The expedition-style megayacht Triton, built by Delta Marine in 2004, will hit the auction block on April 26, under order of the United States Marshal.
Currently in San Diego, the 163-foot (49.7-meter) Triton will be sold “as is, where is” to the highest bidder.
The auction stems from a lawsuit filed in November 2010 in Southern California by Sea Prestigio, LLC, against M/Y Triton and parties associated with the megayacht. According to court records, the companies signed a loan agreement in June 2010, under which Sea Prestigio would provide $21 million to be used as a preferred ship’s mortgage for Triton. Under this type of mortgage, the megayacht herself and all of her equipment, versus the owner, guarantee payment. Therefore, Sea Prestigio could claim ownership of Triton if any default on the mortgage occurred. Sea Prestigio alleged that breach of contract occurred later in 2010, when interest payments were not made. Triton was arrested by the U.S. Marshal in San Diego in November 2010. A judgment of foreclosure and order of sale was made in favor of Sea Prestigio by the state of California in January of this year.
Last month, Sea Prestigio and the defendants jointly agreed to a court order for what’s known as an interlocutory sale. In brief, an interlocutory sale is a transaction made prior to the completion of litigation and the entering of a judgment in that litigation. It’s done because the item at the center of a dispute is at risk of deterioration, or the cost to keep it is excessive or disproportionate. Specific to the Triton case, there is still a dispute over what is considered the owner’s personal possessions—things such as artwork, silverware and china, furnishings, and more. Since both the plaintiff and the defendants believe that it is in Triton’s best interest to move forward with the sale while this dispute is resolved, in late March the court ordered Triton to be sold at auction.
Whoever decides to buy Triton will acquire a megayacht with quite an impressive background. When she was launched, she was one of the largest fiberglass yachts built in the United States. Engineered and styled by Delta Marine’s in-house Delta Design Group, Triton was commissioned by a couple with a real sense of adventure. They had cruised the world aboard a far smaller sailboat and wanted a rugged motoryacht for global exploration, particularly deep-sea fishing and reef diving. To that end, Triton has a cockpit arranged for fishing, plus a crow’s nest where the captain can back the yacht down on a prize-winning gamefish. (That crow’s nest, by the way, is accessible via elevator.) The megayacht also has a dive center off the lazarette, and the swim platform lowers and raises hydraulically to aid divers entering and exiting the water. Because Triton was intended to be used in areas where the weather could change quickly, Delta designed a complex launch and retrieval system for the tenders, which even allows deploying them while Triton is under power. And speaking of power, twin 1,000-hp Caterpillar diesels further permit a reported 6,100-nautical-mile range at 12 knots.
Other attractive features of Triton: a helipad; a skylounge that can be an indoor-outdoor area; a galley that can be a crew-exclusive area or a comfortable country kitchen; accommodations for 14 in the owner’s party, thanks to pullmans in the four guest staterooms; cabins for a 10-person crew; mahogany paneling throughout; a draft of 9’4” (nearly 2.9 meters); and a beam of about 31 feet (9.4 meters).