THOMASTON, Maine — The reading of instructions for a court-ordered auction Wednesday afternoon of a 70-foot sailboat took longer than the bidding.
Lyman Morse Boatbuilding was the sole and successful bidder for the vessel that it had worked on for a year and a half. Chief Financial Officer Bruce Hopkins made a bid of $50,000 and there were no other takers.
The auction was held at Lyman Morse on the Thomaston waterfront.
The boat had been commissioned in 2008 by Richard Lee, a citizen of the United Kingdom who resided in Brazil. The price of construction was to be $3.69 million.
But midway through construction Lee informed the boatyard that he was unable to pay for completion of the yacht.
Lyman Morse filed suit and earlier this year, a federal judge ordered the sale of the boat.
Lyman Morse had said it had put 25,000 hours of work into the vessel.
“We’re in control of our destiny,” Hopkins said of the purchase of the sailboat. “We’re looking for the right customer who will want us to finish it.”
He said he was not surprised there were no other bidders because of the current economic situation.
Also attending the auction was U.S. Marshal Noel March, who was employed as a Thomaston police officer and later chief deputy for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in the 1980s. He also served for eight years as chief of police and public safety director for the University of Maine before becoming the state’s highest-ranking federal law enforcement official in April 2010.
The instructions for Wednesday’s auction took more than five minutes to read by Deputy U.S. Marshal Elyse Regan while the bidding took less than one minute. The U.S. Marshal Service, among other tasks, manages forfeited assets.