/Couple plan dream life on the sea after buying criminals super yacht
Couple plan dream life on the sea after buying criminals super yacht

Couple plan dream life on the sea after buying criminals super yacht


A couple are planning to live the dream life of sailing around the world after buying a criminal’s multi-million pound super yacht for just £66,000.
Jon, 31, and his wife Louise Stevens, 28, bought the 85ft yacht named ‘The Caviar’ in a government auction after it was seized from a man convicted of £2.4 million fraud by police.
The vessel had been abandoned in a wharf in Southampton, Hampshire, for 13 years and was in a run down state when the couple took it over.
They have since spent more than £300,000 restoring the vessel which they have renamed the Juliette, after their two-year-old daughter.

Jon, 31, and his wife Louise Stevens, 28 (pictured with their daughter Juliette, two), are planning to live life on the sea after buying a 85ft yacht in a government auction after it was seized from a man convicted of £2.4 million fraud by police

Jon, 31, and his wife Louise Stevens, 28 (pictured with their daughter Juliette, two), are planning to live life on the sea after buying a 85ft yacht in a government auction after it was seized from a man convicted of £2.4 million fraud by police

The Stevens have rented out their flat in Guildford, Surrey, and are live permanently on the luxurious yacht.
This summer they will sail it around the north of France and the Channel Islands before docking in London so Mrs Stevens can continue her medical studies at King’s College.
Next summer, the family and their pet dog, will venture further afield and cruise around the Mediterranean.
The yacht, that was made by Sanlorenzo in Italy back in 1986, features five en suite bedrooms, a kitchen and a large open planning living area.

The couple spent more than £300,000 restoring the luxury vessel to a seaworthy condition after it was left abandoned for 13 years at a wharf in Southampton, Hampshire

The couple spent more than £300,000 restoring the luxury vessel to a seaworthy condition after it was left abandoned for 13 years at a wharf in Southampton, Hampshire

The Stevens have kitted out their three deck ship with sleek and modern interiors, including state of the art appliances in their kitchen

The Stevens have kitted out their three deck ship with sleek and modern interiors, including state of the art appliances in their kitchen

Inside their super yacht, the couple have tastefully decorated their living room with carpet, a TV mounted to their wall and opposite a large white, alongside a large dining table

Inside their super yacht, the couple have tastefully decorated their living room with carpet, a TV mounted to their wall and opposite a large white, alongside a large dining table

The Juliette also has cosy rooms below deck. The yacht has a total of three decks, including one to keep a jetski and rib on, it can travel at 35 knots and it has three 1,100HP engines

The Juliette also has cosy rooms below deck. The yacht has a total of three decks, including one to keep a jetski and rib on, it can travel at 35 knots and it has three 1,100HP engines

There are three decks, including one to keep a jetski and rib on, it can travel at 35 knots and it has three 1,100HP engines.
It is now thought to be worth about £400,000, but brand new it would have cost several millions of pounds.
Mr Stevens, a property developer, said his family and friends initially thought they were mad to take on such a mammoth project.

The Juliette is thought to be worth about £400,000, but brand new it would have cost several millions of pounds

The Juliette is thought to be worth about £400,000, but brand new it would have cost several millions of pounds

Mr Stevens, a property developer, said his family and friends initially thought they were mad to take on such a mammoth project (the ship's bridge)

Mr Stevens, a property developer, said his family and friends initially thought they were mad to take on such a mammoth project (the ship’s bridge)

This summer they will sail it around the north of France and the Channel Islands before docking in London so Louise can continue her medical studies at King's College (The Stevens pictured on the deck of their yacht)

This summer they will sail it around the north of France and the Channel Islands before docking in London so Louise can continue her medical studies at King’s College (The Stevens pictured on the deck of their yacht)

He said: ‘Louise and I have worked on ships before and we met on board one. We began by doing up houses but it has always been our dream to renovate a boat.
‘When we bought the yacht two and a half years ago we didn’t intend to keep it. But we invested so much time and money into it we couldn’t just let it go.
‘The boat had been in Southampton for 13 years but eventually the owner did something dodgy and it was seized and sold at a proceeds of crime auction.

The couple needed to rip out the ship's original interior, including the kitchen (pictured before it was renovated) that had dated cabinetry and fixtures

The couple needed to rip out the ship’s original interior, including the kitchen (pictured before it was renovated) that had dated cabinetry and fixtures

'When we bought the yacht two and a half years ago we didn't intend to keep it. But we invested so much time and money into it we couldn't just let it go,' Mr Stevens added (the yacht's exterior during its restoration)

‘When we bought the yacht two and a half years ago we didn’t intend to keep it. But we invested so much time and money into it we couldn’t just let it go,’ Mr Stevens added (the yacht’s exterior during its restoration)

‘We started by removing absolutely everything inside and we’ve done up the engine, electric plumbing, navigation and upholstery.
‘This summer we hope to sail it around northern France and the Channel Islands, then we’ll be in London from September until April. Then we’ll go travelling around the Mediterranean next summer.
‘The yacht is named Juliette as it was bought just after our daughter was born. She absolutely loves the boat and playing with her toys on the deck.
‘Our family and friends at first thought we were absolutely mad to buy the yacht given the state of it, but they’ve been so helpful.’

He said: 'We started by removing absolutely everything inside and we've done up the engine, electric plumbing, navigation and upholstery' (the yacht's exterior during restoration)

He said: ‘We started by removing absolutely everything inside and we’ve done up the engine, electric plumbing, navigation and upholstery’ (the yacht’s exterior during restoration)

Mr Stevens added: 'Our family and friends at first thought we were absolutely mad to buy the yacht given the state of it, but they've been so helpful' (the yacht's interior during restoration)

Mr Stevens added: ‘Our family and friends at first thought we were absolutely mad to buy the yacht given the state of it, but they’ve been so helpful’ (the yacht’s interior during restoration)

Mrs Stevens called the mammoth task of renovating the super yacht ‘daunting’ and added ‘most owners of a yacht this size have staff on board and we do it all ourselves.’
‘But it is such an adventure and this is such an exciting new life for our family,’ she said.
‘There are times when we’ve thought did we take on too big a project, but the views you get off the back of the yacht make all the hard work worth it.’
Last month, all their hard work was almost derailed when a blaze started in the engine room as they approached Poole Harbour in Dorset.
Jon, a trained diving instructor, was able to put it out before it ripped through the heart of the boat.

Last month, all their hard work was almost derailed when a blaze started in the engine room as they approached Poole Harbour in Dorset

Last month, all their hard work was almost derailed when a blaze started in the engine room as they approached Poole Harbour in Dorset

RNLI lifeboats rushed to rescue the family on board (pictured). Mr Stevens said: 'It was a nightmare. Upon smelling burning plastic on the flybridge I found two fires in the corner of the engine room'

RNLI lifeboats rushed to rescue the family on board (pictured). Mr Stevens said: ‘It was a nightmare. Upon smelling burning plastic on the flybridge I found two fires in the corner of the engine room’

Mr Stevens explained he believed that a pipe from the port engine came loose and fell onto the started motor, causing a fire. He added: 'We will forever be grateful to the lifeboat teams who came to our aid'

Mr Stevens explained he believed that a pipe from the port engine came loose and fell onto the started motor, causing a fire. He added: ‘We will forever be grateful to the lifeboat teams who came to our aid’

Lifeboats rescued his family, including Louise, who spent several days in hospital after the smoke triggered a heart condition.
Mr Stevens said: ‘It was a nightmare. Upon smelling burning plastic on the flybridge I found two fires in the corner of the engine room.
‘It looks like a pipe came loose from the port engine. It fell onto the live terminal of the starter motor, setting it on fire.
‘We will forever be grateful to the lifeboat teams who came to our aid.’
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