SOUTHWEST HARBOR — There was little firefighters could do to save a brand-new Hinckley powerboat destroyed in a Monday night fire at Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina, according to the town’s fire chief.
Chief Sam Chisholm said the fire was reported shortly before 7 p.m. Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes to find the vessel fully engulfed. By then the cabin of the fiberglass boat was nearly gone and flames had spread to other areas within the hull.
“It was gone before we got there,” Chisholm said of the boat.
Complicating the efforts of firefighters was the 100 gallons of fuel aboard the boat, Chisholm said. Despite drenching the flames with 4,000 gallons of water and foam and spraying with fire extinguishers, the fire was stubborn.
“We never really knocked it down. We contained it,” Chisholm said. “Fiberglass just doesn’t go out, especially when there’s fuel involved.”
The boat eventually took on enough water and sank. Firefighters were clear of the scene by 8:30 p.m. A stiff wind and frigid conditions also made the efforts of firefighters more difficult. Members of the Tremont Volunteer Fire Department and the U. S. Coast Guard provided invaluable assistance to Southwest Harbor, Chisholm said.
No injuries were reported.
Andy Fitzpatrick, general manager of The Hinckley Company, said the boat was a 34-foot T34 model that had been undergoing three-days of sea trials.
“We’re all pretty shaken,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s a heavy loss for us.”
A space heater onboard the boat is the “likely cause” of the fire, Chisholm said. Fitzpatrick confirmed that a heater had been in use on the boat but was reluctant to say it could have sparked the fire.
“It’s really too early to tell at this time,” he said.
The Hinckley Company plans to raise the remains of the boat this afternoon (Tuesday) and take it to their Southwest Harbor facility to investigate the cause, Fitzpatrick said.
According to Fitzpatrick, the 34-foot powerboat retails for between $600,000 and $700,000.