BRISTOL, Maine — The two-year quest to determine the owner of the Columbia came to an end when Doug Wood, of Bremen, presented the bill of sale to the Bristol Harbor Committee Dec. 10.
Wood informed the harbor committee he had received the bill of sale from the 90-foot fishing vessel’s last documented owner, Alan Curtis, of New Bedford, Mass.
“Lo and behold, I am now the official owner of the Columbia,” Wood said.
The boat had been abandoned in Pemaquid Harbor since January 2014. The Bristol Harbor Committee had attempted to find the owner of the vessel, and uncovered a lapse in documented ownership dating back to 2011.
In September, the Bristol Harbor Committee and the board of selectmen authorized Wood to remove the vessel from the harbor with the understanding removing the boat did not give Wood ownership.
Wood towed the Columbia from Pemaquid Harbor to Greenland Cove in Bremen Nov. 9. After the town received complaints and inquiries about the boat, the Bremen Harbor Committee met with Wood Nov. 20 to inform him he needed to apply for a mooring permit.
Bremen’s harbor ordinance requires the owner of a mooring to also own the boat being moored.
On Dec. 3, the Bremen Harbor Committee recommended to the Bremen Board of Selectmen Wood be given 15 days to submit a complete mooring application with proof of ownership or move the Columbia from Greenland Cove.
The day after the Bristol Harbor Committee meeting, Wood turned in his completed mooring application to the town of Bremen Friday morning, Dec. 11. Wood said the next step is for the Bremen Harbor Committee to review his application and make a decision.
“Right now, I’ve done all I can do,” Wood said. “It’s time to wait and see what they say.”
The Bremen Board of Selectmen will meet Dec. 17. Before Wood turned in the complete application, the board announced it would be inviting Wood, the Bristol selectmen and harbor committee, and the Bremen Harbor Committee to discuss the Columbia with town attorney Jonathan Hull.