NEWBURYPORT — Almost three weeks after a powerful storm knocked the 105-foot tour boat SS Capt. Red off its moorings near Salisbury Beach State Reservation and beached it on a Joppa Flats bank, the 400-passenger craft is back where it used to be, according to Harbormaster Paul Hogg.
Following the storm, Capt. Red owner Tim Slavit was able to free the boat from Joppa Flats hours later and brought it to Newburyport’s waterfront where it remained until Saturday. That day, Slavit piloted it back across the Merrimack River and secured it near the reservation.
The only thing remaining in Newburyport for Slavit to worry about is the more than $3,000 he owes Newburyport taxpayers. The amount represents roughly seven days of fees that apply to all boats which use municipal docks, Hogg said.
Slavit moored the tour boat off Salisbury Beach State Reservation late last month. On March 27, he took the boat on a trip upriver to Haverhill, where crowds were waiting behind The Tap Brewing Co. There, he turned the boat around and moored it offshore from the public boat ramp next to Crescent Yacht Club in Bradford.
A few days later, Slavit returned the boat to the Salisbury mooring, where it remained until it broke free April 16.
Slavit has been battling with Haverhill officials to receive the necessary permits and approvals to dock the tour boat in Haverhill so he can launch a river tour business as early as next month.
City officials say they have asked Slavit for several documents related to licensing, but he has not complied with their requests.
Attempts to reach Slavit by phone and text were unsuccessful.
Salisbury Harbormaster Willem Van de Stadt did not return a phone call by deadline.