Pssst! Wanna ride in the late David Copley's yacht, once christened Happy Days? It will only cost you $250,000 a week. The yacht has been refurbished ("refitted," in yachting circles) and has been put out to charter by its owner (more on him below.)
Chartering a yacht when not using it is common among yacht owners. The Happy Days' new name is Victoria Del Mar II and it can be chartered through International Yacht Collection in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a company that wouldn't give me a lick of information.
However, the publication Superyachttimes.com confirms that Copley's former Happy Days is now Victoria Del Mar II, and so does Nick Hamer of Jack Tar Superyachtcharter.com. There is no doubt about it.
The former Copley yacht was refitted by Fort Lauderdale's Claudette Bonville Associates. On her web page is a testimonial from one John Miller. He gushes, "I've found Claudette Bonville and her staff to be professional and show great attention to the smallest details. The outcome was beyond our expectations...my wife Vicki and I thoroughly enjoyed working with Claudette."
Miller is listed as owner of Victoria Del Mar (not Victoria Del Mar II), but it's clear that the first Victoria Del Mar is not the former Copley craft. It is much older, was built by a different company, and is selling for only $7.2 million. (Happy Days was on the market for $34.7 million.) So it appears certain that John Miller is owner of the newly refitted Victoria Del Mar II.
It also appears that this John Miller is John R. Miller, the next-door La Jolla neighbor, confidant, and big financial backer of Mitt Romney. Fraser Yachts, which sold the Copley yacht, cites confidentiality agreements for not talking, as does Claudette Bonville, although she was initially helpful. Miller did not respond to a request for comment.
So, if you shell out $250,000, you can ride in the luxury of two of La Jolla's richest: the late David Copley and John R. Miller.