LAWSUIT: Jupiter Couple Sued After Selling Defective Chinese Yacht
BOCA RATON, FL – Boca Post (BocaPost.com) — A Jupiter couple is among the parties being sued after they sold a yacht with generator issues to a couple in Tennessee.
According to the lawsuit recently filed in Palm Beach County, Eugene “Buddy” Brackfield and Kristi Brackfield, a couple from Tennessee, recently purchased Deep Blue Zee, a 78-foot semi-custom Chineese-made yacht, from Craig Zoufaly and Diane Zoufaly, a couple who lives in Admiral’s Cove in Jupiter, FL.
The lawsuit claims that the Brackfields purchased the yacht after being advised it was in “immaculate and pristine” condition. The yacht was described as “perfection” and claims were made that the Zoufaly’s never had “never had any issues with the boat”. The Brackfields say that they would never have purchased the vessel if it were not for those types of comments that were made. The Brackfields made an offer and purchased the boat in January of 2022.
During the inspection period, Mr. and Mrs. Brackfield/BB Yachts ordered a full marine survey on the vessel and requested all mechanical service records. Partial service records were provided by Mr. Zoufaly/Deep Blue Zee prior to closing. At that time, the Brackfields/BB Yachts believed they had received all service records. However, Mr. Zoufaly and his agent failed to provide extensive service records on the vessel’s Kohler’s generator system evidencing widespread electrical failures
A sea trial was conducted in or around mid-January, 2022. During the sea trial, the Kohler generators suffered a significant electrical issue and died while the boat was under way. The generators could not be restarted. The Brackfields were assured by Mr. Zoufaly and his agent that the generators would be fixed.
The first three trips the Brackfields’ took on the vessel resulted in the complete failure of the generator system. Each failure was met with several weeks of delays in various ports and significant repairs.
RPM Marine Service (“RPM”), a certified Kohler service representative, responded to one of the service calls on the generators. The RPM technician informed the Brackfields that he had worked on their boat’s generators multiple times when it was owned by Deep Blue Zee/Mr. Zoufaly. He also stated that Cheoy Lee had previously submitted warranty claim work for the vessel’s generators and that Cheoy Lee was aware of the generator issues from the day it was commissioned.
The RPM technician also informed the Brackfields that the generator hours were manipulated and/or incorrect because the specific parts which track the generator hours had been replaced, effectively resetting the generator hours to zero. The Brackfields were unaware that the generator hours were inaccurate prior to the purchase of the vessel.
The Brackfields determined that the generators had 28 separate service calls for warranty work under Mr. Zoufaly/Deep Blue Zee’s ownership! None of these service records were provided to the Brackfields prior to the closing, despite their specific request for all service records.
The generators were found to be insufficient for the amount of load required, causing them to go into an overload state. The yacht needs more power. The Brackfields requested that Kohler and Cheoy Lee, the yacht builder, replace the generators, to no avail.
The Brackfields say they are seeking reimbursement for damages in excess of $216,300 to replace the two generators, cost of dockage, downtime, and fuel.