If you think a superyacht couldn’t get a parking ticket, think again. The owner of 35 metre motor yacht Missy B II, Gene Neil, faces hefty fines and expulsion for “illegally parking” his yacht at New Quay Marina in the Docklands area of Melbourne, Australia.
After 10 years of being moored at the same berth of the New Quay Marina, Neil has been slapped with an AUS$80,000 (approximately £37,613) fine.
"They claim my boat is over-hanging the marina," Gene Neil said in an interview with local paper The Age. "They say no boat should be parked there. Well, I think the council should have told me that nine and a half years ago. It's not as though ships are sailing past.”
However, a spokesman for the Melbourne City Council – which manages the harbour banks and seabeds in the Docklands – said Missy B II is moored outside of the New Quay Marina’s boundaries and is floating into the waterway, potentially causing a hazard to passing yachts.
"The vessel is therefore considered illegally berthed," the spokesman said. "The City of Melbourne is committed to activating the waterway at Victoria Harbour and increasing boating visitation, but vessels need to be safely moored within designated marina boundaries.”
Gene Neil says he’s met with the marina management, MAB, this week who have threatened to shut off the yacht’s shore power supply.
According to reports, the Melbourne City Council started putting pressure on MAB in March this year to remove Missy B II from her berth, and the yacht’s owner Gene Neil was given a month’s notice to vacate.
The marina had been “investigating options for a possible redesign of the east marina to accommodate [the Missy B II, but] this investigation is on-going and will not be concluded short term.”
With no immediate berthing solution at the New Quay Marina, the Melbourne City Council is requesting that Gene Neil relocate Missy B II to the council-operated Superyacht Marina at Central Pier. Currently, Neil pays AUS$25,000 annually at New Quay (approximately £11,771) and dockage would run AUS$105,000 per year (£49,462) at the Superyacht Marina, a fee which the Council says is, “comparable with other superyacht facilities around Australia."
Missy B II has yet to vacate the New Quay Marina. Gene Neil says if he is forced to leave New Quay he will likely leave the Docklands, an area which is famous for its complicated governing structure with 21 pieces of legislation and 16 agencies involved in its management.
Missy B II was launched by US builder Hargrave Custom Yachts in 2004 and received a refit in 2010. The video below gives a view inside the tri-deck superyacht.