Sail catamaran builder Gunboat files for bankruptcy

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Gunboat International filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a series of challenges in the last two years, but owner Peter Johnstone says the company is operationally poised to rebound.

“It’s unfortunate we have to go through this process, but we see our path through,” Johnstone said.

“In a period of non-stop accolades and introduction of several terrific new models, Gunboat has been quietly struggling behind the scenes for nearly two years,” Johnstone wrote on Facebook. “It has been a perfect storm of adverse business circumstances, mistakes and disputes.”

Leading the list of challenges was the legal dispute between Gunboat and Hudson Yacht and Marine Industries, a Chinese builder Gunboat contracted to build the 60 and subsequently sued.

Court documents allege that HYM never did some work and that the yard refused to pay warranty claims on other poorly constructed yachts. It also accuses HYM of breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, interference with contractual relations, unjust enrichment, breach of a non-compete agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets. Court documents accuse the company and its owner of launching a “knockoff brand” of carbon fiber catamarans despite signing a non-compete contract.

The issues prompted Gunboat to spend thousands out of pocket to fix the problems, according to the complaint.