Pottstown Company Markets Just The Boat You’d Float

The "Firefighter" is being offered for sale this month on Municibid, the municipal auction website operated from Pottstown by resident Greg Berry

POTTSTOWN PA – It’s common for governments across the country to offer vehicles like used police cars, dump trucks and even a limousine or two for sale on Municibid, the auction bidding website for municipalities operated from Pottstown by former Sanatoga resident Greg Berry. But one item available this month, even Berry concedes, is a whole ‘nother form of transportation.

The city of Boston MA, he said Tuesday (Jan. 17, 2012), is using Municibid to auction off “the Firefighter, a 72-foot, 1,050-horsepower fireboat that has patrolled the waters of Boston Harbor since 1972.” Berry reported that the Boston Fire Department decommissioned the 40-year-old fireboat and replaced it with a more modern vessel last September.

“We got a brand-new fireboat and had a formal dedication,” fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald told Berry for this month’s Municibid newsletter. “The boat we had served the city since 1972, so the question was how to dispose of it.”

The answer, Berry happily adds, is his company, headquartered at 1029 N. Washington St., Pottstown PA. A recent Boston Magazine article about the boat described Municibid as “like an eBay for surplus government equipment, except that it doesn’t charge a seller fee.” Municibid makes its money by collecting a fee – 5 percent of the final sale price – from winning bidders.

The 125-ton Firefighter “has the potential to be converted to a specialized work boat or yacht,” according to an assessment by marine surveyor Joseph W. Lombardi. The auction continues through Jan. 30 (Monday) until 1 p.m.; see it online here, along with 20 different photos of the boat. Bidding starts at $10,000.

Boston Magazine reporter Courtney Hollands offers this caution, though: “You may want to check with your local marina about slip availability before throwing your (captain’s) hat in the ring.”

Berry is a former member of Pottstown borough council, and once lived with his family on North Sanatoga Road in Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township. Municibid has grown over several years from a primarily Pennsylvania enterprise to one with thousands of participating municipal and other government agencies nationwide.

Photo from Municibid