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USA: Dirt Separation Dispute at Benito Oceanis 35

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In New York, the chaotic battle of two sailors’ roses makes headlines. The subject, among other things, is the shared boat that the woman allegedly stole after the breakup.

“The Islanders” by Michael Fordinberry and Jessica Gates © Sailing Islander NYC

In August, Michael Fordinbery, a longtime sailor, sued his former partner, Jessica Gates, for allegedly disappearing with Benido Oceanis 35 after their separation in January. Unbeknownst to him, Gates had moved the boat to an unknown location and, without betraying it, stole the “most important property” of the joint venture “Soiling Islander”, according to the indictment. Moreover, he was expelled from the company concerned for not getting his due share.

The two bought “Elander” in December 2019 for $ 155,500 (approximately 136,000 euros) to travel around New York with him. A two-hour evening trip was the equivalent of 570 euros. According to the New York Post, the cost of buying the boat at that time was fairly shared. At the same time, Gates is said to have told the tabloid in the summer: “I have a boat, it is in my name. It’s mine, I paid for it.

The couple offered skyline tours on their boat © Sailing Islander NYC


A few days ago it was announced that Gates had now filed a lawsuit against Fordinberry as well. According to court documents, in an increasingly absurd argument, he was accused of stealing from himself and leaving his debts and paying for boat equipment to a newly established rival company with a joint credit card.

Fordinbery believes his experience and further investments have been used successfully by the Sailing Shipping Company, and his ex-girlfriend believes he was used to financial aid and property accumulation. He had already shown this behavior in previous relationships, so he was already involved in legal conflicts.

According to American media, Gates and his company Nicely Making Way LLC are now demanding $ 500,000 in damages, while Fortinberry is demanding $ 480,000. Meanwhile, the Beneteau Oceanis 35 also seems to have “disappeared”.


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