Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco County to sue over boat abandoned in Gulf Harbors canal

An abandoned boat lies half sunken in a Gulf Harbors canal behind a house in foreclosure. Who owns the boat isn’t clear.

Courtesy of Pasco County Attorney’s Office

An abandoned boat lies half sunken in a Gulf Harbors canal behind a house in foreclosure. Who owns the boat isn’t clear.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco commissioners moved ahead with a lawsuit Tuesday against the former owner of a waterfront home where a broken-down yacht was left behind in the canal.

County attorneys recommended commissioners file suit against Maureen Mowry to get her to remove the 38-foot boat called My Way.

The boat is tied to a dilapidated dock behind Mowry's former Gulf Harbors home, which is now in foreclosure.

But Gulf Harbors residents, who've been complaining about the eyesore — and potential danger to other boaters — for more than a year, should not expect the vessel to disappear any time soon.

Pasco would have to prove Mowry — or someone else — is responsible; find the upfront money to get the boat removed and possibly file a claim against the property, then jump in line behind other lien holders.

Commissioners would have to authorize such an expenditure. Moving a derelict vessel can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Chairwoman Ann Hildebrand said a boat captain who read about the sunken vessel in the St. Petersburg Times told her he could do it for $3,000. But the county has no authority at this point to take him up on the offer.

Back in March, Mowry pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of leaving a derelict vessel in public waters.

Her lawyer said her deceased husband had owned the boat, not her, and that she was not responsible for its removal.

Mowry was fined $250 in court costs, but a judge did not make her move the boat.

Initially, attorneys had told Hildebrand, a Gulf Harbors resident who brought up the matter at a meeting last month, that their chances of getting the boat removed were not good unless they could serve the boat's owner.

Senior assistant county attorney Kristi Wooden told commissioners in a memo that the lawsuit itself could illuminate the mystery of ownership.

Information obtained through discovery would allow Pasco to figure out when the boat was moored to the dock and who might be responsible for its removal.

Mowry, 69, has managed so far to avoid officials: The Pasco Sheriff's Office never could track her down for its criminal case against her, and the process server in her foreclosure case finally gave up trying to find her.

One of her sons, Clark Mowry, told sheriff's deputies that his father had owned the boat. Another son, Mitchel, drove a truck bearing a decal of a boat emblazoned with the words "MY WAY" but denied any connection to the vessel.

He told the Times last month that he knew nothing about the boat and that his mother would not be available for questions about it.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at or (727) 869-6247.

Pasco County to sue over boat abandoned in Gulf Harbors canal 12/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  4. Fennelly: About time Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    It's Andy's time.

    And it's about time.

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He had been eligible since 2009, a ridiculously long wait for someone who scored 640 goals, including a record 274 on the power play.

    LEFT: Dave Andreychuk talks at the podium as he is honored with a statue in front of the now-Amalie Arena.
  5. British government says 75 out of 75 buildings failed fire safety tests


    LONDON — Britain on Monday confronted a rapidly growing fire safety crisis after tests of the exterior cladding on dozens of public housing towers revealed a 100 percent failure rate, raising fears that this month's deadly inferno in London could be repeated elsewhere.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. A Spanish judge on Monday June 26, 2017, has ordered the remains of artist Salvador Dali to be exhumed following a paternity suit by a woman named by Europa Press agency as Pilar Abel, 61 from the nearby city of Girona. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]