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August 22, 2013 at 7:46 PM
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.
August 16, 2013 at 9:39 AM
Seattle’s 1927-vintage fireboat Alki has been put up for auction a second time – this time with a marine survey report pegging the vessel’s estimated value at $76,000.
The 123-foot Alki, once billed as the “world’s largest fireboat,” was replaced in the Seattle Fire Department’s fleet by newer, more maneuverable boats as part of a $167 million levy passed in 2003 to upgrade equipment and facilities the city would need in a major emergency.
In a weeklong online auction in March, the Alki attracted a high bid of $71,100, but the seller backed out before a contract could be finalized. One obstacle to the sale, city officials said, was the lack of a recent survey report on the condition and worth of the vessel.
The city then authorized a cleaning and inspection that together were expected to cost about $11,000.
The 28-page survey report, and other information about the Alki, can be seen on the auction site, www.bidadoo.com. Click on “Live Auctions – Bid Now.”
The new auction began at 7 p.m. Thursday and will continue for a week.
April 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM
The high bidder for the 1927-vintage Seattle fireboat Alki has backed out of the sale, leaving city administrators looking for a different buyer for the 123-foot piece of Seattle history.
The high bidder, whom city officials have not identified, bid $71,100 for the Alki in a 10-day online auction last month.
But today, Katherine Schubert-Knapp of the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services said the buyer “wanted to transport the boat a long distance and ultimately decided that would cost too much.”
At the time of the auction, Schubert-Knapp said the boat wouldn’t automatically go to the highest bidder, because the city would need to make sure a potential buyer met certain requirements, including having the appropriate insurance and a viable plan to move and moor the boat.
Schubert-Knapp said other bidders in the auction are being contacted to see if they are still interested. The city is not identifying bidders until a purchase is complete she said.
An online history of the bidding shows that the next-highest bidder bid $71,000 for the boat, and a third bid $67,287.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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