Salvage firm auctioning 800 Katrina boats

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OCT. 7 - National Liquidators, a vessel recovery and remarketing firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., plans to sell over the Internet as many as 800 boats damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

National Liquidators will sell the boats during weekly online auctions. The company has leased a 75-acre facility in Mandeville, La., where the damaged vessels are being taken for the auction. The yard will also open for viewing boats prior to each auction.

“Last year we handled a similar assignment due to the four storms hitting Florida,” said Bob Toney, president of National Liquidators, in a statement. “Although this is of a much greater magnitude, we have the capacity to handle several thousand boats and are confident our efforts will result in great success for all parties involved.”

The company says it hopes to begin auctioning the boats sometime in the next 30 to 60 days. The consolidation and sales of the boats will be ongoing process, with a target completion date of six months. Boats will be sold in “as is” condition. Details about each boat, including starting price and condition, will be displayed at www.yachtauctions.com.

— JoAnn W. Goddard