According to a report from Business Insider, yachts belonging to Russian oligarchs that have been seized in multiple countries due to Ukraine war sanctions will quickly fall into disrepair as authorities decide how to dispose of them.
In conversation with boating experts, Insider's Grace Kay and Sam Tabahriti are reporting that muti-million dollar yachts are labor-intensive when it comes to upkeep and will begin to show signs of deterioration since no one is tending to them.
According to the report, "Dozens of superyachts seized from Russian oligarchs and collectively worth billions of dollars could quickly waste away in a matter of weeks if they're not properly cared for — a process that requires millions of dollars," adding, "Insider spoke with four experts who described how the sanctions against Russia — which they say are more extensive than any other coordinated global round of sanctions in history — could lead to lengthy court battles and the deprecation of the world's most expensive superyachts. "
Benjamin Maltby, a partner at Keystone Law in the UK and an expert in yacht and luxury asset law, told Insider, "Yachts will start to deteriorate as soon as the maintenance program is relaxed. Cleaning surfaces, and checking equipment operation is continual."
The report adds, "... while the Russian oligarchs are still technically responsible for paying for yacht maintenance, it is likely they will either refuse to pay or European authorities will encounter difficulty collecting the funds due to sanctions on financial transactions with the billionaires."
"Without proper care, vessels can lose about 30% of their value, according to [president of Marine Boat Works in California] Todd Roberts. What's more, if a superyacht were to go without its crew — which typically includes a staff of 25 or more — the vessel could quickly fail official inspections and ultimately lose its insurance due to concerns related to functionality and environmental risk."
According to Maltby, "...he expects most crews to walk away from the seized vessels because their pay will likely be comprised, leaving European authorities in the lurch when it comes to deciding what to do with the assets. Last week, the crew of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov's 512-foot superyacht was fired after sanctions prevented the staff from receiving their wages."
Roberts agreed, adding, "This is almost completely uncharted territory. I don't think any of us fully understand what it will mean for the industry."
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