Seeker move stymied

Ted Box is close to finishing the deck on his 90 foot scow project Seeker. He is using three inch thick pine boards for the decking on the 32 ton schooner. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Permitting hurdles have stalled a plan to move Seeker, the unfinished 90-foot long, 32-ton scow-schooner, from its Beach Road location near Five Corners to a lot owned by Ralph Packer about a quarter of a mile east also on Beach Road. Boat owner Ted Box and Bob Hayden of Hayden Building Movers, who has been hired to move the boat, told The Times that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) has not approved the permit required to move the boat. “All applications to move any boats over 16 feet wide in the State of Massachusetts are being denied,” said Mr. Hayden, an experienced boat mover.

DOT permit engineer Michael Lyons told The Times that department policy limits the width of a boat that can be moved on a state road to 16 feet. The Seeker is 24 feet wide.

“If they were trying to move a house it would be no problem,” he said. “A house can be 24 feet wide. I told them to turn it into a house and they would have no problem.” He explained the difference is because houses are often moved much shorter distances than boats.

Mr. Lyons said that sometimes exceptions to the regulations are granted, but he was not optimistic about the Seeker’s chances due to the volume of traffic on Beach Road during the summer and the pending case of a 20-foot wide paddle wheel boat stored just over the state line in Rhode Island whose owner has applied for a permit to move it over state roads into Massachusetts.

“The timing on this move is real poor,” Mr. Lyons said. “I am still waiting for word from one of my superiors to find out how they want to handle it. It’s kind of a political thing because of the other boat.”

Last month, lot owner Ernie Boch Jr. told Mr. Box that he must vacate the lot he has occupied for three years and offered to pay for the move.