Justice orders Sealegs to pay Orion and Smuggler
After more than four years of proceedings, the New Zealand boatbuilder Sealegs was convicted by the Auckland High Court in its dispute with Orion and Smuggler. Sealegs, a pioneer in the small amphibious boat sector, accused the latter of counterfeiting, claiming compensation and the cessation of its competitor's activity. After a first instance judgement in his favour in December 2016, he was finally disavowed by the Auckland High Court in August 2019. The shipyard was ordered to reimburse Orion and Smuggler for the full $500,000 in legal costs.
Sealegs on the verge of bankruptcy in a growing market
If Sealegs is a historical figure in the sector, with its hydraulic wheel systems, the amphibious boat market has attracted many players in recent years. For the French nautical industry alone, we can mention Iguana Yachts, Wetton Craft or Tringa Boats. The injunction to pay its debts before 26 May 2020 could nevertheless make the New Zealand pioneer disappear. Already in difficulty, if the shipyard honours this request, it will have to face new costs. A date should be set by the court before the end of 2020 to deal with the compensation of Orion and Smugglers for the period from 2016 to 2019 when the yard was unable to produce an amphibious boat.
For its part, Smuggler Marine announces the rapid release of 2 new models of amphibious boats in 2020.