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A planned $60 million luxury superyacht is going on sale unfinished and at a fraction of its estimated cost after it was caught in a devastating blaze while under construction at an Auckland shipyard .
The 50m luxury vessel Star Fish remains a work-in-progress at the McMullen and Wing shipyard in Mt Wellington after construction was halted by a midnight fire three months ago.
Yesterday the owner revealed he wanted to sell the unfinished superyacht, which is currently valued at US$14 million ($17 million).
The yacht was 75 per cent complete when it was damaged in the fire, thought to have started accidentally in paint inside the shed.
It is now being sold for "a fraction" of its current value and, with a new superstructure and interior, it could be launched within 18 months.
"The fire destroyed the parts of the yacht's interior that had already been installed, particularly the nearly completed crew quarter," yacht owner Richard Beattie said.
"But it left the aft portions of the yacht virtually untouched. After the fire, the engine room machinery was still cloaked in its protective plastic."
Mr Beattie, the chairman of Aquos Yachts and owner of the McMullen and Wing-built US$29 million Big Fish vessel, said it was a "painful and heart-wrenching" decision to sell the Star Fish for financial reasons.
According to the Charterworld.com website, the Star Fish was to have a salon, dining room and galley, six staterooms, accommodation for nine crew, floor-to-ceiling windows, an atrium stairwell, granite decks and space to carry a submarine or a seaplane.
McMullen and Wing are now enlisting designers to submit concepts for scaled-down versions of the yacht for new owners to consider.
McMullen and Wing commercial manager Michael Eaglen said the shipyard was eager to see the yacht bought.
Since the blaze, the reputed Auckland yacht construction company had cut its staff from 100 to 40 due to the drop in work.
"It's incredibly hard times," Mr Eaglen said.
"[But] we are still in business and we're fortunate that we didn't suffer a lot of physical damage to our infrastructure as a result of the fire, which was very lucky."
Brokers have started marketing the unfinished yacht to potential buyers and it is hoped a sale comes soon.
"There is absolutely ... a huge determination from all of us on the management team and most specifically the owners to keep McMullen and Wing, as a brand and as an iconic New Zealand yacht builder, in business," Mr Eaglen said.
"We've been around since 1969 and we're doing everything we can to make sure [McMullen and Wing] is around in the future."