Tag Yachts’ sister company was initially set up to drive production of South African builder’s new 50ft cat

Embattled South African catamaran builder Tag Yachts has confirmed the demise of Tag Yachts 50, the sister company set up to drive production of the company’s new 50ft cruising catamaran.

Managing director Tim van der Steene said Tag Yachts 50 was currently in liquidation, while Tag Yachts SA remains in business rescue.

Tag’s woes made news headlines earlier this year when a group of former investors claimed they were taking legal action against the company. The Weekend Post newspaper named one of these investors as prominent Abu Dhabi businessman Sultan Ahmed Ghunoum Al-Hameli, whom it said had paid a substantial sum for an unfinished vessel. Van der Steene confirmed meeting Al-Hameli at the Cannes show and that the businessman had paid a deposit for a boat slot. However, he said he had not been informed about pending legal action. “It [legal action] is unclear to me as I have not been informed,” Van der Steene said.

Van der Steene also denied knowledge of whether Al-Hameli had bought the Tag 50 moulds. “I have not received any communication with regards to the above. My understanding is that Sultan professed to being able to manufacture the Tag 50 in Abu Dhabi at 50% of the cost to SA, so I assume he is in the process of doing so.”

Van der Steene attributed the company’s woes to complications around the business plan. “When things took longer than expected and when key parties changed the business plan – this caused a snowball effect which the company could not sustain.

“I am saddened by the outcome of firstly TAG Yachts and secondly for the SA boatbuilding Industry.

“Yes, I dedicated several years of my life to help benefit the boatbuilding Industry but also in hope that it would benefit South Africa as a whole,” he said.