Gig Harbor kayak team’s missing boat is back but in need of costly repairs

The boat was moored in the same spot it always is, at a dock outside Anthony’s at Gig Harbor.

For the second time in a little over two weeks, someone stole a coach’s boat belonging to the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team (GHCKRT).

The boat was moored in the same spot it always is, at a dock outside Anthony’s at Gig Harbor, and it was last seen there 9:30 p.m. last Monday, board member Kirsten Gregory said.

By 9 a.m. last Tuesday, Gregory said, the 16-foot-long boat was gone.

But eventually, thanks to a story published by The News Tribune’s Kenny Ocker, the boat was found.

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According to GHCKRT’s page, the boat was found Tuesday evening under the 11th Street Bridge on the Puyallup River in Tacoma. A fisherman spotted it and called it in.

“Officer A. Tang with the Puyallup Tribal Police recovered the boat and stayed with it (and us) until we could get it headed on its way back home,” GHCKRT’s Facebook post reads. “The registration numbers were scraped off, but Officer Tang and his partner identified it from tonight’s article by Kenny Ocker in The News Tribune. So many people contributed to this quick and happy ending — thank you!!!”

The boat being stolen once is understandable. But twice? It prompts the question: Why didn’t the team’s officials do anything to secure it better, or move it to a more secure place?

“Outside of Anthony’s is the only place we have to moor the boat (for free),” Gregory said. “It’s a small boat, and apparently isn’t terribly hard to start, even if you don’t have a key.”

There’s also the possibility that the thieves didn’t even need to start the boat. It’s small enough to simply tow.

“Going across the Narrows in the dark is kind of a dangerous proposition,” Gregory said. “So they could’ve been towing it away.”

The engine, battery and mechanicals were all stripped, the boat sustained damage to the fiberglass hull, damage to the pontoons from being dragged on a roadway, damage to the aluminum railings, as well as various missing pieces and parts.

Because the boat will require serious repairs, GHCKRT has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the cost.

“We are in need of significant repairs, a replacement engine, and security measures to prevent the same from recurring or our other safety boat from also being stolen and stripped,” page creator Peter Chiou wrote. “Your…

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