Boat sellers ordered to refund Airlie Beach pair
FOR everyone who has ever felt like they were sold a lemon you too could have your day in court just like Airlie Beach residents Dinah Dudney and Waldemar Rentals.
In a District Court decision handed down on Tuesday, Judge David Reid found the sellers of the 35ft Belle de Jour charter catamaran didn't tell the pair about the engine failures the boat had before they bought it.
Because of that the judge forced the sellers to take the boat back, give Mrs Dudney and Mr Reintals their money back - with interest, as well as pay damages and legal fees.
Mrs Dudney and Mr Reintals said they were thrilled with the decision where they were awarded more than $580,000 after initially trying to return the boat and just get the $360,000 they paid for it back.
"The judge could clearly see the evidence of the conduct of the people who sold us the boat and those acting for them," they said in a statement provided to the Daily Mercury.
"It's just a shame that the people who sold us the boat didn't accept the offer we made very early in the piece, where we offered to return the boat if they refunded our money."
After a six-day hearing earlier in the year Judge Reid found that when defendant Steven William Larsson did not tell Mr Reintals about all of the engine failures the 35ft Fontaine Pajot power catamaran had, he was being misleading.
(There is a famous French movie also called Belle de Jour - which means beauty of the day)
The vessel first sailed in late 2007 and used as a charter boat in the Whitsundays, however before it was resold to Mrs Dudney and Mr Reintals the engines had been replaced four times.
And when another had to be replaced a year after they bought it they discovered its troubled past.
But seller Mr Larrson argued that he told Mr Reintals about the engine problems on more than one occasion, Judge Reid's decision reads.
"That the problem had involved cracking of the engines... that there had been numerous investigations into the problem by the manufacturers of both the engines and the vessel," the court documents read.
But Mr Rentials argued that the agent used to sell the boat said it was a "good boat" while Mr Larrson said it was "a great boat" and was "easy to look after".
He also claimed Mr Larrson did not tell him about all of the engine failures but instead told him that "one of (the motors) had been replaced" and "the starboard engine had been recently replaced".
Judge Reid found that in his view it was "unlikely that the plaintiffs would have purchased the vessel, especially for $360,000, only $5000 less than the asking price, if they had been told of the history of previous engine failures". He also found that by being silent and not telling Mr Reintals about the engine failures the seller and Mr Larrson was misleading him. The lawyers for Mr and Mrs Larrson were approached for comment on the decision or if they would appeal but declined.