The boat fire happened around 4 p.m. on Ewing Circle.
“I would say within 10 minutes it was gone,” the boat’s owner, Robert Ryder said.
Ryder purchased the 25-foot boat in August from an estate sale. Since the purchase, Ryder said he’d travel from his home in Sebring to Port Charlotte to work on the boat.
“The plan was to bring it home Sunday, and insure it Monday with State Farm,” he said.
The plan backfired, however, during Friday’s visit while Ryder was cleaning the boat’s waterline.
“I heard a pop, turned around, there was a fire in the engine bay,” he said.
Ryder said he immediately rushed for his fire extinguisher and even used a hose to try to put out the flames.
“It’s running through your head while you’re trying to spray it out that at some point in time you have to call it quits because you know there’s a gas tank on it,” Ryder said.
A neighbor across the dock also tried helping before first responders arrived. He told Ryder to get off the boat before the fire grew more substantial.
Crews with Charlotte County Fire and EMS used 800 gallons of water to douse the flames.
While the boat is considered a total loss, no one was injured.
Ryder said the loss was difficult, but he still has dreams of setting on sail on his own boat again someday. In the meantime, he’s working to find a way to tow or haul the boat from the dock.