the vessel for the alleged breach of contract issues.

The main claim mentioned in the court documents, according to the media report, was for €9.8m said to be the final payment of the build contract between Nobiskrug and Valla Yachts Ltd, the Bermudian-registered owner. This unpaid amount, it was claimed, should have been settled on January 27, 2017.

Other payments of €2.6m and €2.9m respectively, were involved with existing disputes between Nobiskrug and Valla concerning build modifications and sub-contractor liability payments. All three amounts combine to make up the full claim total of €15,298,297 plus interest.

A spokesman for the yacht told the Chronicle: “Outstanding issues were not uncommon in a bespoke project of this nature and scale. We find this act of arrest of ‘Sailing Yacht A’ in Gibraltar an astounding act for a shipbuilder of Nobiskrug’s standing.”

The spokesman indicated that the €9.8m was part of an ongoing negotiation between the two parties and that Nobiskrug had accordingly been happy to release the yacht to allow work to be carried out on the superyacht in Spain.

A hearing related to the claim will be held on February 21, 2017 and ‘Sailing Yacht A’ remains at anchor off Gibraltar port under the authority of admiralty marshals.

‘Sailing Yacht A’ was built for Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko. It is said to be the largest private sailing yacht in the world.

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