Archive for » June 16th, 2016«

John Kerry unloading yacht that made waves

The 76-foot luxury yacht Isabel — the tony tub that sailed Secretary of State John Kerry into stormy political seas a few years ago when the Track revealed that he and his wife had dodged a $437,500 state tax bill on their swanky $7 million sailboat — is up for sale.

Kerry and the missus, ketchup heiress 
Teresa Heinz, listed the New Zealand-built Friendship sloop for a mere 
$4 million with luxury yacht brokers Northrop Johnson in Newport, R.I. — some $3 million less than they paid for it back in 2010.

“Boats do depreciate very, very quickly,” said a source with knowledge of the sale.

Kerry, who was in Oslo, Norway, attending a dinner for the foreign minister, declined to comment on the sale through a spokesman. An attorney for the Heinz family didn’t return a call or email. We’re guessing the duo would rather not rehash the political shipwreck that was the Isabel in 2010.

That was when the Track revealed that Kerry had ported the yacht in Newport — even painting the Rhode Island sailing haven’s name on the boat’s stern — thus avoiding a six-figure sales tax bill from the cash-strapped commonwealth of Mass.

Rhode Island had repealed its boat sales and use tax back in 1993, making the tiny state a haven — like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau — for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners.

Local and national press hounded Kerry for four full days after the revelation, as the then-senator bobbed, weaved and dodged the question over whether he would pony up to the Bay State. Kerry had insisted that he chose to keep the boat in Rhode Island for “maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes.”

But under Mass. tax laws, if Kerry and the missus used the boat in state, they would be liable for a use tax, equal to the sales tax, and the boat had been spotted in their summer home port of Nantucket and on Martha’s Vineyard.

Finally, after an unprecedented pounding in the press, Kerry announced he and Teresa were cutting a check to the state Department of Revenue.

The Isabel, which has spent nearly every summer in Nantucket ever since, is the second piece of the island the Heinz-Kerrys will be jettisoning. The summer manse on Hulbert Avenue, where the couple has vacationed for more than two decades, is also on the market.

The house is owned by Heinz’s three sons, having been left to them by her late husband, John, who died in a plane crash in 1991. Teresa and her late first husband purchased the home for a mere $1.2 million back in 1982; it is on the market now for $25 million. Kerry and Teresa were married there in 1995.

According to an island source, the Heinz-Kerrys are likely to buy another home on the island that is “more private” than the Hulbert Avenue estate. The source also revealed that the couple is in the market for a new and bigger motorized yacht.

“When you get to a certain age, sailing becomes more difficult,” said the source.

Heinz, who has not been in the best of health in recent years — she was treated for breast cancer in 2009 and suffered a seizure in 2013, spending three weeks at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital — reportedly wants a boat that will be easier for her to get around in.

As for the Isabel, it boasts an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and “voluminous interior spaces, masterfully crafted to create a sense of living in a “fine furniture environment,” according to the listing.

“Isabel fulfills all expectations of elegant style, with a classic profile that turns heads in every port,” the listing continues. “A powerful rig that serves up exhilarating performance and a sail-plan that is engineered to be fully managed from the helm. On deck and below, the detailing aboard Isabel is sublime. … She is indeed, a perfect blend of form and function.”

File Under: Anchors Away.


Similar news: