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Buyers Trapped in Feud with Sunseeker...

Discussion in 'Sunseeker Yacht' started by YachtForums, Jul 29, 2019.

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  1. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    How can Sunseeker not be held responsible with Obey as their dealer? Would Sunseeker not have privy to orders as to being a contract build or spec. Would they just build and ship what Obey wants no questions ask? I doubt it. When Obey took Turner's trade it was a build and Turner became Sunseeker's customer too. I don't see the separation that let's Sunseeker off the hook even though Obey was mishandling funds. Sunseeker had to know things were not right but continued building boats for Obey. With 6 /7 yachts involved Sunseeker allowed this to get out of control. Their relationship appeared a stormy two way street while all this was going on. Sunseeker could have declined more orders without full disclosure and balancing the books. Sunseeker is not an innocent bystander. IMO, both are responsible for this mess.
  2. Scott W

    Scott W Member

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  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Argument 1, as per Scott, is that the buyers had no contracts with Sunseeker, no relationship with them. Reverse Argument is that Sunseeker was integrally involved and knew everything going on and was party to a conspiracy. Velvet Beach makes a strong argument.

    As to Obey personally, don't even know what he has to go after but assuming it's worthwhile, everyone has sued him personally as well and that's the fight that will take place is him distancing. I would bet the lawyers drew everything up well enough to protect him. However, the question is, was he disciplined enough to keep that protection or did he sometimes treat the business funds as if his personal funds. I would say the majority of small business owners do a lousy job of it.
  4. bliss

    bliss Senior Member

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    Was Obey Sunseeker's (US or Brit) employee, agent, dealer or ??? What contract(s) existed between any of them? Who knew or should of known what and when? How did money move between the parties? How should it have moved? OK, those seem to be the questions re boat product that need to be answered. Lots of work for the lawyers. I won't hold my breath. As to warranty work and dollars; would someone provide a little bit on how they play a part? Many thanks!
  5. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    So, if it drives, flies or, floats, lease it? lol
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Obey (Referring to his company and it's corporate names and assumed names, all included) was a dealer. Had a dealer's agreement with Sunseeker. It allowed him to buy boats from them and have them delivered to customers or to himself.

    Customers would pay Obey based on the progress of the builds, paying 20% down, 30% when the hull was laid, etc. Obey would then pay Sunseeker but apparently not by the same schedule. He would make payments against specific boats but then shift money around as well. So, he might tell them take the million dollars I told you was on boat A and move it to boat B.

    Warranty work came into the picture because he alleged they owed him for a lot of it. He then applied what he claimed he was owed against what he owed for boats.

    Also, at one point I believe he held some customers boats on which he was owed warranty payments, telling them he'd have to be paid by them or Sunseeker to get their boats. I have no idea what happened with that.

    Ultimately you have Sunseeker terminating the dealership agreement but Obey continuing to sell boats and ignoring their termination.

    When all the pieces are sorted, it seems Sunseeker claimed they were owed 13.5 million GBP by Obey. Obey claimed they weren't. Buyers claimed they paid Obey money and he didn't give it to Sunseeker and they didn't get their boats. Sunseeker claims they weren't paid so the sale of the boat was terminated.

    In addition there's a group of buyers who had made initial deposits, the 20%, and no work was ever done on building their boat. JPC's filings claimed a total in such deposits of $4 million when all buyers were included.

    As typical when cases are filed and others proceed additional pieces leak out. One was an accusation that Sunseeker and Obey had practices together that helped Sunseeker increase or overstate sales and revenues.

    How much money Sunseeker owes in refunds that should go back to Obey in normal situations or in warranty claims and how much Obey owes to customers is anybody's guess at this point. They're not even close to real information coming out in court yet.
  7. bliss

    bliss Senior Member

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    Thanks for the recap,especially the warrantee comments. There must have been a point at which Obey, both Sunseekers and all the yachtsmen knew the jig was up.
    I can only think of one reason we haven't heard of changes in Sunseeker(s) management. Something to do with future testimony.
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    One of the issues is they knew the jig was up but hid it from customers.
  9. Alzira II

    Alzira II Member

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    And what is Obey doing now? In the business?
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    He's open as a broker and selling Astondoa and Regulator as new builds.
  11. amgscrap

    amgscrap Member

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    Of course Obey is a culprit. But so is Sunseeker.

    Sunseeker issues territories to a dealer. So if someone say in Palm Beach or Broward County wants to buy a Sunseeker they have to use Obey. If you contact Sunseeker they direct you to Obey. When you give someone an exclusive agency to sell your product it does place certain duties on the Principal Sunseeker.

    of course if a dealer unbeknownst to the Principal engages in illegal activities then the Principal may not be responsible.

    bottom line both Obey and Sunseeker are tarnished entities and buyer beware in dealing with either of them.
  12. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Yeah, online says 5 locations. Never missed a beat.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    To give an idea of reasonable expectations.

    Obey's last business breakup was in 2012. Included charges like theft and violence, protective orders and much more. Finally resolved in 2019. Sunseeker was not a principal party but was involved peripherally.

    And Nautikos suit in 2011 against Atlantic Yacht, Obey and others for selling Sunseeker's in their exclusive territories, depositions through 2015 and final dismissal in 2016.

    So, conclusions:
    1. A zebra can't change it's stripes. Perhaps all would do well to at least look up court records of any people or businesses they're about to give large amounts of money to. Don't just look at business filings as if you find DWI's or domestic violence that also tells you a lot.
    2. Sunseeker was involved with Obey and others as far back as 2008 and had good knowledge of those they were dealing with.
    3. Obey has a history of very prolonged litigation eventually resulting in some forms of settlements after years of interrogatories and filings and depositions. There is no reason to expect differently this time. The plaintiffs should likely look for resolutions sometime between 2023 and 2026.
    4. Use good attorney's in any major financial agreements such as these. They can help you find ways to protect yourself such as structure of deals, using LC's, purchasing performance bonds as insurance. They can also advise you to walk away.
  14. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Wow, what a business history, just more of the same. Still operating too! Will be interesting to see how Turner and the other 6/7 buyers come out of this boat wreck. One thing for sure Obey or Sunseeker are not stepping up to do anything to help their customer's.
  15. WiserTime

    WiserTime New Member

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    Very sad for the buyers caught up in this. I do not mean for the following to be a comment on those involved in this particular situation and some very good advice has been given in this thread. I particularly second the comments re paying deposits/progress payments to a dealer. But this is a good example of investing a relative small amount in proper legal representation upfront to avoid considerable headache later on.
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, it's not just legal representation, it's good legal representation which may seem very expensive but then nothing compared to what is at stake.
  17. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Consider it "insurance" and a part of the purchase price. Just like title insurance when you buy real estate.
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I do....why else would I have set up and Italian company and have an Italian attorney to get a boat built in Italy. Overly precautious? Hopefully I am, but I sleep better.
  19. Captgary

    Captgary New Member

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    He is in business as Rick Obey yacht sales. He just screwed me over on a used boat buy. Accepted my offer which i said was contingent upon clear oil samples, survey,etc. Get a call this afternoon that he is selling to someone that offered a few more dollars. That’s not the way we do business where I’m from
  20. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Your lucky, look what happened to others that gave him a deposit.