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Conception back in service


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Posted by on September 01, 2005 at 14:18:17:

SANTA BARBARA The 75-foot excursion vessel Conception, which was stolen and wrecked on the rocky outcroppings at Vandenberg Air Force Base more than five months ago, is back in service after $750,000 in repairs.

"I'm excited. It's basically a new boat," said owner Glen Fritzler of Truth Aquatics Inc., estimating his business losses at more than $400,000.

The popular vessel, used for sightseeing and scuba diving excursions to the Channel Islands, cruised from the Ventura Harbor Boatyard to its Sea Landing berth on Wednesday. It will be back in service Friday, Fritzler said.

Insurance covered repairs that include a rebuilt bow and a new bottom, inner and outer keel, rudder and shafts, struts and propellers for the vessel's two engines.

"Everything has been cleaned and repainted. There's a new stainless steel galley, a remodeled shower room, new bunk pads, new carpeting, even new linens," Fritzler said.

The Conception was stolen March 23 by a transient who rammed two commercial fishing vessels before leaving the harbor and heading north. The vessel was wrecked on a rocky shore near Point Conception.

The thief was arrested and he faces a felony grand theft trial on Oct. 18.



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