Update: Sequoia owner cedes presidential yacht to end lawsuit

July 3, 2013

Gary Silversmith’s ownership of the Sequoia — the former presidential yacht that he’s offered for charter cruises on the Potomac for 13 years — is nearing an end.


The Sequoia, the former presidential yacht. (Matthew Girard)

 

The D.C. lawyer told our colleague Neely Tucker that he’s bailing on a lawsuit he hoped would let him hang onto the 88-year-old Trumpy, part of a White House fleet from the Hoover administration to the Carter era.

“The legal costs are too burdensome,” he wrote in an email Tuesday, “and the time spent on litigation is impeding our other businesses and investments.”

The new owner: FE Partners, an entity set up last year by D.C. private equity guy Michael Cantor and the Timblo family of India to help pull the Sequoia through chronic financial and maintenance woes via a $5 million loan. But the deal soon deterioriated into a nasty series of accusations between Silversmith and FE; the lawyer sued late last year to keep the firm from seizing the boat.

Court records show that while a trial is still scheduled for August, the two sides are negotiating, and Silversmith is no longer fighting default judgments, which means FE can buy the boat in December.

Silversmith said he will offer cruises — four hours goes for about $10,000 — through this season. After that? FE says it will keep the yacht on the Potomac and open for public charters.

Earlier: Gary Silversmith sailed the Sequoia back to Washington. Now, he’s in deep water, 5/9/13

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