The largest sailing yacht in the world, S/Y A, has been seized in Gibraltar following a €15.3million claim against the yacht by Nobiskrug shipyard for breach of contract.
The 142.8m sailing yacht arrived in Gibraltar a few days ago, having left the Nobiskrug facility in Kiel on 5th February to undergo further fit-out works and sea trials in Spain.
Lawyers acting for Nobiskrug have now filed a claim against the yacht for breach of contract, which states that the final €9.8million instalment was not paid by Valla Yachts Limited, the company that owns S/Y A, in time for the January 27th deadline stated in the shipbuilding contract.
A further €2.6million and €2.9million are also being claimed by the shipyard over liability for sub-contractor invoices and disputed orders during the build, totalling claims of €15.3million plus interest.
The yacht is currently scheduled for delivery to Russian billionaire, Andrei Melnichenko in late spring 2017, but was spotted yesterday anchored in the Bay of Gibraltar under the custody of admiralty marshals.
A spokesman for the owner commented, “We find this act of arrest of Sailing Yacht A in Gibraltar an astounding act for a shipbuilder of Nobiskrug's standing.
“The facts are that, with a project of this magnitude, there are sometimes outstanding issues to be resolved, and the sum of over 9 million Euros being claimed for payment, by 27th January, was part of on-going discussions between the owner and the shipyard in regards to their rectification. We assumed the matter was progressing to a resolution as Nobiskrug were happy to release the yacht on February 5th to the owner’s project team for further works to be carried out in Spain.
“The money was paid by the owner the following day into an escrow account pending a resolution of the discussions. All monies now being claimed are in arbitration and we understand these disputes fall under arbitration in the UK courts.”
According to the spokesman, the owner and his team are confident the arrest will be terminated in the coming days.