Gilling v. Cox

In Purchase and Sale of Ships on (Updated )

In this matter the Plaintiff commenced proceedings for a declaration that he was the owner of a yacht, for an order declaring a purported sale of the yacht null and void and for damages against the Defendant for the unauthorized sale of the yacht. The Defendant did not appear at the hearing and the only evidence given was that of the Plaintiff. The facts were that the Plaintiff and Defendant entered into an arrangement whereby the Defendant was permitted to charter the Plaintiff’s yacht and retain the charter moneys. In exchange the Plaintiff would receive the benefit of the upkeep of the yacht by the Defendant. In furtherance of the arrangement the Plaintiff executed a Power of Attorney and Appointment of the Defendant as Captain. The arrangement continued for many years although there was an apparent dispute between the parties as to whether the Plaintiff owed the Defendant money for maintenance and capital expenditures. The Defendant executed a bill of sale of the yacht to a third party which prompted the present action. The Court held that the bill of sale was executed without the consent or authority of the Plaintiff and was null and void. Accordingly, the Court granted the Plaintiff a declaration that he was the owner of the yacht. However, the Plaintiff’s many claims for damages were refused by the Court on various grounds including that they were not properly proven.