Not that unusual a step at all. Quite common at the end of contracts. Vendor feels more owed, buyer disputes it. Buyer takes item and leaves, in this case leaves with boat, difficult to collect when you're in different jurisdictions. Vendor uses the law to arrest or otherwise detain the item until balance paid or settled. Settlement normally comes quickly after although one recent US builder that went bankrupt had kept one boat detained in their yard for two years. The yard, in the case of A, had to proceed with the arrest or collecting would have cost them many times what it did, if possible at all. It's why yards in South Florida are very careful to not let boats leave before yard bills settled in full, why boat shippers won't ship until paid in full. Picture Florida yard, Brazilian boat. Boat leaves with $1 million unpaid and disputed. What are the odds they'll ever collect?