No Maritime Lien on Unfinished Hull

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
In an unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a maritime lien can not attach to an unfinished yacht hull. In the instant case, plaintiff yacht builder commenced an in rem action seeking to recover unpaid wharfage and storage costs related to a yacht hull that was previously under construction at the facility. The yacht hull was never more than 70% complete while at the facility. Even though the hull was afloat and was towed from its original construction facility to plaintiff’s facility, it was never used for the transport of persons or cargo by water. Thus, during the period with which this litigation is concerned, the hull was never a vessel. Maritime liens can only attach to vessels in being. Broward Yachts, Inc. v. Destiny Hull No. 104, No. 03-13669 (11th Cir.) (HK Law).

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