Schooner Mystic prepares for a voyage to the auction block

Buy Photo Tim Martin/The Day The steamboat Sabino approaches the Mystic, a three-masted schooner, on the Mystic River in September. The Mystic will be placed up for auction next week.

Mystic - The schooner Mystic will be auctioned off Nov. 9 in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

Lignum Vitae LLC of Holmes Street has foreclosed on the mortgage it made to the owner of the 171-foot-long, three-masted schooner. The auction was expected as Mystic Schooner Line LLC, the owner of the ship, was unable to pay off the remaining mortgage, interest and fees, which have climbed to $2.8 million while efforts to sell the boat failed.

The Mystic was built in 2007 in Florida and began operating day sails, evening cruises and multi-day trips as part of Voyager Cruises on Holmes Street. In the fall and winter it operated out of Baltimore and the Bahamas.

According to a court filings by Lignum Vitae, Mystic Schooner Line took a $4.1 million, 20-year mortgage from the company in May 2007 but had not made a payment since Jan. 1, 2008. The principal was reduced to $2.3 million when Mystic Schooner Line obtained a $1,876,000 mortgage from the U.S. Small Business Administration and used it to lower the principal.

Essex maritime attorney John Senning, who is representing Lignum Vitae, said Tuesday that a new owner would have to bid more than $2.8 million to get the boat. While he said there has been no interest in the boat, he said it would be sold at auction because in cases such as this, the mortgage holder will submit a bid and then try to sell the boat at a later date.

The auction is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 9 in the U.S. Marshal's Office in the courthouse at 141 Church St. in New Haven.

The winning bidder has to place a deposit of 10 percent of the bid and pay the remaining amount within 48 hours. The boat must then be removed from its dock within 10 days of the confirmation of the sale. If not, the new owner would pay a dockage rate of $175 per day plus expenses.

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