News

Louie, Louie, it gotta go, port says

The Louie Louie, a 40-foot Sea Ray, has been chained to the Coupeville Wharf since mid November because its owner, Mark Nilson, is refusing to pay the daily moorage fee.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
The Louie Louie, a 40-foot Sea Ray, has been chained to the Coupeville Wharf since mid November because its owner, Mark Nilson, is refusing to pay the daily moorage fee.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

For one Anacortes man, boat will mean “bust out another thousand” if he doesn’t pay his bill at the Coupeville Wharf.

That is the smallest amount Mark Nilson will owe if he doesn’t cough up the moorage fee that is accruing daily since officials at the Port of Coupeville were forced to chain his 40-foot Sea Ray, known as the “Louie Louie,” to the dock. It’s been accruing a $20 a day moorage fee since early November.

Since chaining the boat to the pier, Port of Coupeville Executive Director Jim Patton said the clock is ticking before 90 days pass and the public entity can claim the boat and dispose of it, which probably entails auctioning it off.

Patton said the ordeal started in early October when Nilson arrived at the Coupeville Wharf and paid for several days’ moorage.

After several weeks, the port’s harbormaster approached Nilson asking for payment for moorage he had racked up. Patton said the Anacortes resident did not pay and the police were called.

Later that night, Nilson, with his boat, left the wharf. However, the boat returned the next day and it was moored to the wharf’s fuel pier, Patton said. Nilson was nowhere to be found. Staff then moved the boat so the fuel pier could be used. It has been chained to the pier since Nov. 10.

If the boat remains chained to the pier and Nilson doesn’t pay the fees, he will end up owing approximately $2,200.

Patton said he sent Nilson a certified letter outlining the situation and he has received two telephone messages from the man, but he hasn’t yet received any payments. The News-Times was unable to contact him.

The Louie Louie is the fourth vessel to be left in Penn Cove in recent years. A house boat had to be diverted to the wharf after springing a leak and a sailboat sunk after being moored at the wharf. Port staff eventually raised the sailboat and auctioned it off. Another instance occurred when a boat drifted across Penn Cove and broke up on the rocks on the northern side of the cove.

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