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Old 11-01-2011, 12:10   #16
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It is a miracle that no one was more seriously injuried or killed in the fire. I have spent hundreds of hours at McCotters and on one of the boats that was destroyed, Mercedes III. MIII was a 68', 1960, Grebe Motoryacht. MIII had been painstakingly restored by Mary and Dallas Foreman over 6 and 1/2 years. When MIII arrived at McCotters in '04, she had been a derelict for years. The purchase price was $1. The first time I saw MIII, I told Dallas he had overpaid! Little did I or my wife know that we would become linked to MIII in a very special way. My wife and I are sailboaters but we enjoy all types of boats. We, along with two other friends, became intrigued by the plans Mary and Dallas had for MIII. Over the last 6 and 1/2 years we worked at least one weekend per month helping to restore MIII.

Dallas recently estimated that he and Mary had between 7,000 and 10,000 hours each in the restoration. Dallas estimated that my wife and I and our two friends had about 2,100 hours combined in the project. MIII had been rebuilt from stem to stern. She was restored inch by inch and sometimes we did and re-did projects to get them right. Mercedes III had many "they don't built them like that anymore" traits. She was double bilge clamped, "gill" ventilated, and "hogtied", just to name three. We had great fun doing the hard work of restoration. She was rechristened on August 7th, exactly five months before the fire. The restoration project was 98% completed. A little refit and cleanup of the engine room was all that remained. It was so sad to learn that Mercedes III had burned to the waterline on Friday morning. The important thing is that no one was more seriously hurt than they were and that no one died, but the loss of MIII and the other boats are terrible losses.

All the boats and their owners have great stories, but I know Mercedes III's story the best. It's amazing what otherwise sane people will do to be on and around boats. Someone asked me if I regretted all the hours spent working on MIII now that she's gone. I would do it all again for the learning experience, the fun, the camaraderie and because boats are special. Boatwork is just different than other work. Mercedes III was one of, if not the last boat to burn. Her bow-stem is all that is left, above the water in proud defiance. When I saw that her bow-stem never went down I was very proud of her, Mercedes III, a fine lady to the very end!
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:35   #17
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Jim,

I love wooden boats, and especially wooden power boats, having lived on a Cruis' Along during my college years.

I think I know which boat was Mercedes III, as we kept our boat one dock down for about 6 months there. Do you have some photos you could share? I am sure she was beautiful!

Sad Indeed.

Chris
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:05   #18
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Here's a link to the website for Mercedes III, a great wooden boat: Classic Pamlico Cruises

There are some very good photos of MIII at the rechristening in August, some recent events on MIII, and a few restoration photos. Mary was working toward expanding the website and adding many more restoration photos at the time of the fire. In the photo of the dock a couple of posts before mine, MIII is to the left, just beyond the dockbox that is visible.

Many of the boats that burned were older wooden boats, again very, very sad.
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Old 13-01-2011, 11:11   #19
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I hope no one will mind if I post this here. If so please remove it.

Waterway Guide and the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net have joined forces to help those who lost so much, and gave so much, during the recent, dramatic fire at McCotters Marina in Washington, North Carolina. Those of you who have not yet heard about this tragic event can learn more from the Waterway Guide Discussion Board at Waterway Guide Discussion Board • View topic - Another Disastrous Marina Fire, and from the home page of the Cruisers’ Net at Cruiser's Net.

There were heroes aplenty in this tragedy, many of them fellow cruisers. A host of live-aboards lost everything they own, and others lost vessels that had undergone years of restoration work. The Red Cross is currently housing some of the affected cruisers at the local Days Inn in Washington, NC, but that offer of lodging will run out soon. With the North Carolina coast in the firm grip of old man winter, these brother and sister cruisers need our help!

So, in the spirit of the long standing tradition of cruisers helping cruisers
, Waterway Guide and the Cruisers’ Net are now jointly sponsoring a “Fire Relief Fund” to aid the 26 boat owners whose vessels were either totally destroyed or heavily damaged, and McCotters Marina, which lost a goodly portion of its dockage. At last report, the entire marina was still considered a “Haz-Mat” area, and no one was being allowed back aboard their vessels.

Waterway Guide and the Cruisers’ Net will jointly collect funds until 2/28/11. At that time, we will distribute all the collected funds equally to the affected boat owners, and a share to McCotters Marina. To get the ball rolling, Waterway Guide and the Cruisers’ Net jointly pledge $300.00 to the Fire Relief Fund!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SSECN - WATERWAY GUIDE FIRE RELIEF FUND, please send a check for any amount, made out to the "SSECN - Waterway Guide Fire Relief Fund," to:

SSECN – Waterway Guide Fire Relief Fund
P. O. Box 67
Elon, NC 27244-0067

While checks are easier for us to process, you can also contribute via credit card by calling 336-266-1369. Please have your credit card #, expiration date, security code, and the amount you want to contribute, ready!

Thanks in advance to everyone who decides to help. Our fellow cruisers are counting on us, so don’t delay!


Chuck Baier
Claiborne Young

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Old 25-01-2011, 09:26   #20
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Woooo-Hoooo, as of today we have collected $5,000.00 in the Fire Relief Fund
through our partnership with with Cruisersnet. In a conversation with Claiborne
this morning we tentatively plan to be in Washington, NC at McCotter's to
distribute the first of the contribution funds on Friday, February 4. We will
continue to take contributions until February 28th. Once again we thank all of
you that sent in contributions and we can say that this will certainly be
appreciated by all the fire victims. Susan and I have sent in a personal
contribution and Waterway Guide has also contributed to the fund. If you haven't
donated yet, now would be a good opportunity. Thank you all. Chuck

Waterway Cruising Guide | Fire Relief Fund
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Old 25-01-2011, 10:09   #21
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There will be a Fundraiser for the McCotters Marina Fire Relief Fund Sat, Jan 29 at the Pirates Pub , Downtown Washington NC Waterfront , It Will feature the Veranda Band and start @ 10PM
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Old 25-01-2011, 11:59   #22
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Just a bit of an aside.... Many years ago when just a pup of a firefighter we had a similar fire. We sent firefighters to each end of the dock (fire started on a boat near the middle) with axes. As fast as possible lines were axed and boats were set adrift. Hose streams against the hulls of the drifting boats pushed them away from the fire. Other crews were engaging the fire directly.
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