Do you remember the Morning Star? The 90-foot sloop sequestered in April 2012 by the Guardia di Finanza [Italian Finance Police] in La Spezia? The boat, flying the Marshall Islands flag, originally belonged to a company from the British Virgin Islands, and was sequestered during one of its charter activities for financial offenses, ascribable to the unlawful use of VAT and fuel tax benefits given to pleasure boaters, in order to facilitate rental activities. It is a similar accusation to that against Flavio Briatore regarding the Force Blue.

Recent news says that the beautiful sailboat will be “revamped” by the Guardia di Finanza and, after having been renamed the Grifone, will be used to train GdF officers and used in the fight against tax evasion in boating as a “decoy ship”.  Just to give an idea of the illegal turnover the previous owners of the now former Morning Star had, know that renting the boat for one week cost around 28,000 euros – a very illegal golden goose.

Boat Information – The boat is a Rivolta 90, 28.42 metres long (waterline length 27.37m). An elegant yacht with classic lines, inspired by the old ships in the America’s Cup but adapted with large spaces below decks and easy manouverability even in extreme conditions. It was built in 2002 by the American shipyard in Sarasota (Florida). It has a lifitng keep, and has two ballasts, which help compensate the tendancy to strighten while sailing at reduced draft. The maximum beam length is 6.51 metres, while the draft varies, depending on the position of the keel, from 3.93 to 1.78 metres. Displacement is equivalent to 47 tonnes. The boat has two 315 HP Yanmar engines.

Mauro Giuffrè

29 May 2013