Former presidential yacht Sequoia at center of Delaware court fight between owners, lenders

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The owners of the former presidential yacht Sequoia are asking a Delaware judge to prevent a lender from seizing it.

Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group claims in a Chancery Court lawsuit filed late last week that FE Partners reneged on a $5 million loan agreement in a "dastardly" plan to take control of the historic vessel.

Washington, D.C.-based FE Partners says the lawsuit is grossly inaccurate and without merit.

The Delaware lawsuit was filed after a New York judge dismissed a similar complaint last month on jurisdictional grounds. Both parties are Delaware limited liability companies.

The Sequoia plaintiffs claim that FE Partners lent only half the $5 million that was promised, leaving them in financial distress and subject to "trumped up" default claims that allow FE Partners to buy the yacht at a fire-sale price of $7.8 million.

According to the plaintiffs, the 104-foot Sequoia, built in 1925, is the longest-serving presidential yacht in American history. It was the official yacht for presidents from Herbert Hoover through Jimmy Carter.

The Sequoia was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and is currently docked at a marina about a mile south of the U.S. Capitol. The yacht is available for rental, at about $10,000 per charter.