WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County man says after years of work, Cape Fear Community College ruined his antique steamboat instead of restoring it.
“It went in a showboat. It came back a shipwreck,” Dominick Dellaripa said.
Dellaripa says he brought his 1960s steamboat to CFCC several years ago after instructor Ed Verge said he would restore the boat in the school’s boat shop.
“People that ran the boat building shop agreed they could restore the decking, and other incidentals on the boat at a reasonable cost, and it would be good training for the students,” Dellaripa said.
Dellaripa says he put a $500 deposit down to cover the initial cost, but when he finally got the boat back seven years later, he says it was a complete disaster.
“All the antique fastenings were removed. All the antique chalks and cleats,” Dellaripa said.
He says he has lost $500 in the ordeal, and worst of all, he says his boat is in pieces.
“It looked like they took everything apart with a sledgehammer,” Dellaripa said.
But Verge, who no longer works at the college, says they spent the $500 fixing the floor, engine, bulkhead and deck; renovations he estimates cost around $5-6,000. He says he did not finish the project because he and his students ran out of time, and did not understand the amount of work involved in this renovation.
In a statement, CFCC spokesman David Hardin said, “We are currently looking into his concerns to get a full understanding of the issue. Once we have more details, we will be working with Mr. Dellaripa directly to resolve the matter as soon as possible.”
Dellaripa says he wants someone to take responsibility for what he says is $20,000 worth of damage and missing parts. He says he also wants his money back.