By Susan Jobe and Lucy Chabot Reed
M/Y Natita, a 217-foot (66m) Oceanco launched in 2005, was seized on July 15 after the owner, Texas oilman William Kallop, failed to make payments on a loan against the yacht.
Court filings show that Kallop borrowed $32 million from Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs Group’s private bank in 2014, using Natita and another of his yachts, the 186-foot (57m) M/Y Bad Girl, as collateral, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 10. The bank claims the owner stopped making payments in November, with nearly $28 million left on the loan.
Goldman Sachs filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami to seize the boat. U.S. marshals impounded Natita at Rybovich, a shipyard in West Palm Beach, where the yacht has been docked for more than 20 months. Employees have said the owner owes the shipyard hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Journal has reported.
The financial press credited a former crew member with saying a yacht charter had walked off M/Y Natita in Nassau in March 2016 because it was in such a bad state of disrepair, but that is incorrect. Natita has not had a charter since November 2015, according to several former crew members. Other than traveling to South Florida boat shows and to the Bahamas to clear its boat show bond, Natita has not left the West Palm Beach shipyard.
Former crew members said the yacht that charter guests reportedly walked out on was M/Y Bad Girl, which was not involved in the seizure July 15. After the aborted charter, Bad Girl was moved to Louisiana and now sits in Marina Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, former crew members said.
The error was originally reported by the Journal, then repeated in stories in other financial media outlets, including MSN, Fox and Business Insider.
In related news, a Florida court recently ordered the owner to pay three crew members, including Capt. Rusty Allen, about $90,000 in wages owed. The media have reported that it is in back pay, but that is also incorrect. The three were owed severance and accrued vacation time at the time of their firing, according to their contracts, Capt. Allen said. And despite the ruling, the crew members had not received their pay as of mid-August.
M/Y Natita was delivered in 2005 as Dilbar and renamed Ona in 2008. Kallop bought the boat in 2010 and named it Natita. The asking price had been 59.9 million euros. Natita was back on the market in 2016 for $57.5 million, with the price reduced to $52 million in September of that same year. The yacht then underwent several more price reductions. It is now listed for $39.9 million with Burgess and Worth Avenue Yachts.