The Town of Bristol has approved spending up to $70,000 on a new harbor patrol boat.
The current boat, a 1988 Brenden 28 Patrol, is ineffective, and in need of dire repairs, said Harbormaster Gregg Marsili.
“Structurally and mechanically it’s starting to go,” he said.
The boat has been worked on by Dave Parker, a mechanic and owner of Parker Marine in Bristol.
“In my opinion, you’re dealing with something very inefficient,” Mr. Parker said. “It was good when gas was $1 a gallon, but today it’s $4 a gallon. That boat is a gas-guzzling pig of a boat.”
The boat is an in-board, two-engine vessel that requires two people to operate. That alone is impractical, Mr. Marsili said.
“It doesn’t go very far, or fast either,” he added.
According to Mr. Parker, the boat needs one motor and one transmission replaced. That cost alone would be $30,000 to $40,000.
Last year, two heat exchanges to cool the motors were replaced, as well as two sets of footers. There’s also 30 years of paint of the bottom that’s starting to flake and should be stripped, Mr. Parker said.
“I can’t see the town spending money on this thing,” he said. “It’s very old, very inefficient by today’s standards.”
Should the town sell the boat, Mr. Parker guesstimates than a purchase price of $10,000 “would be doing good.”
Mr. Marsili is still researching various funding methods to add to the $70,000 budget. There’s a possibility of grant money, and even getting a boat a zero cost through the sale of excess material from the federal government.
“If we could get a Coast Guard boat, that would be the best deal,” he said.
There’s no immediate need to replace the boat, but Mr. Marsili is hopeful to replace it by next year.