The good news: The city was able to auction off its 1927-vintage fireboat Alki for $25,300.
The bad news? It spent more than $35,000 restoring it just to get it ready to sell.
The city’s $35,637.94, to be precise, paid for a marine survey of the boat and the work recommended to get it in condition to be insured and sold. It also included dry-docking and refloating the vessel, as well as cleaning it in preparation for the survey.
Bidding for the 123-foot vessel, the oldest of the Seattle Fire Department’s four-boat Marine Emergency Response Team, started at $1 and lasted one week on bidadoo.com, a Seattle-based auctioneer of the city’s surplus property. Eighteen different bidders bid a combined 53 times on the boat over the course of the week.
This is the second time the boat has gone to auction; the first buyer backed out because the city hadn’t yet done a marine survey on the boat.
Bidadoo doesn’t list the names of bidders, but the high bidder will have to provide the city with proof of liability insurance as a condition of the sale. Once he or she has the ship, the buyer will also have to pay for moorage, insurance, fuel, maintenance and whatever else they have in mind.