By: Scott Way
A couple weeks back we regaled you with the tale of the Bella T, a cursed superyacht that's had more bad luck than a room full of broken mirrors.
The short version of the story is that the Bella T is a 147-foot superyacht commissioned in 1975 for American industrialist Roy Carver. Except the original build fell behind schedule at the Maritima de Axpe shipyard in Spain, so Carver had Feadship's de Vries in the Netherlands build an exact copy in the meantime. The second boat was finished months before the first, so the original was shipped off to owners in Malaysia where she began a long and painful downfall.
The original vessel went through about a dozen owners and eventually ended up downtrodden and unused. Most of the successive buyers either went bankrupt or got sued, or both, including her last owner, who tried to lengthen her by 5 metres (16 ft) before finally giving up. She's had about a dozen different names, too, including LAC III and Summit One, among others. After getting shipped from Malaysia to South Africa, the boat has been sitting in Cape Town Harbour in South Africa for the last 20 years, unpainted, with boards over her windows, bobbing in the water. Last time we checked it, she was set for public auction despite the fact there were still several outstanding debts against the vessel, and there were multiple companies and creditors all clamoring for a piece of the Bella T pie. Those 20 years had not gone smoothly.
But, the the Judicial Western Cape High Court has just announced that a South African businessman has purchased her before she could reach the auction block.
According to Boat International, the Bella T will be towed to nearby Hout Bay where she'll finally get the repairs and refinishing she needs. Kevo Project Management will be doing the work, and it appears it'll be another two years for her to be completed. That is, of course, if things go differently this time. The original public auction was set to include the boat, plus four shipping containers housing her various bits and pieces including the propellers, engine components, and interior fittings. Hopefully there are some extra windows, too.
"We are confident we can restore her quality to a top level," Daniel Halgryn, project manager at Kevo, told Boat International. "From a keel structure perspective, the boat is in very good condition."
"Hopefully we can change the perception of her," he added. "In the future, it will be great for people to come to Cape Town and see her docked in the harbour."
According to Ariella Kuper of Solution Strategists, the auction house set to preside over the auction of Bella T, "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."
If the Bella T ever gets out of the harbour, we highly suggest another name change.
You can read our original story about the Bella T here.