Derelict boats being removed from off Jupiter 

Dec 22, 2017
Donna Tabor right, and her friend Tom Ballou work Friday to move her 42-foot houseboat offshore from Burt Reynolds park west in Jupiter. (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)

Derelict boats, eyesores and environmental hazards to many locals, were being hauled away Friday afternoon off Burt Reynolds Park West.

Meanwhile, the owner of a 42-foot houseboat that washed ashore off the park was trying to push the 12-ton craft offshore on Friday afternoon. The boat, which does not have a motor, washed ashore at the park after Hurricane Irma.

READ: Jupiter residents want junk boats littering Jupiter waterways hauled away

Palm Beach County sited the boat on Dec. 13 as an abandoned vessel that must be removed.

“The boat is beautiful for sitting on deck and playing music and watching the sunset go down,” said owner Donna Tabor, who bought the boat for $10,000 last Labor Day. The former owner kept the boat at Bluffs Marina in Jupiter.

The houseboat has a fully equipped kitchen and living room with flat-screen television and stereo. The top deck has a 360-degree view. (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)

The wind blew the boat ashore earlier this month at Burt Reynolds Park, drawing complaints from local residents. An orange tag issued by Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department was placed Dec. 13 on the vessel. The tag said the vessel had to be removed in 24 hours.

Tabor said she moors the boat off Burt Reynolds Park because local marinas will not allow her to moor on their property. The boat has the proper lighting, title and registration. The bilge pump works, she said.

“The marinas all tell me they don’t allow houseboats,” Tabor said.

A salvage company hired by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is removing the derelict boats from canals and Intracoastal Waterway off Jupiter. The salvage boat off Burt Reynolds Park on Friday afternoon hauled away the sunk sailboat that had collided with Tabor’s houseboat.

Mooring the houseboat in the same location off Burt Reynolds Park where it was before Hurricane Irma may not meet legal requirements, said Palm Beach County Parks and Recretation Executive Director Eric Call.

“We’re trying to get (FWC) to include the houseboat as an abandoned vessel to add to the list of boats being removed,” said Call.

Tabor’s houseboat -- which is air-conditioned -- is like a floating recreation vehicle.

Inside is a kitchen with a refrigerator, stove and dining table. A full-screen television set and stereo are in the living room. Full length mirrors are on the walls. Sliding glass doors open outside. A winding staircase leads up to the deck with a 360-degree view.

“I don’t plan to live on it. But it’s a great place to come out and relax,” said Tabor, watching the sailboats drift by.

Barge contracted by U.S. Coast Guard and FWC is removing derelict vessels from off Jupiter. The barges are moving north to remove other derelict vessels. (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)