July 21, 2009
As I recall, there was the Nina, the Pinto and the Santa Maria
CAR-BOAT ADVENTURERS' QUEST HALTED
Men hoping to sail round Italy in converted pink Maserati
(ANSA) - La Spezia, July 21 - Two men bidding to sail around Italy in a converted pink Maserati were fighting to persuade the coastguard to release their 'car-boat' on Tuesday after it was confiscated for not being seaworthy.
The coastguard intercepted Marco Amoretti and Marcolino De Candia off the coast of the Tuscan town of Forte dei Marmi on Monday after beach-goers alerted them to a car in the sea.
Worried the vehicle had ended up in the water by accident, a coastguard boat rushed to the scene to find Amoretti and De Candia in the waterproofed car, which has been equipped with an outboard motor and buoyant polyurethane to make it float.
The men explained they had set of from their hometown of Sarzana, near La Spezia, and were planning to circumnavigate the Italian coast to arrive in Venice.
But the coastguard was not amused when they found the Maserati-boat, which the men have named Miriam, did not have the necessary documents attesting to its seaworthiness nor any safety features.
"Considering the weather conditions, the fact that it was nearly dusk and the slow speed of the craft (two knots), the car-boat was escorted to to land, confiscated and fined," the coastguard said.
Amoretti and De Candia claim the car-boat is perfectly safe and hope they can continue their journey.
"This isn't the first time we've done it," they told the coastguard.
In 1999 the pair crossed the Atlantic in a boat fashioned from a Ford Taurus and a Volkswagen Passat, leaving from the Canary Islands and arriving on the island of Martinique 119 days later.
Nickie Goomba sez: "When I had a Taurus back in 1991, I had to wear a wetsuit to drive the thing on a rainy day. If the wind blew on a wet morning, the passenger side window would pop out of its seal. Sail the Atlantic in it?? I can't imagine driving to work in it.
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