Fritz nearly ready to sail again

Pensioner fixing up second boat to live on in Oak Bay waters

Boater Fritz Schreiner is fixing up a second vessel after his liveaboard boat burned and sank off Oak Bay Marina on Dec. 29.

Don’t worry about Fritz Schreiner, the 83-year-old former owner of Oak Bay Cobbler whose live-aboard home burned and sank recently while anchored off Oak Bay Marina.

He’s already busy fixing up his other sailboat – he built the plywood 36-footer Edson four decades ago – and expects to move aboard before long.

“It was sitting there empty and (has) got to be fixed up,” said Schreiner, who retired at age 58 after selling his shoe repair business to his apprentice.

Anchored close to where the 45-foot concrete-hulled sailboat Steadfast sunk, he says the Edson will take lots of hard work before it is good enough to live aboard.

“I like living on water. (It offers) freedom and mobility,” said the six-foot, 200-pound senior who considers himself in excellent health, except for a bum left knee, which he expects to have replaced this year – he walks with a cane.

Schreiner said he was lucky to escape the Dec. 29 blaze unharmed – nearby boaters rescued him – after his diesel cooking stove caught fire and quickly engulfed Steadfast.

“It was terrible,” he recalled. Dressed only in his pyjamas he tried to fight the blaze, “but there was nothing I could do.” The flames took seconds to engulf the uninsured vessel.

“It was like stepping into hell,” said Schreiner, whose greatest loss was his pet dachshund, Lusi.

“No more dog. The loss of Lusi was too much.”

Although he lost most of his possessions, he said “I’m not broke” and still has a small bank account and some investments.

Schreiner appreciates the “unbelievable” help he has received from the community. He singled out Beach Drive resident Teresa Kambites, who has spearheaded efforts to collect the clothes and supplies he needs until he moves onto Edson. He could still use a few tools like a used jigsaw.

Temporarily living with his ex-wife and their 16-year-old son, Schreiner plans to re-donate everything he doesn’t need to a local charity.

Having immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1950 with $30 in his pocket, he’s an avid garage saler who also who buys at thrift shops.

He’s shocked by today’s rampant consumerism. “This country is crazy with what people throw away,” he said, remembering the poverty he saw visiting developing countries.

Schreiner has signed the sunken Steadfast over to a salvage firm for $1.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Saanich ‘inside cat’ comes home two weeks later, two pounds lighter

The only one not excited about the return of Arthur, is the… Continue reading

West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

Some 200 residents fill local pub pointing fingers, claiming crime on the rise, safety at risk

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Most Read