Jim Delegat, managing director of winemaker Delegat's Group, has failed in a High Court attempt to recover payments on an incomplete yacht from a director of failed luxury yacht-maker Salthouse Marine.
Justice Mark Woolford ruled that Perth-based naval architect Christopher Norman didn't breach his director's duties under the Companies Act while a director of Salthouse between December 2008 and February 2010.
The judge also ruled he didn't engage in misleading or deceptive conduct under the Fair Trading Act by telling Delegat in October 2009 that he wouldn't regret the purchase of the 70-foot Salthouse 68 yacht.
The Jim Delegat Business Trust made payments totalling $1.23 million to a subsidiary of Salthouse set up specifically to build the yacht. When Salthouse failed in February 2009, the trust was left with an incomplete hull worth between $150,000 and $455,461, the judgment says.
The trust set up its own company to finish the yacht over two years, reportedly at a cost of an additional $4.7 million. No recovery was possible from either Salthouse or the subsidiary Boat 93. The judgment says Norman himself was the biggest loser from the failure of Salthouse, since his interests had advanced about $3.3 million and taken on a debt of $699,500 only to lose his total investment.