February 22, 2009

Ferry goes from prized purchase to eBay

A New York group that bought a 50-year-old ferry in 2007 for $500,000 has put the boat up for auction on eBay, where it is likely to sell for much less.

By early Sunday, the top bid for The Islander, which plied the waters of Vineyard Sound in Massachusetts for decades, was $24,100. The auction ends Monday.

The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp. figured the ferry was a no-lose proposition at the time of purchase, The Cape Cod Times reported. The group planned to use the vessel for an 8-minute run between Manhattan and Governors Island, a former military base in New York Harborm but if that did not work out the 201-foot vessel was one big chunk of scrap metal.

By the time the group realized the ferry would need more work than expected, the price of scrap metal had fallen 70 percent.

Jon Meyers, in charge of real estate for the corporation, said the group plans to buy another ferry. He said the Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority is not responsible for the debacle.

It was buyer beware, he told the Times. We bought it in 'as is' condition.