The Law Firm of Eugene J. McDonald








As with any financial venture, the credit worthiness of the parties and the financial viability of the business venture requires the preparation and vetting of documents such as the purchase and sale agreement, first preferred ship mortgage and assignments, liens, and other related documentation in connection with ship financing, and the formation of business entities such as corporations, LLCs, joint ventures and partnerships.

We routinely advise and assist marine bankers in connection with the financing, mortgage, flagging and government documentation of vessels ranging in size from small pleasure craft to yachts through tugs and barges, fishing vessels to large container ships and oil tankers.

We also assist owners and operators in the construction and/or acquisition, financing and government documentation of vessels, including handling commercial and government financing vehicles and related tax considerations.

We counsel and draft exclusive vessel listing agreements on behalf of yacht brokers, along with vessel purchase and sale agreements and related documents, US Coast Guard documentation, and state title regulations.

Very rarely is the sale of a vessel, commercial or recreational, problem free. Often, disputes arise during the transaction regarding the physical readiness and seaworthiness of the vessel or a survey reveals latent defects requiring the re-negotiation of the purchase and sale agreement. More often than not, these disputes arise post-sale. We are experienced at resolving these disputes, whether by arbitration or litigation before the courts.

On occasion, brokers are left holding the bag, owners default on their mortgage obligation, necessitating brokers, marine bankers and lenders to judicially enforce their lien by having the vessel arrested and sold under court order at public auction. Or, worse yet, owners deliberately sail their vessels to foreign jurisdictions to evade U.S. jurisdiction. Often there are competing maritime liens and legal priorities. For over 30 years, we have swiftly arrested vessels, not only in the United States, but worldwide, regardless of whether the vessel be commercial or recreational.

Marine bankers and lenders very often have no idea that their customers are engaging in nefarious activities such as drug smuggling and human trafficking. This has led to a rise in seizures/forfeitures of recreational vessels by the U.S. Coast Guard. We have the knowledge and experience to successfully represent marine bankers and lenders in the resulting adversarial proceedings before the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs.


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