Rockport business drops lawsuit against Bermuda sailing foundation

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 12:00pm

PORTLAND — A lawsuit filed in October by a Rockport business in federal court to collect more than $44,000 it said it was owed by the owner of a Bermuda training ship has been dismissed.

Rockport Marine filed the lawsuit on Oct. 21 in the First U.S. District Court in Portland against the Bermuda Sloop Foundation (BSF), which is based in Bermuda.

Rockport Marine said in the complaint that it performed work earlier this year as requested by the BSF on the sailing vessel, the Spirit of Bermuda, and the foundation failed to pay $44,543.40 for supplies, services and repairs.

The business was also seeking reimbursement for the amount of damages, interest, costs and reasonable attorney fees.

Attorney William Welte, of Camden and who represented Rockport Marine, could not immediately be reached for comment to determine if a settlement was reached.

The Spirit of Bermuda is a purpose-built sail and training vessel based on civilian Bermudian-type schooners built between 1810 and 1840. It was built and launched in the United States in 2006.

On Oct. 24, the Executive Director of the BSF, Branwen Smith-King, had released the following statement from the organization’s spokesperson:

Spirit of Bermuda has just completed a very significant marine regulatory compliance refit in Maine after her 13 years of successful operation. This work included the fitting of a new engine. We were most surprised and disappointed to learn late Tuesday this week (via a press agency) of a writ being filed by Rockport Marine against us in Maine (but not yet served on Bermuda Sloop Foundation) given the many years of BSF’s association with Rockport Marine (which built the ship) and the payment of numerous invoices to date concerning the refit work. An engine related defect was encountered soon after departure from Maine during the return voyage to Bermuda. As a result, Spirit has had to undergo additional servicing in Fairhaven, Massachusetts (with the consent and involvement of Rockport Marine) and we hope to have the necessary remedial work and sea trials completed by the end of this week. Once the responsibilities for this additional work is established and agreed, appropriate remaining payments will be paid in full. BSF only learned of this writ late Tuesday this week, is an honourable Bermuda charity that meets its commitments and will conduct itself in this matter no differently.”

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