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Old 01-24-2019, 10:29 PM   #1
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Nordy 120

For your viewing.

Considering the outcome of the case, when does the bitterness end.

https://youtu.be/SctycGOxkLk
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:09 PM   #2
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Watched 2 minutes. Root canal surgery would be more fun. Remarkably gentle cross examination, if that`s what it was.
What was the outcome of the case?
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:58 PM   #3
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I assume the US does not have the same rules about the use of examinations outside of court or he could be in trouble. In Canada he would be liable to be dragged back in front of the court and sanctioned for posting that clip unless it had been played at trial.

As well I don't think it means what he thinks it means. There is nothing aha about PAE misconduct shown by the deposition. I think people get so wrapped up in their position they start to see what they want.

Hopefully the website that posted the clip does not get worse or more lawsuits will surely fly.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:21 AM   #4
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Got it from some News/blog site. Nordhaven came 1st, Conconi 2nd, with costs, in 2017. Sure this has been mentioned on TF before.

So who posted the youtube video?
And why?
Are Canadian Court proceedings normally video recorded?
Is it edited and if so, fairly?
Perhaps B & B will have the inside story on this.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Got it from some News/blog site. Nordhaven came 1st, Conconi 2nd, with costs, in 2017. Sure this has been mentioned on TF before.

So who posted the youtube video?
And why?
Are Canadian Court proceedings normally video recorded?
Is it edited and if so, fairly?
Perhaps B & B will have the inside story on this.
Note Who made the first comment, those in the Nordy world will recognize him. Hint, a big wig with Nordhaven.

And I suspect the entity that posted the video was the previous owner of said yacht. And the editing is not what one would call “Favorable”.
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:34 AM   #6
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For your viewing.

Considering the outcome of the case, when does the bitterness end.

https://youtu.be/SctycGOxkLk
Never.
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Got it from some News/blog site. Nordhaven came 1st, Conconi 2nd, with costs, in 2017. Sure this has been mentioned on TF before.

So who posted the youtube video?
And why?
Are Canadian Court proceedings normally video recorded?
Is it edited and if so, fairly?
Perhaps B & B will have the inside story on this.
Either Conconi or someone close to him posted the video. Reason was simple, to try to embarrass a top person within Nordhavn. I really don't see how posting it accomplished anything.

The question asked about Canadian Court Proceedings. Well, this was a deposition, not in court itself. It has become much more common to videotape depositions. There are two purposes to depositions. One is to gather information you don't have. It's like getting a free run at the witness. Often times they tell you of someone else you need to question. Prior to depositions there are typically interrogatories, written answers to questions. You can follow up on those and especially on those questions answered with very little information. The other is to catch the witness saying something damaging to their side.

The facts we have now in this whole saga are:

1. Conconi got Nordhavn to sign an insane contract that they stood no chance of fulfilling 100%.

2. Conconi wasn't happy with the boat as delivered nor the time that elapsed before delivery.

3. Several well regarded professionals pointed out a long list of problems with the boat when delivered. Now I think most of us would have been upset but typical Nordhavn buyers would have been far more patient and given them as long as it took to fix them. Conconi wanted, as the contract provided, Westport level delivery and support from Nordhavn.

4. Conconi lost the case. I haven't read the court documents to ascertain more of what was behind the jury decision, but I would think it's a statement that they considered him to be unreasonable. This was before a jury and they definitely consider personalities and perceived character. There was the case of PAE suing Conconi as well as his countersuit. Conconi's efforts to avoid or evade taxes probably hurt and in the appeal he said that information shouldn't have been allowed.

5. Conconi appealed many aspects of it. However, only one portion was granted. Nowhere in the trial did Streech provide authentication as to the details of invoice 8602-002 for $106,847, which apparently was for getting the trade-in ready. So the court granted an appeal simply as to damages and whether Conconi owed the full $722,161 or something up to $106,847 less.

6. All other motions were denied. I do not know what any final results of the appeal were or if there have been any. Reasonable men likely would have compromised and settled. Can't say that was likely in this case.

Here's a link to the opinion filed August 14, 2018. That's the last thing I'm currently aware of.

https://www.leagle.com/decision/incaco20180820066
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:39 AM   #8
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I would say there are some good lessons for all of us in this unpleasant case.

First, to have reasonable expectations. Even contracts that are terribly one sided or unreasonable can be nullified by a jury. In business you see a huge company writing contracts for business with contractors who sign because they want the business. Often these are tossed out under a premise that you shouldn't prevail just because you had better lawyers. Ours always tried to write balanced contracts.

There's a reason new Nordhavn buyers are generally so happy. They understand the commissioning process and the time to resolve issues. I've had them say it would take a year to get everything worked out. However, they'll loyal and patient and most enjoy the commissioning and debugging process. A Westport buyer would be shocked and angry, but that's irrelevant except in this odd case.

Also, this was a first of the model. I would have still been upset, but many would have said you expect this on a new model, especially one that much larger than any they've previously built.

Second, courts are a lousy way to resolve such a case as this. Conconi got hit with PAE's attorney fees of $531,655 plus their own fees over a $700,000 dispute. That's not even counting the costs of all their expert witnesses and their own time. The best way to have resolved this would have been continuing to work with and pressure PAE and never mention attorney's or lawsuits. Would he have gotten everything fixed? No. But far more than he got fixed as things turned out. Sometimes you have to swallow hard and deal with people you don't like and try to save a relationship for your own good. You have to think, "What is in my best interests." In a case like this, a lawsuit seldom is. You have a simple and clear case on a contract and it can be. Can you imagine how confusing the jury found much of the evidence in this case? On top of that imagine how they felt about a wealthy man buying a $16 million boat and a big boat builder fighting, but appears they were most turned off by the wealthy man refusing to pay his bill.

Third, don't try to outsmart the other party and actually outsmart yourself and don't try to take advantage of a struggling company or company struggling at a difficult time. From the first steps at FLIB's, this deal was doomed. Nordhavn was saying yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. He was pressuring them and trying to take advantage of them but what he got was commitments they couldn't live up to. If you want a 120 foot full displacement boat and you want it all done to yacht or to Westport standards, then go to Delta Marine or to Feadship. Westport won't do it and Nordhavn won't. And you won't get it for $16 million. A 125' Westport will cost you $22.5 million. I'm surprised he didn't say he wanted the 120' Nordhavn to cruise at 20 knots.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:27 AM   #9
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Appeals were recently concluded, and all previous decisions upheld. So in the courts, the case is closed. Now Canconi has taken to smearing PAE/Nordhavn in every possible way. What a sad way to spend the twilight years of your life, being so bitter.....
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:58 AM   #10
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There is a first chapter in this N vs Conconi story. The simple and public knowledge version -

About 13 years ago Conconi ordered an N 7X(?). The boat was commissioned in Dana point. A delivery crew was assembled. About 400 miles up the CA coast the vessel "T" boned a freighter. The N crew, for reasons best to remain murky, was inattentive. Damage, although evident, was not sufficient to halt movement to Canada. Tough boat. The tussle started with fingers pointed as to who was in charge of the crew, the owner or Nordhavn.

Repairs were made to the vessel in Sidney BC. As part of the settlement as to who controlled the crash crew, an N 86 was ordered. The rest is as noted above, with the 120 replacing the 86.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:47 AM   #11
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The underlying lesson

After 45 years of trying cases, many of which were between (what the jury perceived) as very wealthy people and those who sold them their luxury homes and boats, I can safely say that the juries have little sympathy for the wealthy, and often ignore the actual contract and find a way to compensate the builder/seller IF that entity is presented to them as "worthy". Hence the advice that an experienced trial lawyer gives every client, no matter how strong the initial case, that a bad settlement is better, and usually less expensive, than a good trial.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:14 AM   #12
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I have not followed this closely, but agree with the general sentiment expressed here. Sometimes you just need to move on. The ultra wealthy are often a good example that money does not buy happiness.
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:33 AM   #13
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For what it's worth, I got a quick visit on the N120 about a year ago, and met the professional crew. They absolutely loved the boat, and said it was head and shoulders above the other Super Yachts they had run. It was nice to see a happier second chapter to the N120 story.


And if anyone believes someone can Jinx a boat, Conconi is your guy. The N120 we know about from this thread, now moved on to a happy new life, but first owned by Conconi. Then Sunchaser mentioned the N76 that t-boned a freighted. Owned by Conconi. And there is an N62 slowly breaking up on the west coast of Mexico due to a navigation error. Also owned by Conconi at some point in it's history. See a pattern?
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Are Canadian Court proceedings normally video recorded?
The recording was a US deposition not a Canadian examination. I guess it just shows the differences between US and other countries like the UK and Australia. Outside of the US posting a clip like this would never fly.

I wonder how much this whole process cost. One would have to assume more than the tax savings that appear to be much of what started the breakdown in relations between PAE and the other side.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:47 PM   #15
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And if anyone believes someone can Jinx a boat, Conconi is your guy. The N120 we know about from this thread, now moved on to a happy new life, but first owned by Conconi. Then Sunchaser mentioned the N76 that t-boned a freighted. Owned by Conconi. And there is an N62 slowly breaking up on the west coast of Mexico due to a navigation error. Also owned by Conconi at some point in it's history. See a pattern?
Not only a pattern, but maybe he should hire a full time Shamen, would be cheaper than repairs and lawsuits!
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:54 PM   #16
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Appeals were recently concluded, and all previous decisions upheld. So in the courts, the case is closed. Now Canconi has taken to smearing PAE/Nordhavn in every possible way. What a sad way to spend the twilight years of your life, being so bitter.....
The other sad part is that Nordhavn already knew who they were dealing with and kept getting deeper and deeper with him.

The more he does the less people feel for him and more they feel for Nordhavn. I think his behavior now is exactly the person the jury saw. I can only imagine the frustration his lawyer had, giving him specific instructions to just answer the questions and then him going off on tangents. I'm thinking just a horrific witness.

My mother wasn't as bad as him but she did share that if she felt someone did her wrong, she'd carry it forever and it would come out at any chance she had. I didn't gain brownie points by saying "That was 15 years ago. Get over it." I told her on one that I did not want to hear about it anymore.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:57 PM   #17
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For what it's worth, I got a quick visit on the N120 about a year ago, and met the professional crew. They absolutely loved the boat, and said it was head and shoulders above the other Super Yachts they had run. It was nice to see a happier second chapter to the N120 story.


And if anyone believes someone can Jinx a boat, Conconi is your guy. The N120 we know about from this thread, now moved on to a happy new life, but first owned by Conconi. Then Sunchaser mentioned the N76 that t-boned a freighted. Owned by Conconi. And there is an N62 slowly breaking up on the west coast of Mexico due to a navigation error. Also owned by Conconi at some point in it's history. See a pattern?
The N120 is definitely in a happier place than Conconi.
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:51 PM   #18
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The other sad part is that Nordhavn already knew who they were dealing with and kept getting deeper and deeper with him.

That's right, and brings up another important element of context for the whole thing.


The 120 was started with a different buyer, and when the world stopped after 2008, the buyer bailed and PAE had a half done, very expensive boat. And like other builders, it was not the only boat in built where the buyer walked away. To PAE's credit, they made it through that time where quite a few other builders didn't, but they were desperate times for many people. I suspect the only thing a lot of people can say about the time is "we survived".


If you want to get a flavor of life in the boat building business during that time, "Grand Ambition" is a great book. Dan Streech (the guy being deposed in the video) recommended it to me, and said they lived through very similar drama to that described in the book.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:10 PM   #19
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Agree, Grand Ambition is a good read. I read it a couple years ago, so I forget many of the details, but recall the future owners of their new build Mega Yacht to never be satisfied. Many people can't appreciate the simple things in life like a sunset , a swim in the water, or time with their family. They think these fancy "things" will make them happy, but it won't.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:09 PM   #20
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Grand Ambition is a great book but doesn't parallel the Nordhavn situation very much. In Grand Ambition, the builder was shown over and over to lack integrity. Now, they also weren't just depending on a current sale but on an increase in value of a previous boat. They were running on a premise of buying back the last boat and it being sell-able still for more than it's original price. I see Nordhavn in a far more favorable light than Trinity and Conconi in a far more negative light than the gentleman in Grand Ambition.

Now, "The Millionaire who can't really afford it" I do see often. Then those people try to scheme. I know one person who always buys beyond his means and then looks to charter and to hire cheaply and skips on hurricane damage to others property. I can't grasp how a boat can be a pleasure boat if I made a financial move I can't afford and have to constantly worry about the cost. I have faced though encouragement from others into how we should spend our money on boats beyond our means. We told them to spend their own money.

Unfortunately, 2008 will hit again and we're no better prepared. Nordhavn did an excellent job of surviving and they were transparent and open about the difficulties. Overall though as sales build year after year after year, we get sucked in. I once worked in a company where sales and profits were down a bit and you would have thought disaster had hit. In reality it was the second best year ever and 30% better than the third best. Companies must have contingency plans. We asked everyone to do a plan based on a 20% drop and then we made that the immediate operating plan. We weren't hit as strongly as the boat industry but we also hadn't had the rate of growth.

Prudent businessmen always must assume there will be very negative turns. In boat building, the boat is the first thing to do. There is no industry harder hit. A couple about the same. For instance Motorhome builders were devastated too.

Now, a situation that I saw a lot of what was covered in Grand Ambition shown was Northern Marine.
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