The story of the Bella T, the abandoned superyacht, has all the components for a riveting story – millionaires, a sudden death, and a curse that it just can‘t seem to shake.
The luxurious yacht was built in 1976 at the request of the famous American industrialist named Roy Carver, arriving in Cape Town 20 years ago. Since its arrival, it has spent the last two decades gathering dust and rust near Sturrock Dock in Cape Town but will finally get a new lease on life thanks to a court-ordered auction, reports Business Insider.
Despite its bland exterior, the yacht has a colourful history. Originally designed by renowned naval architects, Arthur de Fever and Doug Shark, Carver put his millions to use by enlisting boatbuilders Maritima de Axpe in Bilbao, Spain, to construct a yacht that was originally based on de Fever and Sharp‘s design.
However, for all Carver‘s millions, it could not buy him patience. The industrialist found the shipyard’s progress too slow and turned to Feadship De Vries to build a new yacht that was based on the same design. This ship, named LAC II after Carver‘s mother‘s initials, was completed 18 months before her sistership in Spain, which was named LAC III.
Unfortunately, Carver only spent six years frolicking on his superyacht before dying of a heart attack in 1981, at 71 years old in Marbella, Spain.
But what happened to the LAC III?
The vessel was purchased by American Earl Romans in 1999 and renamed Summit One and was sailed to South Africa from Malaysia in order to undergo extensive refits by local shipbuilders and repairers Farocean Marine in 2001.
However, the refit soon ran into problems as Romans quickly failed to make payments for work done. Despite court documents that stated Romans would pay his outstanding balance, he would often default on this agreement. This happened a number of times before work on the newly named Bella T would come to a complete standstill.
The vessel passed from owner to owner after and was sold to a company in Dubai in 2008. Unfortunately, due to a global recession, this too didn‘t last long before it was resold to Nautic Africa before finding a final home with Europa Shipping five years ago.
The “curse” didn’t end there though as legal woes continued to follow the Bella T. The yacht has since been ordered to go on public auction by the Western Cape High Court in November 2021 in the matter of Rapaport Flagship Limited (applicant) and Europa Shipping Captial SA (respondent), with the applicant in the dispute currently having a claim against the vessel that amounts to R15 million.
Despite all its legal troubles and years of neglect, the yacht is described as being in good condition. Experts in vessel sales, Solution Strategists will handle the auction of Bella T on March 1.
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Picture/s: Solution Strategist