The 45 metre half-built superyacht Bella T has been sold ahead of its auction at the Judicial Western Cape High Court to a South African businessman.
The boat, formerly known as Summit One and Lac III, had been put up for auction in Cape Town where it was moored for twenty years following its judicial arrest after a legal dispute between previous owners.
Now under new ownership, Bella T will be hauled out for repairs before being towed to Hout Bay where she will be completed over the next two years with Kevo Project Management overseeing the work.
"We are confident we can restore her quality to a top level," said Daniel Halgryn, project manager at Kevo. "From a keel structure perspective, the boat is in very good condition."
The two decades Bella T spent moored in Cape Town earned her the nickname of "ghost" from local residents, a moniker Halgryn is keen to dispel. "Hopefully we can change the perception of her," he said. "In the future, it will be great for people to come to Cape Town and see her docked in the harbour."
Ariella Kuper of Solution Strategists, the maritime auction house set to preside over the auction of Bella T, said: "It's a great ending to the story. What's also a nice twist is that this new owner is a local with loads of experience and the potential to restore her."
The yacht was originally constructed in steel and aluminium in 1977 by Spanish yard Maritima de Axpe to a design by Douglas Sharp and Arthur De Fever. After several name and owner changes, the yacht was brought to South African refit yard Farocean Marine for a refit which included an overall length increase of five metres.
However another legal dispute followed and the refit was abandoned in 2003; the yacht remained in an incomplete state in Cape Town since. Her sistership Valeria, formerly known as Lac II, was constructed by Feadship's De Vries after being commissioned by the same owner.
After the refit, the new owner plans to charter the vessel, which will sail under a new name. "We are in discussions now regarding the new name," said Halgryn. "At the moment, Kevo Grace of Cape is a potential frontrunner."