St. John's - This is the sad tale of a mysterious, marine-blue sailboat.
Did it once voyage to exotic locales? No one knows.
What we know for sure is that it now sits alone, its true purpose suffocating under snow on the far side of the City of St. John’s depot at 25 Blackler Ave.
“Ah, it’s just an old piece of junk,” a baffled security guard said when The Telegram inquired about it on Thursday.
His perplexed look seemed to question why anyone would ever be interested in the thing.
Sure, it’s no luxury yacht, and the city doesn’t know anything about it — except that it sat abandoned for too long on city property on Cadet Road.
It doesn’t have a name, a serial number or any kind of identification. The city doesn’t even know what kind of sailboat it is or when it was built.
But you can probably pick it up for $10 ( if lucky ) .
The city sent a notice of auction scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. It’s the city’s second attempt to offload the vessel, after an auction on Nov. 24 ended without any bids.
Sure, there were plenty of folks at that auction in November. But no one wanted the unbeloved boat.
“They were there buying the cars, the tow-aways. Basically, who were buying the cars are the auto recyclers,” said Blair Loveless, with Fitzpatrick Auctioneering, the group facilitating the auction for the city.
We asked Loveless if someone might be successful with a $10 bid for the boat.
“I would say, probably, yes,” he said, explaining that city auctions do not have a starting bid.
“It’s nothing fancy, I can tell you. It’s just like the tow-away wrecks — the cars — and the boat ended up there, as well.
“It’s not something that you’re going to put in the water right away,” Loveless laughed.
When the city was notified of the boat on city property, inspectors went out and affixed a notice to it. They waited, but the boat was not moved. The city affixed a second notice. Still nothing.
So, after some time, the neglected, abandoned old thing was moved to the city’s depot.
And there it has sat ever since, accumulating snow.
The city has not yet had any inquiries about the boat, and it’s no wonder — a city spokesperson said they don’t usually have boats for auction. This boat is a bit of an oddity for the city, which normally deals with abandoned cars.
At the auction in a couple of weeks, interested potential buyers should know that it’s to be sold “as is, where is.” Payment must be made on the day of the sale by cash or certified cheque, and the boat must be removed from the municipal yard on the same day.
“It is an unusual thing to have an abandoned boat,” Mayor Danny Breen said.
Breen said if the boat is not sold, it will go to a scrapyard, as is the usual fate of cars that don’t sell at city auctions.
Section 166 of the City of St. John’s Act states the city is required to try auctioning vehicles twice, after which, if it’s still unsold, it becomes city property and “may be dispensed of in a way the council considers appropriate.”
But maybe this sad tale will have a happy ending for the boat with no name.
Perhaps, with a little work, it will sail the world.
Whatever its fate – sailing or scrapped – after Jan. 14, it will no longer sit alone at the depot.
Source : .the telegram