Victoria Del Mar II (neé Happy Days)
  • Victoria Del Mar II (neé Happy Days)
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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.

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Comments

Visduh Oct. 18, 2013 @ 4:48 p.m.

That name, Victoria Del Mar, lacks any sort of sophistication. As if the owner was fishing for something that would sound oh-so-elegant to a resident of Scranton, PA. And then he used the name twice to make it twice a good? Happy Days had some whimsy to it, and it fit the owner, sort of. Actually, something that big and overpowered needs a really macho name, or something that suggests speed. Anyone have some ideas along those lines?

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Don Bauder Oct. 18, 2013 @ 7:21 p.m.

Visduh: Yes, but his wife's name is Vicki, which is probably Victoria. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 19, 2013 @ 6:23 a.m.

Visduh: That's not a sure thing, you understand. Best, Don Bauder

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mridolf Oct. 19, 2013 @ 6:24 a.m.

Okaaay, let's do a mathematical comparison. I frequently rent generic mid and full size cars froom Hertz. They probably cost around 20K. My rental charges (minus the exhorbitant airport 'fees') average less than $200 a week. I know Hertz sells its cars before they're two years old. If I divide 20K by 104 (2 X 52 weeks), I come up with $192, close to my average weekly charge. If I divide 34 Mil by 104 I get 326K, so maybe 250K is really a bargain. I would imagine that International Yacht Collection is more selective of clients than Hertz, and cleans their yachts better for each customer (oh, the stories I could tell about Hertz rentals). This is fun. Thanks Don.

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Visduh Oct. 19, 2013 @ 10:21 a.m.

We can all tell stories about rentals from all the rental agencies. They're rapidly consolidating and the competition is not that intense now. Want a car that was actually washed before they sent you out with it? Good luck. Report something wrong with the car, and you're left with the strongest impression that nobody will tend to it until the car just will no longer run.

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Don Bauder Oct. 19, 2013 @ 12:37 p.m.

Visduh: I've had good luck with car rental agencies, but I seldom use them. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 19, 2013 @ 12:34 p.m.

mridolf: Victoria Del Mar II will handle 14 guests and has a staff of 12. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Oct. 19, 2013 @ 7:17 a.m.

It really is a bargin compared to your Hertz rental considering your Hertz can't sleep as many guests in such comfort, doesn't come with staff to prepared meals and pamper your every whim endlessly and Hertz does not supply a chauffeur, let alone a "Captain" to guide you on your way. All for $1,488.00 an hour for the week, what a bargain!

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Don Bauder Oct. 19, 2013 @ 12:46 p.m.

JustWondering: David Copley had the yacht made in 2006. The year before, Forbes had said he was worth $1.2 billion. The U-T alone was said to be worth $1 billion then. But then Copley sold the U-T for $50 million to $55 million....a helluva haircut. But David still had plenty of money to operate his yacht. Best, Don Bauder

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