BEE CAVE, Texas — Among the sea of cars on State Highway 71 is a boat, stuck on dry land and becoming quite the topic of conversation for residents. And on Thursday, it's floating closer to removal.
The “Spare Room” is stuck on SH 71 and has been there for over a week. The more than 40,000-pound boat is progressively moving down the highway. It started in Bee Cave but is now outside the city limits, according to the Bee Cave Police Department.
"I am never going to buy another boat again," said boat owner Michael Nemer. "They are nothing but problems and nothing but a headache. It has been a nightmare."
While Nemer was out of town, his employee tried to move the boat out of a local marina and back to his home, which was less than three miles away from where it stalled the second time.
To tow the boat, it would require two large cranes and shutting down at least one lane of traffic. The department said it would cost $10,000 to $15,000 and it was in contact with a towing company.
However, since a Texas Department of Transportation Roadside Hero determined it was not blocking traffic, it was originally decided the boat's owner would need to move it on his own.
The police department said it contacted the towing company to be on standby to tow the boat on Monday, July 19, but at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, the owner managed to move the boat further east out of city limits before having yet another breakdown.
"There have been no accidents and little or no disruption in traffic flow because of this boat," Bee Cave Police Chief Gary Miller said in a statement. "We did not believe it was necessary to spend tax dollars to move and house a boat and take civil action against the owner to recover expenses when the situation was not creating imminent danger."
In a Facebook post, owner of Quick Tow LLC Nick Moncus said his company is working with the Bee Cave Police Department for “basically free” to get the boat off the road.
“There is nine other towing companies on the Bee Cave Police rotation and not one stepped up to help,” Moncus wrote in the post. “So please be kind, we are working out one of the worst situations possible on the highway.”
A GoFundMe was created to help the towing company with expenses to tow the boat. So far, it’s raised over $2,000 for Quick Tow LLC.
Once Nemer got back into town, Moncus said he was paid. As of Tuesday night, Nemer and his employee were still working on the trailer.
"We've got all the new axles, new tires and we were ready to take off last night until the rain," said Nemer. "It was sunken in the mud on the side, which blew out the tires trying to pull it out because it puts all the weight on one tire."
Nemer's nightmare turned into a boatload of laughs for others on social media.
A “Spare Room” Twitter account, Bee Cave Boat, has also surfaced online, dedicated to its prolonged journey, or lack thereof.
Nemer said the comments made him laugh.
"One of the people said it looks like that trailer is a little too small for that thing, and someone commented, 'Well, it looks like it has a spare room to me,'" said Nemer.
"Once I put it back in the water somewhere, wherever it is, people might go, 'Hey, that's the one that got stuck on the side of the road like five years ago,'" said Nemer. "That's me, but my nightmare is finally about to be over."
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