By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“I haven't abandoned this,” said George Marincin, president of VicMar Inc. of Tacoma, on Thursday.
“I am still diligently pursuing it, and when I come up with a plan, I hope that the state will be gracious enough to let me pull it out of Port Ludlow myself,” Marincin added.
Even if Marincin comes up with a plan, DNR will proceed on its current course, according to Aquatics Assistant Division Manager Dennis Clark.
“The vessel is now in our custody,” Clark said.
“Mr. Marincin had three months to deal with the problem, and he did not do so.”
The vessel, which has been moored in the guest slot at the Port Ludlow Marina since Oct. 1, was served with a notice from DNR on Dec. 3.
The notice gave the owner one month to move the vessel, or DNR would assume ownership.
After taking possession of the vessel, DNR sent out a crew to measure the vessel for transport early Thursday morning.
“We are eager to move the New Star out of Port Ludlow and wanted to get started right away,” Clark said. “So we took care of the measurements first thing.”
The 180-foot-long, 325-metric-ton vessel has been moored in the Port Ludlow Marina since Oct. 1, when it was accepted by Marina Manager Kori Ward for what was intended to be a one-week period.
Since then, Marincin has set and broken several deadlines for the removal of the vessel before reportedly ceasing to return calls from the state and the marina, as well as the press, in December.
On Oct. 21, he said he planned to tow the ship to Neah Bay, but the next day, 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 the ship would head to Astoria, Ore.
Port of Astoria CEO Hank Bynaker declined to provide moorage for the vessel.
On Thursday, Marincin answered a call from the Peninsula Daily News, calling the situation “an unfortunate occurrence that was to nobody's advantage.”
He said he had lost more than $100,000 on the project, which originally called for the ship's transport to Mexico, where it was to be dismantled and sold on the Asian market as scrap metal.
DNR spokesperson Toni Droscher said the agency is working up a cost estimate for the operation, which is not complete.
Clark said it probably would cost “in the six figures.”
Once DNR finishes the transporting and dismantling of the vessel, Marincin will be billed for those costs, Clark said.
Clark said DNR has found three different potential moorage sites for the New Star in Puget Sound.
The measurements, a height of 35 feet — 29 feet at the bow plus a 6-foot post — and a 38-foot beam, were needed in order to make sure the boat would fit under the bridges between Port Ludlow and the boat's eventual destination.
Once moored, the state will solicit bids for the process of cutting the ship into scrap metal, Clark said.
Marincin estimated that the scrap metal from the ship would bring in between $85,000 and $90,000.
Droscher said there is no schedule for towing, since a final destination has not been determined, but said it could happen later this month.
Marincin said he moved the New Star out of its Tacoma moorage because he wanted to meet with a tug from Mexico, but the tug was delayed, which prompted the stop in Port Ludlow.
“Port Ludlow should never have accepted the boat,” Marincin said.
“They should have said no when they were asked to accept it.”
Ward has said previously she did not want the boat in the marina but thought it was a better alternative than anchoring it in the bay, which she said the tug operator promised to do if the boat was not accepted.
On Thursday, Marincin said he had not heard of this before, though the interaction was reported several times in the PDN.
Marincin said he had been “in close touch” with Clark and talked to him prior to the holidays, while Clark said Marincin had not returned several calls from DNR.
For Marincin, the shoe may now be on the other foot.
“I've wanted to share my plans with DNR, but I haven't been able to get through to them,” he said.
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.By Jeremy Schwartz