Originally Posted by gamayun
That's very cool. Welcome. What was the story on the boat from 1997 till you got her?
Actually, I came this close to buying
her myself in 1997. She was on the hard
with a rotted-out bow thruster tube and a few other minor issues that I couldn't deal with financially. Plus, I figured she was a little too much boat for a first-timer to pilot solo.
She was finally purchased by a well known mystery writer who, aside from the required repairs
, added dual-zone a/c and turned her into a day charter
on the Bay. By then, I'd moved to Florida
, but in 2004 I saw her featured in an older article about her writer/owner that was published in the Baltimore
The article mentioned that she had since been re-sold to a couple who were very interested in researching her history
, so I called the broker who had handled the sale
to tell him that if the new owners wanted some "before" pictures of her, I'd be happy to mail some to them.
Six months later, I get a call from a woman who introduces herself as the owner of the Neeltje. Since I'd only known the barge by the name that Dan Rowen (Rowen & Martin's Laugh-in) had given her before bringing her back from France
, I replied, "That's nice; What's a Neeltje?". She explained that it was the original name of the Encore, and that she'd been told that I had some older pictures of her. When I asked her to give me her mailing address, she asked me to mail them c/o the Harbormaster, Saint Augustine Municipal Marina, since that's where they'd be staying for a while.
Of course, she had no idea that we lived 2 blocks away from said marina, and when I offered to hand them to her and save a stamp, she invited us aboard for diner that evening.
My wife fell in love with the boat, they moved on to Sarasota
, and eventually sold the boat to the Fort Lauderdale
marina that restored her and put her up for sale
In the mean time, my wife and I had moved to France
where we'd been looking for a canal barge for over 5 years by the time I saw the Neeltje advertised on Apolloduc. I bought her from there sight unseen, slipped the key under my French floor mat, and came back here to pick her up. That was a year ago.
Sorry for being so long-winded, but I didn't want to leave anything out... :-)