State set to dispose of derelict ship in Port Ludlow after holidays

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT LUDLOW — Residents of this affluent resort town hoped the derelict New Star would be gone by Christmas.

But now they will have to wait until January for that particular wish is granted.

The vessel, which has been moored in the guest slot at the Port Ludlow Marina since Oct. 1, was served with a notice from the Department of Natural Resources on Dec. 3.

The notice gives the owner one month to move the vessel or the DNR would assume ownership.

Since that time, George Marincin, president of ­VicMar Inc. of Tacoma and owner of the 180-foot-long, 325-metric-ton vessel, has not returned calls from the DNR, the marina or the media.

“He said all the right things at first,” said Kelle Kitchel-Cooper, a PR counsel who represents Port Ludlow Associates.

“He would tell us a story about how everything was in place, and the next day it would change, which was extremely frustrating.

“Right now, I think he is just out of money,”

The DNR posting, now on the ship's hull, states that if the boat's owner does not accomplish its removal by Jan, 3, the agency will dispose of the vessel and hold the owner responsible for the cost.

DNR's Dennis Clark said Friday that if the agency takes possession, it could be removed sometime in January.

The boat would be taken to an approved salvage yard, where it will be dismantled, Clark said.

He had no estimate of the cost, only that it's “in the six-figure range.”

Marincin had originally proposed dismantling the ship in Mexico where there are fewer restrictions on scrap metal operations.

Port Ludlow Marina Director Kori Ward had not billed Marincin for the moorage, saying that to do so would acknowledge receipt of the vessel.

She did not provide an estimate of what Marincin's bill would be or the money lost from moorage.

“It was during the offseason, so the loss of revenue wasn't significant,” she said, adding that “it did take up space on the host dock and made it difficult for other visitors.”

Though Marincin's intention was to tow the vessel down the Pacific coast to Mexico, connecting tugboats were delayed. That's when the tow company contacted the marina for permission to tie up the boat for two weeks.

Ward allowed the ship to dock under the condition that it stay only a few days,

She made that decision after the operator said he would sink the ship in Port Ludlow Bay if he could not use the dock.

Marincin rescheduled the tug and told the Peninsula Daily News on Oct. 21 that he planned to tow the ship to tNeah Bay as part of the relay tug to Mexico.

On Oct. 22, the Port of Neah Bay Director Bill Parkin said the New Star was not welcome at his marina.

On Dec. 3, Marincin was quoted as saying that the ship would be headed to Astoria, Ore.

Port of Astoria CEO Hank Bynaker said he has received a request for moorage for about a month, but after checking with the Port Ludlow Marina, he declined to provide moorage for the vessel.

“I told him that the boat was just a big hunk of steel and that [Marincin] hadn't always been real honest with us,” Ward said.

After it was clear that Astoria would not accept the New Star, Marincin stopped answering calls, she said.

Clark said that derelict vessels pose a large problem on state waterways, although not always on the scale of the New Star.

He said that one of his agency's priorities during the upcoming legislative session is to get permission to move more quickly in resolving derelict disputes.



Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 24. 2012 3:55AM
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