Local Company Struggles to Sell M.D.M.R. Boat

Reported by: Sarah Duffey
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Updated: 6/20 7:46 pm
A boat intended for former Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (M.D.M.R.) Director, Bill Walker's, private Marine Resources Foundation two years ago was set to be auctioned off by Competition Marine Friday, but the auction didn't quite go as planned.

A 1976 45 foot all aluminum Cabin Cruiser, previously owned by the M.D.M.R., was set to be auctioned off Friday by Competition Marine in Gulfport, a company the M.D.M.R. originally hired to refurbish the boat. Aubrey Pichard, the owner of Competition Marine, says, "It’s perspective in one's own thought, but a boat like this today is probably worth a million dollars plus. An older boat like this refurbished could be worth two to three hundred thousand."

The Laura C has cost Competition Marine a lot of money. The Gulfport marine store has sunk thousands of dollars in parts and restoration work, thinking the M.D.M.R. had put in the order. The boat was once intended for Bill Walker's Marine Resources Foundation, but was handed over the Ocean Springs charity, Yada. Unable to foot the bill, the charity put the Laura C on the auction block to help pay off the Competition Marine debt.

As the auction began, only three bidders showed up. When Competition Marine started the bidding at $45,000, no one wanted to bite. Pichard says he's disappointed with the way things turned out and believes people we're looking for too good of a steal. Pichard says, "We will advertise, talk to some other people. What we prefer to do is to be able to sell it to somebody, recoup most of what we're owed against the boat, and have someone finish.”

Pichard says this size boat would cost $500-$1,000 per month just in up keep, but will be worth the investment. The boat also comes with an extensive electronics package. If you're interested in the boat, you can contact Competition Marine at (228) 896-0022.




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