Boatbuilder responds to Gunboat International lawsuit

Taiwan-based Hudson Yachts and Marine Industries Inc. is “vehemently” denying allegations in the lawsuit.

China-based Hudson Yachts and Marine Industries Inc. is “vehemently” denying allegations in a lawsuit filed in Rhode Island’s U.S. District Court by Gunboat International alleging that HYM produced subpar Gunboat models, refused to perform warranty work on them and then launched a competing “knockoff” brand.

“Hudson Yachts and Marine Industries Inc. and [owner] Hudson Wang vehemently deny each and every one of the allegations in the lawsuit filed by Gunboat International, Ltd.,” Hudson Yachts and Marine president Paul Hakes said in a statement emailed to Trade Only Today.

Gunboat, a North Carolina builder of luxury carbon fiber sailing catamarans, had contracted HYM to build its largest models. Court documents filed Aug. 18 showed that Gunboat accused HYM of breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, interference with contractual relations, unjust enrichment, breach of noncompete and misappropriation of trade secrets.

“HYM and Wang are proud of the products built for the Gunboat 60 customers and are disappointed that Gunboat resorted to a lawsuit and shaming HYM and Wang publicly to air the grievances between them,” Hakes said. “Given the pending lawsuit, HYM and Wang will not make any further comment on this matter, as the proper forum for this matter is the lawsuit itself.”

Gunboat president Peter Johnstone told Trade Only that builder error on the boats and failure to honor warranty claims had cost his company around $10 million and that he spent a year trying to rectify the problems — which Hakes denied in his email to Trade Only.

The complaint also alleged that HYM “deliberately, willfully and maliciously obtained Gunboat’s trade secrets” to incorporate into competing vessels, which Hakes also denied.

HYM has not yet formally responded to the allegations; the company and Wang have until Sept. 30 to respond to Gunboat’s complaint in court.