A yacht owner’s flashing new nameplate ‘DEL BOY’ may have started the inferno that destroyed the £6million craft.
Sources believe its proximity to the nine tonnes of diesel on board could be the cause of the devastating fire that destroyed the Rendezvous.
The lavish 85ft Gin Palace was engulfed in flames within minutes – sinking three hours after drifting from its berth at Torquay Marina in Devon.
Plumes of black smoke could be seen across the county and nearby residents were asked to stay. The beaches have been evacuated.
The owner is believed to be a local businessman who is vacationing abroad.
A source said: “He’s a Del Boy guy and very private. He recently had a backlit electric nameplate put up which is near the fuel store.
A yacht owner at the marina added: “His yacht has been in Torquay for about three years and has only recently been rewired. This may be a factor in the fire.
“It rose as the crew prepared in stores for a trip to Cowes for Jubilee celebrations.”
Police described Saturday’s fire as “unexplained” and are investigating.
The Environment Agency was carrying out the cleanup yesterday.