Lyman-Morse buys unfinished yacht at auction

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A partially finished yacht that was commissioned in 2008 by a British man who lost money in the recession was sold at auction to Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, the boat's builder.

Lyman-Morse got the 70-foot Deerfoot sailboat for its opening bid of $50,000. The yacht is 60 percent complete and would cost about $4 million finished, Lyman-Morse told The Portland Press Herald.

"Brand-new, built today, the boat would cost about $4 million,” Lyman-Morse owner Cabot Lyman told the paper. “Someone will get it for 40 to 50 cents on the dollar."

The yacht wound up being auctioned by a U.S. marshal after the owner, Richard Lee, was financially unable to finish the project, according to a lawsuit filed by Lyman-Morse in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, the newspaper reported.

Lyman, the only bidder, said that his company can deal with brokers and prospective buyers while finishing the yacht.

Lee originally invested about $1.5 million in the project but failed to keep current with the bills, court documents said. As of December, Lee owed more than $890,000 to Lyman-Morse for work performed.

The fate of the boat was in limbo for several years as Lyman-Morse and Lee fought a protracted legal battle.

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