No bids for schooner ‘Bowditch’

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Friday, February 14, 2014 - 3:00pm
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People gather under the shrinkwrap over the schooner Nathaniel Bowditch Friday leading up to a public auction of the boat. (Photo by Chris Wolf)

Story Location:
Public Landing
Camden  Maine  04843
United States

CAMDEN — A crowd of more than 20 people huddled under the plastic shrinkwrap enshrouding the deck of the schooner Nathaniel Bowditch, a number holding promise that someone would cast a bid to buy the beleaguered windjammer Friday afternoon. But it was not to be.

The Nathaniel Bowditch was seized by U.S. Marshals Dec. 23, 2013, following the filing of a civil foreclosure lawsuit in Portland U.S. District Court against owners Owen and Cathie Dorr of Rockland. The Dorrs had been accused of defaulting on a $375,000 First Preferred Ship Mortgage originally taken out with The First in 2012, which was later assigned by the bank to Thomas B. Federle of Yarmouth.

Following seizure of the Nathaniel Bowditch in December, court-appointed custodian Ray Williamson took the schooner Jan. 9 from its berth in Rockland and towed it to the former Sharp’s Wharf in Camden.

According to court documents, the Dorrs agreed to allow the schooner to be sold.

Federle's attorney, Twain Braden of Portland, was present Friday for the 1 p.m. public auction at Bay View Landing in Camden Harbor. Portland Deputy U.S. Marshal Sean E. Joyce ran the auction, reading legal documents authorizing the seizure and sale before outlining the auction's proceedings.

Joyce’s reading of the legal notices took eight minutes and three seconds.

"The minimum bid is $250,000...any bids?...$250,000?," said Joyce, pausing between requests. "OK, so at this time, I am guessing there's no bids for $250,000...OK then, that's then end of the auction. Thanks for coming."

The auction itself lasted 27 seconds.

Joyce said afterward that since nobody made a minimum bid, ownership of the boat remains with the holder of the mortgage, Federle.

The Dorrs were not present at the auction Friday.

Related story:

Schooner 'Nathaniel Bowditch' going to public auction Feb. 14 at Camden's Sharp's Wharf


Editorial Director Holly S. Edwards can be reached at hollyedwards@penbaypilot.com or 706-6655.