The right bid could land your dream boat

Was there something missing under the Christmas tree this year? If the answer is “Yes, a project boat!” the Oak Harbor Marina may have a relatively inexpensive answer.

Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times Marina Maintenance attendant Neil Ketchum walks past the 1980 Watkins sailboat that will go to auction Saturday

Was there something missing under the Christmas tree this year?

If the answer is “Yes, a project boat!” the Oak Harbor Marina may have a relatively inexpensive answer.

Harbormaster Mack Funk will auction off three vessels, a 1969 Columbia sailboat, a 1973 Fiber Form powerboat and a 1980 Watkins sailboat, on Saturday, Jan. 9 at the marina.

The City Council authorized Mayor Jim Slowik to approve the sale of these boats at their last meeting of the year, on Dec. 15. The small flotilla is up for auction because the boat owners have not kept up on moorage payments. The moorage payment for the Columbia sailboat hasn’t been paid for over a year. That adds up to lost revenue for the marina, said Funk, who hopes to recoup some of the lost revenue through the boat’s sale.

“They communicate and then at some point they stop,” Funk said of his correspondence with boat owners who are behind on their payments.

The minimum bid on the Columbia is $250, or slightly more than two month’s moorage for the boat, which has been at the marina since June 2005. This isn’t the first time the marina has advertised this boat for auction. Twice before, at the last moment, the owner paid off is delinquent marina tab. Funk doesn’t expect that to happen this time.

Funk set a starting bid of $100 for the Fiber Form named “Endless Summer” and comparatively pricey $1,000 for the Watkins.

“Endless Summer” made the news in October after is took on water and sank while docked in its slip. The boat is currently on blocks in the marina parking lot.

“We don’t always get the minimum bid,” Funk said. If no one wants “Endless Summer,” it’ll go to the scrap yard.

The marina typically auctions “two or three” boats each year depending on the number of delinquent moorage accounts, Funk said. Bidders must pay 20 percent of their bid at the time of the sale by cash or check. The balance is due within 48 hours and the boats must be removed from the marina within three days, or no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12.

A viewing will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and the auction will start at noon. Call Harbormaster Mack Funk at 279-4575 for more information.

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