Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 6:46 PM on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dwindling Derelicts


Photo by Michael Armstrong

The Honcho, foreground, and Spanky Paine, background.

The Honcho, front, and Spanky Paine sit on the beach by Pier One Theatre on the Homer Spit. It took just more than a month for Peninsula Scrap and Salvage to reduce the boats to bare hulls. A crew was on site on Tuesday working, said Ronald Smith, owner of Peninsula Scrap and Salvage. "They're just eating the Spanky Paine into little bitty pieces as we speak," Smith said late Tuesday afternoon. "It won't take long. Within a week, two-and-a-half weeks, they'll just be a memory." Smith estimated each boat weighed about 200 tons. The scrap metal is being hauled to the chip pad near the Deep Water Dock.

The engines have been salvaged. Other material, such as tie posts, have been donated to the city. Peninsula Scrap and Salvage also donated portholes from the ships to the Pratt Museum's Ritz fundraiser.

Under the city's derelict vessel removal program, the two boats were moved from the harbor to the beach to be salvaged. The Spanky Paine was built in 1894 in Buffalo, N.Y., and was commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. Former owner Fred Paine named the boat after his son. It also had been previously named the Calumet, the Tioga and the John F. Drews.