A boat with plenty of history – but certainly a “handy captain’s special” – garnered dozens of bids and was ultimately sold through an online auction.
After 24 seasons, the first pumpout boat that was part of an innovative county-funded program to keep the waters of Barnegat Bay clean was retired after the summer of 2022, where it had served only as a backup vessel. One of the first programs of its kind in the nation, Ocean County’s pumpout boat program was funded through a combination of Clean Vessel Act grants as well as sales of the state’s “Shore to Please” license plates. Seaside Park hosted the first vessel, which was named the Circle of Life by students at then-Seaside Park Elementary School.
The boat was owned by the borough through the county partnership and was put up for auction on a government surplus website last month. The 21-foot Alcar had certain seen better days.
Indeed, the Circle of Life’s listing on Municibid, an eBay-like auction site for public property, tells the story of the life cycle of a working boat on Barnegat Bay. Its Evinrude outboard has a cracked cylinder and needs a power head. The trim motor no longer runs, a few bolts are missing from the engine cowling, and there’s some evidence of water intrusion in the hull. There are also some dents and dings.
In the end, according to Municibid, there were 53 bids placed for the vessel, with the highest coming in at $2,250. Borough Administrator Karen Kroon said the buyer has already picked up the boat and plans to find some sort of use for it. Circle of Life’s main pumping system still works, and she is equipped with a 300-gallon waste tank and twin 34-gallon fuel tanks.
While Circle of Life will no longer be patrolling the central portion of Barnegat Bay, its successor, the 2008 Water Warrior will take up the full mission full-time while a new vessel is sourced and added to the fleet as a replacement-in-kind.
The pumpout boats operate every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends into October, as long as the weather remains warm.
More on the boat’s history is included in Shorebeat’s original story on the vessel, published last month.