By Lucy Chabot Reed
Work on M/Y Anodyne — a massive refit of a small-ish yacht designed to make it bigger — was halted on Aug. 13. Rumors have swirled around Fort Lauderdale and through the broader yachting community about why. No one involved in the refit at Derecktor shipyard in Dania Beach, Florida, would discuss the project, even before things stopped this summer.
But since December, emails and chat forums have been abuzz with allegations of bribes, kickbacks and inappropriate behavior that litter a lawsuit involving Anodyne, its primary metal fabricator Southern Yacht Industries, and its project manager.
M.V. Anodyne LLC, a Nevada company that owns the vessel, is the defendant in a lawsuit filed in October in which Southern Yacht Industries sued for its outstanding bills of more than $1.8 million. Anodyne countersued in November, alleging financial improprieties by the company, its owner Jerry Goss, and its project manager throughout the four-year project. In responding to the allegations in a December filing, Goss and Southern denied any wrongdoing. Their attorney, William Salim of Moskowitz, Mandell, Salim & Simowitz in Fort Lauderdale, declined to comment.
The vessel began life as M/Y Boundless, a 98-foot steel Inace built in Brazil in 2010. Its new owner funded a refit to cut the hull in half and extend the yacht to 110 feet, customizing her along the way. Known as Project Anodyne, the project began at Rolly Marine on the New River in Fort Lauderdale, but was barged to Derecktor on the Dania Cut-off Canal four years ago for the rebuild.
At the start of the project, the extensive rebuild was expected to cost $25 million and be completed in 2017.
According to the lawsuit, payments to Southern Yacht Industries alone exceeded $60 million, and the project was not complete at the time it was halted in August.
At least one other lawsuit has been filed: a dispute over procedures for arbitration between Anodyne and its naval architect, Horizon Naval Architects.
Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.
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